We left Stockholm on Wednesday, bound for Gotland by way of an outlying island in Sweden’s archipelago “Huvudskär”. We decided to take a bit of a short cut from Stockholm along a really narrow and shallow path. Lalize had decided to follow us a couple of hours later – and were interested to hear how deep the water is – since she draws about 30cm more than Toodle-oo!
We turned onto this narrow section and everything was great – and then a storm decided to hit us. I thought about waiting in a relatively wide section for the storm to pass – but quickly decided to press on as it looked short lived – which thankfully it was. 30 minutes later we came to the narrow/shallow bit. We were following a power boat at the time – who had stopped ahead. A sailboat then emerged from the channel and the powerboat moved through. At this point we couldn’t even see the channel – which was entered after a 90 degree turn – which once we made looked somewhat daunting. We could pretty much lean off either side of the boat and touch the trees – and the mast followed the clearing at the top of the trees and the depth gauge plummeted – but fortunately to just 2.8 meters – giving us a full 80cm clearance. The channel remained exceedingly tight like this for a couple of miles and we raidioed back to Lalize that they’d be fine (and crossed our fingers!).
The rest of the trip to Huvudskär we were threading our way between islands, sailing when we could, motoring when straight into the wind and arrived at the island in late afternoon – just in time for G&T!
We anchored out in the center of the lagoon and marveled at the Swedish rock moorers as they pulled up and tied themselves to the rocks using mountaineering kit which they hammered into any available crevice. I still don’t get the need to be able to step off the boat…
Lalize joined us about an hour afterwards and we had dinner aboard Toodle-oo! followed by an excellent tipple of Caol Ila whiskey – one of the good bottles from our trip around Islay!
4:30am and all hell breaks loose in the anchorage. A wind shift accompanied by a nasty wet squall means that Lalize has turned and is very close to another boat. I watch Adrian and Leslie upping anchor and moving to better spot.
I then look behind me to see one of the rock moorers has now moved off the rocks – but has left a crew member on the rocks – in his pajamas! He got left there for about half an hour in the pouring rain and driving wind until the crew could launch the dingy and mount a rescue! About half a dozen rock moorers ended up moving into the anchorage – so I rest my case about the whole thing being a rather silly exercise – and I went back to sleep – soundly!
When we finally got up, Lalize had already buggered off – heading for Öland – a large island further south and west on the Swedish coast. We departed about 9am and enjoyed a really nice sail all the way down to Fårö – just off the north tip of Gotland doing 8+kts most of the way. Lalize decided the wind direction wasn’t good for their destination – so they headed to Fårö also. On the way we sailed through some thick algal blooms – and the photo shows the distinct boundary between clear and blooming water!
Unfortunately when we arrived we were unable to get a good set on the anchor in the bay we’d intended so we ended up moving a little, following Lalize into a well protected area – where we set first time.
The following day Lalize headed off for her original destination while we had an absolutely rotten trip down to the capital of Gotland, Visby – motoring the entire way straight into pretty strong winds and lumpy seas. We were really glad to arrive in Visby and get relief, tying up to the dock with the “big” boats.