Lindisfarne – Forgus 37 – 7,5t (over 9t fully equipped)
Sweden, Finland, Denmark Sweden
June – August 2004
Since we came home after the two long seasons (2002-2003) in the Med, doing our test sailing, it was all about preparing Lindisfarne for a longer journey, and in between work a two months summer sailing in the Swedish, Finish an Danish waters.
After a long winter in the cold shed while preparing Lindisfarne this was kind of a shakedown cruise to check that everything that we had upgraded was working properly.
The canal to the Swedish east coast
In the beginning of June we started upstream in Göta Älv to the entrance of Göta Kanal, the canal across the south of Sweden. The canal first opened in 1832 and was for a long time a backbone between the Baltic and the North Sea.
The canal is 210 nm long and we had to pass 64 locks and 55 bridges. Maximum depth is 3 metres and height is 20 metres for fixed bridges.
Early in the season the canal is not that busy and as we passed a couple of lakes we found nice anchorages and stop over docks without competition.
It is a fantastic and beautiful country crossing, the countryside close to the backyards of cottages, farms and villages.
Coming out of the canal 70 nm south of Stockholm we continued inshore to a marina in the middle of the town. On the way we found several nice anchorages on small islands in the archipelago.
59 to 63 north
Our plan was to go as far north as possible before we had to turn around as our holiday ended in August. Stockholm at 59 degrees north and at 64 north the distance between Sweden and Finland is only 60 nm. We had some very nice days along the coast and finally decided to turn around at 63 degrees north crossing over to Wasa in Finland.
The Finish coast is very shallow and has lots of islands far out in the Baltic. And they have an even worse amount of mosquitoes compared to the Swedish east coast. In fact in some areas it is hard even to take a walk.
We followed the coast all the way down to Nystad and saw many nice places, islands and anchorages. Most people in Finland speaks English which is a relief as Swedish and Finish are not related at all. As the archipelago is very shallow it is not to think about to leave the marked fairways, and the marking is absolutely excellent. We had to use the radar several times and the markers showed up nicely.
From Nystad over to Åland, a group of islands with their own ruling. These islands are mainly made of pinkish granite, very beautiful.
Back to Sweden
Made landfall on the Swedish mainland for some cruising in the archipelago south of Stockholm before setting off to the biggest island – Gotland and later Öland.
Both islands are made of limestone and has a totally different look compared to the mainland islands, all granite and covered with pine tree forest.
Leaving the southeast corner of Sweden for a short visit at the Danish island Bornholm.
We can move between all the Nordic countries without any paperwork which is very nice.
Back to Sweden again
From Bornholm to the very south tip of Sweden (55 degrees north) in heavy fog. Next stop was Helsingborg where Björn’s mother lives. Went through the Öresund strait which is one of the world’s busiest straits with heavy traffic.
This is also one place where the current often is up to two knots either in or out of the Baltic. It is all related to high or low pressure and wind, as we don’t have tide in Sweden.
From Helsingborg back to Denmark crossing the narrow strait between Helsingborg and Helsingör. Not more than 2 miles wide. Visited many of the nice Danish small harbours and islands. Both Läsö and Anholt are made of sand, in fact the highest hill in Denmark is 300 m.
Finally Back to Sweden
We had still some days left of our holiday so from Denmark we sailed over to the archipelago north of Gothenburg. At this time, in late August, most boats are back in their marinas leaving the islands for us, and a few more.
Tied up in our home marina in late August after completed the trip to the Baltic via the canal. This is what we though we had to do before going on a long term journey to unknown places around the globe. How could we otherwise answer a question about how it is to sail in Sweden.
Now starts the preparations for next years take off in May. We will live in Lindisfarne during the winter as we already have sold our house and will finally also sell the car before leaving.
Total 2280 nm 78 days
1998-2004= 20 060 nm
See – Album – some pictures from 2004
Annika & Björn