Goodbye Gotland

Sunday 26 July 2009
position Burgsvik 57*02.13 N 018*15.49 E
at 0800 UTC we are off and shall try to sail in a straight bearing toward the island Öland. The wind is W-NW and we start with a 10 ms in the morning. We have both sails up, good speed through the water but the current against. We run barely 3 knots SOG.
Most of the way it goes well. As we close in on Öland, a thunderstorm on the northern tip of that island makes the wind become very uneven and the waves are nearly 2.5 m high. But Isabell is made for much worse and she sits nicely in the sea. Smooth as a babies skin!
At 1630 UTC we take down the sails and start the engine. Gushes are near 18 ms, while the average wind is only 8-10 ms. At 1800 UTC we reach Kårehamn on the eastern side of Öland. A small but nice fishing habour and village. In port we buy 20 liters of diesel from the local fishermen. Buy some fish as well. We get a whole bucket of herring for a few crowns. Hmmm. Nice. In the evening the sun comes out and we sit in the cockpit long into the evening. We are on our way home. Now we intend to sail southwards along the eastern side of Öland. Problem is that there are no harbours along this side to find cover in in case the weather turns bad. In that case we will have to seek open sea and stick it out there.
A lot of fishing gear is placed everywhere along the shallows and we nearly sailed over more than one fishing net that was not properly marked. But we are spared that mishapp.

Crossing behind us. Gotland ferry boat. Coming at a pace of 30 knots… Swooffz. Not a good idea to be in the way.


Friday 24 July 2009
pos. 56*56,598 N 018*18,16 E

We intend to sail over to Öland from the port of Vändburg. But things do not turn out that way. We have SE wind turning to S and then W. Meaning wind is straight ahead all the time. We have to tack long legs to get ahead. And since the waves and current are heading south as we are, the highest waves ever seen in the Baltic (at least by the skipper) are facing us a stretch just at the southern tip of Gotland. 4 m waves with a very short interval between waves are beating hard. We run with a third of the main sail up and a little piece of the foresail. After 5 hours we head N along the westcoast of Gotland to the port of Burgsvik. We will have another go at it to sail over to Öland another day. In Burgsvik we meet a nice young couple from Stockholm with two young boys on their Friendship boat. The boys (maybe 2 and 4 yrs old) are playing on the deck in their floating vests. The oldest boy ties his younger brother into one of the halyards and winches him up about four meter over the deck, before his dad sticks his head out of the cabin and stops him. They are having a short discussion and the boy is hoisted down on the deck again. What a blast!

Burgsvik is a nice harbour and we go enjoy the beach just inside the stone jetty. It is windy still. Let’s hope it turns back into the right angle tomorrow.


Thursday 23 July 2009
position 56* 59,71 N 018* 27,36 E

We enjoy looking around Ronehamn. A quiet and elegant little town on the east coast of Gotland. At noon we sail off toward the southern end of the island. Now our target is Vändburg, a larger commersial port. It again is very foggy at sea. Very little visibility, but also hardly any wind. We have 2-3 ms from the SE. We get into port at Vändburg after 4 hours and the distance was 19.4 NM. Not so much, but enough in heavy fog. Always is a bit scary to not being able to see around yourself out in the open sea. We stayed close to the coastline, so that no larger vessels would happen to crush us. But there is always a risk for fishing gear we do not see, or other yachts running in the way…

While in port the sun breaks out and we enjoy sitting in the cockpit in the sunshine. Outside temperatures are 25 degrees C and the water is 20 degrees. Nice! We have some luxury as we can connect to shore-electricity. The day just flew past.


Tuesday 21 July 2009, winds 14-16 ms from SW. We stay put and enjoy Herrvik and surroundings.

Wednesday 22 July 2009. The wind has calmed down, now only 8-9 ms from the SW. We sail off at 0730 UTC. Nice winds and good clear weather ahead.
After half the distance to Ljugarn, our first target, the wind shifts to W and stronger than 10 ms. We are now forced to tack into the wind and the waves become higher than 2 m. So we decide to let go of our Ljugarn plans and continue to the harbour at Ronehamn. A better angle to the wind and waves. Making good speed through the water, we have the current against us. Nonetheless, we make good speed and get to Ronehamn at 1645 UTC.

A very exciting sailing leg. Before we get into port, a dense fog catches us out at sea. It gets quiet and wet. But we have our instruments and get into port without problems. There we find a nice place to park Isabell alongside a wooden jetty. We are safe.
Isabell moored against the old jetty, with reinforced mooring lines!


Monday 20 July 2009
We are still behind the fat wall in katthammarsvik in waiting of the high winds. In the morning, the wind is still blowing 8-12 ms but now from the NW. Lucky for us, since we are heading SE. We have a very well covered harbour within 7 NM from here, Herrvik. We decide to sail from here and find Herrvik.

It only took less than an hour to sail to Herrvik. A beatiful harbour with nice jetties. Well protected for the rising winds. We stay here and do our washes, fix some other stuff and Christina treats the skipper to the local feast meal; saffran pancakes… Hmmmm.
This is how it looked before we stuffed it down our mouths.

The nice jetties at the Harbour mouth of Herrvik, Gotland.


Sunday 19 July 2009
position 57* 45,65 N 018* 58,59 E

At around noon we sail southward to the fishing village of Katthammarsvik where they are supposed to sell fish and other good food. We have a near-gale warning coming over the radio. But as we sail off the weather is fair with low winds and good visibility. The wind dies down altogether so we have to start the engine after 1.5 hrs at sea. smiley
At a quarter past four in the afternoon local time we are at the seafood restaurant in Katthammarsvik. The pier is 6 m high and a lot of yachts are anchored all around the bay behind the pier. We walk a few km to the local grocery store to buy some fresh food. Buy some fish at the fish market and then scurry down to Isabell. The wind has picked up and is churning around pretty bad in the harbour. Isabell is all pressed up against the stone wall of the pire. Shit! With very much trouble we get out of the spot (no help from any of the other boaters that just stare. Hate when that happens. We sail to the other side of the wall and tie with all the mooring lines we have. A french yacht is also tied to this side of the pier. Some germans come and help us tie our mooring lines. The wall is so high that we have to use a home-made staircase to climb up and down to the deck. In the evening the winds are 10-12 ms from SW. Good we are behind this heavy wall. Let’s hope we get out of here tomorrow. Now we try to sleep with the winds howling in the rigging. Our flag has been blown to a shred. Goodnight.

Heavy weather and diving time

Saturday 18 July 2009
Wind 10-12 ms SW
position 57*45,51 N 018*58,42 E

The anchor is dragging due to the stony bottom and hard winds from the SW. We decide to go ashore on the island of Flaugen. There is an old loading dock by the abandoned mine on the island. When we start the engine, we notice that a line has gotten caught in the propeller. Shit! Nothing else to do than for the skipper to do his less favorit thing. Go snorkling under the boat and cut loose the line from the propeller shaft. There is a float (netmarker) on the line. Piece of old fishing equipment.

After a few dives down the line is cut into short pieces and the prop is loose. We raise the anchor and run over to the quay at the mine. There we tie in very proper for heavy weather. We are safe. Captain rows across to another island with the dinghy and builds a huge stone marker on the top of a hill. We see this marker the next day, when we sail out to sea.smiley

Fårösund – Flaugen

Friday 17 July 2009. We wake up to wonderful warm summer weather. Get ready to round the NE coast of Gotland. Now we are heading south again.

At 0800 UTC we are on our way. With 4-5 ms SW winds we have an average speed over ground of 4 knots. Nice summer pace, slow and nice. We have the bimini up over the cockpit, because the sun is hot!

Sadly enough the barometer is dropping, so this weather is not going to last. But after 5 hours of slow sailing we reach the inlet of Flaugen. A great place! Coming to the inlet, we had the current against the wind and this gave heavily choppy waves. So the last half hour Isabell got a good shakedown. Everything was out of place. But nothing broken.
We drop anchor in 3 m of water inside the island Flaugen in the shadow of mining spill mount on the island. The bottom is sandy and stony, mixed. Not the perfect anchoring ground but when the weather gets worse we intend to go ashore on the island and tie in to the old mining pier. Right now there are four other yachts lying there. So we are good here. We take the dinghy into the shore and go sightseeing. Wonderful vegetation. There is an old ruin from which I take nice pictures of Isabell through the empty window holes.

Lauterhorn – Fårösunds guestharbour

Lauterhorn, Thursday 16 July 2009.

In the morning we get ready to sail, but our anchor is stuck behind a big block of limestone. It takes us about 45 minutes to get it loose. We do that by swinging around it on the engine, dropping a second anchor and then winching in the anchor with one of the mains winches. The we run past the other anchor and get it aboard as well. The wind is 6-8 ms from the NW. Barometer has gone up a kouple of notches and we expect better weather. Yesterday was actually quite nice as well. We have little trouble getting into the Sound between the islands of Fårö and Gotland. We stop at a few sites along the way to do some touristing. Great place this is. We decide to stay here for a day and go into port at Fårösunds båtklubbs gästhamn that is anice and quiet guest harbour on the Gotland side of the sound, just past the ferry crossing between the islands. Not so far from the Eastern entrance of the Sound. We go shopping and enjoy the little sandy beach right by the harbour. We are now 173 NM from the start of the trip. Not so bad to have gotten this far and still have everything in good shape. Thankful! The picture is taken just after we enter into the sound between Fårö and Gotland.