After an amazing week of friends and festivities we sailed out of Copenhagen. Like many visitors, we, too, felt as if we could have stayed for a much longer time. Yet, we vowed to return, which eased the pain of seeing our home for the past week disappear in the distance.
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,
DISCLAIMER: I’ve had to do this on an iPhone, and my big fingers and Teeny keyboard do not play well together. And, since this is the fourth time I’ve had to go back to add in the photos, try to correct formatting (which isn’t working well), and re-edit what I had re-edited three times previously, well, there have been a lot of not-so-nice bellows issued from JUANONA… to which Max can attest.
Friday-Sunday, July 20-22, 2018
Leaving the crowded and convenient marina of Mariehamn, Aland’s capital, we headed east into this Archipelago. With only a week dedicated to sailing these waters we limited our destinations to two other islands, ones highly recommended by other cruisers.
Under another warm, sunny day we sailed 10 miles to Rodhamn, dropped the hook, and dinghied to shore.
After a night in Stor Langden, we sailed from the Stockholm Archipelago to the Finnish waters of the Åland Islands.
And, if you ever wonder what we do aboard all day, here’s one activity: monster scenes. Last year we had purchased a lizard and a snake after another boater told us they helped to scare off birds (which can raise havoc with our delicate masthead instruments). Thanks to our friends Peter and Angie our menagerie had increased. So, what to do but set-up and document disaster scenes.
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.