Yes, we are in the year of 2023. Time to make some changes in my life. I will be done working in Sweden in February. After that… Well, many options, but the general plan is to leave the Stockholm area, sell my apartment and move on board Isabell. If that works out, the secondary plan is to sail Isabell south, because as the saying goes “better to heat your boat with lattitude than with diesel”.
On October 25th Isabell was lifted out of the water and set on land. The Fall of 2022 has been very mild. After some basic cleaning and building the cover support structure across the deck, the boat is prepared for installation work inside. The plan is to install the new Webasto Evo 40 diesel heater in the stern locker space. Also installed a new Pioneer radio with bluetooth connections, which was an easy job. Just removed the old Pioneer and pushed in the new one in it’s place. The heater is a bit more demanding. To celebrate the end of sailing season the skipper is enjoying a beer at the harbor (of Leiden).
Skipper started looking at the ways to travel on down south. One particularly interesting route is through the rivers and canals of Netherlands, Belgium and France to the Med. But the past summers it has been so dry in France that the canals are almost dry. Even now, late Fall, they are short of water. A wish for more rainfall during the winter and spring then is in great demand. Another option is to sail to the UK (now outside the EU and Schengen) and then down through the Straight of Gibraltar. The canals seem more attractive, if there is enough water in them. Only time will tell! Anyhow, my retirement in February 2023 will lead to exiting changes in my life. First there is a lot of work to do on Isabell’s interior. I am ready for it!
What happened to the summer of 2022 and this sailing blogg? The summer started slow, with a month of repairs on the bow of Isabell. But, after it was done just before midsummer (end of June), things just happened one after the next. But so far, 2022 has been a great summer. Not counted in miles sailed, but mostly in the lovely mix of events that happened. Visiting foreign friends, exploring the Swedish past and present, visit at museums and great restaurants, mostly enjoying tropical temperatures, enjoying a wedding and long hiking paths, and nothing that went wrong with Isabell. Now, as the summer is coming to an end, days are getting shorter… Time to start planning for more adventures. The investment in the power Lofrans windlass has been excellent as an improvement on Isabell. So nice to just push buttons and set the anchor from the cockpit or lift it in strong winds, during heavy weather. So far the summer of 2022 has been great, and as usual, summer is always too short in Sweden.
It is almost time for the annual launch. Looking forward to it! The windlass is installed and working… Fun! Lots of other small things are done. At the moment it is time to start filling Isabell with food, water, and other stuff neccessary for living aboard. A couple of runs back and forth between Nacka and Rasta are on my schedule. The weather has cooperated and that means that even the varnished surfaces have received some new paint. It has been nice to have the Fridays off from work to be able to fix with things at Rastaholm. Nice and peaceful there during weekdays.
And it is finally time to start prepping Isabell for another boating season. Easter weekend is usually the time to take off the winter shelter and start fixing things on board. The weather so far has been winter-like. During the past few weeks I have been working inside the boat with the heater on and the hatches closed. Brrr. Last Friday a stormy westerly wind broke up the thick ice cover on the lake. Now at least it feels like Spring. The work I have been doing inside included re-wiring the leads between shore-power, solar panel regulator, engine regulator (Sterling) and the house and starter batteries. Now it is almost all updated to Skyllermarks standard. It was necessary for the addition of wiring to the new Lofrans electrical windlass. I have installed the windlass and the wiring that goes with it. It includes 25 mm2 tinned-copper wiring from the starter battery to the windlass regulator box. Regular wiring to and from the two foot switches on the deck, a manual switch for up-down operation of the windlass in the cockpit, a main breaker (135 A) inside the cabin, and an on/off switch on the control panel with a 5A fuse. I have also removed the cover from the anchor chain locker and it is being made into two equal halves in the workshop at home. This weekend I will remove the deck-cover, feed in the new chain, connect the anchor, clean out the water tank, and do some other small stuff. Along with all that, will try to socialize some and eat some Easter treats. Yeah! Happy Easter!
Hello again! Long time no writing. It is mid-winter in Sweden, and Isabell is sitting on dry land until the beginning of May 2022. Winter jobs planned for are to install the Lofrans Project 1000 X2 anchor winch that is sitting in my storage at home. I also have to order a new pulpit from Hallberg Rassy, since the one I have now is crushed on the starboard side. I am planning to split the anchor locker box top in two parts, to be able to open it while the anchor winch is pulling upp the chain. Other than that the boat is in good shape. Time for Isabell to take a rest. Soon to be ready for another season of fun sailing.
Yesterday I cruised north to the small harbor of Lickershamn. From here you can walk along the edge of the 90-foot calcarous cliffs on a footpath that goes a long way, both south and north. It is called the Kustklintleden, well marked and easy to navigate. Sometimes it goes up or down rather steep. Today, I walked south for 10 km, and then back to the boat. Halfway along the path, I passed a young couple pushing/pulling a toddler stroller along. Can they, so can I!!! LOL.
It took a better part of the day. The weather was good, winds SW 5-10 msec, sunny and warm (28°C). My feet needed cooling when I got back on board. So I put them in a bucket of cold seawater. Felt better… Tomorrow the winds will be low, but I intend to sail into the sound between Faroy (Fårö) and Gotland. The ultimate plan is to meet with my daughter and grandchild and sail together. The first time for my granddaughter to sail. She is used to travel to and fro this island by ferryboat. And they are huge. So when she came and had a look at Isabell, she said I live on a very (VERY) small boat. Yepp, everything is relative. It was a good stay here at Lickershamn. A lot of good has happened since I was here 2017 with Monica, on our way down to Poland.
Hello, today the wind is shifting towards the south. Yesterday was very rainy, and the wind northeasterly. Not good for having to sail that way. I decided to stay another day at Flundreviken and give it some time. Right now, the sun came back out from behind the clouds and it is windy.
This harbour has been nice. Friendly local people and a homy atmosphere. Close enough to the walled city of Visby, yet far enough to be out of the mainstream. Harbour fees are similar to the fees in Visby, but much more relaxed atmosphere here. There is water and electricity on the jetty, but no other facilities.
Today, it may be a good day to sail to Lickershamn, not too far north of here. We’ll see. Until then! Cheers!
Hello again, I am now in the small harbour of Flundreviken, about 3 nm north of Visby harbour. The sailing across between saturday and monday was great. Enough wind most of the time, and hardly any waves to make the trip more of a job. A beautiful sunset and likewise a fantastic sunrise a few hours later. As I was approaching the island of Gotland, it was completely enclosed by a heavy white fog-cloud. Where I was the sun was shining and the sea was smooth. The closer I got to shore, the more of the fog disappeared. And there I saw it, the white calcarous cliffs of the high western shore. Sailing into this little harbour went well, mostly because I knew where to find the narrow entrance. Now I have been here a couple of days and enjoyed visiting with my daughter and her family. She lives here in Visby, year-round. Isabell is in good shape. No worries. Here it is great to have my folding bike out. Super to just bike around and enjoy the countryside.
Tomorrow I will probably start sailing north toward the lesser island of Fårö, just north of Gotland. Right now the birds are singing and folks are polishing and fixing with their boats (mostly small motor boats). The whole trip here took a total of 28 hours sailing, and the made distance was 46 nm from Bullandö marina to Landsort. Across the Baltic it was another 74 nm. Not so far away from home, so to speak. Well worth the trip.
Where am I now? Läskär, just north of the island Öja, the most southern point in the Stockholm archipelago. Yesterday, warm sunny and a little northeasterly wind. In eleven hours I slowly made my way south. Real relaxed holiday sailing. Now I have time to rest, read and prepare for night sailing. I will get on my way late this afternoon, so that I get to Visby in the daytime tomorrow. Winds are reasonably low, from northeast to southeast. More easterly the closer I get to Gotland. Right now it is sunny and warm, but it may rain on the way. We will see… Maybe next message is from Gotland.