Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Donsö/Sweden - 07/24/2014

From Stocken to Donsö, distance 42.8 NM, weather sunny 30°C, water temperature 22.7°C, wind 0-1 Beaufort.

No wind, no sailing.....we run under motor towards Donsö, which is like a suburban to Gothenburg. During the day the island Donsö is rather quiet, but in the evening many ferries are bringing the people back from work.

We like this place, because of the many locals around and not so much tourists. Hardly any car is driving here. The people rather using little electro cards or elector bicycles.
The highlight is, that Wolfgang hires a water scooter for one hour. Magdalena has a fabulous time with her father dashing across the bay. Friedrich says, only if his life would be threatened, he would get on such a vehicle......same is true for me ;-)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stocken/Sweden - 07/23/2014

From Lilla Körna to Stocken, distance 10.5 NM, weather sunny 30°C, water temperature 23°C, no wind.

Again a windless day.....We start after breakfast but soon we are in the middle of all these fast running motor vehicles again.....Although we think we should go a bit further this day, we quickly decide to take a side trip and go for Stocken.

We have been to this calm harbor last year. What we like about this place, that it is mostly used by locals, calm and with interesting view all around. And there is a wonderful fish shop,  not only selling very fresh local fish but also a brought variety of fresh vegetables. And handmade sea salt. (Since last year's batch is almost used up, it is a good opportunity to get new sea salt :-).
We have a joyful, happy and warm summer day.
The children meet some very friendly children and play with them until late that evening with much cheers and laughter. We spend the evening with the family and have nice talks about children, family, sailing, Sweden and Norway etc...
A blessed day!

Lilla Körna/Sweden - 07/22/2014

From Fjällbacka to Lilla Körna, distance 25,3 NM, weather: sunny 28°C, water temperature 23°C, no wind.

We leave early and enjoy the peace of the morning.

We stop in Hamburgsund for breakfast shopping and filling the tank, since the forecast predicts absolutely no wind today and we are going to use the motor the whole drive.
But even although there is absolutely no wind, this becomes one of the most disturbed and wavy trips we ever have done...all over around us are motor vehicles of any size, most of them going full speed.....
Anyway we are enjoying the nature around us and looking forward for Karlsvik, an anchoring bay we plan to reach today.
But when we came closer to Karlsvik the the huge chimneys of the nearby refinery are greeting us....and the bay is filled with boats.....
No one of us feels like staying here. We drive a little farther to Lilla Körna. This old little fisher's village is only inhabited during the summers and the harbor tends to be very full as well, but the grand rock formations of the island and the very friendly and summerly relaxed atmosphere in the harbor excuses that.....
We enjoy our stay very much. The best is the evening walk (or better climb..;)) to the rocks at the other side of the island, which we find in the warm light of sundown.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fjällbacka/Sweden - 07/21/2014

From Kuvauen/Norway to Fjällbacka/Sweden, distance 35 NM, weather: sunny, 28°C, water temperature 22.5 °C, wind northeast 2-3 Beaufort.

Before we are on our way back to the west swedish coast we have a relaxed morning in the peace of the Kuvaun bay. After a refreshing bath, we get ready. Although we do like the swedish skerries very much, we have a little tear in our eye when we have to take down the Norwegian courtesy flag......

In accordance with this semi sad mood: This is not our day. First the iPad we use for GPS navigation breaks down, most likely because of the heat.....Next the stopper part of our port side winch breaks and the sheet jammed, so that Wolfgang has to use much force to release it....
We are kind of happy when our today's destination comes into sight: Fjällbacka. Our mood rises when we see the neat houses in front of the mountain Vetteberg, which is rising steeply into the sky. But soon the spirits are even lower.
Over one hour we are circling in the port searching for an unoccupied place for the night. Although a few berth are empty we are ensured, that the owners will return in the night....we try to go long side of other ships, but the first ones tell us, that they will leave really early the next morning (our question how early early is, remains unanswered...). The second tells us, that the whole package of three boats will become too heavy, but the unfriendly sound in their voices make us wonder, whether the reasons are quite different. Absolutely no other ship has fender outside, so that we feel no one is willed to take a boat to the side......
However, we try to anchor in front of the harbor, but the anchor does not dig into grounds several times, so that we have to give up this project.
All of us are exhausted by the sun burning down all day and this futile attempt to find a tiny place for us just for the night....Finally we go alongside a Norwegian boat, which has no fender outside and no one is on is an uncomfortable feeling to do so, but good luck, later we find out, that the people on that boat are really friendly and cool.
The crew is very hungry and we go for eating but besides the neatly and picturesque houses and streets this place is overcrowd, loud and uncomfortable.
After eating (in a very descent restaurant at the very end of the harbor, where the streets become calmer) the only thing we wish for is to sleep.
The next morning we start early at 6:30 happy to leave this place behind....btw the boats owners, who claimed they can not take us long side, because they have to leave really early, are still fast asleep, when we leave. There was a little temptation to wake them just to make sure, they didn't miss the alarm clock....but no.....shall they stay in the arms of Morpheus as they wish ;-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kuvaun/Norway - 07/20/2014

From Engelsvik to Kuvaun, distance 12NM, weather: Sunny 28°C, water temperature 23°C, wind east 0-1 Beaufort.

Hugo does not want to go back on board this morning....Apparently he likes the shadowy place underneath a picknick table at the harbor wall, where some sausages mysteriously found their way to him yesterday evening (a generous donation from two 3 and 4 years old Norwegian kids, who befriended him :-))....why should he want to leave?! ;-) But Madita's captain demands him back on board and finally he follows and we are on our way to our last Norwegian stop.

Kuvaun is a beautifully remote bay with high rocks surrounding. Only a few private summer houses are at the shore. Around the bay are small stretches of beach, which are internittend by high piles of granite rocks.
Again we have a wonderful day with swimming, fishing, exploring the different parts of the beaches and the area behind.
The surfaces of the rocks are grounded by ten thousands of years water and wind exposure. Although laying high above the shore some have deep hollows where the water must have been running back and forth during long autumn and winter storms.

Engelsvik/Norway - 07/19/2014

From Evjesundet to Engelsvik, distance 8.5 NM, weather: sunny 27°C, water temperatur 22°C, wind northeast 2 Beaufort.

We have been to Engelsvik before: 2012, when we traveled to Oslo by ferry, we drove there one mild autumn day, bought some smoked fish, which we ate at the abandoned harbor. It was a very pleasant day and we think it should be wonderful to return to this place by boat. Since it is only a short distance from Evjesundet, where we spent a clam and refreshing night, we have the whole day for our leisure in Engelsvik. 

When we arrived there were only a few guest places left, but people from other boats were very friendly to guide us, helping with the lines and starting a calm, friendly and interested chat with us almost from the very beginning.
Engelsvik is a rather small place, more a suburb of Oslo.
Ah Oslo would have been 30NM to finally reach Oslo, but there is hardly any wind today (which means, the motor would run all the time), the sun is burning down on us and no one of us feels like going for sightseeing in a big city.....
We rather have a peaceful afternoon in the harbor. The children are playing with other Norwegian kids, catching crabs and playing hide and language is necessary, they are just happy children on a wonderful summer day at the waterside...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Evjesundet/Norway - 07/18/2014

From Skaerhalden to Evjesundet, distance 27.5 NM, weather: sunny, 25°C, water temperature 20.4°C, wind southwest 3 Beaufort.

Today we reach the most northern point of our journey at 59° 21'N, 10° 39'E.

After sailing to about the middle of the Oslo-Fjord we anchor in a small double bay, which has an narrow entrance but is therefore very protected: Evjesundet. Here we spend a very peaceful afternoon and evening with swimming and fishing. Today Wolfgang is lucky and catch two mackerel, which taste even better than yesterday's fish :-)
In the evening we sit in silence being enchanted by the changing color of the light, sky and horizon....

Friday, August 8, 2014

Skjaerhalden/Norway(!) - 07/17/2014

From Längeskär/Sweden to Skjerhalden/Norway, distnace 22,7 NM, weather: partly cloudy, temperature 20°C, wind southwest 4-5 Beaufort.

Today we reach Norway! Even if we are not going to make it to Oslo we still achieved our goal to visit another scandinavian country :-)

But before we are on our way, we have to fill up Madita's fuel tank and to buy some liquids for us. Therefore we stop at Havjesund, where the gas station is directly at the waterfront. But we are not the only ones having this idea and it becomes rather stressful, especially since there is quite a bit of free waves running against the pontoons. The ships are coming so close to each other, that some Norwegian Yacht manages at full speed to let a rope of their dinghy entangle with the paddle of our dinghy....good luck Wolfgang makes a quick jump and grabs the rope to free it.....
The Skagerak is much calmer today and we reach Norway with good winds. The appearance of the skerry suddenly changes with many pine trees growing on them. The air is full with aromatic fragrance.
The first Harbor we plan to touch at is Skjerhalden. When we arrive it is over crowed and we feel the little stitch of disappointment when you finally come to a place you longed for a significant period. However, we moor at a fisher's boat pontoon and Wolfgang goes for a search. The first guy he speaks to turns out be the harbormaster, who is very willing to help and after about 15 minutes they find a space for Madita. It is alongside the outer pontoon and we have to turn Madita in the very narrow port basin. Good luck a very kind gentleman helps us from the pontoon side. But there is a huge iron chain leading from the pontoon to the ground of the basin. I am not sure, how that eventually works out, but surprisingly without any damage to Madita she slips over the chain and is at a good position of the pontoon.
Almost immediately after the lines are tied Friedrich starts to catch little fish. To our amazement these are little baby plaice: perfectly flat with both eyes on the upper side ;-) (Of course they all were released after a few!)
We buy very delicious fish at the nearby fish shop, where we learned, that the Norwegian word for monkfish is Breiflapp :-) 
Later that evening a boat neighbor starts to fish for mackerel. Wolfgang and Friedrich want to try that, too and get some advise. But the fisher's luck is not with them this day. The very friendly people from the other boat are luckier and to our delight be very kind and give us some freshly grilled mackerel as a present. That was the most delicious fish I ever had so far :-)

Längeskär/Sweden - 07/16/2014

From Lysekil/Sweden to Längskär/Stora Gluppan Sweden, distance 41,1 NM, weather: sunny, temperatur 24°C, water temperatur 20°C, wind southwest 3-4 Beaufort

We start early this morning, so that the children will sleep for a good part of the journey.

It is a wonderful warm day and we are happy to be here. On our way we try to avoid the open Skagerak whenever possible for the same reason why 1931 -1935 the Sotenkanalen was build. Like 60.000 other leisure boats a year we enjoy the calm trip between Hunnebrostrad and Smögen, passing solid rocks on both sides or open meadows with grazing cows. 
When we let Hamburgsund behind us, we had to sail on the open Skagerak every now and then. Although we are always happy for the chance to hide behind a skerry, we are very impressed by the 3-4 meter high waves. How would the sea look like here, if there would have been real wind be blowing?!
We reach the skerry Längeskär after 9.5 hours. The quietness of this uninhabited island is wonderful after a day on sea. The children enjoyed climbing the rocks after a whole day aboard.
This Skerry is not all rocks, but with rather a lot of vegetation. Small bays with sandy beaches allow Hugo to go for swimming (and of course his favorite: diving ;-)).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lysekil/Sweden - 07/15/2014

From Kälkerön to Lysekil, distance 18.5 NM, weather: Mostly sunny, some clouds, wind southwest 5 Beaufort.

Today we need to go to Lysekil a somewhat larger town, although we rather avoid such harbors. But we need to do some provisioning and Hugo needs to see a vet in order to get his second shot against Echinococcus multilocularis before we reach the Norwegian border.

Said, done: 4 hours later, after good sailing with the winds, Madita lays in the harbor, Hugo had a flying visit at the doctors and we a rather relaxed evening seeing the church on a late stroll.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kälkerön/Sweden - 07/14/2014

From Öckerö/Sweden to Kälkerön/Sweden, distance 26NM, weather: sunny-rainy, wind east turning north 1-2 Beaufort, temperature 23°C, water temperature 20°C

We start a little tired today, since the World Cup finale took long yesterday evening: In that restaurant there was only another sailor couple from Germany and all the other guests seemed to favor Argentina....later some Norwegian guests switched to Germany, since they liked Friedrich so much in his German soccer T-shirt and they didn't want to see him sad ;-) when the second extra time started they even bought him a cola so that he would be awake when Germany wins....he was a very happy boy that night ;-)

But even with not so much of sleep the beauty of this amazing landscape catches us and we can not see enough of these wonderful ancient rocks. Several times we see seals in some distance lying lazily on rocks.

When we are at the height of Marstrand a heavy rain begins not lasting for long. It is a very pleasant trip today and we feel happy to be here. 

After 6 hours we reach the first skerry we plan to moor at and stay over night: Kälkerön, which is a nature reserve. It is not that lonesome as we hoped for, but it is a wonderful island with a beautiful valley where we spend the evening wandering around enjoying the nature.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Spot of the Week - Helsingør/Denmark Castel Kronborg

At the northern entry into the Øresund, just opposite of Helsingborg/Sweden, lies the danish City Helsingør.
Most remarkable is Castel Kronborg looming above the Baltic Sea.
At Kronborg Shakespeare's Hamlet is taking place. Shakespeare himself has never been here, but at the time the castle was built in the 16th century word spread about its beauty and splendor, that he was so very much inspired and wrote about a fiktive, young danish prince and his misfortune happening at this very castel.
We took a long tour through the whole castel and were amazed not only by the magnificence but also by it's history. Our tour could have lasted much longer if we would have taken all the way down underneath the castel, but when entering the casemates Friedrich felt suddenly unsure whether wanting to know what is down there in the very dark, that we took the way back to reach safe daylight and fresh air.