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.