Northern Åland Island

So we left the ‘Lost’ island and headed for a circumnavigation of Åland Island, stopping at a resort sort of town, then a remote anchorage at Denmark’s “Fjord” (hardly a Fijord, but one gets the feel) at Djupviken where we unexpectedly found ourselves on a 10K walk around the place! Very enjoyable walking along the granite rock, populated with sparse but somehow lush vegetation. The path was marked out by some wooden arrows and by stacks of rocks – cairns one would think – but it seems the Finns get rather carried away with them sometimes – and we found ourselves surrounded by mazes of ‘cairns’ – leading to who knows where!

The Djupviken Fjord...

The Djupviken Fjord…

Tied to rocks...

Tied to rocks…

Granite slabs and sparse vegetation

Granite slabs and sparse vegetation

Many overhanging slabs of granite could have provided primitive shelter.

Many overhanging slabs of granite could have provided primitive shelter.

Crazy Finnish rock stacks..

Crazy Finnish rock stacks..

Our Djupviken anchorage

Our Djupviken anchorage

Unfortunately, when leaving  Djupviken we discovered that the “fixed” windlass wasn’t. Necessitating various tactics to raise the anchor. As a consequence we decided to bag the next planned anchorage and head towards more civilization and found ourselves in a small guest harbor, attached to the cliff and kept off it by a stern mooring ball (that took us 3 attempts to snag effectively). This place was the scene of a Russian’s Tsar’s proposed fortress – which amazingly got scuppered by a joint English/French force! Pretty place, but not much going on – so we returned the following day to Marinhamn – where we would be able to source parts for the bloody windlass – and also find good internet such that I could do some proper work!

We met our first English boats in Mariehamn – one from the OCC cruise, another just cruising about the place – and enjoyed getting together with both of them over the next couple of days.

 

The plan had been that we would pick up the OCC’s commodore and his fine lady (John and Jenny) in Mariehamn and ‘take’ them (read that as get a lesson from them!) to Stockholm. Unfortunately, other people’s plans change too – and they sadly gave up on the trip to Stockholm in order to fly home rather sooner than planned. As a consequence, we were able to head to Stockholm a couple of days earlier than expected – after of course fixing the miscreant windlass motor…

We set off for Sweden around midday – planning to get to one of Sweden’s outer islands… – which we successfully managed… though got accosted by a customs boat while on route… They came alongside and asked us who we were, where we were going etc… I asked if we should slow down so they could board – but no problem – they obviously recognized an honest face and left us in peace!!

Finnish customs - on the move.

Finnish customs – on the move.

Laurie also had to “un-make the Åland  flag and return it to it’s former glory as a Swedish flag…

Recreating the Swedish Flag from the Åland one

Recreating the Swedish Flag from the Åland one

 

Finland has been great fun – unfortunately buggered up by some boat projects and work related stuff – but the weather has been exceptional, the long days fantastic, and the Finns have been extremely courteous – and when we’ve got to know them a bit, exceedingly good company.

 

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