In 2005 a friend from my office in Göteborg left for a sail around together with his wife. It turned out to be a much longer journey than I had expected. They are still on the move. They have been more or less around the whole world for the last 14 years. Antarctica, South America, Pacific, East Asia, you name it. They left with one boat Lindisfarne, a Forgus 37. They got a new boat in Malaysia, Moon, and carried on. Sometimes I think about their way of sailing when I take a glance on the weather forecast, see that it will be rain and wind. And refrain from going out.
Yesterday I was at Öckerö, doing woodwork on Tolda. I took a late evening stroll along the harbour, and came to the slipway. There was a boat called Moon waiting! I checked their homepage, and, yes, they had finally reached home. I met Björn, the workmate, the morning after and had a little chat. They are going to do some maintenance and then carry on sailing, but not all year round.
They have kept a very comprehensive homepage all the time. Well worth reading.
This summer has been something extraordinary weather-wise. I don’t think we ever has experienced any summer with that much sun and heat. For sailors it is a blessing, for others like farmers, a catastrophe. Firefighters will join in to that song. In Sweden there has never been that many wild fires in modern times. I have been out with the big boat, Tolda, for some three weeks soon, and of course I like it. Last year there was hardly any sun and heat. But! I can not wipe out the possibility that this is an effect of the global climate change. I know the difference between weather and climate (Trump does not!) but still! Today some scientists published research that indicated that we already have passed an threshold which implies that it is already too late to stop the change. A sort of domino effect will trigger some horrible results. Some parts of our blue planet will be impossible to stay at.
I have 6 grandchildren and a another on the way. Although I don’t want to die yet, (I know I will) that planet they will face I don’t want to see.
There has not been much activity on water the last three weeks. One short day tour with Monark, that is all. Instead I have been “forced to” take on a renovation project. A small sauna at my mother’s summer house. That is, I consider it being hers since my father and she built it together in 1955. But she is 88 and of course don’t use it very much. She is dependent on someone else going there. But I do the up keeping (the result is a shame). Nevertheless it is a nice house situated by a lake, and I like it, but it is not used enough. However, the old sauna that my father constructed in 1969 was overdue for a overhaul. The exterior was once a fantastic job that he had done. He had gathered a lot of narrow pine trees, removed all the bark, and finally cut them into halves. But, 40 years later they were quite rotten. I had putting it off for some years, but now it had to be done. So a month ago I started. My wife’s son, who had been working a lot on building sites promised to help me, and on top of that a retired carpenter assisted for a couple of days.
As always, projects like that take about three times as much time as anticipated. In this case even more. The building had very few straight angels. My father was a very skilled tailor, but as a carpenter? He did a better job than I would have done, but not perfect, which meant some difficulties. But today we close for this time. There are some small things to complete, but now I had enough. I long back to the sea.
Today is Swedish national day. Not really the same as 4th of July for Americans, and 17th of May for Norwegians. But still, that’s what we have. Today I am at an old place for a lighthouse, Tistlarna. I have never been there before, but thought of quite often. Not the least with the small boat. It is a bit of a tricky way to get in there. There are leading lines, white spots on the rocks, so it seemed quite easy to do it. That is theoretically. I used a special chart made by the Swedish Cruising Association. Founded 1924, and very much still going strong. They have since long distributed special charts for natural harbours, if you consider using that, I recommend buying those. So, with that chart I thought it should be easy. But the day started off with some mis-happenings. Most important, my plotter would not start. I had ordinary charts so going down to Tistlarna was a piece of cake. But how to find the leading lines? Also I missed a compass. I relied on the plotter. So I circled around for some 30 minutes looking for the entrance. But no, I didn’t dare to take a chance. Those white spots just didn’t show up. Then I thought of an old workmate who often went here. I phoned him, and with his help I dared to try what I originally thought was the right place. And then, some 50 meters from the shore I spotted the leading line. (Damn small I must say) What to do without cell phones?
We were very few boats last night, but one of them managed to run aground. Not much, one crew member had to jump in the water to help them off the ground. I talked to one other sailor later, and said there is a saying that you have never been to Tistlarna if you haven’t been aground.
It is a beautiful place. Rather flat, with magnificent boulders. Also, a major birds habitat. The lighthouse was erected in 1906, and since 1870 there were pilots stationed here. It was the last lighthouse in Sweden that was electrified, as late as 1969. So until then there were people stationed here. I’ll stay two nights, and tomorrow I intend to go to Vinga, another famous lighthouse. Since it is an ordinary work day for the commoners tomorrow, chances are good that there aren’t to much boats there in spite of the continuous good weather. A very popular spot otherwise, and not so much space.
So. We are at sea finally. Me and Monark. My intention was going north, but having seen the weather forecast, I changed my mind. Winds from north for a couple of days, and the turning south. Which meant that it would be beating both up and down. No! So I went south instead. The southern archipelago of Göteborg is a bit of a white spot for me, so why not? I am on an island called Fjordholmen, where
I never had been before. I realized the true meaning of: “Training gives skills”! Three times I failed to both anchor and jump ashore. I simply was to scared to give ample speed. Finally I managed to get the anchor line in the propell
er! I was alone at the island, and that was good for my battered ego. But here I am.
Looking at the weather forecast last evening I saw that a NE gale was coming. So I added a line to land to be safer. The anchor which I never had tried before didn’t give me good vibes. And that was a good thing. At 2 o’clock I woke up. The wind was strong, but it seemed like it was safe. Two ladies some 50 meters west of me had not do
ne what I did, and the anchor lost it’s grip and they were in trouble. So I gave them some assistance in the dark to secure with ropes from land. There they stayed til morning when the
called the sea rescue. With the easterly strong wind the water had sunk with some 20 cm, and they were really stuck
The weather in may has been extraordinary. I, as well as meteorologists, find it hard to recall a May like we had this year. Normally we do not get this much sun and heat for the whole summer. And this is just the beginning. (I just bless myself for not being a farmer!)
Have I used this period for sailing? No. But tomorrow I turn north with the small boat. A camping stove, without a fridge. We will see how it turns out. If refugees can survive without hardly anything on the Mediterranean, I surely can cope with standard of the 50-ies. I will keep you posted as long as the network is functioning. It will be nice!!!
We are entering the last week of may, and we have had an fantastic spring. Summer temperature and sun for three weeks. I can not remember when that happened last. And have I been sailing? No! I have a good number of reasons, i.e. excuses, but facts remain. No sailing so far. But tomorrow I will take the Monark out for a ride. I will put on the instructors hat, since my daughter will start sailing of her own. Se has been doing a week or so every year with me, and she can navigate, she can steer Tolda, the big one. But she ha s never really tried to sail. But tomorrow we do a try.
Monark went into water a good week ago, And now she is fully equipped