Baltic Cruise 2007 (continued) part 4
To Malma Kvarn 59 15N/18 37E 23nm 9th July We visited Svenska Kryssarklubbens harbour, having been a member of the club for 20yrs. Malma Kvarn lies in a well sheltered nook with plenty of room for guest boats. Very friendly staff, a pleasant atmosphere and a restaurant noted for splendid food. Kryssar klubben runs sailing courses for youngsters all summer costing SEK 10 000, sometimes combines sailingcourses with comfirmation preparation. We thought the idea of the club mixing sailing with religion was rather strange. Good harbour with laundry, electricity etc for €10.
Malma Kvarn marina Enjoying dinner at Malma Kvarn restaurant
Sandhamn 59 17N/ 18 55E 11,2nm 10th July
The relatively short journey gave us plenty of time to become acqainted with Sandhamn, Sweden’s “Cowes”, situated far west of Stockholm and in a good sailing area. The area around Stockholm is vast with thousands of forested islands, a fantastic area for sailing. Sandhamn had moorings for several hundred boats but the facilities weren’t up to scratch. No laundry, high harbour price €28. Light beer kost SEK 15 in the "deli" ( 6,40 in the supermarket) . We treated ourselves to locally smoked eel as a starter followed by roasted pork fillet for our last dinner with Dorothy and Mike.
Unique coffee shop seating!
Natural harbour by Lindholmen
To Søderkjøping 58 29N/16 19E 49,5nm 12th July We travelled further than planned, due to good conditions and had fun navigating through narrow channels down to Mem then into the Gøta canal. It now costs SEK 5000 to get to Sjøtorp, and an extra SEK 750 for the Trollhätten canal. but nearly all harbour dues are included. The first few locks up to Søderkjøping got us into the way of handling the lines and controlling the boat. We spent the evening there filling up the larder and talking to, among others, the crew on a Ballad from Klaipeda and a Norwegian HR. The skipper on that boat had unfortunately broken both bones in his left arm when the boat suddenly gybed. Could the use of a preventer have hindred the accident?
To Berg 58 29N/15 32E 25nm 13th -14th July
An exciting day going up 30 meters with the help of many locks, four boats at a time. Coordination was important fixing all the ropes at the correct position at the right time and keeping an eye on the fenders and fender board. It took us 10 hours all together to get to Berg even though the distance was only 25nm. Most impressive was Carl Johans cascade of 6 locks leading up to Berg. Some boats took up more space than others!The landscape was fascinating as we floated at a higher level than with cows along the edge of the canal, vast areas of blue fields, presumably linen in flower, and shallow lakes with historic castles on the shores.
Boats in the canal A Norwegian "roomy" ship
Sailing was possible on some of the lakes, motor use otherwise, through all the narrow channels and canals. The depth was around 4 meters and we continually had to praise the builders for the enormous effort made in building the canal 175 years ago. 58 000 soldiers were employed and as with most constructions even today, the actual price was grossly over the estimated cost. The advantage of the canal was that a vessel could take 400 times as much cargo per horsepower as a poor hest could manage. Development of railways reduced canal transport but todays' tourist traffic compensates that. The canals and lakes give people a welcome possibility to sail through amazing areas of farmimg country, islands and lakes. The canal has been built over the level of the surrounding land so cows, sheep and horses grazed below us as we sailed by. The locks on the way down are easier to tackle, making life more simple with only two on board.
We spent 2 days crossing Europe's 3rd. largest lake, stopping at Läckö castle. Perfect weather as we neared the 700 year old building placed strategically with water and islands all around - an impressive sight. The "Lilla slottsträdgården" was a spectacular arboretum with a collection of several hundred varieties of plants, keeping 3 gardeners employed all summer. We treated ourselves to dinner in the castle restaurant though we presume we ate in a different dining room than Gustav Vasa did.
The dinner consisted of a genial mix of tastes, each dish having a special wine recommended by the chef, Jesper Anderson. We enjoyed a fantastic meal with wine SEK 1000 for 2.
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