Baltic Southwards 2010

Southwards from Höga Kusten, Sea of Bothnia to Åsgårdstrand

Vis Baltic west southwards i et større kart

We left Åsgårdstrand on 3rd. June and sailed into our home port again on 5th. August, 63 days later.  We were in 59 different moorings/harbours, sailed 1836 nautical miles, averaging 29 nm per day.
The weather has been on our side: a lot of sun, warm after the first couple of weeks, only 3-4  stopovers due to rain or gale force winds.
Our aim was to get a taste of the coast north of the Åland Sea and we reached Trysunda , just south of Ørnskjøldsvik, covering most of the “Höga Kusten” with fantastic nature, few sailing boats or cargo traffic.
We are priveliged senior citizens who are fit enough to manage andto  really enjoy a cruise like this!
-   Häggvik with Mannaminne museum
-   Visit aboard Erick Takes Dutch canal barge
-   Interview with Ulf Ehlin on the future of the Baltic Sea
-   Sluicing through the Göta Canal with Edel and Ingvar – accordian playing
-   All the fishing communities, particularly Trysunda
-   Concert with Eddy at Norsholm
-   The numerous friendly sailors we got to know on the way


Cruise southwards from Trysunda our most northerly port
5th. July   to Mjälton  63.02,24N / 18.32,0E
Dist: 10nm Time 2+ hrs Wind S. 5-0m/s  Fee kr 50 ICE download1,07 Mb/s
6th. July   to  Berghamn  63.48,7N / 18.14,3E
Dist: 19,8nm  Time 3hrs  Wind 0.3m/s   Fee kr 60  ICE download 0,2Mb/s 
7th. July   to Söräkerviken  62.24,3N / 17.42,5E
Dist: 28,9nm   time: 5,5hrs, N-NW 5-8m/s  Fee kr 0  ICE download 0,4Mb/s
8th. July  to Sundsvall 62.23,4N / 17.19,2E
Dist:13,4nm  Time: 3 hrs Wind S- 4-5m/s Fee kr 150  ICE download 2,2 Mb/s

Monday 5th.
July we start our homeward trip, sailing out from Trysunda and arriving at Mjältön island a couple of hours later. The southerly wind died out so we had to motor part of the way.  There are three natrual harbours on the island and we chose the southern eastermost lagoon at Baggvik with a peak, 236 m. high which can be reached on a good footpath in one and a half hours, giving a wonderful view of the islands around.  The lagoon had three short pontoons, toilet, and sauna and more boats than normal came in during the evening - 3 motor boats, 19 sailing boats including 3 German, 1 Dutch, 3 Finnish and 1 Norwegian. part of the island is a nature reserve with fine hiking possibilities. We had a relaxing day and a delicious dinner of fresh wild salmon bought from the local fisherman at Trysunda. The salmon here is paler in colour than we are used to in Norway due to the fishes diet in the Baltic.  
6th. July We had another short sail to a charming little fishing village, Berghamn,  passing Högbonden on the way.
 We met one of the 2 local active fishermen who described his salmon traps with special cages to prevent seals from getting at the salmon. No shops or facilities other than toilet, trash containers and water.  We bought fish though from the fridge with fresh, cured and smoked salmon and paid by putting money in the box on the wall. We had a long chat with a Dutch couple with experiance from many long cruises, this year following the Finnish coast to  Haparanda  then returning south along the Swedish coast.  We met a Swedish couple over a cup of coffee and learned more about the health status of the Baltic Sea.  We managed time for a sauna - typical for all these natural harbours you find a little house with an oven, piles of logs outside ready to be burned and matches. The sea is still cold but after a while in the hot sauna a short swim is just perfect !  In short, a short sail in warm weather and a very active, interesting day!
7th. July We sailed half way today before we lost the wind. Noticed many salmon traps on the way to Söräkerviken. The good weather continues so we decided to stop in this bay, a natural harbour described in SXK's book. The pontoon has disappeared during the winter but anchoring is great! We are surprisingly the only boat here now, not far from a sandy beach, and Jon Erik is sittng in the cockpit playing his accordian while I write this log. We've been swimming and investigating the bay in the dingy.  Only toilet, grill and garbage collection here. The Swedish are experts at giving necessary facilities all along the coast!
8th July - We sailed all the way today, to Sundsvall. Siller Lass is easily sailed and robust. At 4-5m/s she does 6.5-7 knots upwind. We find it difficult to understand why people sail over the Atlantic or to other far away places when sailing offshore here we see what beautiful sailing areas we have in Scandinavia, particularly the High Coast.  Clean, clear water, few boats and hundreds of good anchorages and natural harbours.  Sundsvall was a necessary stop for another weeks' foodsupply.  We can recommend the lunch served at Sundsvall Casino!

9th. July  to Lillubban 62.10,33N / 17.31,00E
Dist: 21,7nm  Time:4,5hrs  Fee: kr 40 ICE download 0,7Mb/s
10th. July   to Tunaholmen  61.37,7N 7 71.21,9E
Dist: 54.8nm  Time 9,5 hrs  Fee kr 0  ICE download 0,6Mb/s

Three days with challenges in different ways.  
Our new German acquaintances left Sundsvall early for their rather long days’ sailing. At the ages of 77 and 80 they have amazing stamina and courage, sailing all the way up to Haparanda on the Finnish coast then back to Fehmeren in Germany following the Swedish coast most of the way. Our aim was a SXK natural harbour, Lillubban where we welcomed by the harbourmaster Åke Kjellstrøm. He and his wife, Gunvor,. give fantastic service to sailors. They have organised barbeque grills, an oven for smoking fish, the loan of rowing boats, a toilet (shit house on the sign on the door!), a playground for children. a sauna and even a log fired advanced  jacuzzi. We tried one of Gunvor's recipes of "Stompa", a sort of soft, thin pancake, made as follows:
5 dl soured cream,  1-1,5 dl syrup, 2ts salt, 2 ts bicarbonate, 3 ts of spice mixture for bread and 800g fine rye flour.  Mix all the ingredients to a smooth dough and roll out thinly. Cut into 24 rounds, prick with a fork then cook in a frying pan without fat. This bread tastes great with both savory or sweet toppings.

Several boats came in during the afternoon – the Swedish main holiday has now begun and we notice the difference.
The warm weather continues with temperatures up to 25 deg. And the water has reached 17 deg.C. inviting more for a swim than just a dip!     This little, forested island in a secluded bay is known for a couple of  large stones, one being 4,5 m high, 10m long and 5 m broad.
An early start on Saturday to cover a longer distance, over 50 nm. Calm at 6.30 am but the southerly, head on  wind built up almost to gale force and the sea became more and more choppy and rough.  With the main sail reefed we made good speed. Hölik, the small harbour 2m deep,  we’d chosen had a very shallow track in  and was exposed to the sea so we continued over to Tunaolmen, Olmens fiskeläge which was sheltered but not 2m deep as the SXK book said. We got stuck in the mud so had to continue to Tunaolmen, Berghamn, a sheltered natural harbour with an SXK buoy. The buoy is exposed to southerly winds to a certain extent, but sheltered from northerlies.
Sunday morning, a morning dip, great weather, JE contacting some amateur radio friends, then breakfast on deck before moving on to Kräkskär på  Kräkön, only 10 nm from here. 
11th. July  to Kräkskär  61.33,98N / 17,19,60E
Dist. 5nm  Time: o,7hrs  fee kr 20 wind: calm ICE download 0,5 Mb/s

The health status of the Baltic ocean - resumè after a chat with an environmental consultant
We visited Kräkskär on the northward passage so don't repeat our impression of te lovely summer community. When we pased Kråkøen we met Ulf Ehlin by chance. Ulf is now an independent environmental consultant working mainly with the health of the Baltic Sea. He has been Executive Secretary of the “Helsinki Commission”, an organsation set up by all the countries surounding the Baltic with the task of developing healthy ecology in the Baltic Sea. ­
The Baltic Sea is characterized by low salt content, 0,5-0,7 %  compared to Skageraks  3,7 % which is the natural salinity of our oceans and where all living organisms thrive best. The low salinity results in stress and  pollution, and poisonous algae increases this stress. As one moves nortwards towards the Bay of Bothnia with lower salinity the number of living organisms declines. A very good article describing this balance is found in  SXK`s “På Kryss” number 4/2010.

Many years of industrial and sewage pollution has resulted in large bottom deposits of phosphorous and nutrient rich sediments. When heavy oxygen rich water seeps in over the Øresund threshhold and reaches these rich sediments, phosphorous is released and comes up to the surface giving nutrition to a variety of algae. Some of them very poisonous. The algae bloom with high temperatures and in the late summer can cover large areas, especially in the Gotland area.

The Helsinki Commission , see, had a budget of 20 billion US $ for 20 years from 1992(!!!). Today HELCOM has a new Baltic Sea Action Programme mainly concentrating on reducing the input of nutrients  to the sae from agciculture and domestic sources. The task is not made easy by the fact that the EU also supports the development of industrial agriculture in Poland with its population of about 50% of the total Baltic rim population of 85 million. The nutrients which encourage the poisonous algae come both from old bottom sediments and from fresh influx of nutrition from agriculture and human waste. The commission must plan with long project cycles since it takes 35 years to replenish the Baltic sea with fresh water and maybe longer to deplete the bottom sediments and  phosphorous. 
In the north, the Bay of Bothnia, where we mostly have sailed this summer, the polution problem seems much less. We found the waters clean, cold and plenty of local fish species like Sik, Abbor, Strømming and Salmon. An increase in the number of seals seems to be the main problem for fishermen. The seals eat the fish from the nets and the salmon traps have to be equiped with elaborate cages to keep the seals out.         Top of page
14th. July  to Bjørn fyr  60.38,05N / 17.58,2E
Dist: 40nm  Time: 7hrs, free buoy wind:SW 4.5m/s. ICE download 1,7Mb/S.
15th.July  to Øregrund  60.20,9N / 18.21,4E
Dist: 26,4nm  Time:4,5hrs fee kr 200 wind: ENE 8-11m/s   ICE down. 0,3Mb/s
This is unbelievable –­ several weeks with sunshine, and temperatures up to 30 deg.C the last few days. We had one rain shower a few evenings ago, but none of the thunder and lightning that others have experienced further south. Now, at 8:30 pm the temp. is 24 deg. the sun is shining, it’s completely calm, we’ve sailed 40 nautical miles and are now lying at Bjørn lighthouse far out to sea on an SXK buoy.
We had a fantastic sail from Bjørn next morning in an east-north east wind 8-11 m/s, both mainsail and genoa were reefed. Even then, the choppy, erratic  rough sea was difficult to steer through - our autopilot did a better job than the captain!
Sailed into Øregrund marina early enough to get a good mooring. directed by the friendly harbourmasterThis marina is very well organized, close to grocery and wine stores plus many restaurants. We chatted to the harbourmasters who are also enganged in, and doing a great job, restoring Swedens oldest, floating brigg, Westera built in 1891.

16th. July  to Grisslehamn  60.06N / 18.48,7E  ICE download 1,0Mb/s
Dist:21,4nm  Time:4.5hrs  Fee:kr 100 ex el. wind NW 3-6m/s
17th. July  to Furusund   59.39,6N / 18.55,2E  ICE download 0,5 Mb/s
Dist:35,3nm  Time: 5hrs  SXK buoy  Wind head on 5-7m/s
We left the Bay of Bothnia at Øregrund and continue southwards in the Åland Sea towards the Stockholm skerries. We passed the recommended little, shallow, rocky natural harbour, Skogsskär. The co-skipper wanted to get a bit further south, so chose Grisslehamn fishing harbour. This is an active fishing harbour with several fishing boats and two fishmongers selling a good variety of fish.  The local fishermen report that cod has now returned to this area. One of the creative fisherwives makes decorative seagulls of bones from boiled cod heads!  We were kindly invited aboard a Swedish boat for a pleasant evening getting to know new friends with lots of useful information on natural harbours in the Stockholm area.  
We planned to sail to Rødeløga from Grisslehamn but read weather forecasts on the way warning gale force wind and rain  so we chose a more sheltered mooring at Furusund in the main shipping channel with large ferries passing quietly by every so often.  The neighbouring boat here has caught lots of abbor (Perca fluviatalis)- we have tried with no luck. But we've had a swim and a rather good meal made of ground beef, onions, garlic, chili spice, salt and black pepper cooked in a tablespoon of  bramble jam and 1-2dl  redwine. Served with boiled new potatoes and asparages beans.

18th. July  to Runmarö 59.16,3N / 18.43,6E  ICE download 1,1Mb/s
Dist: 28,2nm  Time:5hrs   Fee -voluntary to SXK  Wind W 3-5M7s
19th. July  to Hovuskäret  58.57,9N / 18.34,1E   ICE download 0,77
Dist: 21nm   Time:  3,75hrs  Fee kr 0  Wind W 4-6 m/s
To  Utö then on to Nynæshamn  58.54.0N / 17.57,3E  ICE download 1.9Mb/s
Dist: 25nm   Time:4 hrs   Fee kr160+50 el  Wind head on: W-SW
Our next  stop was Norrviken on Runmarø at one of SXK's nature harbours, in a wonderful situation with 5 buoys in the bay and space for many boats using buoys and moored up to the piers. We met an excellent advisor from the coastguard, who told us up the new hyrographice in scale 1:10 000 making it possible to sail in impossible places. The charts have depth contours on 2 and 3 meters especially useful for keeled boats. We saw two things for the first time this summer - a floating sewage emptying system and a rib, not just a little inflateable dingy,  selling icecream, cookies, newspapers etc. 
We left early for Huvudskär nest morning and just missed getting an SXK buoy there. After a trip ashore and lunch, the threatning high wind encouraged us to move on to Utö where there are 2 marinas with  moorings for almost 300 boats, but both were completely full and anchoring was hindered ny the very shallow waters.  We continued on to Nynæshavn, motoring against the wind most of the way. Luckily we found a berth there. This area of Sweden has the same problem as southern Norway and western Sweden in the main holiday time - too many boats! 

A "free"  day today - no sailing, staying in the same marina while we wait for our crew, who are eager to try the Gøta canal with us. The marina here takes almost 300 boats and ferries to Gotland, Poland, Finnland, Åland sail in and out continually - a harbour humming with life and an interesting town to visit.
19-21. July Nynæshamn
We stayed in Nynæshamn for three nights, quite a change.  Met some friendly folk and helped one couple with their ICE broadvand connection. Did a little sightseeing in this town og historic interest and replenished the foodstore too. Two other Norwegian boats here, the first we've seen since we were here on the way north!
23rd. July We left Nynæshamn after filling diesel (SEK 14/ liter) in preparation for our trip through the Göta chanel.  We chose a route through the skerries, had a fine sail and a relatively long haul all the way to Mem where the chanel starts. Seventy nautical miles and 10 hours was tough for our new crew, Edel and Ingvar from Holmestrand.  The chanel now kosts SEK 5950 to Sjøtorp, then another SEK 800 from Trollhättan to Gothenberg.  This sum includes all marina dues. We have calculated that sailing round the south coast costs approximately the same, because of several more marina fees and often more diesel.
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Göta kanal  - for more info have a look at and
The contrast from sea sailing to canal motoring inland is fascinating, passing large farms with ripe corn in the fields, grazing cows and some horses. 
Tackling the sluices was a challenge, all learning new tasks, getting enough fenders fixed at the right places and a fender board to prevent scratches.  We gradually improved as the day progressed with no serious mishaps and felt we’d done a hard day’s work by the time we got to Norsholm.  Great evening with Eddie's music at the local inn. Our musicians aboard didn't dare compete with him! Met Unni and Roy on Toja, an interesting couple for m Norway.
24th.July We started off at 8am on Saturday when the first sluice and railway bridge opened up.
We sailed over a long, shallow lake, Roxen to Berg where we had 6 sluices in a row. These were easier as 1 or 2 could stay ashore all the time and more or less lead the boat from one sluice to another. We noticed several small islands looking rather desolate - the trees were lifeless and white with bird shit. Flocks of great cormorant (skarv) do the damage apparently. Click on the fotos for enlargement.

25th. July   The first proper rainfall since we left home started during the night. Rain and gusty wind up to gale force kept us at Berg for an extra day.  It's much more fun when the sun shines and the countryside can been seen to advantage, but we made the most out of the day.  Vreta closterchurch and the ruins of the closter  lie a few minutes walk from Berg and are of both historic and cultural value. We were welcomed by a guide who gave us a short tour of the church, giving much of it's history. The church has been in use continually for 900 years. The closter was built in 1100 and is the oldest in Sweden. 
26t .July  To Motala  Many hours in the canal in beautiful, sunny weather, getting to know the crews on the boats in the same sluices as us and enjoying the countryside.

27th.July To Tøreboda A 10 hour long and very interesting day, sailing first over Lake Vätteren, grocery filling stopp in Karlsborg, up through locks, over motorways, passing rich, vast farmland while manouevering through the canal. Up at Lake Viken we saw our single-handed Dutch barge sailing while many other more modern boats motored.   The veteran Dutch canal barge is owned by Erick Tales who has restored and reconstructed it for sailing and living. He is a member of the veteran boat society  "Het Historik Bedrijfsvaartning"  
d is writing a book about handling Dutch canal barges under sail. 
  We passed Forsvik the highest level of the canal, 91,8m and then came down 0,2 m in one simple lock.

28th. July  To Sjøtorp   Cycling along the Gøta Canal is extremely popular, there are paths all the way also "sykkelbåter" that transport bikes and cyclists over the lakes.  Jon Erik rented a bike for the day and left the crew to manage the locks. He stopped at the first lock though just to check! Going down is easier than going up, luckily. The most important thing to remember is not to fasten the ropes while descending, just hold on to them! 

  Canal life has a special atmosphere - you have to take things easy, wait sometimes to get into locks, chat to the crews on other boats, keep the speed limit og 5 knots. Surprisingly enough, there are relatively few boats in the canal now at the hight of the holiday period, and practically no Norwegian ones.
Edel and Ingvar treated us to gourmet dinner at the local restaurant serving local, fresh water fish. Sjøtorp marinas are  charming with several shops nearby.
29th. July  At Sjøtorp Our crew have left by bus for home and it rained heavily most of the day.
30-31st. July  We left the canal proper at Sjøtorp.  After a peaceful day in rainy Sjøtorp with a visit to the Canal Museum and cakes served to the boats by the from Café Baltzar in the evening, we were among the first boats to get down the locks to Vänern next day. We sailed in rough seas with wind up to 15m/s to Spiken, near  Läckø castle which we visited in 2007. Entrance to Läckø is dependant on the water level in the Vänern lake, and the dry summer we have experienced  made us dubious, therefore Spiken.
Spiken marina is rather interesting, can take an amazing number of boats, is well supplied with facilities and at least 5 fishmongers selling fresh and smoked fish. We treated ourselves to sik roe served with lime, sliced red onion and crème fraiche followed by warm-smoked salmon for dinner. As in many of the other marinas we found different types of exclusive handwork for sale. We had a fine walk over to Läckø castle next day, admiring the vast farms on the way and one ancient and colossal oak tree.  Noticed the younger generation enjoying boat life among the reeds by the marina - using a dingy with a noieless electical engine! Highlight of the day was our lunch of fresh, local crayfish with white wine aboard Siller Lass.  No ICE download though, the first time this cruise!

1st-3rd. August   Early start on Sunday morning, first through the tricky passage at the north end of Källandö then over Dalsbsjøen, the western part of  Vänern, and south to Vänersborg.
Extra maps are certainly an advantage for sailing in this area – the Navionics map for chart plotters doesn’t cover all of this vast sea and the “Göta Kanal & Trollhätte Kanal” book gives no coordinates.
We saw only two other boats during the 6 hour journey. While waiting at the first bridge into the Trollhätten kanal two sailing boats joined us.  We spent over 2 hours getting past two road and one railway bridge due to lack of coordination  with the canal staff, closing bridges just as we understoond we could move through, for example. It took us 12 hours to get to Lilla Edet, a rather uninteresting harbour.  We had the pleasure of meeting the crew of German “Glant”, from Flensburg,  who had been to more or less the same places as us up on Höga Kusten and who also had the rough sail into Spiken just before us.
The sun keeps shining and the trip to Lilla Bommen in Gothenberg took only 4 hours. The locks are enormous and deep in comparison to those in the Göta Canal but easy to descend. The last few hours into Gothenerg  is perhaps the least interesting part of the canal. Bridges of varying descriptions!  It was interesting to note however the vast number of new buildings on the way out of Gothenberg. Aker Brygge in Oslo is minute in comparison! 

We are now back into salt water with lots of small jelly fish. Why are they so small this year?
Short lunch break in Lilla Bommen before continuing to Källö Knipplan, a favourite harbour for many.  Some boats use it as a base for several days while the crews take the local ferries from island to island, to hike, swim and cycle around.
From Källö Knipplan we took a long haul north to Musøn Sältan,  12 hours and 63 nm.
What surprised us was the continual stream of sailing and motor boats, chiefly Swedish as the main Swedish vacation isn’t over yet. Some wreckless motor boats speeding among the sailing boats in narrow passages – one cabin cruiser even with 3 small children sitting in the bow at over 20 knops speed! What a contrast to activity on the Swedish coast north of Stockholm, which is a fine alternative to the west and northwest coast of Norway regarding nature and environment. 

4th.-5th. August - Back in home waters, after anchoring in Musöen Sältan then Skjærhalden marina.  This cruise description is finished but may been filled out with more details later.
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