Tag Archives: Marina

BACK TO THE NETHERLANDS: Kiel Canal to Cuxhaven to Makkum

Makkum, Netherlands

Thursday, August 10

Hard to believe but just a week ago we were waking up off the Danish island of Ærø and getting ready to leave for Germany’s Kiel Canal and passage back to the Netherlands.

Our voyage from there to here entailed the usual passage-making prepping with several stops at marinas along the way and a wonderful surprise in Cuxhaven, our last stop before stepping foot in the Netherlands. So, let me retrace our cruising through Germany with an overnight sail to Makkum.

What prompted this desire to quickly head south to the canal then west to the Netherlands was a forecasted weather window, i.e., the winds and seas offered a decent, 24-hour time for crossing the notorious German Bight where prevailing westerly winds whip up the strong tides of the Elbe River into a frenzy. After sailing outside you then have the challenge of entering one of the shifting, shallow passes into the Wadden Sea (waters surrounding the Frisian Islands off the coast of the Netherlands).

A note about traversing the German Bight:  In addition to winds we also needed to consider the tide  when leaving from Cuxhaven. The Elbe generates at least two to three knots of current. With 22 miles to reach the outer sea buoy marking the Elbe the strategy is to leave soon after local high tide to ride it as far as possible before it turns against you. Inevitably, you will be faced with some current against you as further out the tide turns an hour+ sooner. What you don’t want is tide against strong winds. It’s choppy enough due to being shallow water. Toss in a lot of wind and a recipe for unpleasant and potentially dangerous boating is created.

As usual we changed plans along the way. The first alteration coming when sailing down to the opening of the Kiel Canal on the Baltic Sea. Instead of stopping for the night at Laboe, a marina close to the canal entrance,  we decided to make a bit more headway by staying at one of the few anchorages/moorings available once inside.

We had to mill around only a short while before the light at the lock turned White, the signal to enter (with no regular opening times we often have to tie up somewhere and wait).

Unlike other summer-time locks we’ve experienced in the past two years, only four boats, including JUANONA, locked in and out. We were accompanied by one large ship in its own sluice, so we pleasure boaters had plenty of room.

We arrived at a small cove off the canal and joined several other boats by mooring to black pilings. It wasn’t difficult tieing up due to (a) no wind and (b) a friendly fellow cruiser who poked his head out and gave us advice. Thanks to him we could decipher a posted sign whose illustration of how to moor was a bit confusing.

The next morning we motored (you’re allowed to motor or to motor-sail but not just sail in the canal) another 11 miles to Rendsburg, one of the few towns with a marina along the way.

It’s not as if the canal isn’t large enough for traffic both ways, including large ships,

but this is the closest I ever want to get to one of them:

After a couple hours we arrived in Rendsburg. With many cruisers eyeing the upcoming weather window, JUANONA was in good company to discuss weather updates, Cuxhaven’s marinas, and routes west.

In Rendsburg we met up again with Sylvia and Pascal who arrived a day after us and with whom we shared an enjoyable coffee break. Always a pleasure meeting up with fellow boaters. You feel a kinship just by being part of a larger group who are having similar experiences, and with WATERAAP our JUANONA is in good company.

We also met Erik, a fellow Ocean Cruising Club member, and his brother Dolf who joined him as crew. They were sailing DUTCH ROSE back to her home port in the Netherlands as well. We invited them aboard and spoke of weather, sailing, and life.

I missed the opportunities to take photos of our friends above but hope we rendez-vous again since all of us will be in ‘home’ waters once we reach the Netherlands.

In other conversations up and down the pontoons we spoke of reaching Cuxhaven and weather updates. I even saw a man I had met in Oslo who also was heading home.

Taking advantage of a waiting day, we walked into Rendsburg, originally serving as a fortress between the Upper and Lower Eider River. Stopping at the local bakery we headed for the Tourist Office only to pause when we noticed a fascinating sculpture. Getting closer we saw the animals had movable joints and appeared designed for youngsters to ride on. If they’d been a bit bigger, I definitely would have been on one.

Armed with a self-guided map we found ourselves in the oldest building–St. Mary’s, a lovely church dating from 1246. A friendly greeter welcomed us; and, although we didn’t speak German we acknowledged her explanations of certain elements with smiles while having no idea what she was saying.

Once outside we passed the Town Hall dated 1566,

walked to the grocery store for some minor provisioning, then wandered back to JUANONA.

Taking advantage of fairly light winds we left the next morning. Originally planning on stopping at another anchorage 10 miles before exiting the canal,

we opted to continue another 17 miles past the lock to Cuxhaven, our jumping off point to the Netherlands.

Once again, the lock wasn’t full and our timing was perfect. And, if you’re wondering why my exiting pose at the bow is similar to the one entering the lock it’s due to being thankful that all fenders are out, lines are ready for tieing to the pontoon or walls, and no lock guy telling us to hurry up (we tend to take these operations slowly and carefully). Or, even better, the task is completed without a problem and the captain is happy :)

The sail to Cuxhaven gave us a taste of how winds can whip up the water around here. Fast approaching the entrance to the marina we had to quickly drop the main sail while avoiding other sailboats doing the same. Once inside we tried to find a berth only to be told the one we were entering was taken, so, we reversed out and searched for a place to raft.

We found one and became the pontoon for another sailboat entering the marina soon after us. Fortunately, rafting is a given in this part of the world. By the time we left for the Netherlands two days later there were five of us tied together.

The next day when checking to make sure the one moored to the actual dock would be leaving when we were, we heard someone say our names. We must have looked stunned as our friends we met in 2002 in Rota, Spain were there! Dick and Gerda and one of their sons, Leo, had just purchased ADIOS, an extremely fast sailboat, in Helsinki, and now were in Cuxhaven after Dick and Leo had sailed her the 600 miles from Finland.

We had heard from Dick that they might be in this area the same time as we were, but, to actually have it happen?! Well, you can tell from our smiles how wonderful it was!

And, an extra treat meeting Leo.

We caught up on the past 14 years (the last time we’d seen them) then Gerda had to leave while later the four of us went to dinner.

When saying good-bye to Dick and Leo we heard a shout from above, and there’s Erik whom we met in Rendsburg saying hello. I tell you, it’s like old home week by the time you get to Cuxhaven. I even exchanged greetings again with the sailor I met in Oslo and Rendsburg.

These transient interactions create a natural camaraderie knowing you’re voyaging the same waters. By now we knew of a large number of boats all leaving at 4:00 a.m. the next morning to ride the current out the German Bight.

And, sure enough, starting at 3:15 a.m. we heard engines starting up as some got a jump on the tide. Our five sailboats one by one untied and headed out. Our passage, albeit a mini-one, had begun.

Exiting from the marina it was still dark, not as dark as the picture below (due to using a flash) but, still, dark!

We all had to stay outside of the shipping channel, which meant we hugged the narrow waterway marked by buoys. Our friends Sylvia and Pascal, who hadn’t stopped at Cuxhaven but continued on to the Netherlands once they exited the canal, had given us a heads up regarding this waterway.

Looking both forwards and aft we saw masthead lights marking the flotilla of boats. It’s rare to be in the company of so many sailboats heading in the same direction for an overnight. Plus, we knew Dick and Leo on ADIOS and DUTCH ROSE, Erik’s boat, were part of the group. We could have arranged scheduled communicating on the VHF but no one needed any distraction sailing these waters or any loss of sleep during this short passage caused by unnecessary radio chatter.

We paralleled this shipping channel down to the Frisian Islands, ensuring we left as much space as possible between the edge of the “TSS” or Traffic Separation Scheme and JUANONA’s track. We wouldn’t need to cross it, but, if we did, we knew it needed to be at a 90º angle. Failing to do so could mean a 1,000 euro fine on the spot by a German patrol.

As the sky lightened we continued to see fellow sailors plying the waters west.

Once outside the mouth of the Elbe we entered a flock of anchored ships waiting for a pilot to guide them in. They looked like sleeping giants, and sailing through them I sure as heck didn’t want to ‘wake’ them.

Sharing the water with so many vessels meant keeping an eye out for any potential crossing of paths. Max monitored one whose heading seemed a bit erratic (note his eye mask from sleeping during his off-watch :) ) but all was fine. With so many boats around our AIS alarm kept going off as a warning of possible collision.

Later I went down for a nap only to wake up and have Max smilingly beckon me up top. Poking my head out I saw why:  ADIOS was right off our starboard bow!

Max said they had sailed over to say hello, and he had begun capturing ADIOS swiftly gliding through the sea.

After fifteen minutes they waved good-bye with ADIOS living up to its name as they flew off with the wind.

During his night watch Max figured out we could save some time by approaching the mainland via the channel between Vlieland and Terschelling versus sailing another 20 miles to Den Helder. We could ride the tide (here, too, you need to account for a strong current) through the sandbanks and reach the lock into the IJsselmeer by early afternoon. Hey, I’m all for making any passage shorter!

The sun rose and we continued motor-sailing, or, I should say, motoring with a main sail up as by now the winds had pretty much died down.

We crossed into Dutch waters and changed out our Germany courtesy flag for our Netherlands one.

By 11:00 a.m. we were on the final stretch to the Lorentz (also known as Kornwerderzand) Locks which give passage through the massive Afsluitdijk dike. Passing a local fishing boat with its seagull fans we knew our landing was in sight.

The lock can be packed, as we found out last year, so no surprise seeing it so again. Making it a bit more stressful were two people waving us over while we were jockeying for position to go through the opening bridge that precedes the lock (by now there were at least 25 boats waiting to go through). We headed over only to discover they were customs agents curious about our length of time in the Netherlands.

FYI:  All EU countries (except Britain) including Norway had signed an agreement (the Shengen Agreement) restricting all non-Schengen residents to a three-month visit. After that visit, you have to leave for a full three months before re-entering. Thankfully, our temporary Dutch residency allows us to avoid this requirement unlike last summer when we had to get out of Europe early August to ensure we were in compliance.

I ran below and grabbed our temporary residency cards which they photographed. They then queried us about JUANONA’s time in the EU. [We have 18 months in the EU before we’d have to pay the 20% V.A.T. (value added tax) assessed on all large assets.]

Luckily, thanks to our friends Gus and Helen, ex-pats living aboard their boat in London, Max had filed paperwork allowing temporary importation of JUANONA. The customs folk were fine with our copy of the stamped receipt. And, yes, that is how I look coming off of a passage with bad sleep and not so great hygiene…

It took us three times before we could get into the crowded lock, and when we finally did, we knew we were ‘home’.

Our friends Sylvia and Pascal had anchored at 11:00 p.m. after doing a similar passage the day before. If we hadn’t been so tired we would have motored over. Instead, the four of us exchanged hearty waves from afar as we headed for Makkum and its marinas.

A wonderful hot shower and one load of laundry completed, we now are catching up on getting JUANONA ready for her winter berthing back in Hoorn.

Always bittersweet to think of our summer cruising pretty much over. But, what a summer! And, how we’ll miss the friends we’ve met!

Two spoiled sailors we are! :)

 

DENMARK: Samsø to Lyø

SAMSO

Wednesday – Saturday, July 19 – 22

As we continued our cruise south from Ebeltoft we aimed for Samso Island.  We hoped to rendezvous with our cruiser friends from Oslo, Ingunn and Snorre, who had met up with Snorre’s parents then sailed s/y EQUINOX to Germany. They emailed saying they’d be at Samso during the week with some friends joining them. Since weather plays havoc with most sailing plans, nothing was certain regarding a meet-up.

But, we did! When we entered the bay some folks began waving heartily. Not recogniznig the boat, Max and I thought ‘wow, this is a friendly island!’ only to realize it was Snorre and Ingunn. We dropped anchor then motored over where we met their friends along with their friends’ two young daughters.

Snorre used his drone to snap some photos of JUANONA from various heights,

which is why you’re looking down at the top of the mast in this one…

(Snorre’s photo)

and why there’s a great aerial view in this photo.

(Snorre’s photo)

Snorre and Ingunn’s website (http://www.sy-spinnvill.com) is proof of how well they capture cruising.

Hoping to see them later, we headed for shore where we walked to the local church,

purchased some strawberries (it seems every other house had some sort of items for sale refreshingly using the honor system),

and on the walk back made the acquaintance of two more cruisers anchored in the bay, Sophia and Pascal aboard s/y WATERAAP.

Meanwhile, Max took advantage of the relatively warmer water and little to no jellyfish to change the zincs. He donned the wetsuit our nephew Iain kindly gave him

and jumped overboard while I spotted an occasional limb flailing under the stern.

Later that evening we managed to have Snorre, Ingunn, Pascal and Sophia aboard JUANONA where we shared stories of crusing the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Too soon the party had to break up but, again, not before we expressed hopes to see everyone again.

During our time on Samso we discovered more about this island’s history by touring the Samso Museum (also the Velkomstcenter/Welcome Center) located in the inland town of Tranebjerg.

With its central location to both interior Danish waters and the Baltic Sea, Samso served as an important maritime harbor for the Vikings as well as others before and after.

A short video whizzed through two centuries while a stroll through two rooms, one with displays on the Viking era and the other with photographs of the 20th century.

I found out the area had a Bede-type scribe (Saint Bede or Bede the Venerable who lived in Northumbria, England 672/3-735 C.E.) when I read that the German canon and historial Adam of Bremen documented the earliest known written reference to this island About 1080 C.E.

We also learned about the Kanhave Canal (500m long and 12m wide) consructed in 726 C.E. across the narrowest part of the island (Kanhave translates to flat-bottomed boat canal.) The canal enabled the Vikings to move their ships from one bay into another quickly. Surprisingly, It didn’t stay operational long, as it silted up in the 9th century.

You can actually stand in the hollow of this canal, which we did the next day.

The town offers another interesting museum, a wealthy farmer’s home. A guide told us how they used to make bread twice a year in this trough (righthand corner). Must have been a bit green by the fifth month…

Some locals demonstrate homecrafts including weaving on a centuries-old loom..

Getting hungy I spotted a sign where we ate one of our favorite lunches:  Turkish doners

(although I thought I’d be getting some dessert due to the sign…).

Back on JUANONA Max had noticed a small viking boat sailing into the bay (fun!),

and later rowing into the harbor (would rethink the ‘fun’ aspect).

And, that’s how we met Karina who grew up sailing summers with her father on their Viking boat. Now they take people along for a week or so of cruising and camping where all passengers test their skills at not only sailing but also rowing.

We told her of our next few destinations and she highly recommended one we were thinking of skipping since it was a bit to the east of our course. After hearing her praise of the island’s ice cream, I immediately lobbied for the diversion; and, Skaro got back on our island-hopping list :)

TORO RED (off the island of FYN)

Saturday night July 22

Taking advantage of excellent winds from the northeast we sailed 68 miles to an anchorage on the southwest coast of the large island of Fyn. An easy anchoring due to good protection from the wind and a seemingly good mud bottom we went to sleep only to discover in the morning that we had dragged several hundred feet (!). Fortunately, no harm done but never something one feels easy about! We have almost never dragged our oversized Rocna anchor, and in retrospect We were so overconfident in the situation that we didn’t even bother to back down to “set’ the anchor. Lesson learned.

With only 20 miles to our next destination it was an easy morning sail.  (Cammy, we could have stayed in Middlefart but continued on. Just thought you’d be interested in hearing that. :) )

We now were sailing in the Lille Baelt (“Little Belt”) off the west and south of Fyn Island, Denmark’s largest island. Noted as one of the loveliest areas to cruise in this country we anticipated more storybook villages, tranquil anchorages, and some crowded marinas, all of which we found during the next week…

DYVIG (on the island of ALS)

Sunday – Monday, July 23- 24

Again, a short sail took us to our next stop but not before we experienced heavy thunder, rain and lightening. I am frightened of lightning as I’ll never forget being on the beach when a young girl was struck and died back in 1968.

However, all was fine and a huge relief (to me) when it stopped.

Our next stop entailed a narrow passage rounding the tip of Als only to open up into two lovely coves.

Anchoring in the one with the two small marinas (one being in front of a lovely hotel), we thought we’d take the bus to town only to find out it’d be a long wait. No problem as we still wanted to check out the other cove, which we did by dinghy.

If we’d been here a second night JUANONA would have been floating here, although where we were was also pretty stunning.

Retracing our route out we followed a motor boat through the narrow channel then began our sail to the next island.

LYO

Monday – Thursday, July 24 – 27

I had mentioned storybook villages and our next island destination, Lyo, topped all to-date, primarily because it was such a tiny village that only traditional homes and farm buildings seemed to stand.

During our three-day stay we enjoyed lunch al fresco where I thought the menu was absolutely superb…

listened to an outdoor concert….

and, asked some locals about the thatched roofs we’d been seeing.

The owner, whose grandmother had been born on the island, said the roofs last about 30 years and were expensive due to the craftsmanship needed to construct and maintain them (the top of the roof line had recently been replaced) as well as the fire insurance (no kidding). Laughing she said and now the straw was imported from China!

She also told us why the aquamarine paint outlines the doors and windows:  to keep evil spirits out. She also mentioned when someone dies their body never, ever leaves by the front door, or any door, actually. Each house has a window without a divider so it is large enough to pass a casket through. Wow.

Like a lot of marinas we’ve visited Lyo was packed with families and friends and this one was no different.  Walking around the marina area we saw children dressed in life jackets crabbing (we still need to find out what they do with the poor crustaceans as I doubt they eat them).

The scene felt like a carnival at times with so much activity. I particularly loved the five guys on a very small boat. Where they all slept, I don’t know, but they were out enjoying the water.

With the ferry easily in reach (as it is on most islands around here) we went across to Fyn (pronounced ‘Fern’) to tour the town of Faaborg.

In Faaborg we discovered a museum that was art itself. Thanks to a Mads Rasmussen, whose money from producing tinned goods (such as butter), he and a group of local artists founded the museum in 1910 and it opened in 1915. Designed by the architect Carl Petersen, the museum is considered an example of Danish classicist architecture.

Below is the front and back of the provided map. I couldn’t upload it with the marina’s wifi so please excuse the rough look; but, I wanted you to see how the museum presents itself.

The map outlines a route for visitors while pointing out the art that isn’t necessarily hanging on the walls, such as the floor mosaics (in one of the seven, small alcove rooms the pattern is a labyrinth)

As we read about the building and its components the museum, itself,  became the piece of art I enjoyed vs. the Funen painters who helped found the museum; yet, I liked how those artists painted what they deemed was the ‘good life’:  Sharing time with family and friends, countryside visits, traveling, and eating and drinking well. Thanks to Mads these artists were able to enjoy the good life, including traveling to Italy. Nice guy to have as your patron.

And, the good life is what was painted by these artists:  Fritz Syberg, Johanned Larsen, Peger Hansen, Anna Syberg, Alhed Larsen, Christine Swane, Jens Birkholm, Poul S. Christiansen and Karl Schou. Many of them attended the painter Kristian Zahrtmann’s school in Copenhagen. But, of course, no women were allowed to study there.

And, I had to include the following. It’s another appearance of another big-headed-baby. We seem to find quite a few of these in the museums we’ve visited.

One golden-painted room serves as the archive for the museum’s collection of graphic art as well as a reference library and common room for visitors. Today it’s roped off but you still can appreciate the images by Johannes Larsen.

A special exhibit displays Japanese art and paper books and the influence it had on Johannes Larsen’ (1867-1961) woodcuts.

Another special exhibit focused on Johannes Larsen’s illustrations for Steen Steensen Blicher’s book of poetry comprised of 30 poems about birds.

Larsen was a good candidate for this work since he studied birds with the mind of a scientist. Looking at his studies of the birds it’s easy to see why his work complimented the poet’s.

The museum possesses a large collection of a local sculptor’s work, Kai Nielsen (1882-1924). He came to prominence with “The Marble Girl”,

and later was selected to sculpt the museum’s benefactor, Mads Rasmusseen,

and a piece for the town square. The latter was based on a Norse myth of the god Ynmer feeding from a cow’s udder. He called it “Ymer’s Well” and, well, it is rather startling and caused quite vehement reactions from some of the town’s citizens.

But, it still stands in the town center (a copy due to the original deteriorating over the years).

Nielsen’s work portrays strong, healthy bodies. As one painter stated, his work is best described as life. The description is an appropriate one.

The piece of resistance–for me–comes from the museum’s goal of providing a ‘place of presence’. Described as “…a temporary state of being lost in focused intensity. We forget ourselves and the purpose of what we are doing. This does not necessarily make us any wiser or better. Still, we seem to long for places that make room for presence.

Although presence is fleeting and unpredictable the experiencing of it is as an individual and, thus, can occur wherever you find yourself in that focused intensity.

The map noted some places where we might find presence, and we took advantage of it…

in the Winter Garden Room

and the garden itself.

I could live in this museum. And, yes, it does have a cafe with coffee…

We returned by ferry and were back aboard JUANONA only to realize I had dropped my wallet at the grocery store when repacking my bags to carry. FYI: (you have to be a juggler to catch the items rolling down the belt as the cashier continues checking out the next customer’s goods whose items are also rolling down on the other side of a divider; so, I usually grab and stuff then scurry over to a table/chair/floor to reorganize our groceries for carrying back to JUANONA. And, that’s when my wallet fell out and onto the floor as we hurried to catch the next ferry back..)

Fortunately, we’re in a country who prides itself on honesty; so, when we contacted the store with the help of a young Dane whose family’s boat had just docked next to ours, the store said they had it and would keep it for me to pick up the next day. Which I did and thanked them profusely!

Back to Lyr where later that day we saw some Tall Ships arrive. They were circling the island of Fyn with a planned entrance the next morning into Faaborg. And, where there are boats there is my husband :)

Tomorrow? Another island to hop onto and around :)

 

 

 

DENMARK: Læsø to Ebeltoft

LÆSØ to GRENÅ

Monday-Thursday, July 10-13

Leaving Styrso we sailed into new waters. Max performed the rite of lowering our Swedish courtesy flag

and replacing it with the Danish one making it official.

Six hours later we arrived in Laeso, an island with stretches of sandy beach and a packed marina. And, I mean packed. We took the free bus to the other side of the island where we gorged on free wifi at a local restaurant.

Lots of rafting, both alongside and perpendicular to us (JUANONA is second boat back on the right; you can just make out the bow with anchor. The boats on the left are rafted seven deep);

but, we’ve found the manuvering not so bad due to the boaters’ attitudes.  They’re so nonchalant around here about having a stranger’s vessel tied up to theirs–even when they’re not aboard to say ‘it’s okay to raft with me’. We’ve learned you just leave fenders out to make it easy for another boat to come alongside and tie off, thus using JUANONA as a floating pontoon.

By being part of a flotilla we feel a part of the local boating culture.Rafting etiquette means you always cross over the bow/front of the neighbor’s boat to reach the land dock. You get use to it, and we rather enjoy it as long as they’re not loud or late partiers. Most folk are tender-footed except children who seem to have the heavier feet in spite of their lighter weights; yet, it’s fun to see so many kids on boats; and, at this marina, it’s like an exuberant summer camp for kids and adults.

We left the next morning after unpacking five other boats before we could exit.

Our next port was Grenaa, another marina further south, where we breathed a sigh of relief: virtually uncrowded with easy docking alongside with no hassle. My type of docking.

A surprise came when walking down the quay we recognized a boat we last saw in Oslo. It’s home berth lay across the pontoon from ours at the KNS marina. The owner and wife invited us aboard where I noticed some large, squishy dinosaurs stationed on their cockpit table. I thought they had a grandchild or two visiting, but, no:  they told us they use the rubber critters to keep the gulls away (the previous owner had told them about this technique). I guess gulls have good eyes. At the very least I hope it doesn’t frighten the s___ out of ‘em.

EBELTOFT

Friday-Wednesday, July 14-19

Finally, the picturesque village we’d hankered for ever since landing in Denmark, and Ebletolft fit the bill to a “T”.

Another easy landing alongside a hammerhead (the top of the “T” of a pontoon where we can dock at the end without having to go into a box berth perpendicular to the stalk of the “T”). Ahh, life is good.

Hopping off we strolled the short walk into town and along one of the old cobblestone streets during our several days of marina-living here.

Two museums beckoned us:  one, not as fulfilling but definitely worth seeing and definitely heavily promoted; the other, a delightful surpise, all the more so due to not being mentioned in most guidebooks.

The Glasmuseet Ebeltoft (Glass Museum) featured the fourth, 2017 Youth Exhibition. This competition began in 1987 and occurs every ten years. This year 57 artists from 18 countries exhibited their creations.

The artistic displays stretched my knowledge of how diverse blowing and fabricating glass items has become. We viewed a large variety of work, encompassing:

Color…

“Curve or Straightness?”

“One Hundred and Two x 0”

Texture…

(I’ll just call this ‘styrofoam’)

Fragility…

“When Kingdom was Lowered down to Earth from Heaven”

Startling simplicity…

(again, I didn’t get the title of this one but call it ‘profiles’)

and, Industrial Creativity, “My Chemical Romance”

Although I wouldn’t want to showcase most of these pieces, I appreciated the opportunity to learn from the artists. Trully, I can’t imagine the difficulty and skill and imagination needed to create these works of art.

I must say the video of breaking glass as one of the exhibited pieces seemed a bit over the top; but, hey, if a red coat propped like a scarecrow on a coat hanger can be in a top-notch museum, a movie showing a guy smashing glass can certainly be shown in a youth exhibit.

The museum so understated by all brochures is the Farvergarden Museum, something Max just happened upon thanks to some cruiser’s notes. The museum documents an old dyeworks on the location serving as such since the 1770s.

A black flag indicated we’d arrived at the correct address (A black or blue flag, the two most difficult colors to produce, hung from dyeworkers’ places throughout Denmark back then). When we ducked through the door we found ourselves in the actual dye worker’s home. The last dyer’s family living here were the Petersens, with Andreas Gotlieb (1841-1917) and his son Johan being the master dyers. Andreas ran the dyeworks until 1905 when Johan took over.

The property was sold to the government in 1974 by Johan’s heirs, two nieces. Since the nieces inherited the content of the house, the municipality collected pieces representing a 1900 home. Fortunately, the dyeworks buildings hold the original machinery and tools.

The impression of being in a dollhouse immediately began with the first room off the street:  the tiny shop where customers dropped off cloth (charged by the length) or yarns (paid for by the weight) for dyeing. Still a shop but now selling wares not dyed here.

We continued into the parlor

and the kitchen,

the pantry,

poked our heads into the bedroom,

then exited down a hallway

to the backyard where we accessed a room in the attic. Here we found the maid’s room. Even though the dyer wasn’t particularly wealthy, young girls hired themselves out and lived on the premises.

Excellent signage and displays provide detailed information on the history of dyes (a timeline begins with professional dyeworks in China 3000 B.C.E.)… samples of the raw materials (such as the indigo imported from India)… when Farvergarden began (Emanuel Randlef received the royal privilege as a dyer in 1773)… and exactly how the cloth and yarn were dyed. Understanding the dyeing process is covered in the dye works building.

A 1948 video commissioned by the government and featuring Johan Petersen demonstrates the art of indigo dyeing. We watched the screen then turned to look at the actual machinery:

The balls were used to crush the indigo. This mineral is so precious the rinse water used to wash off the metal balls is reused in the dye process.

The indigo is then added to the vat of lukewarm water along with soda, bran, red dye, and madder (a Eurasian herb used for red-purple dye). Lime is added turning the dye a yellowish-green. The dyer knows the color is ready by smell and then it sits for several days. The cloth is placed on the screens (hanging on the wall) while ensuring the liquid mixture covers the cloth/yarn completely.

The dyed cloth is yellowish-green when first removed, turning blue after hanging for some time. A final rinse in water with blue clay is done, and then pressing by the mangle below, powered by a horse mill in the next room (a cable runs underground to this room).

Before the dyeing process begins the cloth is sent to another mill to be ‘stamped’ or ‘filled’ at an outside mill to produce a wadmal (cloth that’s been pounded into a dense and thick layer). After the dyeing, again to raise the cloth fibers or nap, the material is run through the machine below, a teasel gig (love the name), which makes the cloth even denser.

And, here are the nap-raising instruments:  teasel heads! Generally imported from southwest Europe.

Drying took place outdoors in good weather or indoors in a small, heated room.

To press it using the machine below they’d layer the cloth with heated iron sheets and cardboard.

No question about it, dyeing required the mind of a chemist (creating the dye), the deft eye of an artist (ensuring the dye set properly), and the muscles of a steveadore (manhandling the tools of the trade).

The process for blue dyeing took eight days:  fulling (making it dense); dyeing; carding; cropping (trimming the woolen cloth’s nap leaving the cloth even and smooth); steaming (reinforcing the blue color and made it more water resistant); and pressing. The cropping and steaming were extra costs.

In addition to the expensive blue dye, black, brown, yellow and red were the the typical colors produced in another room.

A stable wing and extended garden beyond with a pond and grotto completed the tour.

Under the Petersen’s ownership this dyworks represented the height of modernity in 1851; but, with the Industrial Age and mass-production operations, Favergarden’s equipment was way outdated by the time it closed in 1925. Yet, thanks to the foresight of the town and its investment, we had walked back through time when dyeing was an artisan’s craft.

We continued perusing Ebeltoft’s other treasures as we exited into glorious sunshine, checking sites along the way with a self-guided Town Walk map.

Speaking of delightful, when we landed at the Ebeltoft Marina we met some locals, some speaking with a British accent. Come to find out Steve and David are Brits, only recently transplanted to Denmark for David’s job expanding the local airport’s routes.

The next day they invited us for dinner where we met Ken, Steve’s uncle who moved with them. As well as Shawn the Sheep, their robotic mower,

and, Khai, their black lab, who’s trained to get a carrot before they sit down at dinner and then leave the humans undisturbed.

Another magical evening occurred filled with excellent food, including a traditional Danish cake baked by David,

wonderful conversation, and lots of laughter.

Plus, a lovely surprise awaited us the day before we left… some of Steve’s precious cheese scones sent all the way from Mullion in Cornish by his mom. Folks line up to buy her scones weekly when they’re sold to raise funds for a local non-profit. And, believe me, they’d be worth any wait!

 

Another amazing social occasion occurred the night before we left Ebeltoft. Two people asked where our home in Maine was. From there we discovered they’d sailed there in the 1990s. Then, they asked if we knew Dick and Ginger on ALCHEMY?

My god, we had just checked Marine Traffic to see where ALCHEMY was on their crossing back to the states!  (which they’re doing, by the way, via the northern route, including Iceland and Greenland…).

We invited Inge and Wolfgang aboard

only to end up on their boat, one in which they’d completed a circumnavigation 2000-05.

The next morning we waved as STELLA MARIS left to continue their summer on the water before returning to their land home in Germany.

How fortunate to have met Steve, David and Ken followed by Inge and Wolfgang. New friends in new places. We love it!

END OF SWEDEN CRUISE

STYRSØ

Friday-Monday, July 7-10

 

Since we first began cruising June 6, 2014, our time on (and off) JUANONA has connected us with some amazing people, and our time on Styrso, an island off of Goteborg, added another touch of awesomeness to our summer.

The Swedish island of Styrso became a beacon for our 2017 summer after meeting Styrso-ian Michael aboard Oslo-ians Thomas and Camilla’s boat s/v EQUINOX. They were prepping for EQUINOX’s first offshore passage, from Farsund to Scotland, resulting in our sharing information that night prior to seeing them off the next morning.

During our time together Michael mentioned he owned a cafe on an island close to Goteborg and for us to stop by if we’re in the area.

Seven weeks later we’re in the area :)  And, the fun began.

Styrso, a short ferry ride from Goteborg (Sweden’s largest city after Stockholm), serves as the perfect example of a traditional Swedish summer retreat. As one friend said toward the end of our stay many Swedes have grown up summering in a cottage filled with family and friends during the long days and short nights. This island with its mix of houses clustered around key points of the shore, boat-filled docks, a few necessity shops and some eateries, buzzing motorized carts (in lieu of cars),

and easy strolling seems the epitome of a Swedish summer place.

And, for anyone interested in soaking up the sun while imbibing excellent food and sipping delightful drinks you must spend at least one full day at the Öbergska Café. Sitting in the sunshine warmth under a bright blue sky listening to the mumuring and sparks of laughter from other guests’ enjoyment lulls one into such a sense of summery contentment you don’t want to leave. Your body just goes ‘ahhhhh’. Need I say more? :)

By the time we untied JUANONA’s lines for our Monday morning departure we felt we had found a second home.

Landing on Friday afternoon we scouted out the little village of Bratten, arranged to meet Michael later that evening, and returned to JUANONA.

While straightening up the boat we noticed some folks standing on the dock looking at her. We began talking, then invited them below, which is how we met Ralf & Eva and Jonas & Vivica. Before we knew it they had invited us for coffee at Ralf and Eva’s home on the NE tip of the island.

Finding our way (and only getting a bit lost) we made it to their house, one they’ve been renovating over the past ten years into an airy and light-filled space (the last ‘to-do’ project being a ceramic studio for Eva). We spent a wonderful hour getting to know these friendly Swedes.

I’m fascinated by how people spend their lives. It’s not so much what they ‘do’ but rather why and how they’ve chosen a particular path. Eva, as a therapist, enjoys the art of ceramics (and the coffee cups we used prove she not only enjoys it but makes lovely items); Ralf, being a judge, mentioned how he travels to explore other countries’ legal processes; Jonas and Vivica raise Icelandic horses in addition to his involvement in the solar industry and her work as a landscape architect-turned-graphic designer.

Vivica and Jonas were visiting that weekend as their 15-year-old son along with Eva and Ralf’s was attending a sea camp on a nearby island. The island is a military one that required permission to visit, which they were going to do the next day.

Aromatic coffee, a delicious brownie cake topped with red-ripened strawberries accompanied by clouds of whipped cream, and non-stop conversation immersed us into an hour that passed way too quickly. How wonderful is that? Pretty great, we think.

Walking back we happened to meet Federico and Noelia, two young Argentinians. Both are artists exploring this part of the world. We saw them later down on the dock while waiting for the ferry and invited them aboard. With their ride back to the mainland coming soon we only had time to snap a photo featuring the gift of a sticker he had designed, one we’ll be posting on JUANONA. Warm and adventurous souls, the type of folks we seem to be meeting wherever we sail.

By then it was time for a delicious dinner of salmon and potato salad at the Obergska cafe where we met up with Michael. He introduced us to Adrian, the chef, and Darren, part of the core team Michael has assembled at the cafe.

Back to JUANONA Michael, Max and I sent a toasting photo to Thomas and Camilla on s/v EQUINOX. A short phone call connected us to their boat, recently landed in Morocco on their way to the Canaries. Because of meeting the three of them mid-May, JUANONA with Michael aboard now sat happily docked in Styrso seven weeks later.

Our first evening set the standard for gatherings, which we loved. Conversations and festive spirits kept us reveling into the morning, beginning that Friday night…

continuing on Saturday with Olaf, gin maestro, joining us before catching the ferry to Goteborg.

After another excellent dinner, Michael and Adrian came back to JUANONA for a gut-laughter-filled evening lasting until 3:00 am Sunday morning. Being with young folk makes us feel a heck of a lot younger than we are!

But, just so you don’t think all of our time on Styrso was spent with celebrating, we did manage to take the ferry to Goteborg. You can see the sites by checking out our CULTURAL SIDE TRIP ( http://wp.me/p4H8u2-3qs). (Warning:  lots of art.)

This was followed by our enjoing another delicious breakfast (brunch by the time we got going)

and later meeting Michael’s mother Carina, his sister Isabelle and Felicia, Isabelle’s friend along with Oliver, Michael and Isabelle’s puppy. We basked in the sun and just veged, perfect considering our late night.

As time came to close the cafe Michael introduced us to more of his friends, Kim and Magnus, with Magnus coming down to see JUANONA. Of course, that’s when the combination padlock to the main hatch got stuck; but, a run up to the cafe for a can of coke, which worked after we dribbled a bunch into the lock, we went below.

Before too long Kim joined us followed by Michael and two more of his friends, Cecilia and Fredrik.

Magnus announced he’d brought a bottle of champagne for the weeend and said it was the perfect occasion to pop the cork. He left to retrieve a bottle and we all “Skaled!” life and friendship.

By 11:30 pm time for all to leave but not before Cecilia and Fredrik had invited us for breakfast.

Our Monday morning began with another lovely breakfast, this time with Cecilia and Fredrik at their cottage.

The house is beautiful, and, once again, what many of us Americans think of Scandinavian design with a sense of spaciousness and coziness. No surprise considering Cecilia renovates flats herself, and I mean truly does all the work less plumbing and electricity.

As we’re finding when we’re with friends, both old and recently met, we had to tear ourselves away. With summer vacations starting in earnest we try to reach any marina before 2:00p as boats come flooding in soon after. With 20+ miles to go we headed back to JUANONA.

Michael joined us for a last farewell while provisioning us with special Swedish delicacies and instructions on how to enjoy them.

With Cecilia and Fredrik joining Michael we waved our farewells.

The only consolation of leaving those we had met this dreamlike weekend is the hope that reunions are in our future.

And, it’s all because of our friend Michael who let us into his joy-filled life and his circle of family and friends. Once again, we’re reminded of the line by Dr. Seuss, “the places we go, the people we meet”…

 

SWEDEN: West Coast – Hasselosund to Gullholmen

HASSELOSUND (North of Smogen)

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 27-28

We left Fjallbacka for another rendezvous with the NAS Cruise occurring further south. But, the first priority was locating a spot on the way for laundry.

A small marina just north of Smogen, a town knowin for its revelry and summer traffic, offered a washing machine and dryer; and, once the new person at the office figured out how to turn on the power and the water, I was set to go. Two hours later sheets and clothes were dried and folded and we were free to walk to Smogen.

You could easily see why this harbor was a party place. Boats strung along the town’s quay had already begun their tribute to summertime with cocktails while onshore cafes and shops had filled with tourists.

Both Max and I enjoyed the experience but were glad to return to a quieter dock scene for the night…

and early start the next morning.

 

GULLHOLMEN

Wednesday-Tuesday, June 28-July 4

Navigating through narrow, but well-marked, channels

and passing past the ubiquitous red boat houses that edge the shorelines,

we ended up on the picturesque Island of Gullholmen.

This gem of a town (same name as the island) perches on the NE corner and offered a safe haven from the forecasted gusty winds headed our way. Thankfully we arrived just in time to grab a decent berth as more and more boats entered the marina in search for a place to wait out the winds. (By viewing the water past the line of boats you can see how being in a protected harbor means a lot calmer living aboard.)

Being on the cusp of the summer season we’ve been told to be in a marina by noon, if possible, in order to find an opening at a gjestehavn. Matter-of-fact we always have a back-up plan (a nearby anchorage or another town) in the event we can’t get into a marina.

The next evening we walked the few miles to Grindebacken where the NAS boats had anchored in preparation for their “Hat Party” event. We went hat-less but all the cruisers had either purchased bizaare wigs, found existing headgear, or created their own. Prizes were awarded with the Johnny Depp & Son Pirate outfits deservedly winning one.

Sharing a table with our friends from Maine, Doug & Dale and Paul & Marty,

we ate freshly caught shrimp, crayfish and crab (or steak for seafood-allergic Max) provided by a wonderful little cafe ashore.

The next morning the NAS Cruise left the anchorage while we remained for the next two nights at Gullholmen. And, so glad we did.

We explored the tangled web of small wooden houses on the tiny island connected by a bridge, checking out the oldest home

and relishing a huge ice cream dessert picked up along the way. I mean, how could one NOT smile when holding this mega-treat, even when the holder is looking a bit sea-worn…

Our Maine friends had told us of enjoying lunch at the HamnCafet.

It was the same restaurant we had stopped in the morning before where a nice young woman translated the menu for us. We decided to have lunch the next day with no idea what was in store!

The decor enhanced by one of the owner’s paintings created an ambiance worth just sitting in and absorbing.

After sitting down to eat while enjoying a beverage…

I asked the waitress what band was playing, and a man walked over with his phone, having Googled it for us (‘Sweet Remains’ for anyone interested). It turned out his sister (the painter mentioned above) and brother-in-law own the cafe and his two daughters are working there for the summer. It was during this conversation that the world became smaller, a heck of a lot smaller.

Richard’s daughter Sophia came over to have her father taste-test a new menu item (vegie burger, which was delicious by the way). She mentioned she’d been an exchange student in the States. We asked where and she replied ‘Virginia’ at the same place her dad had attended when he was in high school.

Thinking her year must have been spent in the DC area I was surprised when she said Virginia Beach, my home town. From there it got spooky for she not only had been with a family in Bay Colony (my old neighborhood) but the family had lived on the same street I grew up on!

I nearly fell off my chair. Even Max who knew the name ‘Lee Road’ was stunned.

Come to find out Richard had lived on a street perpendicular to my home.

Immediately I recalled walking down the street dragging my Patty Playpal by the neck (a ridiculously huge doll) to pick up Liza (Guy Thomson) to cut through the woods to where our friend Tracy (Anderson Bell) lived, while further on Ellen (Overman Sinclair)’s house stood.

And, Lisa, his other daughter, had been the one who smilingly translated the menu for us the day before…

Later that day we also met Monica, Richard’s partner, who parlayed her nursing career into one designing IT systems for healthcare organizations. And, get this, she’s currently working on a project in Rwanda using drones to pick up blood for testing and to deliver medicine back, in areas where roads don’t suffice. Fascinating research.

The next day we joined them for lunch outdoors and and met Richard’s American tenants, Al and Holly who live in Gothenberg but who are also Mainers, with a home in Jonesport.

Unbelievable. And, all because we asked what music was playing.

That night we ended up aboard a neighboring boat with two Beligians, Martine and Gui, who were out cruising for the summer. They had met when she took a scuba diving class and he was her instructor. Another wonderful evening sharing sailing information and just talking about life.

After three nights in the town of Gullholmen we decided to move JUANONA to the anchorage off of the village Hermano where we had had dinner with the NAS cruisers. With another two days of strong winds forecast, we knew the holding was good and we could take the dinghy to shore.

On Monday the winds died down enough where we knew we wouldn’t get soaked going ashore. We walked into town and checked out one of the many paths on the island. Before hopping back in the dinghy we stopped at Cafe Wintervallven for some libations.

Two women with a pup were talking on the steps, and I went over to ask about the dog. Well, one thing led to another and before you know it Max and I are walking with Nadia and her dog to meet her husband Bengt for a glass of wine and conversation back at their islandhome.

We had a wonderful hour discussing their work (he’s a film producer and she’s a scriptwriter), art, and politics, the latter a topic to which many of our conversations migrate.

Nadia and Bengt also told us about a movie filmed on Gullholmen featuring Michael Nyqvist. Nyqvist, a popular Swedish actor, had appeared in another movie–”As it is in heaven” as well as the “Girl with the Dragon Tatoo” series. Sadly he had recently died, which is one reason why we noticed the signed poster hanging in the cafe.

Walking back we stopped to take a selfie in front of the house featured in one of Nyqvist’s movies. A couple walking by asked if we wanted them to snap a photo for us.

That led to another hour or so of strollling with Mike and Nancy who are from the States but own a home here after living and working in Stockholm; he for Exxon and she, curating dance performances (she started the Dance Salad Festival in Houston).

And, they just happened to own a home in Maine at Ocean Point near Boothbay, withing 30 minutes from Orr’s.

They introduced us to the owner of the cafe (where I had met his wife when speaking with Nadia) and his friend. They were checking the boat they use for crabbing (the reason the seafood tasted so fresh at the NAS dinner).

By now the island was feeling like old home week, and what a unique experience that was!

I wish I had photos of everyone, but hopefully you can tell just how much we appreciated the folk we met. A wonderful small ball of a world indeed.

More special reunions ahead!

SWEDEN: West Coast – Syd Halso to Sannasfjorden

Saturday-Wednesday, June 18-21

SYD HÄLSÖ

Crossing into another country’s waters, Max performed the cruiser’s ritual of lowering Norway’s flag

and replacing it with Sweden’s.

Our first nights we spent in a quiet anchorage surrounded by the typical island scenery along this coastline.

We also tried fishing but rather half-heartedly for we knew our method (jigging from the dinghy) and location (too close to shore for cod) didn’t warrant much success.

But, at least we did try.

STRÖMSTAD

We left for the first city one reaches when crossing the Norwegian-Swedish border, one which Norwegians themselves visit to provision on a regular basis due to Sweden’s far-lower prices.

With the official summer season starting on Mid-Summer’s weekend (June 23-25) we were still ahead of Sweden’s busiest pleasure-boating time. Although it meant some services weren’t available, this was a minor inconvenience as most towns and marinas provided everything we needed.

We docked, again easily alongside (on the far right docks, on the first pontoon closest to shore in above photo) , and proceded to gorge on wifi, laundry, showers, and the best grocery store we’d seen in awhile. Other boats came and went during our two-day stay. One Norwegian asked about our Atlantic crossing as he was planning to do so in a few years. (Being one of the few American boats in this area, we’re often approached by fellow yachties curious about our cruising.) In speaking with him we discovered his crew included his two teenagers.

When I inquired if they were enjoing their time sailing, he said not at this age but they wanted to come to Stromstad for the sweets. Curious I later asked a candy-store owner about it. He laughed and said that’s typical because of Norway’s sugar tax– what may cost 50 Swedish Kroners could be as much as 200 in Norway. Hmmm… I see I was in the perfect spot to provision a bit of chocolate…

 

Wednesday-Saturday, June 21-24

KAVLÖ

Our next and only destination of the summer requiring a time commitment was on Mid-Summer’s day, celebrated in Sweden on June 23. On that day an organization of which we had recently joined, the North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs and Nylanddska Jaktklubben (NAS), would be holding an event as part of its two-week cruise along Sweden’s Southwest Coast.

The flotilla of 15 boats, some being from the States and the most USA boats we’d seen in our  three years of cruising here, would be gathering in the large bay off of Kalvon Island. This island is part of a nature preserve composed of Kalvon, Trosso and Lindon.

Finding the anchorage practically empty we anchored then explored the surrounding islands while awaiting NAS’ arrival the next day. And, what a lovely place to hang out. We dinghied ashore (where Max is pointing below).

only to re-dinghy to another spot,

which looked like an easy stroll up to a dirt road

only to squelch and squish our way through some marshy mud flats to the island’s one road

But, it was still beautiful and great to stretch our legs.

The next morning we performed our basic yoga-ing then climbed to the top of a nearby island

to watch for the boats heading in for the party. As we hiked up the boulders we saw patches of burnt vegetation (possibly a controlled burn? something we read about later on another island)

and rock river sreaming down to the shore – left no doubt from ancient glacial activity.

Soon we espied one boat, then another, enter the bay and we happily scrambled back down the rocks scattering a small group of sheep, something we see often during our coastal cruising. 

 

NAS, aka “Jessie and the Sailors”

Aboard some of the boats were friends from home, both Maine and elsewhere, and we anticipated a fun reunion. Thanks to the cruise captains (Ernest Godshalk and David Tunick) and management (Stefan Holmgren, Nick Orem, and Micahel Geagan) we were able to participate in several planned events, June 23rd being the first of them.

And, what a blast! We first joined them for an impromptu BBQ on the backside of the island where the summer residents lived. There we met up with Doug and Dale Bruce and Paul and Marty Rogers from Camden, Maine. We saw Ernie and also David and met other participants, all welcoming and all enjoying the ambiance of sailing Sweden’s southwest coast.

The next day the Mid-Summer celebration began with folk meeting at the cottage of Lars and Ulle’s home, friends of cruise participants Per and Karin. The first our involved decorating the pole with wildflowers, a pagan tradition thankfully continuing to this day.

With some taking a well-deserved break

others finished the task and raised the pole.

Although we didn’t perform the traditional dance all gathered around to admire the party’s centerpiece.

With a lunch of traditional Swedish meatballs, herring, vasterbottensostpaj (cheese pie), roasted potatoes, and knackebrod (crisp-bread crackers), trust me, no one left with an empty stomach. I, myself, hugely enjoyed that cheese pie…

I wasn’t able to capture all of the folks we met but here are a few:

Doug and Dale Bruce (we’re most likely related somehow back in medieval times)

 

Phyllis and Nick Orem

 

Max, Dale, and Nick

 

 

Will and Max (they both went to Exeter though Will was a wee bit later)

An afternoon back aboard then another shared meal, this time at Lars and Ulle’s barn next door. This time an American traditional feast:  hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill.

Back on JUANONA for the night Max and I agreed on how wonderful it was to be included in the cruise. Our friends said it was exceptionally well-organized:  cruising Swedish waters with amazing hospitality. The only one who seemed pretty blasé about it was beautiful this little pup Jessie, Stephan, Maria and John’s dog.

Hard to believe but this little dog (now 8-1/2 years old) is a champion DEER hunter. Yes, she hunts BIG deer with Stephan who also guides the Deer hunts. When a deer is killed Stephan warns others NOT go near it when Jessie is standing guard. Even Stephan has to be extremely careful approaching. Because Jessie perceives the prey as hers and hers alone, this seemingly mild-mannered animal turns into a ferocious, snarling monster. Wow. Who woulda thunk it?

SANNASFJORDEN

Saturday-Monday, June 24-26

Saturday morning we woke to a forecast of strong winds gusting into the 40s. The cruise captains cancelled the days’ planned outings and recommended more sheltered harbors. We up-anchored and headed to a nearby fjord.

During our two nights we dinghied across to the mainland for what turned out to be a short ten-minute walk around a deserted village. We slowly made our way back against the wind, at times side-slipping with our low-horsepower, electric motor. The next day was a lot easier as we stayed in the protected cove and strolled for an hour.

Besides being a beautiful day and getting some exercise the only noteworthy event was seeing one of Sweden’s brown vipers, a poisonous–but not lethal, they say– scurrying into the grass close to where we enter to reach our dinghy… (photo courtesy of the Internet)

As those who know me, I graciously let Max go first while I stood close behind gallantly tossing pebbles ahead of his feet.

 

Stay tuned for more coastal cruising…

 

OSLO!

OUR OSLO WEEK

Tuesday-Tuesday, June 5-13

Prior to reaching Oslo we emailed several marinas asking about available space. The one guy who responded kindly said we had picked the ‘worst’ week’, i.e., the busiest of the entire year for boats. We were attempting to find a berth during the Faerder, Oslo’s annual regatta, one of the world’s biggest overnight races in terms of participants. The race attracts 700-1,000 boats; yet, he hinted he could possibly squeeze us in if need be.

Not sure what to expect we motored early one morning into Oslo’s large harbor loaded with marinas. Unsure of where we should go, we spotted an easy docking place (alongside the end of a pontoon) and decided to tie up in search of the nearest harbor master. If anyone could help us, it’d be the harbor master.

Wouldn’t you know–the one guy who responded to our marina inquiries is the person whose marina we happened to dock at. Furthermore, he said we could move JUANONA into a berth close by. Huge sighs of relief silently left our lungs as we thanked Einar. He made our day. Actually, he made our week since we now had a secure berth for our Oslo base.

We had landed at KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening) located on Bygdoy, the peninsula southwest of downtown. “Konge” means “king”. With Dronningen, the Queen’s Marina across the harbor, I thought ‘that’s a nice tribute to the royals’ only to find out that it truly is the king’s marina. Einar told us the king actually does use the facilities but likes to keep a low profile. I kept my eyes out for anyone who appeared to be flying under the radar during our week stay, but no king sightings for moi.

Later, we discovered Thomas and Camilla, the couple we met at our first Norwegian port-of-call this summer, keep their boat there. Another small world sparkle.

A ferry connects the peninsula with the center of Oslo, which enabled easy transport to pick up two, 72-hour Oslo Passes and season ferry tickets (cheaper than a week’s worth of single-ride fares). My sister had told me about the pass when she was here two summers ago; definitely worth the investment if seeing a lot of attractions. Not only does the pass cover entrance fees but also all modes of public transpiration.

To avoid penning ‘and then we went here, and then we went there’ the following posts highlight specific events and sites during our week in this wonderful city. Both of us felt we could very eaasily live in Oslo (it would help if we qualified for the country’s pension plan, of course). The architecture, the sites, and the people create an intoxicating ambiance, one definitely worth more than the week we spent here.

And, we had a truly special introduction to Oslo’s charm on our first evening:  dinner at Ingunn and Snorre’s home.

Snorre thoughtfully provided detailed information on how to reach their apartment west of the city. Armed with our Oslo Passes and his instructions we managed to get ourselves to the designated Metro stop and walk the remaining 15 minites to their welcoming home.

What a treat! A delicious dinner begun with a special drink they discovered during their cruise on s/v SPINVILL to the Caribbean and ending wtih the taste of summer strawberries and a sip of rum, also from their travels.

Speaking of travels, check out their blog: www.sy-spinnvill.com. The text is in Norwegian but easy to translate via GOOGLE; plus, their photos and videos provide a wonderful voyage on their own. They also have posted recipes, such as the delicious Torsk (cod) one we enjoyed that night (and subsequently have in our recipe file).

Conversation ranged from cruising to jobs to life. Thinking it was around 9:30, several hours from when they opened their door, we found it was 11:30. Whoa. They had to get up early for work, and we had to catch one of the last busses from city center back to JUANONA.

What would be really wonderful would be a rendezvous on the water. Snorre’s parents, who sailed to the South Pacific in the mid-70s, were cruising on SPINNVILL in Denmark. We anticipate another lovely evening ahead!

Now on to exploring…