Our summer in Europe was busy, starting at the beginning of July with revisiting the west coast of Sweden, where we met our sailing friends Ingemar and Ann-Britt on their very comfortable Dehler 43, Lady Ann III. We last sailed in the area on the classic yacht Overlord (www.sailoverlord.org.uk) in 2003, and whilst we had fantastic weather again, this time we sailed to beautiful anchorages and marinas that we did not know existed on our first visit. All thanks to our hosts, who it has to be said, do know the area like the back of their hand!
Like so many, our friends have a summer house and the blue and yellow Swedish banner flutters in the breeze when they are in residence! Theirs is at Ulebergshamn, almost 2 hour’s drive north of Goteborg.
We spent a few days there unwinding, enjoying the magnificent local coastal scenery and being entertained by several of their friends which included a really fun 50th birthday party of one of Ingemar’s colleagues.
Boarding Lady Ann berthed at the marina just down the hill, we sailed north on a south easterly wind to an island about 12 miles offshore called Lyngo, and the small harbour of Lyngohalet, 58 32.35N 11 05.25E (* see postscript below).
Here we rafted up in the tight ‘marina’. Pipistrelle would have squeezed onto the end but in the right weather, anchoring outside is also a good option. Later we walked across the rocky island, enjoying stunning views, stopping to watch a number of yachts moored in a narrow channel between Lyngo and Makrilleskar. We were struck again by how clean the country is – somehow the air seems more pure here! People are friendly and welcoming, the lifestyle seemingly laid back and very relaxed. The scenery on the west coast is spectacular, and summer BBQ’ing ashore a way of life. Add beautiful weather and sailing conditions to the mix and you have the recipe for a great holiday!
The wind was forecast to turn to the north, but we had one more day of favourable winds, so headed north the next day to Lindo, 58 46.40N 11 09.08E, with its lovely big anchorage, and only about 20nm to the Norwegian border.
As forecast the wind then veered to the NW, and so we slowly headed south, stopping for lunch at Havstensund, 58 45.15N 11 10.38E, and on to Stora Klovskar for an overnight stop at 58 39.18N 11 12.33E. This enabled us to enjoy a good sail and provided another sheltered anchorage with more stunning scenery.
The long light evenings with sunset at 22.30, and good light until 23.30, enabled us to carry on sailing comfortably long past the time when we would normally be stopping for the night. The next day, 9th July, was a good example of a long comfortable passage south. We sailed through the islands in the morning to a lunch break at Fjallbacka, 58 36.00N 11 16.42E, then on a further 6nm to Hamburgsund for a brief stop for provisions, and this entailed a fascinating motor sail along one of the typical narrow channels to be found in the archipelago.
We anchored close to Heestrand, 58 30.54N 11 15.42E for evening drinks and a prawn supper preceded by our daily swim. Though the Vikings are hardened to the local water temperature and have no problem taking a dip, we Pipistrellians accustomed to the Andaman Sea at about 30C, required some encouragement before taking the plunge and jumping off the stern of Lady Ann into what the water thermometer claimed to be 20C… breath-taking in the truest sense!
Finally, with the skipper on low alcohol beer (limits are the same as on the road), we set sail for Ulebergshamn, enjoyed a superb sunset en route, watching colours change as dusk began, and after a further hour or so tied up on Ingemar’s mooring. What a fabulous day!
The following week we sailed to Goteborg. Notable stops were quaint Lilla Korno, Skarhamn where we rafted up and ‘enjoyed’ the crowded marina (a charming wooden boat rally was in port). There we met up with one of Ingemar’s sisters and her partner for dinner who then joined us next day to sail through Marstrand to Kallo-Knippla at 57 45.01N 11 39.17E.
Here another of Ingemar’s sisters has a summerhouse and we had been included in an invitation to participate in the annual family get together. Another delightful island with a lot of history, and a joy to explore.
Vrango at 57 34.27N 11 46.35E provided another bows-to mooring in the outer marina where there would be enough room for Pipistrelle. We had a lovely walk through a nature reserve at the north of the island. The facilities are good with shower block, supermarket, restaurant and fresh fish straight from the fisherman. Only 35nm from the island of Laeso in Denmark, it is a good entry point to Sweden.
Finally we arrived at the marina by the Opera House in Goteborg where it is just a short walk to the airport shuttle bus and a flight back to the UK. Farewells were said to Ingemar and Ann-Britt – we meet again in Thailand in November when they fly out to join us for 2 weeks’ sailing on Pipistrelle in Phang Nga Bay!
*PS. For those interested in using a tablet/mobile device while sailing/travelling, we find the MAPS.ME ‘MapsWithMe’ App extremely useful, providing fast and detailed offline maps. No need for an internet connection and the GPS in the device shows the lat/long position even though it is offline. For example we used it to mark our anchorages in Sweden, added explanatory notes and positions for recall later. Hence the coordinates above!