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Baltic Cruise 2007 (continued)  part 4

Baltic cruise 1:    Baltic Cruise Tønsberg- Gdansk  
Baltic cruise 2:   
Gdansk to Riga   
Baltic cruise 3:    Riga to Tallin, Helsinki and Stockholm

Stockholm to Gothenberg

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! 

We sailed off southwards next morning, while they took a ferry back to Stockholm. Their passage  with us was eventful and fun but the weather while we visited the capitals could have been better.  Really sorry to see them go.

 Natural harbour by Lindholmen

To  Lindholmen  58 45N/17 31E    61,7nm  11th July   We two on Siller Lass took a long day's haul since the weather was inviting. We found a nature harbour with the help of Kryssar Klubbens havneguide - a charming, completly  calm bay with several islets and shallow waters all around and wooded land. Anchoring failed so we moored bow to the rocks along with a couple of other sailing boats.  Quite a contrast to Sandhamn. We've noted many birds on our journey, mainly cormorants, gulls, terns, herons, swans and a variety of ducks. Ashore the trees and shrubs were much the same as in Norway. The water was clearer but still too cold for a decent swim. 

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

To Motala  58 33N/15 04 E  17,5  nm
 15th-16July              An early start got us into the first batch heading for Motala.  It took 2 hours to manouevre up the locks above Berg before a stretch with several bridges and 2 aquaducts where the canal actually passed over roads.  The wind was gusty up to 33 knots at the most, craving determined helming to get through narrow passages undamaged.  We motored over lake Boren against the strong wind, 20-33knop,  with  sea spray and only 3 m under our keel- quite fun and quite an experience!  We travelled only 17nm in 7 hours but felt we had done a good days work. 
Lack of space in Motala harbour gave us the opportunity to stay in another very small mooring with a cafe, museum and toilet, just where the Motala shipbuilding and canal making industries were situated.  We visited Baltzar von Platens family mausoleum by the banks of the canal.  Platen was instrumental in the direction board of the canal project. A short trip to Motala next morning where we could empty the septic tank, fill water and grocerues. We were tempted to spend a lazy day there, even enjoying a swim and talking to the crews of other yachts, several from Holland, Denmark and Sweden, but next to none from Norway.  

Motoring in the narrow canal                             Details in the canal

 To Tøreboda, Sjøtorp, Läckö slott, Trollhättan and Gothenberg
17-21st. July 

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.   

Stone statue at Sjøtorp

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.
.   Läckö castle

We decided on a long haul next day so started at 6am. Completly calm with sunshine over the islands!  We had hoped to sail over Väneren but lacked wind so motored to Vännersborg then into Trollhätten canal,costing SEK 750.  The locks were deeper, 8 m. but easy to tackle when simple yachts got in. Enormous cargo specially designed for the channel had priority. A night at Lille Edet harbour was uneventful, next morning included a shopping trip to fill our stores.  Motoring out to Gothenborg and further towards Kallö Kniplan (harbour fee SEK 180)  with wind from south was OK.  Back again in well known waters we could relax and look forward to some real summer weather!  The water temp. is still only 16 deg.C. We have now sailed 1900nm. and stopped at 52 different marinas.  Weatherwise we scored better than Southeren Scandinavia did.  From Kallö Kniplan via  a short stop in Strømstad to buy "paravans" to simplefy mackrell fishing, found us back in Skjærhallen, Norway ready to take Bernt and family aboard for a while and hopefully enjoy some really warm summer weather! 

Tønsberg to Gdansk                                                                     Gdansk to Riga

Riga to Tallin, Helsinki, Åland and Stockholm                            Stockholm to Gothenberg

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