Scandinavian Summer 2017

Back to Copenhagen

Date:Aug. 28, 2017, 4:36 p.m.

After a fun evening catching up with friends from the Danish long distance sailing club (FTLF) we left Anholt. It was mid morning after we waited to let a rain squall pass. The Kattegat was lumpy but the sailing good and we were making 7-8 knots under genniker only. After a few hours conditions lightened but we still made it to Helsinor by sunset. As we approached the Øresund we hit a counter current and a tonne of shipping traffic. Regardless of those factors we were having a good run and decided to press on further than planned. Firstly because we were having a lovely sail and secondly because the forecast for the next few days was not going to be in our favour. So we rounded Helsinor castle, entered the blissfully smooth waters of the Øresund and headed towards Copenhagen.

Our revised plan was to hug the coast until the wind died and drop anchor wherever we ended up, but the wind persisted, contrary to expectations, and it actually looked like we would get all the way to Copenhagen on this single run of almost 80nm. As the clock struck midnight we realized we were about to pass the waterfront house of some dear friends who live on the Northern outskirts of the city. We thought it would be rather amusing for them to wake up to us parked out the front, especially as our friend is one of those crazy Danes who indulges in a swim every morning out the front of her house regardless of the season!!!

With the half moon having just set and street lights to blind us, the exact location of their house was hotly debated onboard. As we are able to anchor very close to shore it was going to be more effective if we got the placement right. When we woke up in the morning we were perfectly located in front the house and exactly in the middle of an unlit fishing net... Our efforts got a great response from our friend and she even swam out for a morning coffee with a bag of fresh danish pastries double bagged and shoved down her swimsuit! I am happy to report they did survive the swim but not the coffee. It was a fun welcome back to Copenhagen and by some incredible stroke of luck the anchor and the fishing net did not meet so we pulled up cleanly. In the sunny calm conditions we headed off to find a berth in the city, most likely at Lynetton for the time being.


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Pearly whites

Date:Aug. 25, 2017, 11:20 a.m.

It has been a tough couple of days with the baby. Since arriving her state worsened a little and sleep has been a rarity as we monitor her closely. As such we have not really been out to enjoy the sunny weather on the sandy island of Anholt. From what we have seen it reminds us a lot of the West Coast of Australia, in particular the fishing town of Lancelin, a favourite spot of Mark's due to the terrific kitesurfing and relaxed vibe. After a big push to get some work done on the business he is now, finally, out enjoying a stiff breeze and his first kitesurfing session for the year along the pearly white beaches.

Just as we were about to give in and seek out the island's doctor the baby took a chomp on her father's finger and drew blood with her own pearly whites! She has just cut her first tooth and I never expected to be so relieved to see such a thing. I guess it shows how green we are at parenting, neither of us has supposed that teething might have been on the cards. Her fever is now broken and although she is still rather grumpy about the whole affair she is quickly getting back to her old self. Only 19 to go...

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Glorious day sailing to the island of Anholt

Date:Aug. 23, 2017, 9:52 a.m.
Position:56 42.88 N, 11 30.79 E

We can probably count on one hand the number of 'perfect' sailing days we have experienced in the nearly 30,000 nautical miles sailed together aboard Tuuletar. Now we have added the passage from Lœsø to Anholt in that count. With the spinnaker up we made good time and in spite of a late start made it just as the last of the light left the sky. The flat calm sea state in the lee of Jutland, coupled with smooth steady wind as a result of Denmark's lack of significant topography, was glorious. So as we lament leaving behind the perfectly protected Norwegian anchorages, we celebrate being able to use the engine far less in the terrific sailing conditions around Denmark.

Before departing Lœsø, we were treated to a brief island tour with our new friend the trumpeter. The place definitely deserves more time, but with the weather forecast we have few opportunities to head south, so were incredibly grateful for his kind offer. The island is famous for salt production, which seems strange given Denmark's notoriously soggy climate. Under the right circumstances we also produce quite a lot of salt on Tuuletar, however unlike our drying method they use heat in a process we had never seen before. The set up is really impressive and the history which dates right back to the middle ages, rather interesting.

Unfortunately the side effect of the success of the salt production led to the islands total deforestation. With significant effort it is now wooded again albeit it a plantation manner. The drive through the greenery with a resplendent purple heather undergrowth was most enjoyable and our host kindly took us to what he termed the Lœsø Alps for a 34 meter high climb to view over the island.

The sunniest place in Denmark, it is also a fishing centre, old building were thatched with seaweed and they are known for jomfruhummer/langoustines/scampi. So before we left I managed to procure an inexpensive bag of the small but sweet shellfish to enjoy later. The other reason for our delay was the third crewmember had come down with her first fever overnight. Being new to parenthood we were trying not to be panicky but did quite a bit of phoning around to consult before deciding it was safe to press on.

The baby was not at all happy with having a fever but she did not seem to mind the sailing itself. Anholt harbour was a little busy so turning up late made for challenges finding a spot. Eventually a fellow Nauticat 44 flying an Icelandic flag kindly waved us over to raft up.

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Læsø: a special welcome back to Denmark

Date:Aug. 21, 2017, 7:48 p.m.
Position:57 17.73 N, 10 55.44 E

We departed from Norway mid afternoon with a mind to arrive in Skagen around 7-8am the next morning. We encountered a stiff breese and lumpy skagerrak as expected but were making great progress at 8 knots. The wind died as forecast and we managed a slow but respectable pace. We did not make it to Skagen by 8am but we could see it, just. With only 10nm to go the low lying land emerged. By then we were having a very comfortable sail and the only challenge was dodging shipping traffic. (The concentration of fishing vessels is quite something.)

After expecting to be forced to motor for at least a few hours, we were in fact having such a glorious sail, (especially once we transitioned from the Skagerrak to the flat waters of the Kattegat,) that we decided to keep going. It was a shame to miss visiting Skagen, we have heard it is lovely but there are too few suitable weather windows in the coming week so we must make the most of them.

So after a magnificent spinnaker run and 123nm later we pulled into the island of Læsø a couple of hours before sunset. Several friendly Danes came to help as tie up, greet us and before we even got the spring line affixed we had the offer of a tour from a local tomorrow morning! Back to super-friendly Denmark. All evening people stopped past for a chat, then on sunset we heard the bugle call, a first for us. Only in super traditional harbours is this still done as a signal to stow away your ensign for the evening, good thing I remembered to put it up in the first place! To top off that neat experience and warm welcome the bugler followed up with a rollickingly good rendition of Waltzing Matilda, earning him a round of applause from the harbour and the eternal gratitude of this pair of Aussies.

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Back to Randøya

Date:Aug. 18, 2017, 7:14 p.m.
Position:58 6.63 N, 8 6.42 E

Wanting to knock off a few miles we decided to head out into some strong winds, knowing that we would be mostly protected by the islands. We stuck our nose into a couple of anchorages but ultimately elected to press on a bit further than planned and pull in at a lovely anchorage we had enjoyed earlier in the summer. The basin we were in last time was occupied but in the bay next door was a long council dock with plenty of room for us. It is a magnificent spot and a nice conclusion to our time in Norway. The plan at this stage, is to wait here for weather to cross South back to Denmark, most likely via Skagen.

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Anchored at Skogsøya

Date:Aug. 17, 2017, 5:32 p.m.
Position:58 0.39 N, 7 35.56 E

After all that sailing we decided to give the expensive south coast marinas a miss and enjoy the opportunity the anchor instead. We will be back in Denmark soon where there are far fewer good anchorages and with no need to be alongside we are enjoying the peace and quiet of bobbing around on the pick. We made a little progress today through protected passages between the islands in spite of strong winds and soggy skies. The next few days we will continue to do the same as we wait for favourable weather.

With great reluctance we are having to skip the Limfjord (at the North tip of Jutland) as our preferred route back to Copenhagen. We had a few reasons to want to travel through there, including catching up with friends but some unexpected opportunities will pull us back to the big smoke and the weather in the foreseeable future is just not co-operating. grrrrrrr. We will try make it to Skagen in the coming days which we have heard is lovely.

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Making miles... Anchored at Hille Is.

Date:Aug. 16, 2017, 4:28 p.m.
Position:58 0.23 N, 7 22.16 E

We had every intention of returning to the Egersund area to wait out some unfavourable weather but we were making good progress and conditions were fair, I slept through the vote and so Mark decided to press on. He did a big night and much of the day, mostly motor-sailing with some genniker legs in lighter that expected conditions, while I tended to the baby and gave him a couple of short sleeps. It would have been nice to have enough wind to sail, but it was very comfortable and we got much further around than anticipated. There was a lot of sailing traffic as everyone seemed to be making the most of this brief opportunity. We pulled in late to a little bay which afforded good protection but is a rather deep anchorage at 15m. This now puts us in much more protected waters giving us a chance to make some progress in the next couple of days in spite of an adverse forecast.

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A quick nap at Line Is.

Date:Aug. 15, 2017, 4:18 p.m.
Position:59 2.27 N, 5 40.88 E

We headed back up the fjord to position ourselves closer to the start of the exposed stretch along the South West coast. With the only weather window in the foreseeable future looking very brief we will have to get started at midnight. Trying to convince the baby that we all needed an early night was another challenge however... She does enjoy an outdoor stroll as a sleep inducing method so we got a bonus late night walking tour of this very pretty island before joining the skipper to catch what sleep we could.

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On the town wall at Sandnes

Date:Aug. 14, 2017, 3:55 p.m.
Position:58 54.27 N, 5 45.52 E

We made a brief stop in Sandnes for a quick business meet up. An evening catch up with a local contact we made a little while ago took us out to their hobby farm as a nice change from our coastal cruising. We have loved the time spent in Western Norway and it is with a touch of sadness that we prepare to depart. The ever-changeable weather has scuttled our plans to enjoy a bit more time around this Stavanger region. The one and only weather opportunity to round the exposed South-west cape has opened up much sooner than originally forecast and a few real-world issues beckon us back to Copenhagen. We are determined to be back up here again, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Dragøya Island

Date:Aug. 13, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
Position:59 19.43 N, 5 20.50 E

A big day making the most of some favourable winds to head South. The morning's passage from our anchorage through the stokksundet has to be up there with some of the most scenic parts of this coast. The very expensive looking holiday homes along it suggest we are not the only ones to think so. Unfortunately as some of you have noted lately the quality/quantity of photos has dropped off. I am doing my best but my beloved camera is beginning to struggle. I am hoping that a clean and service will revive it when we get back to Denmark, as a full replacement is just not an option with our lean budget right now.

Our origiinal plan was to stop around Moster, before a small open water stretch that can be uncomfortable in the wrong conditions, but the weather forecast kept changing. As conditions were pretty good this afternoon we decided to make the hop now. We pulled in rather late to a quiet little spot south of Haugesund.

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Alongside at Teløy; Herding goats by boat

Date:Aug. 12, 2017, 3:05 p.m.
Position:59 55.46 N, 5 15.49 E

Only in Norway... After a couple of fun but noisy nights in Bergen we farewelled the town and enjoyed yet another scenic passage south. It was rainy but cleared as we pulled into one of the most glorious anchorages yet. It was not marked on our Udhavn map (Out harbours with Council provided facilities) and yet there was a little dock. As we were mulling around trying to work out if we were allowed to moor there or should just set the anchor, a farmer came past in his dinghy. He and his boarder collie were of course looking for their flock of goats. Now from what I understand herding goats can be challenging enough, let along trying to do via dinghy... but I suppose the Australian method of helicopter-herding would seem rather strange to the Norwegians. Anyway, he confirmed that the shiny new dock had just been installed two weeks ago, hence was not on the map but that we were free to make use of it.

As well pulled alongside a couple of camper-kayakers paddled in and we had a quick chat before they took off to set up camp for the night. It was getting rather late and as I saw them battling the wind with a runaway tent we decided to invite them to share the dinner I had made while sailing down, (a simple curry.) They elected to join us and we thought we were doing them a bit of a favour but that turned out not to be the case. Sensibly, they brought with them the bits of food for their intended meal that would not have kept. That turned out to be some red deer that they had of course hunted themselves and a huge tub of home-grown raspberries. A side dish of Thai curry was probably a little odd for this otherwise Norwegian-as-it-gets meal but it all tasted great and the company was even better. All up an unexpected but highly enjoyable evening.

The next morning we woke up to find the dock and surrounding rocks strewn with goats...

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Alongside the old town wall of Bergen

Date:Aug. 10, 2017, 12:48 p.m.
Position:60 23.76 N, 5 19.49 E

Bergen, once considered the historic capital, is bustling with tourists. We got lucky as a British yacht was leaving a spot alongside the old town wall that puts us in one of the most protected spots for the strong wind forecast tomorrow and out of the worst of the ferry wake. It does not protect us from the tourists however... and yes we are tourist too, but somehow the boat becomes part of the attractions. We have never experienced it quite so much as here, being outside on the boat becomes particularly social, especially when flying a flag from halfway across the globe and holding a baby.

We did however manage to get ashore and take a stroll through the historic timber buildings. Wonky and full of character, this area dates back to the 1100's and had the engineer on the hunt for the oldest looking piece of timber he could spot. The whole town is a magnificent jumble of old buildings, many in timber but also many grand stone and brick ones, indicating various boom times in history. We are looking forward to exploring a little more.

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Alongside at Kollevåg

Date:Aug. 9, 2017, 12:35 p.m.

After a bit of sightseeing and tidying up the boat we took off South with a gentle breeze taking us back down to Bergen. It was slow and comfortable running in flat seas in the lee of an island chain. The sun was out affording us glorious views back across the Mountain chains to the East. It was a somewhat busy shipping channel with some North sea oil and gas traffic, including what appeared to be a self propelled drilling platform which came straight towards us doing better speeds than we could manage. We still never worked out what was propelling it, we have seen them towed before but it was a novel thing to see.

In among stations servicing Norway's main industry and the occasional salmon farm we found another spectacular frihavn. This one features beaches, walks and a huge log hall. Unfortunately the weather deterred Mark from making the most of the bathing opportunities. We contemplated staying on to enjoy better weather here but with patchy internet and a strong wind forecast to pin us against the wall we decided to move on.

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Exploring North of Bergen, Alongside at Fedje

Date:Aug. 7, 2017, 8:51 p.m.
Position:60 46.95 N, 4 42.70 E

Today we followed what seemed like an impossible squiggle on a map that some local sailors shared with us. We barely got to meet them but were rafted up overnight. They took off early the next morning but we'd had a rough night with the baby not sleeping well so were lying in. When we finally did get up, we found they had kindly tucked an excellent map with a bunch of mark ups on it into our deck chair. We very much appreciated that, as we have said before there is just so much amazing coastline here it is really hard to know where to start.

In much of Norway the large rocky islands have been scoured deeply by the movement of ancient glaciers. Their paths are traced in the shapes on the maps. In this section the result is some spectacularly narrow but deep crevices in a NW-SE orientation that we can sail through for several miles. And so we followed the squiggle between silvery grey granite walls decked out with purple heather and green foliage. Summer homes are dotted about as we have come to expect but up here there are many which are run down, it seems like the weather is less forgiving up here.

We explored a lot of potential anchorages and routes but ended the day pulling into the Island of Fedje. We have decided that this is as far North as we will get this season. We would like to have time to enjoy the route south back to Denmark and stop at several places we missed on our way North. This rather quaint, brightly coloured timber fishing village will be fun to explore. There is a self driven cable ferry to cross from where we are moored to the central part of the village which we could not resist trying out this evening. We will sit out some southerly winds tomorrow and get some work done before catching some Northerlies south if the forecast holds.

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Just North of Bergen

Date:Aug. 6, 2017, 8:36 p.m.
Position:60 40.35 N, 5 6.50 E

Mark did take a swim but just to check the anodes, he was very swiftly out again! We took off and headed up avery scenic route past Bergen, deciding to stop on the way back as it was absolutely bucketing down with rain and was due to be worse the next day. We pulled into a bay that had an entrance the shape of our hull. It was very well protected from everything, including phone signal. Nevertheless it was a nice spot to wait out the downpour.

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Anchored out in the out harbours again

Date:Aug. 3, 2017, 8:53 a.m.
Position:60 3.42 N, 5 32.42 E

With poor weather on the forecast the planned long sail up the Hardanger Fjord and 2 day long trek up to see the glacier did not seem prudent. I am still not at full abdominal strength after the cesarean surgery, only one of us could go as it is too dangerous for the baby and Mark has hiked through glaciers before. It's a bit of a shame but you cannot do everything, besides it is a good excuse for coming back.

Instead we are making the most of what we can enjoy together, sometimes that is the little things. While the baby slept Mark and I sat down to lunch. It is ridiculous that this is the first time we can remember just having lunch since we got to Europe. No multitasking, guests, or rush. It has been so busy. That simple thing made us really appreaciate how much we needed the quiet week we have just had. Soon after we pushed off from the our generous friends dock and bid the sleepy village goodbye, a week later than originally planned. We snaked through narrow passages between spectacular islands as we made our way North and checked out a number of out-harbours (natural anchorages with council facilities) before settling on a particularly pretty one which we are sharing with just one other boat. There is a springboard hanging of a natual rock in one corner of the bay, Mark has promised to try it out if the sun joins us.

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Getting to know Høylandsbygd

Date:Aug. 2, 2017, 11:30 a.m.

With the bulk of our work done we have been enjoying some outings with the locals and getting to see real Norway. We have made a few friends here and they have been treating us to the local specialities which usually involve fish. Our generous host took Mark fishing local style to set some nets and the next morning they pulled in a great haul of Tørsk (Cod) and Flatfish. Having never fished with a net before it was nice to try it and the delicious results have filled the freezer.

One of our thoughtful new friends arranged for us to visit some historical boats at the local shipyard. The main feature is beautiful timber trading boat which was used to run lutefisk (dried salted cod otherwise know as bacalao) to the USA. One of the local shipbuilders Johannes, recused it from the bottom of the harbour and it is are being repaired with a view to creating a museum around it. A man in the village had also discovered the remains of the 'Halsnøy-Båten,' a boat that dates back to 100-300AD. That is pre-viking and one of the oldest in Scandinavia to feature oarlocks and sits in the Bergen museum. Johannes had spearheaded a group who build a reproduction. It is sewn together and the beautiful streamlined shape is not so different from classic timber boats that the Norwegians still build today known as Strandebarmen or Oselvar.

Johannes as we had been warned, it quite the collector. He has storage rooms filled with the makings of some fantastic maritime displays and has aspirations to build a museum. We spent a fun morning at the boat works climbing through them. His collecting habits extend beyond maritime and even his house was filled with various collections often nicely displayed, I particularly enjoyed seeing some traditional timber woodworked pieces. His basement is an Aladdins cave featuring his mineral and rock collection which is huge and attracts visitors in it's own right.

We have ended up staying far longer than planned here but this little spot, far removed from the tourist trail, has really been a highlight for us. Mark is so enamoured he has not-so-half-jokingly been checking out properties for sale in the area and drilling the locals with questions on the subject. We do however expect to be on the way again today... definitely tomorrow... Maybe.

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Langfossen Waterfall, docked at Høylandsbygd

Date:July 25, 2017, 10:57 a.m.
Position:59 47.26 N, 5 47.73 E

Deciding it was time to have a day off work and go sightseeing, we motored down Åkrafjorden to Langfossen, reputedly the 7th most beautiful waterfall in the world, and best in Eurasia. At over 600m tall, it did not disappoint. It is one of the few here which is in its natural state, (aside from the road at the bottom,) as many others are used for hydroelectricity. With no where to tie up or anchor in the very deep, steep sided fjord we headed out again. Realising we were passing right by a village where one of the locals we met at Romsa offered us a free berth at his private dock, we decided to take him up on it.

He had marked the spot on an old map and we are glad of it, as we may not have dared come in otherwise. For this little village is home to some substantial ship building and maintenance facilities through which you run a very narrow gauntlet to get to a pleasant little basin that is completely obscured from view. It is well protected and has very well priced marina but we were lucky enough to be on a private dock. Our new friend used to run a ship maintenance yard and still had his fathers waterside lot with a nicely build dock.

Quiet little Høylandsbygd proved to be exactly what we needed right now. For in the beautiful out-harbours the phone signal was not good enough for us to get our work done. While in the towns with good internet, you are usually tied up on a town wall or very publicly accessible marina in the heart of the action. It is awesome fun but not conducive to getting work done as the unusual sight of an Australian flagged ship in these parts, draws unexpected visitors. We look forward to being out socialising again soon but just need a few quiet days to get some things done first.

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Anchored at Romsa

Date:July 24, 2017, 10:23 a.m.

Once home to a population of about 60 this little island was purchased by the government so they could relocate the residents to be closer to schools and other facilities. Now it is home to a few sheep and a visitors in a nicely set up free harbour. Being larger and given there was enough room to swing, we anchored off to leave the dockside spots free for locals over the weekend.

We moved here in search of internet signal to get some work done. Unfortunately this is not, as many presume, a 4 year holiday. It is a change of lifestyle, which need funding. We still have to work, at least the office view is nice. In fact out here is has been amazing. The rainy west coast has lived up to its reputation but they get the waterfalls going and in between showers the weather is pleasant and the clouds make for long evolving sunsets. The locals gather ashore for evening drinks (Akvavit - schnapps) and we have joined them when the third crew member is amenable to it.

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Anchored at Borgundoya

Date:July 20, 2017, 4:09 p.m.
Position:59 42.29 N, 5 42.57 E
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The winds around southern Norway were strong SE which bent around the mountains creating perfect SSE winds departing Haugesund. The winds then further bent around and into the Hardanger fjord so that we had Southerly winds following us up the fjord. As we went deepering into the fjord the winds died away and we anchored up for the night in the almost perfect natural harbour at the southern end of Borgundoya.

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Alongside the town wall in Haugesund

Date:July 17, 2017, 3:59 p.m.
Position:59 24.74 N, 5 16.05 E
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After having not been in a marina since leaving Sangdefjord near Oslo last week, we needed to get some water and groceries. We tied up to the wall in front of the restaurants and bars along the town waterfront about 300m north of the bridge.

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Enjoying Norwegian council facilities

Date:July 15, 2017, 9:01 p.m.
Position:59 17.96 N, 5 27.62 E
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We took off a little bit too early for a wind shift and had to motor into a head wind for a little while once it swung and we enjoyed a nice sail to our next perfect anchorage. This one is a very popular spot with council facilities that rival expensive marinas. No showers this time but a series of docks, BBQ areas and covered seating are occupied by the Norwegians enjoying their weekend. We managed to get the local technique just right this time, dropping the stern anchor and then nosing up to tie perpendicular to the dock. We are spaced perfectly from the dock and the neighbouring boats so we are just held off without touching, first go.

The locals came and helped us tie on which was much appreciated. We have noticed the Swedes and the Norwegians do this as we are used to elsewhere in the world. It seems to just be a Danish thing not to. For the Danes to be self sufficient and skilled enough to get yourself into their tricky Baltic moorings is a source of pride and on some occasions we have been made to feel like we’ve offended someone by offering assistance. Well for us, still getting used to this tight and unusual manoeuvring we appreciate it very much. Plus it gives us the chance to chat with the locals, who are generally very friendly albeit more reserved than their neighbours. We have been grateful to get a few tips from some of the boaters we have moored up with because this coast is just so amazing and there are anchorages everywhere, you would need three lifetimes to explore it all thoroughly, so some pointed advice is particularly welcome.

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Tied to a rock in "The Blue Lagoon"

Date:July 14, 2017, 8:57 p.m.
Position:59 13.75 N, 5 48.15 E
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After a couple of relaxing days at an anchorage featuring council provided hot water showers which were better than most marinas we have been to, we decided it was time to go exploring. Unfortunately it was a motoring day but had the lure of a nearby place known locally as the Blue Lagoon. It was actually green and features a rocky entrance which at first look seems unpassable in a keel boat, despite guidebook assurances to the contrary. If we had come to the anchorage mid-week when it was likely to be empty, I am not sure if we would have attempted it. As it was Friday evening, there were a handful of vessels including a pair of keel boats already anchored inside. Nevertheless Mark felt it prudent to sound out the entrance, we carry paper and 2 types of electronic charts, yet there are times when nothing beats the old leadline.

The crystal clear water clarity also gave us more confidence and in the end it was a fairly easy dogleg in around the rocks. The lagoon is bordered one side by a tall cliff and enclosed by rocks and islands. The whole area is rather shallow and sandy. The water was a bit warmer and many locals were enjoying a dip. For the first time we (finally) manage to tie up to a rock local style. (We did not get to use our Swedish rock anchors as there was a big eyelet embedded in the rock as is often the case at popular spots here.) It went very smoothly in the end and we marvel at how comfortable we have become with snuggling up to the rocky shores here. We enjoyed a bit of a bush walk and a very comfortable night.

The next morning the glorious sunshine even temped Mark into the water to check the state of the anodes and hull, we had managed to gently kiss a rock when checking out another possible anchorage the day before. We never really expected to get through a season cruising these parts without hitting a rock at some point but the hull remains in pretty good shape. The waterline gets hairy quickly but little else grows, it has been over 2 years since we last hauled out in New Zealand yet the antifouling is holding up really well in the colder water. It was tempting to stay at this beautiful place but the wind is expected to come up from the South which is a little exposed in this spot. The phone signal is pretty patchy here and though that is a good thing for the most part, we have a little business which needs attending to, so will head off in search of another spot for tonight.

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Anchored at Langoy, near Stavanger

Date:July 11, 2017, 3:40 p.m.
Position:59 0.46 N, 5 46.19 E
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After dropping off our guest in the city we are now anchored at another of the free anchorage space near Stavanger. The facilities are incredible including free water, toilets and even hot showers. The weather will hem us into this region for a little while. Fortunately for us it is very beautiful.

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Alongside at the head of the Lysefjord

Date:July 10, 2017, 8:35 p.m.
Position:59 3.31 N, 6 38.70 E
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We tossed up options that included getting a bus up to do the hike to the Preikestolen - 'Preachers Chair' an amazing rock formation that hangs over the Lysefjord which draws a big crowd. With the weather threatening to be less than ideal and the baby to consider, we decided to motor the length of what is supposed to be the second most beautiful Fjord in Norway instead. It is a 20nm trip and indeed quite spectacular. We could see huge crowds gathered on the Preachers Chair as we passed underneath, although only a few of the ant like figures appeared brave enough to go right to the edge. With steep drops offs we were able to skim breathtakingly close to the walls of the Fjord and some of her spectacularly large waterfalls.

The journey down Lysefjord brought back memories of our time in one of our favourite cruising experiences, New Zealand's Fiordland. There are some big differences however. Overall the landscape is a bit taller and the Fjord larger as well as longer. The vegetation is slightly different and generally a little less wild. Infrastructure for the large hydro-electric plant, townships and pockets of holiday homes dot the scenery, while high speed ferries and tourist boats charge up and down.

Part way along we pulled into the town of Florli to rendezvous with another Australian yacht who we have been in touch with through the online sailing community. With the restrictions of a three month Schengen visa that have been forced to do a much abbreviated version of the same route we have done since Southern Holland. The boys also wanted to make it to the head of the Fjord in time to catch a lift with the base jumpers up to another walk among the clouds to an amazing rock formation. So we had a limited time to catch up face to face but it was great to hang out with the first Aussie sailors we've met since leaving Africa. Incredibly the only two yachts in the Fjord that day were Australian.

It is free to stay alongside the town wall, but you really need to watch for the wash from the approaching high speed ferry in the mornings and afternoons. (Times are posted on the boards.) There is a little settlement built around tourism and a couple of basics as well as some not-unreasonably priced pizza can be got from the cafe. The boys hitched a ride up 27 switchbacks above the cloud line to start the trek to Kjeragbolten a huge bolder wedged in a crack of the 1000m vertical rockface overlooking the fjord. In the icy we conditions they wisely did not go stand on it but it was breathtaking nonetheless.

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Anchored in Laadervig, near Stavanger

Date:July 9, 2017, 8:32 p.m.
Position:58 59.34 N, 5 59.59 E
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Long cold day of sailing in the North Sea in light winds and rain. Gennaker run up the exposed SW coast of Norway.

The infamous North sea was kind to us today and though a short sea made it less than comfortable, we had a pretty good run. We covered a lot of miles arriving in the Stavanger area late in the evening. Another pretty anchorage with council facilities which appeared to include recycling!

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Anchored in Skadbergsvagen, Egersund

Date:July 7, 2017, 8:27 p.m.
Position:58 28.25 N, 5 54.86 E
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Anchored for the next 36 hours while some northerly wind blows past.

As we rounded the Southern most point of Norway the mist and rain closed in on cue. Many times we have been warned of the rainy West Coast but it was still a bit of a surprise to see so many of the Norwegian flagged yachts heading East today, especially as they would be battling a headwind but admittedly, it is the weekend and they likely have limited time to chase the sun.

We pulled into the Egersund to relax while waiting out some unfavourable winds. We were all a bit tired from the long days of sailing so abandoned the idea of the town marina when we saw the large marquee of a music festival set up right next to it. We figured we could come back tomorrow evening once rested if we felt like participating.

Instead we found one of the many nearby anchorages that have been set up with little docks, rubbish disposal, WC, BBQ's and play areas by the local council. All free to use, amazing. There were a few other boats pulled alongside the docks and the steeper rock faces but there was also room for swing anchoring and as it was late in the evening we took the easy option. After all we have a very easy and quick method of deploying our dinghy unlike most of the local boats, so better to leave the shoreside spots free for them. Indeed, there are some boats who don't really carry the equipment to swing anchor or even a dinghy. We have seen quite a few pool-toys used as dinghies in these parts.

The next day Mark took a walk ashore with his daughter strapped to his chest, she loves going for walks like this to take in all the new and interesting things. He quickly came back to gather Myself and our guest as he had found a very scenic walking trail along an old railway line. We enjoyed a late afternoon trek through huge rock formations and past trout filled lakes. The landscape has changed to become more rugged and wild. The softer beech and oak foliage of the east coast is giving way to the wind twisted, scruffier pines and conifer over here. Wildflowers, mosses and ferns cover the rain drenched earth. Although the landscape is still studded with holiday homes and quaint villages it feels less like the humans have mastery here. It is beginning to look increasingly like postcard Norway.

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Anchored in Stokksund after some extremely picturesque motoring

Date:July 6, 2017, 12:35 p.m.
Position:58 6.49 N, 8 6.48 E
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All motoring today as we position ourselves to get around to the West coast, but it was the best kind, in complete protection winding through beautiful waterways, summer home studded islands and quaint villages. We passed what one guide book called the "Venice of Norway" which completely mis-represented a place with it's own special beauty, it needed no false comparisons.

We passed through more impossibly narrow gaps but now the rock sides are getting steeper and increasingly spectacular. The locals often stare at us which is very unnerving as we tackle these shallow, narrow passes, we keep wondering if they are not sized for our boat, but eventually the Norwegians wave at us (as opposed to waving us away!) We otherwise spend the day arguing over which quaint little (or indeed not so little,) summer cottage we would prefer. Now tucked up in another spectacular sheltered anchorage for a relaxing afternoon after our very early start.

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Swing anchored at Bommen - failed attempt at rock anchoring #2

Date:July 5, 2017, 7:50 p.m.
Position:58 43.51 N, 9 15.42 E
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The marina at Sandefjord got a little rowdy last night and I was planning to level some stink eye at the little power boat that pulled up beside us last night, waved to me holding the baby and then later began blasting music at 0130 in the morning, waking the baby who I had just gotten back to sleep. I am not denying their right to a party but the large guest marina was almost empty, they could have pulled up anywhere. Karma was way ahead of me however.

Mark was doing a last minute top up of the water tank before we headed off to make the most of a light early morning breeze. Turns out the water pressure at Sandefjord guesthavn is rather good. The hose went snaking off, waving about in the air before landing right in the small opening of the hatch of the noisy power boat. Mark was mortified and apologetic but they were so hung over and confused we think they though it was rain. There must have been a bucket of water dumped on them. sorrynotsorry.

Anyway after that exciting start we took off and enjoyed a glorious sail which included a spinnaker run along the coast. Again we had a nice sunny day with a cool breeze. The wind was forecast to turn onto the nose as Mark noticed many of the yachts we had been sailing alongside turning into a channel. We deduced they we heading to Bommen, which they guidebooks raved about and so we decided to join them.

It is a beautiful little anchorage within some rocky islands. We decided to attempt rock anchoring again but our stern anchor did not hold so we had to quickly abandon. Fortunately the anchorage had not yet filled up so we had room to swing anchor instead but mark is determined that we will get this working one day.

A friendly local swung by and pointed out a place with enough depth and length that we could lie along side the rock face (!?!) but by then we had the anchor nicely set so we will try it another time. There is a nice little boatclub (with ice creams and a BBQ area) and we even got a little visit from some of the natives who have a summer house overlooking this picture perfect spot.

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Sandefjord to pick up crew

Date:July 4, 2017, 7:45 p.m.
Position:59 7.50 N, 10 13.82 E
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We got a really early start (3am!) to sail to Sandefjord. It was a beautiful bright evening an we had a nice run through some pretty channels and past quaint towns. Sandefjord was avery convenient stop with a marina in the heart of town and many shops nearby. Our kiwi mate found us easily enough.

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Kinnartangen anchorage - with half of Oslo

Date:June 30, 2017, 11:50 p.m.
Position:59 39.99 N, 10 34.90 E
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After the chaos of co-ordinating with three sets of guests we departed the city late in the afternoon, as the breeze began to ease. It had been a blustery but sunny day which made our harbour sail tour and multiple drop of points a little more hectic than planned. We also multi-tasked by dropping some members at a fuel dock near the museum they wanted to visit and topped up our tanks. Norway is relatively inexpensive for diesel in Europe, in theory we also qualify to get the tax back but with almost no non-EU boats visiting they seem to have no systems set up to actually do this...

The nice settled wind floated us and half of the Oslo fleet, south down the huge Oslofjord. It was a beautiful sight to see the waters dotted with a goose-winged flock, in the long low light of a sunny summer Friday evening. Too bad it wasn't to last and about 9pm the wind died and we had to hoist the iron sail. The original plan was to sail as far south down the fjord as possible to be near an airport for another guest's arrival in a couple of days. Mark however, noticed a cluster of boats on the AIS is a beautiful looking bay and since we were motoring anyway we decided to join them. It is a stunning spot, and clearly where the party is at, for the place is packed. We may even stay on a bit to explore.

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Aker Brygge Marina, Oslo

Date:June 27, 2017, 8:35 a.m.
Position:59 54.59 N, 10 41.74 E
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As Cat's sister had an early (5am) flight out from Oslo airport we decided that staying at Aker Brygge Marina was a more affordable option than staying at cheaper marinas and catching taxis and such.

Actually, if you plan to spend a day walking around the city and seeing the sites of Oslo then Aker Brygge (which is nearly twice the price of any other harbours) is actually almost the same price as staying out in a cheaper harbour and catching the bus/ferry/train in to the city.

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Made it to Oslo

Date:June 26, 2017, 9:34 p.m.
Position:59 52.45 N, 10 34.97 E
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Wow... After a long day of mostly motoring we made it down the Oslofjord into city set upon a natural harbour that rivals Sydney. Never thought we'd ever say that.

You could spend a lifetime exploring the Swedish Archipelago, the North was lush, green and steeper. Mark kept salivating over all the well protected anchorages after a winter spent in flat Denmark. But we have had to accept that we cannot see everything and this summer is just a taste. It is pretty exciting to have made it to Norway and Oslo is a really lovely city. After arriving late we anchored for the night and then moved to Dronningen Marina which was a really nice spot tucked behind a castle and near several of the best museums. We particularly enjoyed the Fram arctic exploration museum and strolling around the posh neighbourhood in the glorious sun.

The next day we relocated to Aker Brygg, expensive but really well located in the city central for a day of exploring there. With guests both coming and going we have ended up splashing out to stay here another night but will definately move off tomorrow. The city is absolutely buzzing with Pride celebrations, tourists and locals out enjoying the fantastic weather. Alas it is not forecast to last, but the projected grey will bring favorable winds to carry us back out of the fjord.

So far the baby has handled life afloat very well, she did not however, handle life ashore so well and was much displeased with the stifling heat of the city on a sunny 22 degree day... how are we ever going to take the viking child back to Australia!

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Hiding from the wind near Strömstad

Date:June 24, 2017, 8:42 p.m.
Position:58 54.97 N, 11 11.87 E
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Thought we would sneak in a few miles this morning before the wind came up, but ended up regretting that... The sea state really kicked up quickly and the wind angle was different to the forecast so we soon motored into a protected spot among the close network of islands, right near the coast South of Strömstad. Likely to be here hiding from the wind for a few days and putting the rattled contents of cupboards back together. Baby seemed to think it was fun but was a little upset that Dad was too busy for cuddles. Some friendly locals dropped by with a bag of fresh caught Mackerel, a lovely and welcome suprise as we have yet to try fresh Mackerel. A good sign that this will be a nice spot to spend a couple of days.


Elisabeth: Hello! We hope the fish tasted good. We saw you leaving thid morning. We are heading back to Stockholm in à car (boring). Two kids are wery sad. They would like to stay in paradise. Have a nice sail and hope you like the Norweigain fjords. They are amasing! June 26, 2017, 7:04 p.m.

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Fjällbacka for midsummer festivities

Date:June 23, 2017, 8:27 p.m.
Position:58 45.92 N, 11 10.51 E
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We got up early to head through the Hamburgo canal and up to Fjällbacka to participate in traditional Swedish Midsummers festivities. The landscape is getting more and more spectacular as the rocks soar higher out of the water and we wind through the narrow channels. Increasingly boats we pass are flying the Norwegian flag.

The Swedes say that the weather at midsummer is often the same as midwinter, and after many beautiful days we were indeed expecting rain. So it was festive garlands and rain jackets all round, not that a little rain was ever going to stop the Swedes enjoying the day. Before the maypole-like dancing in the public square we did a quick climb up the large rocky peak around which the little village wraps, for fantastic view across the islands. Then we cozied in at a cafe surrounding the square to enjoy the afternoon with the obligatory glass of Akvavit.

The marina was rather busy and a bit exposed for the forecast winds, so we headed up to another spot off an island at the mouth of Sannasfjorden. It was up here the lush, steep sided forests have begun.

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Heading North, Sotekanalen

Date:June 22, 2017, 11:56 a.m.
Position:58 30.78 N, 11 15.84 E
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We are continuing North while the weather is good and trying to work out which town to bunker down in for the poor weather this weekend as well as to enjoy the traditional midsummer festivities. As we were passing one of the options, reputedly the oldest fishing village in Sweden, a fully loaded powerboat came up behind us and slowed down. We thought perhaps we were blocking the very narrow channel too much so tried to scooch over a bit. Turns out that was not the problem, they just needed a moment to cue up some music. They then overtook us singing "I come from a land down under" at the top of their lungs. We thought that was pretty cool.

We traveled through the impossibly thin windy Sotekanalen (the Sote canal) waving to locals lounging in the sun outside their holiday homes. Much of it is national park and the further we go the more significant the vegetation seems to be getting. We found a lovely but popular anchorage at Ulon island. Good thing we are here before midsummers eve, one suspects this could get extremely crowded.


Krause Søren: The oldest fishing village must be Møllesund ????But where is Bringelbarsh Island? Hope you have the best time in the best cruising area in the wold. Wish we were there. Soren June 22, 2017, 2:09 p.m.

Krause Søren: The oldest fishing village must be Møllesund ????But where is Bringelbarsh Island? Hope you have the best time in the best cruising area in the wold. Wish we were there. Soren June 22, 2017, 2:09 p.m.

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Anchored at Bringelbarsh overnight

Date:June 21, 2017, 11:31 a.m.
Position:57 58.94 N, 11 32.16 E
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As nice as Gothenburg is, it is still a city and we are loving being out of the cities these days. So as soon as possible we headed back out to the islands. We had a lovely sail up through Marstrand, which with its hilltop fort was even more spectacular than everyone promised. Sailing through the impossibly narrow channels between rock islands, it is so counterintuitive... and then a ferry passes you. With the long bright sunny day and good sailing conditions, we continued past one picturesque town after another, ending up anchoring near Bringelbarsh Island.

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Lille Bommen, Gothenburg

Date:June 20, 2017, 11:19 a.m.
Position:57 42.70 N, 11 57.85 E
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Sailing down the channel into Gothenburg was rather picturesque. The city boasts some rather grand buildings and the Architect on board had the camera clicking away for much of the journey. It is quite a large city but a marina in the centre was incredibly handy to all facilities albeit on the pricy side. My sister and her partner flew in for a visit and we enjoyed a couple of days catch up before he had to head back to Australia.

My sister has managed to extend her trip and will join us for a bit longer, perhaps even as far as Oslo, the perks of working for an airline.

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Anchored at Kungso near Vrango

Date:June 18, 2017, 10:18 a.m.
Position:57 33.36 N, 11 46.75 E
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Last night we wound through the islands and checked out a few spots before deciding to join half of the Gothenburg pleasure boating fleet at Kungso. It is easy to see why this nature reserve 6nm South of the big city is such a popular anchorage. We enjoyed a post dinner stroll ashore in the lingering sunset.

Although completely surrounded by rocks we have been surprised to find fairly flat bottoms with excellent holding. It turns out the area boast an ice-aged gift of magnificent clay. Even among the seagrass the anchor holds nicely and comes up clean, a huge change from the light layers of soft smelly silt of the Roskilde fjord we had begun to refer to as viking poo.

The Australian flag gets quite a few second glances but unlike the Danish sailing community where some would sail close by and yell "Hvor komme du fra?" or approach us for a chat dockside, the Swedes have been much more reserved. Indeed even the coastguard vessel who appeared to alter course for a closer look did not engage with us. It is the same in this anchorage where it can be a little hard to even get them to stiffly wave back though they are passing only meters away. Perhaps it is just because it is the weekend crowd looking to escape from he big city, otherwise everyone we have dealt with has been exceptionally friendly.

This morning the Swedes were all jumping off their boats into the 18 degree water naked, we elected not to join them, it is sunny enough but there is still a cold breeze. We are soaking up the Southern Island group before we pick up relatives in Gothenburg and heading North.

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Anchored at Styrso

Date:June 17, 2017, 10:02 a.m.
Position:57 36.73 N, 11 45.33 E
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Last night we joined our new Dutch/Swedish friends with the Seafinn, around at Styrso, not only is this a beautiful spot but it provided better protection in the winds we were expecting overnight. They spoilt us with a lovely dinner featuring local prawns, which are very large by the standards here but kind of small by Australian standards. They were however incredibly tasty, some of the sweetest I have ever enjoyed. One of my all-time favourite foods actually, but I cannot remember the last time I sat down to a big bowl of them like this, probably back in Australia.

Today began the weekend and with sunny weather the Swedes came out in full force at the swimming platforms. The Anchorage quickly filled and boats were rafted up on the few moorings and tied up to the rocks. Mark decided to help out our new friends by going up their mast to check a piece of loose rigging, much more fun than his computer simulation...

The three of us enjoyed a walk ashore through the beech forest and a disbelieving look at all the Swedes who seem to think it is Copacabana. The water temperature has only just hit 18 degrees and the outside air temp is not that much higher! Thankfully the sun is glorious and it is a nice reward for the long dark winter. It never really gets dark overnight now and even at 2am in the morning there is a bright glow on the horizon, which I know for a fact courtesy of the baby.

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Anchored near Stora Kanso

Date:June 14, 2017, 9:38 a.m.
Position:57 37.80 N, 11 45.90 E
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We spent a few nights at Okero as Mark had some work to do and the winds were pretty strong. These are quite remarkable islands, incredibly rocky and yet pockets of fertile soil keep them amazingly lush. Amongst all this are dotted steep roofed timber cottages and friendly Swedes. Our lovely neighbours had a Seafinn which is incredibly similar to a Nauticat having been produced by a breakaway team of Nauticat employees. With plans to sail abroad soon we had a lot to talk about and Mark even ended up doing some work on their rigging tensioning for them. They helped us out tremendously with the loan of a local guidebook when the little chandlery we had pinned our hopes on had nothing.

We also had no luck finding a set of rock anchors so had to do a bit of searching in these rocky little islands to find an anchorage. The theory is that you drop your stern anchor off 3-4 boat lengths off a rock face, nose up to the land and set these pieces of bent metal into the cracks of the rock. It certainly takes some local knowledge, we attempted it in a spot that was supposed to have enough depth and even had some permanent set metal rings in the rock but we gently found the bottom and had to abandon. We tried a few places but in the late evening light eventually settled on this spot near Stora Kanso a military base and a short dinghy ride from Styrso.

Styrso is a beautiful car-fee island of quaint villages and pockets of beech forest. We had a nice walk around and took a look at an anchorage on the other side which will be more suitable for coming winds than our current spot. Our bad Danish is getting a bit of a work out but it is surprising how much Swedish we can understand and indeed make ourselves understood. Of course they soon switch to english for us which they speak almost as competently as the Danes but with their delightful bouncy accent.

As we walked down one street we came across the unmistakable bristling house of a Ham radio operator, who happened to be out in his garden. We had a lovely chat, turns out he is retired from the Ham stuff but still works in monitoring. (Having come so far with our long distance SSB radio we are big fans of these guys and the work they do.) He also was able to shed some light on the midsummer festivities that will happen in most communities next week at the summer solstice. We are really looking forward to participating in that if we can manage to find ourselves in the right place.

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Ockero harbour

Date:June 11, 2017, 7:44 p.m.
Position:57 42.32 N, 11 39.55 E
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With a 0530 start we made good time in a steady breeze up the West coast of Sweden. The winds were a bit lighter than forecast so we even had the gennaker up again for a spell, but this time no engine.

It was pretty spectacular once we got to the Southern islands of the archipelago and now we really feel like we are cruising and exploring again. In spite of the close proximity to Denmark, Sweden has a very different flavour. Winding through some of the amazingly narrow channels is really incredible, even on a rainy grey day, we are super excited to have made it out here.

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Alongside in tiny Glommen

Date:June 10, 2017, 7:14 p.m.
Position:56 55.83 N, 12 12.11 E
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As we had been warned it can be a short choppy sea in these very shallow waters but after a few hours the wind eased a little, which calmed the sea state but also meant we could get the gennaker up and with all that power we were pulled comfortably along. So comfortably in fact that we decided to head just a bit further to get to the Swedish mainland directly. We have heard lovely things about Anholt but it is not very well protected and with a very strong wind forecast for Monday we could not stay out there long enough to actually see much of it. So instead we will do a couple of extra hours sailing. Unfortunately the wind died right of so that extra 2-3 hours turned out to be under motor.

We pulled into the tiny harbour at Glommen under a blazing pink and orange sunset. We were very grateful for the light winds in order to manoeuvre. It is not really set up for boats of our size and in hindsight we should probably have pulled alongside the fisherman's wall. But we did not want to inconvenience any working boats that might come in late and it was a bit late at night for us to call around to arrange anything. So we made do but will need to have an early start to avoid getting pinned in here in the stronger winds forecast tomorrow.

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Anchored at the mouth of the Roskilde Fjord

Date:June 9, 2017, 7:54 p.m.
Position:55 56.29 N, 11 57.91 E
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With a good forecast we were impatient to get sailing. We had decided to head for Anholt, an island in the middle of the Kattegat and hop from there to the Swedish Archipelago on the West coast near Gothenburg. With more family coming to visit we have run out of time to go to the Limfjord in the North of Denmark for now but hope to come back that way later in the season. The bridge at Frederikssund first opens at 0630 and originally we planned to spend another night at Frederikssund and catch that first opening. The forecast was shaping up nicely but it was going to be a long day so we decided to take advantage of the incredibly bright nights to shave off a few hours. So we anchored at the mouth of Roskilde Fjord in preparation for setting out into the Kattegat.

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A night back at Frederikssund

Date:June 8, 2017, 7 p.m.
Position:55 50.06 N, 12 2.48 E
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We sailed downwind on a lovely breeze through the incredibly narrow and shallow channels of the Roskilde fjord to spend the night alongside at Frederikssund. The access to shops here is amazing but it was the nearby train station that drew us here. Friday morning I travelled back to Copenhagen for a check up to get the all-clear on the baby's hip dysplasia treatment. The doctor was happy and so we are finally free to go cruising for a while. Mark has got himself set up to work remotely for our Copenhagen clients while we sail and the weather forecast is looking good. We are more than a little excited to get moving again.

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Anchored in Kattinge Bay (Roskilde)

Date:June 4, 2017, 12:46 p.m.
Position:55 40.20 N, 12 1.66 E
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On Saturday the wind dropped enough that we were able to come alongside in the Frederikssund harbour. 150DKK per night including electricity (10DKK extra for showers).

The harbour has some of the best access to shopping that we have ever come across... we were trying to think back to better provisioning stops than this one and only Woolworths supermarket on the waterfront in Batemans Bay, New South Wales and the Super U in Grande Bay Mauritius come close... but I still think the Føtex Frederikssund is probably the best we've ever come across. About 30 to 40 meters from your boat is a very large Føtex shopping center with anything you could want. Its not the cheapest supermarket chain, but the location alongside your boat is priceless.

On Sunday (Whitsunday) we decided it was another week before we needed to head into CPH for another of Raf's medical checks to we thought we'd use the time to explore the Roskilde fjord a little. We had heard there is a very beautiful anchorange in a bay just 3 miles from Roskilde itself, "Kattinge Vig" (Vig = Cove). We headed down there and were not disappointed. The anchorage is in a pleasant bay with heavy woodland/forest to the South providing good shelter to winds from the West through to NE. The entire basin that the bay is located in is not so large, so we were still able to anchor well in NW winds of about 14 knots (on the gribs), where the sea had about 1nm of fetch across the basin.

With winds from the south the anchorage is sublime with good shelter due to the dense forest, with many walking trails and camping spots throughout which make for a pleasant walk.

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Anchored at Frederikssund

Date:June 1, 2017, 10:50 a.m.
Position:55 50.06 N, 12 2.48 E
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We must apologise to those who received multiple copies from our last post. Something went wrong with the website and issued many emails for the single post.

After our eventful day in Holbæk we moved down to Frederikssund and the Roskilde fjord where we are able to swing on anchor for a good bit of wind that was forecast for the next few days. We anchored in 4 meters of good holding mud directly across from the center of Frederikssund. There is incredibly good access to shopping and provisioning in this little town/village which is a suburban satellite town of Copenhagen. All the major supermarkets are here within 200 meters of the water and there are 3 major hardware stores about 800 meters from the waters edge.

Our anchor held nicely during some pretty strong winds with gusts to 40 knots at times. It only popped out once in a particularly bad gust and did not re-set itself but we quickly got the anchor up and reset despite the strong wind and a baby under the arm.

We were glad we made the choice to anchor as the harbour in Frederikssund looked absolutely horrible under a Westerly wind. For some strange reason they had decided to make the harbour open to the West without a breakwater. West being the prevailing wind here in Denmark means that a lot of the time there is about a 1-mile fetch of chop across the fjord that comes straight into the harbour. This is probably fine (and just a bit of a nuicance) when the wind is less than 20-knots, but when it is gusting to 40 there was actually whitewater breaking over the dock. We would have been pinned against a lee wall and stuck there, something I generally try to avoid.

I think many of the locals find it quite odd that we prefer to anchor out rather than make use of the (many) harbours which are around the coast. Indeed, part of the experience and "charm" of sailing in Europe is this "harbour hopping" where each harbour has its own village/town and local experience. Due to the population density, small distances (and the few thousands of years head-start they have had in building here) there works out to be a harbour approximately every 5 miles around the coast of Denmark and Sweden. So you are never further than about 30 minutes sailing from a good harbour.

However, the harbours are generally quite small and very tightly packed with "Baltic style" mooring where you have to awkwardly jump off the bowsprit. Most of the harbours are designed for smaller weekend sailing boats around the 30 foot length with low freeboard and windage. Therefore, manouvering a large bluewater cruising boat into these tiny harbours can be a major headache which I only dare to attempt in relatively calm wind. Then, once we are in, we have the reverse problem of getting back out, and if the wind is much of 15 knots (ie a perfect sailing breeze), getting out can be a huge risk with potential to damage our own as welll as other boats if we get caught by a gust in a small space.

We also find it more comfortable to swing on anchor in a strong breeze, as when we are in the harbour the wind will often hit us on the beam causing us to lean, bounce and rub our fenders against other boats. We have often wondered why we are bouncing around in a harbour rubbing up against other boats while paying $50AUS per night for the privelige.

On anchor we are further from hard-things and surrounded by soft-water which is what boats generally prefer. We also have invested a lot of money in chain, rode and 4 good anchors, so it makes sense to use them when we can.

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Too much excitement for one day.

Date:May 29, 2017, 5:37 p.m.

I was just hanging out my towel on the back deck to dry after a shower and contemplating how quiet the beautiful little harbour at Hornbæk was the monday after a long weekend. There were only three occupied boats in the guest area and I saw only a single man on the other side of the harbour at the front of his boat. Here, as with most of Denmark, they use a baltic style of mooring, where you lie perpendicular to the dock, hopping off from the bow and setting stern lines out to a mooring buoy or posts. As I turned to head back into the boat I heard a tremendous splash and when I looked back, I could not see the man, until I looked in the water and saw him floating face down in a pool of blood.

I screamed at Mark to call an ambulance (which I confess was only programmed in the phone because of my recent pregnancy,) and ran to the other side of the harbour as fast as I could. Mark had the baby strapped onto his chest so even though he would have been a faster runner, I knew it had to be me. It seemed so far away and no one else was in earshot. When I dove into the water I realised what a big guy he was, finally I managed to turn him over but my stomach dropped when I saw his completely blue face. I think that will haunt me forever, it could only have taken me a minute to get to him but he was such a deep shade of blue and white, I though I was holding a corpse.

I tried resuscitation in the water, (mostly just compressions,) it is damn hard to do it there but I did not think we had enough time to get him ashore. Furthermore even with Mark on his way I did not think the two of us could have gotten him out, though I have healed very well I still have little abdominal strength from the emergency cesarean section 11 weeks ago. Mark managed to find a lady nearby to hold the baby and continue to talk to the emergency services on the phone. Thankfully by the time he jumped in to help, I had managed to get the man breathing (and throwing up a lot of seawater.)

The poor guy was pretty out of it, it was a nasty head wound. He panicked as is often the case, I recall from my water safety training, and I had to use my best soothing Danish to stop us both from drowning. He did not know who or where he was and yet he could still talk to me in English. (How am I ever going to master this language when the Danes can speak perfect English even under these circumstances!)

I swam him to the rocky breakwater and Mark helped to get him propped up half out of the water. The local emergency response guys arrived incredibly quickly. Thankfully it was two burly viking types who were able to get him out in time for the paramedics team. I did not even notice it in all the chaos but a medivac helicopter landed on the beach also! They did not use it in the end which I am taking as a good sign. They said he was stable, so will hopefully recover.

We had planned to be in the Roskilde fjord this evening but the Harbourmaster generously offered us an extra night here gratis. At first we were going to press on due to the weather but the forecast has eased and we could use an extra night after all that excitement. Thanks to everyone for your concerns but Mark, the baby and I are all perfectly fine, the water temperature was not so bad and the emergency response guys were impressively fast. I suffered no damage beyond some very minor oyster cuts to the feet.

Everyone keeps asking how I feel, in a word, relieved. Relieved that the wind came up early yesterday and we ended up turning into Hornbæk. Relieved that I happened to be outside at the time and nosily looking about at our neighbours. Relieved that my first aid and water saftety training helped me to know what to do. Relieved at how quickly and efficiently the Danish emergency services responded. And I will be completely relieved when I have heard he has made a full recovery but after loosing friends in the Australian sailing community exactly the same way, I am glad we could help give him a chance.

UPDATE: Later that evening I bumped into the son of the man and was so very glad to find out that he is doing well and the outlook for him is very positive. I feel like a huge weight is lifted. Never thought I would ever have to use first aid and water safety training in reality but I am damn glad for having done it. I hope to never have to use it again.


Viki Moore: Oh wow! So lucky you were there watching and could help! Fantastic. I hope you are all ok. May 29, 2017, 6:43 p.m.

Allan Andersen: It was an honnor to sit and talk to u in your boar after rescue had left - the two of u was 'hey, get in and get a cup of coffee, mate'. Wow, how the both of u could be som calm after that experince....never seen before :-) I know that i speak on behalf of all locals when i say: thank god that u were there. U can see my article - in the strange danish langue - buit there is video + pictures :-D Again - its been an honor to meet so great people as Catherine, Mark & Junior Allan Andersen News Photographer May 29, 2017, 8 p.m.

Allan Andersen: May 29, 2017, 8 p.m.

Lynne n Vern: Amazing effort Cat and Mark. Brilliant that you were on deck Cat and were able to respond. Hope those oyster cuts are healing. Very impressive all round..xx May 30, 2017, 9:33 p.m.

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Berthed in Hornbæk Habour

Date:May 28, 2017, 5:17 p.m.
Position:56 5.60 N, 12 27.40 E
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The light southerly winds continued this morning so we took the opportunity to leave the Øresund and start heading around towards the Roskilde fiord. This is a well protected natural harbour which was historically a base for the Vikings. It is still a fantastic natural harbour where we would like to base ourselves for the next few weeks while Rafs medical checks get sorted out. There are many anchoring opportunities in the fiord and, more importantly, good public transport (train) connections to Copenhagen from two town along the fiord: Frederikssund and Roskilde.

We had an easy 2 or 3 hour sail on light southerly winds up from Ven. We intended to make Gilleleje harbour on the northern tip of the island, but the wind changed against us a little earlier than forecast so we pulled in for the night to the tiny and pituresque harbour of Hornbæk.

Anchoring on this stretch of coast, exposed to the large expanse of water known as the Kattegat is recommended only in very settled conditions with a certain forecast of southerly winds. Winds can shift quickly and a steep chop can build up putting you on a dangerous lee shore.

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Anchored north of Ven Island

Date:May 27, 2017, 5:11 p.m.
Position:55 55.25 N, 12 41.75 E
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The weather forecast changed, meaning that continuing around the Southern Swedish coast would have made it diffult for us to return to Copenhagen for some medical checks for Raf next week. The wind was a perfect Southerly with 10-15 knots and clear sunny skies so we also changed our plans and decided to go with the wind. We set our gennaker immediately after passing through the Falsterbo canal (heading north this time) and started an incredible 40-mile gennaker run all the way up the Øresund between Sweden and Denmark. We anchored for the night on the northern side of the small Swedish island of Ven in the middle of the Øresund and caught up with some friends in the quaint local harbour for some sundowner drinks... at 10pm at night!

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Berthed for the night in Skaare harbour

Date:May 26, 2017, 5:07 p.m.
Position:55 22.50 N, 13 3.25 E

Berthed for the night in Skaare harbour as the wind is forecast to change overnight putting us on a lee shore. We could also have anchored inside of the breakwaters on the southern end of the Falsterbo canal, however we were interested to go ashore here and see this quaint little fishing town.

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Anchored south of Falsterbo canal

Date:May 25, 2017, 8:45 p.m.
Position:55 23.90 N, 12 57.25 E
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We had planned to be away earlier but Mark ended doing a bit of work on another boat with mechanical problems. So after a couple of extra nights back in Tuborg, we enjoyed a lazy start towards Sweden. Half way there we realized we had not gotten a Swedish courtesy flag so I spent the rest of the passage hand sewing one together. Thankfully I had the right colour rip-stop. It's a bit rough, but better than nothing.

Boat baby seemed to enjoy swinging in her little hammock or being strapped to Dad's chest for a sail change in the calm conditions. We made it through the Falsterbo Canal and are now anchored off the beach at the southern end. It's lovely but we ended up deploying the stern anchor to keep us perpendicular to the gentle wake from the shipping traffic on the horizon.

It is really nice to finally commence cruising again. At the moment we are enjoying the lyse nætter (bright nights) which are rather magical. After a 2 hour sunset the twilight lingers and never quite gives in to the darkness. With the clear skies right now, we get experience the best of it and breastfeeding at all hours means I get to see the whole thing. It is very different for those of us from equatorial latitudes and though it is not quite the midnight sun experience of being in the Arctic circle that we had originally planned when coming to Denmark, it is still incredibly beautiful and we would not trade the unexpected boat baby in just for that. Besides there is always next season...

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Departing Tuborghavn

Date:May 25, 2017, 8 a.m.
Position:55 43.55 N, 12 35.15 E

Departing Tuborghavn heading south with 10-15kts of NW winds.

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