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.
|Boats in harbour|