Baltic Cruise 2012

Skovshoved - Stockholm - Helsinki - Tallinn - Stockholm - Skovshoved


2 August 2012: "Mary Lou" and skipper started from Skovshoved .

3 August: After a stop over in Falsterbo Kanalen, I continued to Ystad to pick-up my youngst son - Michael - returning from Summercamp on the island of Bornholm.

4 August:As Michael had not had any sleep the previous night, it was decided to make the days trip rather short and we went to Kåseberga.

Beside being a cosy harbour with good availability and variety of fish, it is also known for "Ales stenar"
 (Ale's Stones), which is a "stone ship" 67 meters long, which consists of 59 large boulders of Sandstone, weighing up to 1.8 t each.

According to Scadinavian folklore, a legendary king called "King Ale" lies buried there


5 August: We sailed the rather short distance to Simrishamn, caused by a tense and interesting program of the London Olympics


6 August: We continued into the Bay of Hanö, which always present a sailor with "interesting conditions". This time, we got rather high waves compared to the wind force. It was late afternoon, before the wind "caught up" with the waves and we got fresh sailing into Utklippan. .
7 August. In increasing wind (SSW 10-12 m/s) we  continued the 48 nm to Kalmar. averaging 6,2 with a maximum of 9,8 Knots


As Michael had never been to Stockholm, we had agreed, that the majority of his remaining hollidays, should be spend there, so we had to continue in rather long stages per day.

8 August was no exception and we sailed 58 nm to reach Klintemåla

9 August: We had planned for more, but we were low on fuel and spent a long time finding where to get it. As the wind was strong from NE, we decided stay in Västervik to see the town and arrange for provision.

10 August: We picked up the speed again and sailed the 56 nm to Arkösund.
During the evening, we were contacted by L28 "Joab's" owners -  Åse & Mats Johansson. "Joab" is lying in nearby  Björnö Marina. This meeting was very nice, especially as it was only in July, that I had learned about "Joab's" current owners!

11 August: We left at 0800, leaving time to have visit Oxelössund where missing L32 "Albatross" is supposed to be. However, we couldn't find her and decided to see the city and do some shopping. There is a good distance from the Marina and to the city centre. There was a "Tivoli" kind of tramp running the distance, but we missed departures in both "ends"

12 August: The "Majority of the crew" were on deck at 0630 hours, when Mary Lou departed Skansholmen in order to reach the first opening of the lock at 0830 and arrived in "good time" 0825. The passage took only 15 min., in which time she was lifted by 60 cm above Sea level..

View from Arkösund harbour



Just like sailing in a Post Card......


To enter Stockholm from Mälaren is highly recommended as you get a clear understanding of why the Capital is being referred to as: "The Nordic Venice".

To "return to the Sea" we left Mälaren via the Hammerby Lock (left). There is no tull to pay when you enter the Mälaren, but you have to pay to "get out"...

After the passage of the lock and having waited fairly long to have a bridge opend, we arrived to the central Guest harbour in Stockholm - Wasa Hamnen - after having sailed a distance of 430 nm since Skovshoved.

13 August: We unpacked the bikes and did a sightseeing of Stockholm, followed by a visit to the "Wasa Ship"


14 August: Was a sad day, where the crew was reduced, as Michael had to return to school.
We went to Arlanda Airport, where he took the plane back to Denmark.

15 August: I had invited a few ex. collegues for a "farewell drink" on board "Mary Lou".
One had left work and moved to Finland, one was travelling, one had an extensive meeting agenda, one had other arrangements, etc, all of which made me appreciate, that I had retired :-).
One arrived, however - Gunnar - and we enjoyed to meet after many years of little contact.

An "extra bonus" was, that Gunnar invited me to his cottage on "Björkholm" "island outside Stockholm on my return from Helsinki.





16 August: In the morning "Mary Lou" left Wasa Hamnen, setting sail for Helsinki
First port of call was lovely Vaxholm.Since Skovshoved, there had been a problem with the engine, which was leaking water from the cooling system.
On board, I had the spare part to fix the problem. However, I was aware, that the work would take a long time and a selections of tools, which I didn't have unboard. Consequently, I asked the Harbour Master for a local "repair man". He worked hard, but eventually he fixed the problem.

She was 1600 hrs.before I left Waxholm and passing Vaxholm Fortress, heading  North via "Furusundsleden", which - since ancient times - has been of high importance as the inlet to Stockholm.

History of Vaxholm Fortress
begins in early 16th century, by the construction of a blockhouse on Vaxholm by Svante Nilsson Sture, the Regent.
The later king - Gustav Vasa - instructed the governor of  Stockholm to replace the blockhouse with a stone tower and to fill the narrow passage of "Oxdjupet" with rocks, which was completed in 1839.

A Danish attack was repelled in 1612, and in 1719 the Russians were prevented from reaching Stockholm. In the 1870s, the defensive emphasis shifted from Vaxholm Fortress to the strait "Oxdjupet". In 1876, "Oxdjupet" was opened to traffic and a new fort Oscar-Fredriksborg - was built.



"Furusundsleden" is very busy with the many ferries going to Finland, Russia and Estonia and many passages are so narrow, that a Yacht needs to go outside the markings to give way to these big ships.

In the North end is the harbour of Furusund, where "Mary Lou" arrived at 2140 hrs. in pitch dark. Summer is over....
Furusund is a nice place with lots of history: In July 1463 anchored whole fleet - under the command of Union King Christian I - on its way to Turku and the war against Russia. From then, stems a "Compass Rose" carved in a beach rock.
As the water was several meters higher then, it can now be found above the pavilions at the marina. It is the oldest in Scandinavia and the only one with a Royal Crown.
From another royal visit to Furusund, the so called Royal Inscription tells: "Kong Frederik 1724"

17 August: At first light, "Mary Lou" sailed North in dense fog... This is the time when it would have been nice to have a Radar, but the plotter secure, that you can keep away from the centre... I heard no sound of passing ships and after an hour it was clear sunshine.

I sailed up to Roslagen to visit Rossättra Varv, where so many wooden Laurin Kosters have been built in a span of 30 years. Here I met Tobias, a young lad, who is is compleeting the empty hull of 1964 L32 "Janna".

After some enjoyable hours here, I went SW to arrange for provisions in Norrtälje, which is a nice little town with a good harbour and shopping.
What more can one ask! shopping. What more can one ask!


18 August: It was time to get to Åland (Finland). Departure at 0800 in - too - light winds and the majority of the trip was on engine. At a point the wind seeded to be constant and the Spinnaker was raised, but only to be pulled down 30 min after.
At 1915 hours;I arrived in Mariehamn (Eastern harbour)..

"Mary Lou" in Rödhamn

19 August: Was spent on Sightseeing, shopping and various smaller repairs

20 August: I the morning, I noticed, that L38 "Columba" had arrived in the port. I had often spoken with the owner -  Ben Fellman - over the phone. I went to say hello. Ben was busy preparing the boat for a delayed "Summer Cruise" and suggested, that we could meet later in Rödhamn, which was a good suggestion and immediately accepted. "Columba" arrived fairly late, but Ben and his wife Sässi were "in control" and I was invited for dinner. It was a very nice evening being added in the "Logbook" as an evening to remember...

21 August: After a final visit to "Columba" for a "morning coffee", "Mary Lou" set sail in fresh wind and left at 1300 hrs. and sailed the rather short distance to Degerby.

The museum ship Pommeren

22 August: In light wind, "Mary Lou" had a wonderful trip through the Åland waters. Unfortunately, the wind dropped and the last part of
the 40 nm was done by motor, before arriving at 1915 hrs. to Korpoström in heavy rain.

23 August: During the night the rain had vanished and the morning was sunny, when I continued Eastwards. After 6 hrs. sailing, I decided an "early evening" and arrived at "Byviken" on the island of Högsåra.

24 August: From "Byviken", I sailed a few nm. South to get fuel in Kasnäs. Unfortunately, the engine has so far, been used TOO much and the rest of the day was no exception and after 4 ½ hours, I arrived in the famous Finnish Sailing Mekka of Hangö. which holds two Marinas:
The "East Harbour" and the "Smultrongrund Marina"

I picked the "East Harbour" as it was closer to shore. Like in many Finnish Marinas access to a WiFi is rare and the harbour master suggested to use the WiFi in a nearby Inn! Sitting onboard of "Mary Lou", I could spot a WiFi Network, but it was locked....., so on

25 August: I moved "Mary Lou" to "Smultrongrund Marina" and got the key to the Internet connection.

View from "Smultrongrund Marina"

26 August: Stayed one more day, as I was facing electrical problems with "Mary Lou's" navigation lights, which was "suddenly" very important when sailing long distances in the Autumn, where it often becomes dark before you arrive to the destination port

27 August: It was time to get on and the wind was favourable from SW untill the afternoon where it was replaced
by rain... I moored in Ingå for the night after 36 nm sainling. Nice church and good shopping.

28 August. A short trip to Källvik. Finally, a chance for setting the Spinakker, but all we got was 45 min. "A waste of effort", I hear some of you say :-

29 August: It was now time for one of the "Mile stones" of the trip - the visit to my Finnish "Laurin Ambassador" - Fredrik Ekström, who - with his wife Lena - lives near to where his Yacht ("sister" to "Mary Lou") is moored in Långviken, i.e about 15 nm. West of Helsinki.


Fredrik Ekström &                Webmaster

"Långviken" is situated remotely from the "normal" route to Helsinki, and when approaching, I thought, that it cannot be many Danish flags they see in here. At 1435 hours they did, when I arrived to this wonderfully and quiet place.

I was invited for dinner and we had a wonderful evening with lots of Yacht discussions and further I got a chance to connect to the Internet - first time since Hangö. Fredrik walked me back to "Mary Lou". It was a clear night and for the first time on the trip, I experienced temperatures below zero. A little earlier, than I had expected.

30 August: Fredrik had time for a "service trip" to Helsinki. First stop was to fix the TV on board. It turned out to work splendidly at the workshop. I got a lot of advice from the repair man, none of which worked when the TV failed again...What he could have said was: "The TV doesn't work on 12 V alone. Secure that the Arieal is connected". Maybe common knowledge, but not for me..., but now it is :-

Then we went to see harbours in Helsinki, suitable for having "Mary Lou" moored during the Saint Petersburg trip. Many nice harbours, but nothing was decided

On our return, Fredrik invited me to a big "Wellness" hotel near by. We spent a nice time swimming and having Sauna and Turkish Steambath. We returned to Fredrik and Lena's house and had a another lovely evening, during which Fredrik suddenly exclaimed: " I've got it, "Mary Lou" will stay in Sveaborg during your visit to Russia". This turned out to be a VERY good decision...

31 August: Fredrik waved me goodbye around noon, when I was heading towards Sveaborg.


When entering open sea, I had a nice sail to Helsinki in fresh headwind of ESE 8-9 m/s).

Sveaborg became my "point of return" with the log on a total of 745 nm from Skovshoved and 315 nm from Stockholm


Sveaborg - or Suomenlinna (Finnish for "Finnish Castle") - was a "Scoop". Very nice, both as a Yachting Harbour and a sightseeing place with an interesting history. It consist of several small islands and situated close to the centre of Helsinki, done in 10 min by the ferry.

On my way to Helsinki, I have seen - with few exceptions - a maximum of 2 guests in the harbours. This Friday afternoon in Sveaborg, I could hardly find a free space... Sailors with arrangements in Helsinki during a week-end  have a splendid base in Sveaborg - offering both showers and sauna - and the last ferry from the Helsinki City Centre leaves 0200...

1 September: I took the ferry from Sveaborg to the Centre doing some shopping and sightseeing.

2 September: Sightseeing on Sveaborg

 "Tuomiokirkko" in Helsinki seen from Suomenlinna


3 September: Not in any ease, I left "Mary Lou" unattended in "Svea Borg" at 0745 hrs. After 15 min. by ferry to the Center of Helsinki, I strolled towards the Main Station to get on the "fast train" to Saint Petersburg.

This trip was planned before I left Skovshoved. The thought of sailing Single handed into Russian waters and at the same time adding an extra distance of about 350 nm (to and fro) didn't appeal to me. Instead I took the train and arrived in only 3½ hours.

4 September: Saint Petersburg

5 September: I left Saint Petersburg at was back onboard "Mary Lou" around midnight, to find, that she was well...



 6 September: After almost 6 days in Sveaborg, it was time to seek new chanllenges.
This time a 45 nm. trip across the Finnish Sea to Tallinn.
In strong WSW wind, it went fast. Approaching Tallinn the wind increased considerably and with Gib 1 and 2 reefs in the mainsail, I arrived in a "horrible port" at 1645 hrs. I was "secured by locked gates" and "Mary Lou" was "dancing" as if she were at anchor on open Sea...

Fredrik had given me a description of the Marina, which didn't compair to, what I was experiencing,.. It was now raining cats & dogs, so I decided to sleep on "open Sea"

7 September: Thought is "smart" to find nother mooring and something which suited Fredrik's description.  I made a seaward sightseeing, and finally, deep behind the big ferry terminal, I found a very organised Marina.


About Tallin:

The area, which is now Estonia, was not a state as such, when the Pope decided to involve the pageant Baltic countries into the Crusades.
In the Battle of Lyndanise (Tallinn's second name) on 15 June 1219, the Danish Army, led by King Valdemar 2nd, "Sejr" ("Victory") and Anders Sunesen (Archbishop of Lund) took up a battle with "the locals".
The battle was not going well and Anders Sunesen kneeled and asked God for a sign of victory…
Legend has it, that it was then the Danish Flag (to be) fell down from the sky and the Danes turned the battle and included the land under the crown and church of Denmark.
It stayed (on and off) on Danish hands, until Valdemar 4th – nick named "Atterdag" sold it to the Germans in 1346.
Under German Rule, it became a "Hansestadt" under the name "Reval" and later "Revel" under the Russian imperial rule.
In 1918 Estonia declared it's independance and "Revel" was changed to "Tallinn" - a derivation from "Taani Linn", which is Estonian for "Castorum Danorum
("Danish Castle").

My plans were only for a short stay in Tallinn, as I was in a hurry to meet my next "Milestone" - the "Laurin Koster" Fleetmeeting in Finnhamn outside Stockholm on 15 September, I started my sightseeing in Tallinn right away. Little did I know, that I would have 2 more days in Tallin.

8 September: Weather bound. It was blowing between 12 and 15 m/s from NW, which was the direction  I was bound to go. There was no alternatives as I had realised that I couldn't go W. as my Plotter Chart - foolishly enough - stopped its coverage only some 20 nm. West of Tallinn...but I have "plenty" time, I said...

9 September: Still Weather bound! Time is getting scarce.. Still about 300 nm (incl. extras for tacking) left to Finnhamn!)

In the evening the wind drops totally. Having chosen an early night in preparation for tomorrows trip, it was with annoyment, that I was woken up at 0200 hrs by a song, loudly played over the - up till then - silent harbour. However, the song intriged me and I took note in order to find it on the Net.
I did,and it was called "Dear Mr. Presindent".








10 September: Finally, the wind has eased up and turned to SW and I set sail for Hangö.
After 7 hours, sailing. the wind drops completely and the engine is started, realising, that it will not be Hangö this time around. As I had run out of lamp oil,  it was essential to get to a "shopping possibility" in time to buy some more.Therefore, I decided to go to Ekenäs and arrived at 1915 hrs.

The only people present in the harbour was a married couple taking a walk. When, I approached the getty, the man came running to assist. I asked for advice regarding lamp oil, and they said they would check wether the local gas station was still open and signal me a "Yes or No" from the distance, the result of which was a "No" signal. I

was still thinking, that it was a kind of unfair, that I didn't succeed, when the man re-appearred in front of "Mary Lou" carrying 2 bottles of lamp oil.... I was not even allowed to pay for the delivery, but extremely happy to meet such kindnes and helpfulness. He was invited on board and we had a good time, during which he gave me his phone no. in case, I would experience something he could help me with.I came to Ekenäs, not knowing, that I had friends there...Now I know, and hope to meet Catarina & André again

11 September: The day started with hardly no wind and a 3½ hours engine trip before Hangö was passed,
which coinsided with sufficient wind to set sail. From here, I had a nice sailing, although the wind was increasing, ending up in 10-12 m/s from the absolutely worst direction (SSW). I decidet to go into Kasnäs for fuel and
stay for the night.

12 September: One of the days where all aspect of sailing are being used, unfortunately also the combination of mainsail and engine in strong head winds. However, the sun was shining in the afternoon :-)

This mix of sailing brought me 60 dm closer to Finnhamn, ending at 1930 hrs. in Sandvik on the island of Kökar in Åland, SE of Mariehamn

Sandvik, Kökar

13 September: This day will always be remembered as "The Thursday, which thought it was a Friday"...
Had I known, what the day would entail, I'm sure, that I would have stayed another day in Sandvik...
Although the wind seemed to have "glued itself" to the SSW direction, there was no apparent wind and I decided, that it was time to cross the Sea of Åland and enter Swedish waters, despite a weather forecast of SSW 8-10 m/s. When I came out of the sheltered harbour, I soon realised, that it was already at 10 m/s maybe even more as "Mary Lou" - although only carrying the high jib and the 2nd reef applied - was under heavey pressure. It didn't take long before I concluded, that "this is not the day to cross…" and headed towards Mariehamn to wait for a better day…

I found an entry into the Åland Archipelago, which would lead me to Degerby. However, it turned out to be a "dead end" as a bridge - only allowing motor boats to pass - stopped me. This happened several times and at the end of the day, I had sailed 60 nm. of which over half were a "waste". Every time there is a cable ferry running, they put a sign up to warn you. I don't understand, that they cannot do the same with a sign of a bridge with an indication of the height


Basically it was of course my own fault and shows, that handling a boat singlehanded in rough winds and navigate in an Archipelago takes all your concentration.
After this "ordeal", I took the first harbour, I could find, which was Långnäs, where I arrived 2030 hrs. in complete darkness.

14 September: In consequence of a weather report of 15-17 m/s in the Sea of Åland, I moved "Mary Lou" to Degerby (photo) in preparation for an early start Saturday morning, in case the wind would "play along"

15 September: This is the day of the Laurin Koster Fleet meeting and "Mary Lou" has "only" about 50 nm. to go....

The wind "played along" - kind of... The direction was slightly turned. Now SW instead of SSW, but the force was still around 10-12 m/s in the morning, where I had to tack in order to clear the most southern part of the Åland Archipelago and "Mary Lou" in her - now - "Standard gear" (Jib 1 + 2nd reef).

After some hours the wind force decreased and the crossing went well. Arriving to the Swedish Archipelago, the wind was at such a level as the Genua was set. It had been a long time since I saw that, but unfortunately, the wind continued to drop and in order to reach the Fleet meeting before they started dinner, the engine was started. "Mary Lou" was absolutely the last boat to arrive as she entered Finnhamn at 1730 hrs after a sailed distance of 60 nm. The Cruise Log has now reached 1085 nm since departure from Skovshoved...

Photos from Finnhamn (chose second from the top)

The arrangement went well and I'm happy, that I eventually reached it. Everyone was nice. The Björkmans - L32 "Friendship" said to me upon my arrival: "The grills are fired up, so bring your meat and join us". When I said, that I hadn't had a chance of buying anything for grilling, they looked at me and said: "Then you will get some of ours". Kind people...

16 September: Most of the day went with boat visits and a lot of skipper talks. One by one the boats sailed home.
"Mary Lou" departed at 1600 hrs. to meet with Margareta & Gunnar on "their island" - Björkholm.


Little did I know, that Gunnar had tried to contact me all day to inform, that they would not be coming.
Finally, however, they decided to come and had just arrived, when I came.

I was offered a Sauna in what, I will descripe as one of the best placed saunas (midle photo above), I have ever been in, maybe even the best... The sea water was not too cold!

After sauna, I was invited to dinner and we had a wonderful evening


17 September: The wind was back to SSW and strong, so I decided to remain on Björkholm with "Mary Lou" well protected in the little private harbour. I bacame a very relaxed day and during the afternoon we took Gunnar's speedboat and sailed to a charming little shop for provision..

On our way back, we met L28 "Dorinda" on a fresh Autumn sail. In hight speed we sailed around her to take a good picture and skipper - Staffan - thought we were from the "Press" and after a good picture. We were not... but got a fine picture, which became "Picture of the Months" on the Site.

Upon our return, Gunnar and I had drinks in the "Glas house", followed by a nice dinner

18 September: Although the wind hadn't changed a lot, I decided to sail the short distance to Sandhamn



Gunnar got the brilliant idea of making me company on the trip of which he took full control...,
Upon arrival, we agreed to take a long walk to work up an appetite for the following "herring" lunch.

Unfortunately, the trip took more time than expected as Gunnar suddenly disappeared. After a lenghtly search, I was lucky to find him (Photo ---> ).


After a late lunch, Gunnar had to take a ferry (with many stops) and then wait for a buss for an hour before he could take his boat back to Björkholm, all of which took dobbelt the time it took "Mary Lou" to sail to Sandhamn.


19 September: It seems the wind direction will never change. Still SSW, but "only" now 8-9 m/s.
I need to continue, but when it passes 10 m/s around 1600 hrs. I decide it to be a short trip and seek the harbout of Malma Kvarn after
only 15 nm on the Log

20 September: SSW 8-10, so another short trip of 17 nm to Karlslund Marina

21 September: The Weather rapports are now forcasting, that Low Pressures are now queueing up to "hit on" Scandinavia. The immediate forecast said that heavy rain was expected at noon. Consequently, I made an early start and arrived to Nynäshamn before rain...
I unpacked the bike and drove to "Rim Nam", a Thai restaurant owned by Rune, a Laurin Koster owner, who was not able to meet up in Finnhamnen.

When I arrived, he was otherwise engaged, so we agreed that he would collect me later in the harbour and take me back to "Rim Nam" for a meal.

This invitation was not difficult to "accept", firstly as I appreciate Thaifood and secondly - and more important - because Rune is a very nice guy with a thorough knowledge of boats, especially those designed by Arvid Laurin. It was a pleasant evening.

Rune's "outfit" is NOT standard for Swedish Thai restaurants, but only becaused he nicely drove me back to the harbour in the Rain...


22 September: Rain, Rain and more Rain. Decided to concentrate on indoor activities. Still hoping for a Northern wind, so I can see the Spinnaker again and get us to Gotland.


23 September: The rain stopped at 1100 hrs. - The sun seemed to be on its way and - most importantly - the wind had decided to change 90 degrees to the North, so in a 7-9 m/s from NW, "Mary Lou" and made a fast sail of 44 nm. South to Arkösund, keeping an avarage of 6 knots.
So no "Spinnaker" and "Gotland" this time around..Cruise Log total: 1200 nm.

No need to mention, that only few yachts are cruising at this time of year. Often "Mary Lou" is the only yacht in the  harbours.


Arriving to Arkösund, there was one boat there. It was "Elenora" with Kerstin and Rolf from Lidingö, whom I had met in many harbours in Finland. Now they were on their way south to take "Elenora" up for the winter... and we met again. "Small world"!

24 September: The lovely Archipelago of St. Annas starts in Arkösund in North and goes to Valdemarsvik in the South.The plan for the day was to sail to Gryt's Varv (for minor repairs). 
Not a long distance, so I started around noon in bright sunshine and a moderate wind from NW and was "gliding" through this wonderful Archipelago. A nice sailing day, which - according to the weather "Gurus" was the last, at least for the next days to come...

25 September: Raining most of the day. Succeeded in getting good help from the "Locals" in "Gryt's Varv" - Arne and Janne - and the mechanical steering aid is now working again... a good thing!


26 September:  In the early morning, I took another weather forecast on Gotland, which said ESE 13 m/s. After some miserable days with rain, the wind should turn SW, which is not good for departing Gotland towards the South.The question is whether a first time visit to this legendary island should be done under these conditions? My decision was simple - but never the less disappointing - "No way"... Another time..
Instead I sailed - in fog and rain - to Västervik, which is a very nice town, even in the rain.

View of Västervik taken from tower of "Sankta Gertrud's Church"

27 September: The forecast predicted, but that it should clear before noon....Surprise .. The rain didn't stop at noon...
Actually, it .only cleared upon arrival to the next harbour - Klintemåla.
This was a trip on only 20 nm, but the little wind present was a headwind, it was raining and the engine running - 20 nm in this condition is enough. Didn't meet any Yachts at all...

28 September: Leaving Klintemåla I made a shortcut to the Sea through shallow waters. At a point; I saw something in the water in the distance... I got the first laugh of the day, when I came closer and realised, the it was an unofficial navigation mark...

I take my Weather Forecasts from 3 sources - the Swedish (SMHI), the Danish (DMI) and the Norwegian (YR) - to get the "best guess of the wind direction and force... These sources give very different forcasts. Today's example is, that if I had followed DMI or YR, I would have changed to Genua 2 instead of Jib 1

I am happy, that I decided to follow todays SMHI Forecast and stay with the standard "Wardrope" of Gib 1 + 2 Reefs in the main

 I am happy, that I decided to follow todays SMHI Forecast and stay with the standard "Wardrope" of Gib 1 + 2 Reefs in the main

The sun was shining, so it was a lovely trip, which brought me to Borgholm on the island of "Öland", where Borgholm Castle is elevated from the harbour


29 September: As Borgholm celebrated, what I understood to be a Harvest Feast, I decided it wise to move a little South.
Again SMHI "won" the Forecast, at least they got the force right, i.e. 8-10 m/s, gusting up to 13 m/s. Unfortunately, they did not get the direction right! They predicted SW and it was S. i.e. the direction I was heading. So instead of 16 nm from Borgholm to Kalmar it became 27 nm...
They cannot be blamed as their forcast is from Oskarshamn to Utklippan and not specifically on "Kalmar Sound" and narrow Sounds are often "correcting" the wind to follow the Sound...

Cruise Log total is now 1350 nm and have about 200 nm. left to Skovshoved.

30 September: It was highly appreciated to hear SMHI forecast W winds instead of the "Standard" SSW. winds, although still fresh around 10-13 m/s. This allow us to - almost - clear the Kalmar Sound without furher tacking and ended up in Kristianobel, which has been on my visiting list since a visit in the harbour back in 2003, when the family rentet a cabin in Fågelmare, only a few kilometers in land.

The town is smal and "cute", which makes you think, why it can hold such a "grand name" indicating a huge city..

The explaination is, however, simple as the town was founded by the Danish King Kristian 4 and was up to the 1658 the border between Denmark and Sweden. It was an important market town with a fortress, which was to maintain the Danish domination of Blekinge. The city was to be a military base and at the same time a city of trade and commerce,

The church was built in 1624 by Christian 4 and is the only building in the city, dating from Kristianopel's heydays from 1603-1679.

1 October: With sadness, I discovered, that the Yachting season is over in Sweden... as the the Swedish weater forecast via VHF stopped sending its forecasts on 1 October... Very disappointing, as it leaves me with the Internet as the only source and access has been scarce.

The last one I heard was a SSW, but only 5-6 m/s. Consequently, I hade to tack the last 15 nm. out of the Kalmar Sound, before I could "cut West at "Långöre" and take the narrow waterway to Karlskrona. A marvelous trip in bright sun and fair winds, which for once was not Head winds


The Cruise Log has now passed the 1400 nm for the trip with about 170 nm left, i.e if I can avoid further tacking, but such luck,however, does not "lye in the current forecasts"...

2 October: The weather forecast of SW-erly winds has made me decide to stay and extra day in Karlskrona. The day was partly spent on a closer view of Karlskrona.



The picture above is from the "Stor Torget" (Central Square) with "Fridrikskyrkan" on the right. It is said to be "inspired" by the "Santa Trinita dei Monti" in Rome.

On the right: "Trefaldighetskyrkan" from 1709. It is also known as the "German Church"  as the many Germans in Karlskrona took this church "as their own".

More about Karlskrona



3 October: With an early start in a grey morning, I motored towards the open sea in a moderate (5-6 m/s) SSW wind, to see which course could be held.
It turned out to be OK to keep up Simrishamn, but the aspect of a 80 nm distance across the Bay of Hanö was not appealing, especially with a ETA to be 2000 hrs.
Consequently, I sailed West to the island of Hanö.
On a forecast of fresh SW wind for the following day, it seemed smart to come closer, to the "mainland" and then tack Southwards along the coast.


This plan was, however, spoilt, when a sign on the harbour warned´of shooting practise in the area, preventing us to go closer to the coast than 5 km

Historic View

On 10 June 1810 "HMS Victory" - Under command of Admiral Saumarez (Head of the British Baltic fleet) - paid a visit to Hanö. The visit lasted for about 2 years, during which The Royal Navy used Hanö as base.
The background was, that the Russians (then in alliance with France) on February 1808, had , , marched into the Swedish Finland. Peace was concluded in Hamina (Fredrikshamn) in September 1809, resulting, that Finland was to be a Russian Grand Duchy and that Sweden should be part of the continental blockade against UK.
Nevertheless, Swedish trade with the British continued. Napoleonic France raged over this and forced Sweden to declare war on Britain on 17 november 1810.
Consequently, Swedish ports could no longer be handler of British goods... To continue this - for both parties - important trade, bastions were established at Vinga Sand, Anholt, Sprogø and above all Hanö.


Only one other Yacht was in the harbour and amazingly enough a Laurin 28 - "Elfriede" -  owned by Leif from Karlskrona, who was on a Autumn cruise to visit old friends on Bornholm.During a visit on board "Mary Lou", Leif told, that "HMS Victory" had been to Hanö, which I had to investigate further...



4 October: Surprise, surprise,  the weather forecast of "fresh SW-erly wind" didn't show!
Instead, there was hardly no wind, which was a head wind, meaning a 8 hours motor trip to clear "The Bay of Hanö" and I settled with a 3 ½ hour motor trip for a "tactical" move West in the Bay in preparation for strong W wind forcasted for the next day.




Åhus can be dated to around 1000. In the mid 1100-century the Danish king gave the Åhus area to Archbishop Eskil of Lund, after which the city grew. St Mary's Church  was built in this period. In the 1200-century, Åhus got its City Municipal Charter.
In 1243 a Dominican monastery (also called Black Friars Monastery) was founded, and in the 1300s walls and a moat was made around the city. Åhus was declared Skåne's most important trade and maritime center in the East. The reason for the city's growth was the large herring deposits in the Baltic Sea, which Åhus enjoyed.
After the Reformation in 1536, Åhus began losing importance. The Monastery was closed and the church's funds disappeared.
Christian 4 founded Kristianstad in 1614, consequence of which was that he withdrew Åhus' Municipal Charter in 1617. Large parts of Åhus' population were forcibly moved to the new town of Kristianstad. Not until the 1800s, when the port was expanded and a railway was built, that Åhus again began to flourish.

This brought us to Åhus, which - despite the rain - seems to be a charming place It holds 10,000 inhabitants and one of Sweden's best preserved medieval cities (town centre).

It holds 10,000 inhabitants and one of Sweden's best preserved medieval cities (town centre). The cobbled square is one of Sweden's most beautiful and dating from the Middle Ages, when Åhus was a lively city with trade and shipping. Here you find charming narrow streets and well-preserved "Tudor houses" from 1700-century. At the square is the beautiful "Santa Maria Kyrka" which was build by Archbishop Eskil of Lund during 1100-century.

5 October: The morning started with sun and head wind, although not much... All of this changed rapidly after few hours by Engine.
I gave myself the choice of two: 1) Continuing beating into a 7-8 m/s head wind for about three hours or 2) arrive in the nearest harbour within half an Hour and have a good lunch...! .

.. I had a VERY good lunch in Kivik


Kivik was founded as a Fishing harbour sometime in the early 1100 century due to the many herrings .Today, the area around Kivik is Sweden's largest fruit district as the climate is mild and suitable for orchards.The apple cultivation alone occupies over 800 acres of land around the town

Last Weekend in September, Kivik has her yearly Apple Market, with tasting of the apple harvest , grading of the largest apple, revealing the winner of the year's "Apple Art" and the "Golden Apple" winner, apple contests, etc. all accompanied by live music,
The Appel Market also includes the first weekend in October, so I am lucky to be here in the centre of all this....

I can't help thinking of the big difference there would be, if Åhus had a similar "feast" as they pride themselves of being the home town of "Absolut" Vodka...

6 October: Having based my planning on SMHI's forecast of a W wind of 6-9 m/s, I was rather disappointed to see, that the wind was actually from W, unfortunately only 0-1 m/s.

The "Apple Art" 2012. The year's Theme was "Mother Earth". It is gigantic as can be seen by the 2 persons in the corner.

Consequently, I decided  to sail for motor to Skillinge, which is the last harbour in Bay of Hanö before turning "The Horn" of Sandhammeren (Swedens most SE point)



For Skillinge, I will put it fairly simple: Skillinge is "just another fishing town" from somewhere between 400-800AD. The news are, that it started as a "Camping  site" for traveling fishermen, who left the site, the moments the fish did...

As it is always recommendable to seek a "second opinion, I checked the Wikipedia, which does not improve the view further, as it writes: "Skillinge is a locality in Simrishamn Municipality, Skåne, Sweden with 859 inhabitants in 2010. Skillinge has become known particularly for its theatre".

'One could suspect, that the author of the Wikipedia entry has just driven into the town and seen the road sign...

Summerry of Skillinge seems to be, that it is only known for its "Fishing Actors"

Beside the above, Skillinge is a charming little town.

When it stopped raining and the evening sun came out, I took a stroll. Gunnar had asked me to say hello to his brother - Richard - if I came to Skillinge. I did and it was a pleasure to meet him and Else.






7 October: SMHI was back in the "lead" in forecasting W 10-13. I had got the impression, that 13 m/s would only be in the afternoon, so I took an early start.

Sheltered by the land, I had a nice sail towards "The Horn", but when I came closer, I realised that the 13 m/s was actually NOW...

I regretted, not to have deployed Gib 2, but decided to continue with Gib 1 and deployed the third reefs in the main

When I actually turned "The Horn" of Sandhammeren at 0900, I remembered how terrible the Sea between Sweden and Bornholm can behave with "Cross waves".
"Mary Lou" got a severe "beating" and I suddenly remembered why "pensioneers do not tack" (especially not Single handed) and decided to abandon the original plan of going to Ystad and sailed into Kåseberga.

I was not too happy as I am loosing time and the forecast are of the same strength and my only hope is,  that it will turn to NW which has been mentioned in some of the reports...

8 October: "I just knew it"... After a VERY long period with fairly strong SSW winds, the wind was about to shift ! ... and it did and and not to the NW, but  - of course - to W, so I could continue to "benefit" from strong head winds...and in addition a "rough" Sea as there is no more shelter from the Swedish East Coast...
The SMHI forecast said W 10-13 m/s and rain and decided to stay on in Kåseberga.. The forecast of the following day said W 13 - 17 m/s and I knew, that I could end up in Kåseberga for a longer period...
Although Kåseberga is a nice harbour and town, I was pleased to see the wind drop a bit during the afternoon and especially the Sea to "calm" down to some extend. Consequently I left at 1530 hrs. for Ystad, where I arrived at Sun set.


9 October: "Weather bound" (W 15-17 m/s). Consequently I had time to do some shopping and Seightseeing

About Ystad: Surprise, surprise... it began as Fishing town (Herrings), after Bishop Absalon had made peace in the area.
Ref. "Ystad in a Nutshell"


In the background of the picture (left) is Sankta Maria kyrka (Saint Mary Church), which was "founded" around year 1200.   
It was destroyed by a storm and rebuilt in the middle of 17th century.
From the tower comes a muffled horn signal every 15 minutes -
between 2115-0100, every night of the year.
It is played by "The Towers Watchman"and is a tradition from the 17th century and the watchman is simply telling you to sleep well...

One might ask: "Why wake up people, that might already be sleeping..."?



In picture is the German Yacht - "Cia Sou" (Maxi 1050) - which is one of the very few, still cruising the Baltic Sea. We have met him several times. First in rainy Nynäshamn, then in Karlskrona and now we are meeting up again in Ystad. This will be the last time we'll meet as he - on his way back to Flensburg - will go to Klintholm (DK), which we will not (hopefully as it would be out of our route home)


10 October: Despite the considerable size of Ystad Marina, it was actually closed for the season, only impact of which was, that there was no fuel to buy.
As we were fairly low on Diesel and the forecast suddenly talked about light winds, I decided it wisely to go to Abbekås, which - I was told - has an Automate for fueling.

Abbekås is a very charming little Fishing harbour with good room for visiting Yachts


History: Abbekås was originally a fishing village (surprised?) on the coast of Skåne between Ystad and Trelleborg, already mentioned in the Middle Ages.
On Wednesday, 13 November, 1872, much of the village was destroyed by a flood called "Backafloden", developed by a hurricane, that struck the south coast. 34 houses were destroyed,

all fishing gear, boats and the winter storage.The water level rose to 3.6 meters above normal, which is still Swedish record. Already in the following year the work - with the help of government grants -  began to create a real port, and the fishing and coastal trade was able to get restarted.
New heydays of fishing occurred during World War II.
Today the village has seven registered fishing boats. 2011 renovated piers and wharves, and the entrance was redesigned to enhance security in the outer harbour.

Fueling and Seightseeing was completed in 45 min and the trip continued on engine in head wind the modest 10 nm to Smygehamn, which, I remember as a little lovely harbour. It has either changed or my memory has failed misserably...
It is also called "Smygehamn Marina", and I - obviously - need to refresh my definition of a "Marina"
It is very small, which can been seen by how much "Mary Lou's" - mere 32 Ft.- fills in the pictures!

Although Nils Holgersson came from Västra Vemmenhög (6 km NW of Abbekås) it seems that he has been "adopted" by Abbekås!




Smygehuk Lighthouse is 17 m (56 ft) high and constructed of iron. It was completed in 1883, and taken out of service in 1975 in favour of the offshore "Kullagrundet" Lighthouse. Following an initiative by Trelleborg Municipality,  - among others - it was relit in April 2001. Smygehuk Lighthouse marks the Southern most tip of Sweden and the Scandinavian Peninsula. Originally, the lighthouse was powered originally by Paraffin Oil, but this was soon replaced by electricity, and the lighthouse was fitted with a 1,000 watts incandescent lamp. The luminous intensity was 180,000 Hefner candles. The rotating third-order lens spread the beams of light in the correct pattern "every fifth second a flash alternating between red and white". Today, the lens no longer rotates, and the lamp is only 60 watts. Despite this low wattage, it still reaches about 15 km out over the sea, providing guidance mainly for Yachts and Fishing boats.The site has also been a weather station, which made its last report in April 1984.


11 October: Marvelous morning, but NO wind at all. I had almost forgotten, that the Sea can look like this... of course it is not ideal to go by engine all day, but anyway a nice change to the weather, I have had since Stockholm

I headed for "Falsterbo Kanalen" to cut the distance of the "homerun" considerably.
After my earlier experience with passages of the bridge, I should have known, that the "Service Level" (or lack of same!) would have changed for this time a year.
However, I couldn't imagine, that it would be as bad as it was...
The Bridge only opens 0630 and 1830 hrs. from 30 September through to 15 April..


Although the weather was nice, it didn't appeal to me to wait for 6 hrs for the next opening, so I decided to go back and take the longer route South of the Falsterbo pininsula. It was, however, a very nice trip and gave me the opportunity to go to one of my absolute favourite harbours - Skanör

History: In the Middle Ages herrings came in quantities, so that boats could not get through…
Consequently, there was power struggle between the Danish kings and the Hanseatic League for the income from Herring trade.


Falsterbo is the point where the bird migration "takes a break" before crossing to Germany. This - of course - attracts a lot of people, whom I belived mainly to be Swedish.
However, I addressed 3 "mature" gentlemen in Swedish, which they didn't speak as they had travelled all the way from Switzerland to see the birds..

The many wars between Denmark and Sweden for Skåne were mostly the battle for the "rights" to the Herrings, which was a major export commodity as the Catholic Church did not allow people to eat meat before the holidays and the fasting.
ör-Falsterbo lived up properly during the so-called Hanseatic period. 40,000 people come to Falsterbo annually for the traditional Herring market. To put this number in perspective, Copenhagen only had about 3000 inhabitants at the end of 1300's´.
When markets ceased at the beginning of the 1500 – century, Falsterbo and Skanörs prosperity and greatness disappeared.

Remains from Skanör Castle from around 1230. Here lived the Danish King's "Tax collector". The taxes from Skanör was the largest contrubutor to the King. The stones from the Castle were used to build the Townhall in 1777.

The Church, which is buiild around 1200 and the rennaisance Alter is from 1604.

Northern Part of Skanör seen from the harbour

12 October: In a fresh SE wind, "Mary Lou" returned to Skovshoved Havn at 1345 hrs. after almost 2 ½ month of sailing and with a total Cruise distance covered of 1580 nm



Skovshoved is an old fishing village. Every day the "Skovser konerne" went the 12 km. to Gammel Strand in Copenhagen to sell the fish their husbands had caught. It could also be one of the fishermen's daughters, if she was above 16 years.

Skovshoved only got its fishing harbour in 1936. This has since been expanded to give room for Yachts.

Skovshoved Hotel: Is from 1656 and still active with Pub, Restaurant and Hotel.

At a point in time, it was named "Skovshoved Sø- og Badehotel" and was used by "well off" people in Copenhagen as their "Summerplace", although only 12 km. away..