After spending five days exploring Aspo and Karlskrona, we hopscotched along the Sweden’s southern coast for a week. JUANONA berthed in three different marinas as few spots along the outer coast offered protected anchorages. Although eager to reach Copenhagen for a wedding, our cruising offered opportunities to visit some interesting sites; some more so than others, but all worth the tie-up.
As mentioned in the previous post the pretty island of Aspo served as a strategic defense for Sweden’s naval base, Karlskrona. Named after the Swedish King Karl (or ‘Charles’) XI who founded the base in late 1600s, Karlskrona (Karl’s Crown) grew into a thriving port. Only a 20-minute ferry ride–a happily FREE ferry ride, this city became our off-island excursion four out of the five days we stayed at Aspo’s boat club.
As I’ve mentioned before, other cruisers’ notes provide an excellent resource when exploring new areas. The information comes from online articles, sailing organizations’ websites, and conversations boat-to-boat. Reviewing the boatload (pun intended) of information landed us on Aspo, an island described as a gem by fellow visitors.
Leaving the Åland Islands we traded one archipelago for another as we sailed the 36 miles back to Swedish waters, with a decent wind and a few rocks to watch out for, such as the one shown on our chart plotter,
After a social whirl on Orr’s and a mini-Bruce reunion in Vermont, we rode airplanes, buses and a train to reach JUANONA in Saltsjöbaden, a month after we had left her on a mooring. Anxious to restart our cruising, we thought of retracing our train ride a bit to provision but opted for the next morning. A wise choice considering we definitely looked like we’d been traveling 24-hours.
A beautiful sail landed us in Visby, the largest town on Sweden’s largest island. This medieval port perfectly portrays a European medieval walled trading town, which is why it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site.