We arrived in Stockholm on a Saturday to be greeted by fellow OCCers Paul and Jayne who we’d met in Mariehamn – who helped us get tied up into the slip. We’d arrived early enough that we could go exploring a little – with a primary goal of getting to the other marina in town where we’d heard propane might be available. We’d run out of propane at our last anchorage – and it’s not easy to get either US or UK bottles filled. Turned out to be the case here too… At least we were connected to shore power so cooking on the portable electric hob was an option. We did secure a phone number of a potential supplier and would call them on Monday to establish what possibilities might exist.
We were greeted in the afternoon by Micke – the local OCC port Officer and his friends Per and Astra, and enjoyed a beer or two aboard Toodle-oo! Unfortunately Micke was not very optimistic about the propane either…
On Sunday we headed in to town proper on the tandem and stopped first at the Vasamuseet. This museum is dedicated to the 17th century ship the “Vasa”. This warship was constructed to strike fear into her enemies and was decked out in the most splendid way with intricate gold leaf covered carvings like you can’t imagine. She was also decked out with massive guns, etc. She was launched in 1628 and managed to make it 1km from the harbor when a breeze blew up and she started rocking side to side. Water came in the gun ports and she sank with the loss of 32. She remained at the bottom of the harbor for 330 years, when she was rediscovered and a massive exercise was started to salvage her. She is remarkably well preserved and the entire ship is now housed in the museum and is 98% original apparently.
We carried on to Gamla Stan – the old medieval city – and visited the royal palace and had lunch at a restaurant along one of the old streets. We were sat outside but a huge thunderstorm put paid to that and we and all the other guests were forced inside. It was an absolute downpour and very high winds – but we were inside nice and cosy enjoying beer and lunch! (Never a thought for the boat…)
Once it cleared, we continued our tour and then headed back. There were tree limbs lying all over the place and we started to get somewhat concerned that the boat may have taken a hit. When we got back, we found that she had indeed dragged her mooring and was now resting heavily against a little power boat – but we were so well fendered, no damage had been sustained. Unfortunately however, I had left some ports slightly open and the inside was flooded!! Oh well!
Sunday evening was the final OCC dinner – so it was nice to actually meet the group of 10 or so boats. It sounds like they had a very interesting rally – but it does appear that the schedule was somewhat grueling and perhaps Toodle-oo! made out the best – taking in the sights but without the time constraints.
We did learn that other boats were also looking for propane so on Monday Laurie came up trumps, finding a vendor that would pick up our UK tank in the morning and return it the following morning. We informed everyone else – and I guess it all depended on their state of desperation if they took advantage – a 6kg refill costing us $125!!!! (normally about $25). Who cares – we’d be back in business! We were therefore delayed a day longer in Stockholm than planned, but took advantage by spending more time in the city – and it allowed me to do a couple of days proper work again.
The delay also allowed us to meet up with Leslie and Adrian aboard Lalize, another American boat. Adrian is a Brit, Leslie a Yank (ok, Southern Belle) – so we somewhat hit it off. Leslie was gracious enough to invite us dinner on Tuesday evening with some friends of hers – to which I somehow managed to also invite Per and Astra to – who showed up in Per’s diminutive and sleek 100 year old power boat. Leslie was fantastic – somehow managing to make the salmon stretch to another couple of plates.
Stockholm is nice – it unfortunately gets inundated with massive cruise ships – so timing visits around those is sensible. We’re about citied out now – so looking forward to some smaller surroundings.
We’re headed next to Gotland – by way of another outlying island of the Swedish archipelago.