Saturday 15 July 2017

10th -15th July 2017 Hogmarso

We left Malma Kvarn for Gallno for a second visit, just a matter of sixteen miles, no longer and anchored in the same place as before. I inflated the dinghy but found it was taking a long time before I realised the pump handle and stem had become loose and much air was escaping. That corrected inflation was easy enough. This time I tried the electric outboard on a longer trip; perhaps a kilometre in all. It worked fine and I have not really tested yet its endurance. We stayed there two nightswith no more than three other boats visible, surrounded by beauty and very peaceful. We did notice the distant noise of fast powerboats, but it was far away.
We then left for Ingmarso and were lucky to find a place on the long bridge pontoon to shore, having to miss a large motor boat and still come parallel to the quay with the wind behind us. Lena, the harbourmaster helped us as she often did. We tied up and other boats arrived round us while we wondered how we would be able to leave. Ingmarso was as lovely as ever and we both regret that this harbour will close at the end of the season as both harbourmaster and boatyard owner are retiring.

Barbeques on the rocks at Ingmarso
We did manage to get out of the harbour and Badger, for once behaved impeccably when in reverse Hogmarso and then raising sail for a lovely, if slow, passage under a following breeze north through a wriggly path between scattered islands. After this we had to turn west to go south of  Sjalbottna before heading north to reach and cross the main shipping channel. In the distance to the north east we could see a couple of ships end on but it was unclear whether they were coming or going. Luckily no ships were approaching from the south east as just at this spot they make a quick turn through about 20 degrees making it very difficult to predict their arrival time. We made it still with the ships fairly distant and sailed on and saw this remarkable  autogyro.
We eventually lowered sail,  arrived at Hogmarso and tied up safely to a padded pontoon. Hogmarso is home to a shipyard, Furusunds Slip by name that has a wonderful collection of projects., many pretty derelict.  The biggest is undoubtedly a huge Chines Restaurant on a barge with dragon head and tail.
The main working project is window replacement on a submersible tourist boat. The new perspex windows being fitted are about three inches thick. There's another identical boat near by.
The Yard also houses a quite good open air restaurant and nearby is a good food shop. The moorings are free but absolutely no services are provided, no water, toilets, showers, electricity, nothing. It does attract strange yachts and one inhabitant is a 3-4 deck motor yacht about 20 metres long. It is much too large to fit into most marinas and this spot with restaurant and wrecks on one side a pretty islands on the other is a good spot to visit. In addition ocean liners silently go by on their way into Stockholm every now and then. Many prosperous people live here at least in summer and this is an attractive estate.
Hogmarso house and garden

We will be off to Norrtalje next attending a music festival and hoping not to have strong easterly winds.

Sunday 9 July 2017

5th - 9th July 2017 Malma Kvarn

Wednesday 5th July was sunny but cold with a light northwesterly breeze when we set off from Wasahamnen at about 0900. We suffered from the constant succession of fast ferries with dreadful wakes. We did have one traffic situation involving a an old fashioned steam excursion boat, a fast ferry and a Viking Line ship which required thought as the Viking Line was clearly trying to turn in order to dock and the tracks of the other two boats were difficult to predict. Luckily the engine was working well after the work I'd done earlier.
hot smoked salmon from Sabis
The breeze was not really enough to sail by and, in any case, we needed more fuel. We continued motoring, as fast as we dared, out of Stockholm and  then south, down Skurusundet (what a splendid name) towards Baggenstacket. Skurusundet starts off as a very steep-sided valley with wonderful tall wooden houses with amazing long flights of stairs leading down to the water. Originally these were essential for travel into Stockholm but mow there is a bridge. Half way down Skurusundet we bought some very expensive diesel and found we'd used about 41 litres this season. After Skurusundet our course was east through Lannerstasundet. Here the north side is being developed with enormous blocks of quite hideous flats. The demolition of old factory buildings, excavation and building has been going on for many years with dreadful results. Further on Edwardian style lovely houses and gardens predominate. What must they think of their new neighbours?
Our next problem was Baggenstacket, a narrow, winding and partly canalised channel. Getting through it is easy enough but one may face competition from much larger vessels and I dislike intensely sharing the narrowest stretches with a Large passenger ferry or a long nosed gravel boat. We have just missed both types in previous visits. Luck was with us again.
Once through Babbenstaket we were in Baggensfjarden and able to unfurl the jib and sail gently with a following wind very pleasantly indeed. Our only problem was the wind was slightly flukey due to the islands so we had to jibe the jib from side to side too often for comfort. We were by this time free of ferries and  the like and few motorboats were out which was a relief as they also make large wakes.
From Baggens fjarden we proceeded to Agnofjarden where the water widened. To port were the highish cliffs of Ingaro and to the west, many small islands, some of which have good natural harbours. All the way so far we had passed staircases down the cliffs and smal private docks. The usually had small motorboats as runabouts, often out of the water on hydraulically operated lifts to protect against wake damage. This is as much a measure of the affluence of the inhabitants as it is of the careless behaviour of the motorboat drivers.
Towards the end of Agnofjarden, the wind died and the sky clouded up. We put on the motor and rolled up the jib rather reluctantly as we came out into open water and headed northwest. Soon the wind came in from the northwest, heading us and slowing our progress. However to port the islands fringing Ingaro were of interest and we were nearly at Malma Kvarn. However the sky darkened and were rained on but only gently. We found the harbour very crowded, and having lost a somewhat circuitous race with a larger boat through the school fleet of dinghies we found a berth in the reeds in a corner of the harbour.
Malma Kvarn is always a delight even in bad weather. It is very beautiful, has a lovely bathing and fishing lake behind it and a good restaurant on the quay. The only smallish fly in the ointment is that the inlet outside the harbour is used as a short cut by numberless fast motor craft which make boats tied up outside the restaurant roll heavily.
Badger in the reeds
We, in the reeds are spared this annoyance. This part of the harbour is shallow and the sounder shows zero depth under the keel; however the bottom is soft mud.
Outside the harbour are many small to medium summer residences, often place perfectly on little bluffs overlooking the sea. In between is surprisingly rough country, heavily forested, mainly with what we would call Scots pines and silver birch trees. Entertainment is provided by the sailing school, learning how to rig, sail, steer and clean their dinghies. There are many deer around though we see them seldom and we've been amazed at their agility on the little cliffs and their ability to scramble very quickly up into the trees and away. They are incredible athletes with cloven hooves.
We feel immensely privileged to be here.
Restaurant Interior

Boats in harbour

Tuesday 4 July 2017

28th June to 4th July 2017 in Stockholm

After sorting ( we hope) the engine we have been in Wasahamnen enjoying Stockholm and its pleasures. We visited Waldermarsudden to see three exhibitions of painting which left us somewhat overloaded with art. We had OK to good weather most of the time but it was fairly cold.
The only real news is that I made up a new and larger boom tent in clear reinforced plastic. Our UK supplier calls it Monotex but I've seen something very similar used to sheet buildings under construction.
I had one nasty scare. I was standing on the counter trying to decide where to cut off excess material and realising, just like all dressmakers, that you only get one chance. While facing aft and holding the sheeting, I moved backwards and tripped over the edge of the cockpit, falling backwards onto the cockpit seating. Luckily, or unluckily, I was holding the sheeting and, while falling, ripped it over a couple of metres. The force required to rip it made my fall easy and I only slightly hurt my backside. It was a very fortunate and unlikely outcome. However it did necessitate a long mending job which Kristin did very promptly and without any reproach. The tent is now in place and working well with the repair proving watertight. I still have to work out exactly where to cut round the stern of the boat to get optimum rain proofing together with good ventilation.
Today we did a massive food shopping at Sabis which continues to amaze at the quality of its fish and cheese counters. We hope, if the weather is kind to be off cruising tomorrow with our first objective being Malma Kvarn which has, are you surprised, a good restaurant.

Friday 30 June 2017

27th June 2017 Gallno to Stockholm.

We got up before 0500 in order to get into Wasahamnen as other folk were leaving. The journey usually takes about five hours.
The day started well with the usual preparations of removing the steadying sail (which immediately produced an increase in Badgers head wagging) and then raising anchor. However we had motored less than 200 metres  before the engine overheat alarm started screaming. I checked the engine temperature with my hand and it did no seem very hot so went to check if the cooling water was coming out of the exhaust. That seemed OK too so I decided we had to stop the engine, anchor once again and investigate. This time I used a thermometer that came with a multimeter from Clas Ohlson. This definitely showed a hot engine so we left it top cool while we had breakfast and thought a bit.
I then checked the engine coolant circuit and found not much liquid there so refilled with antifreeze and water. We started the engine, pulled up the anchor once more and set off again with the engine keeping a very steady temperature of 80C.
The wind was adverse but light so we made satisfactory progress lessening as the wind strengthened against us. We passed Grind and Vaxholm without incident and then got into the outer Stockholm harbour where our speed was reduced to 4 kts. and I unfurled the genoa. This increased our speed to nearly six kts. but made the boat difficult to handle. When the wind headed us I tried to furl the genoa again but failed. I just could not pull hard enough on the reefing line. Eventually I resorted to using the genoa sheet winch which is potentially dangerous as serious harm to rig or furling  can result if for example the furling line is fouled. Luckily I was able to furl a little of the sail and continued to furl the sail, which brought it under control and our speed down as well. The result was the tightest and neatest furl we have ever had. By this time we'd been motoring about four hours and soon afterward the overheat alarm went off again. We, of course, were in the main shipping channel into Stockholm, not nice.
Luckily neither ships nor fast ferries were anywhere near so it was a case of refill the engine and continue. There was no finesse. Take off radiator cap with a cloth to protect against scalds. Take kitchen mug, fill with water, pour in water, repeat till full, replace cap and start the engine. This again brought the temperature down and we went on again. I got increasingly nervous in case the same problem recurred, particularly when close to Grona Lund. Here ferries cross and recross incessantly so that collision when motionless would be  a definite possibility. Luckily nothing happened and we made it to a berth without incident.
We then had lunch, snoozed or slept and then had supper and went to bed.
The next morning Kristin and Heather wen to off to look at the Wasa while I tackled the engine. It was in fact childishly simple. When I started the engine bubbly froth started appearing at a hose joint. All I had to do was to tighten the hose clip and refill with coolant.  I then did a test run up to an indicated temperature of 70C and cleared up.
The point worth remembering is that when the engine was hot all that escaped from the leak was invisible steam, which I could not easily and quickly identify. When cold I got very visible bubbles.
Now Heather has left us to return to Totnes and we are sitting out high winds and promised rain in a fair amount of comfort in Stockholm

25th to 26th June 2017 Ingmarso and Galno .

Midsummer day is traditionally reserved for tending hangovers. We had no such problem but preferred to stay in Ingmarso because the weather was poor. The day was treated as a Sunday by the local shop which opened at Midday. We took life easily except for Heather who went off walking.
Monday May 26th
We decided to leave Ingmarso  for Grinda as part of a journey back to Stockholm The weather was not very good and Stockholm more interesting. In the cold weather we had a an early but warming lunch of goulash soup and set off under motor afterwards. It was dry but dull. with heavy clouds threatening.
We made a detour to visit Paradiset (59N28.5,18E48.5), one of our favourite anchorages and very beautiful. Its beauty  has been somewhat marred by the addtion of a much larger and obtrusive landing stage with electricity supplies so it feels more like a commercial guest harbour.
We then turned west and passed close to Ladna, noting with some satisfaction that we had escaped the rain falling to our north. Retribution was swift with an intense cold shower descending on us in a narrow passage between Ladna and Ladnaon. This dampened our ambition to proceed to Grinda and to anchor overnight in Gallno at 59N26,18E39. We were upset to find three other boats there already and even an abandoned floating sauna in one corner. Even so it is a very beautiful and well sheltered place with no buildings visible, just fir and silver birch trees with the appropriate amounts of rock. The weather improved too. We anchored, set the steadying sail and sat down to eat and drink very happy with the scenery.
Anchorage in Gallno
Evening light after rain

Saturday 24 June 2017

22nd - 24th June 2017 Stockholm to Ingmarso marina

We were both up at about 0440 to bright sunshine to take off the plastic tent we usually use to keep out the rain, to stow away the shore side power supply and it took a surprising amount of time. We eventually slipped at 0545 and motored off in almost zero wind through Stockholm harbour almost alone. The harbour itself was empty too, which we guessed was partly due to the impending midsummer. It was very pleasant to be able to proceed without the constant disturbance of passing power boats and ferries. We manage to spot the big ships starting to arrive in the morning convoy in good time but were nevertheless thankful to reach Vaxholm and be out of their reach for a time. That annoyance was replaced by that of the short range ferries which constantly cross between Vaxholm town and the neighbouring island carrying lorries, commuters and Midsummer visitors across our course.
Just north of Vaxholm is a splendid little wriggly passage out into open water with rocks close at hand. Here I was very pleased not to encounter an island ferry as space is very tight indeed.  Once out into open waters the big ship menace returns in force. The shipping routes into Stockholm are amazingly sinuous so that seeing a ship crossing  say from Starboard to port in the distance is no guarantee it will  not, while hidden behind an island, suddenly change course and approach at speed.  The Aaland ferry did just that but we only had to slow down a little for it to pass ahead and vanish down the very narrow channel at Oxdupet. As time wore on the temperature rose towards the tolerable but the sun began to hide behind clouds. We went on past Gallno into more and more beautiful seascapes of rocky islands and pine and birch trees with very little in the way of habitation. We also passed several islands used and probably owned by boat clubs. These are usually pretty civilised places where the members have contrived, often over several generations, build up the infrastructures of landing stages, a clubhouse, inevitably a sauna and so on.
We arrived by 1100 and found a place to moor.
One of the main reasons for coming to Ingmarso was to attend the midsummer eve festivities so on the Friday we checked out the situation:-
0900 Decorate summer pole and erect it. We decided to miss that and have a leisurely breakfast.
1500 Dancing and singing round the summer pole.
We got to the village school where the pole indeed had been erected and sat in sun or shade according to taste watch people and the ceremony of fixing up the PA system. This took a long time as it refused to work until an expert found the right connector. In the meantime the festival leader, probably the school teacher, with blonde hair and a bright red dress, looked crosser and crosser. People gradually arrived including a group of young men with a crate of beer who took no part in the event at all. Eventually there were, I guessed, about two hundred present.
Eventually the PA began to function and it, the mixing desk, loud speaker, Ipad and technical man were placed round the pole with a power lead taking a long route to the nearest power point in one of the school buildings.
The Leader proved to be both energetic and a good leader and we had a better programme of songs and dances than we had ever seen before. I don't know how many were dancing. You can see from the pictures that there were quite a lot. You can also see that many of the women were wearing wreaths of wildflowers in their hair.

 We enjoyed watching a great deal but eventually decided to return to the boat. The alternative suggested wa sto dance down to the quay to welcome the next steamer.
The evening turned wet and we were glad to be home and in shelter.
The pictures above show:- A collection of propellors ruined  by hitting rocks; a useful warning to all, The habour itself and an air ambulance taking off from a field behind the harbour with a casualty from one of the boats.

18th to 21st June Stockholm

For these few days we tidied ship and made ready for the arrival of our dear friend Heather. Boat maintenance went on as well with a lot of throwing away of unused kit. The new switch panel I installed together with a digital panel meter has proved a distinct improvement and yes, the plotter still works.
I met Heather in due course at Stockholm central railway station after chasing between rendevous point and platforms, with the result that Heather had to wait for me to arrive from one of my unavailing searches. One we'd met it was a pleasant journey on the tram to the marina. Kristin cooked a wonderful welcome meal and we decided to go off immediately the next morning to Ingmarso whwere we hoped to witness their Midsummer celebrations.