We left Vastervik under an overcast sky heading SE out of the Sound directly into a fresh breeze. But after about 45 minutes we turned towards the N and were able to get the sails out and silence the engine. In fact we sailed for over five hours sometimes in open sea but more often between islands and rocks searching for buoys, cardinals or lighthouses to identify the course
|Light marking rocks on port side of channel|
|Another lighthouse in the distance and a sailing boat coming towards us.|
|Swedish tall ship passes by.|
|Anchored off Boko|
|Work boat hurries through.|
|Through the 15m wide shallow channel|
|Summer house with grandstand position half way along the Channel!|
|Steep rocks line the fjord|
|Old Volvo outside a cafe|
|Highly varnished sailing boats|
|Restored traditional boat|
|Close to more rocks ....|
|....and more guarded by a lighthouse|
|The bay on Hasko|
We enjoyed a walk along part of the island and were quite startled when we disturbed a deer hidden in bracken feet away. The deer bolted!
|Moss and lichen abound, may be wet here in the winter|
|Some of the farming equipment had seen better days|
We slipped our mooring just before 0900 on Saturday and resumed heading N on a sunny, still morning.
|A modern summer house|
The marina charges were expensive, around £25 a night; but then I thought that is by Swedish standards! At this time of the year we would probably have to pay £35-£40 for a marina mooring in the Solent! In addition the price included (unlike in the Solent) free use of washing machines and tumble driers so with a freshening breeze it was laundry time!
I had been watching the forecast for the coming days and had noticed the risk of some unsettled weather. Now the forecast was showing strong gusty winds from Monday afternoon until Thursday morning. Generally I only rely on predictions for two or three days ahead so I was a little concerned that if the unsettled weather continued it would make our plans to be at Nynashamn by the following Saturday more difficult. Also we wanted to be in a secure harbour if the weather deteriorated, not on an island in the archipelago which would probably be much more exposed. So we decided to miss out one planned port thinking that we could call there on our return down the coast.
Instead early on Sunday morning, with a fresh E breeze, we headed NNE towards the small island of Oja. We soon had the sails up and made good speed averaging around 6kn for our 35nm passage. We were aiming for a small harbour on the NW coast and when we arrived there was just one other boat, from Finland, tied up. Again it was a case of grabbing a buoy as you passed, holding that at the stern and then mooring bows to the quay. As it happened just two more sailing boats joined us there later, both Swedes. A water taxi arrived shortly after us and a small group of people with many possessions came ashore. One guy was in a wheelchair and ended up being lifted on to a trailer for his onward journey to his home.
|The NE harbour on Oja|
|Lighthouse, electrified 1938 and automated 1963|
|Gun turret above the rock|
|Coastguard tower on left, together with local houses|
Apparently during the autumn migration large numbers of birds pass through Oja with tens of thousands of wild ducks, wading birds and smaller birds passing every day. Of course some stay as residents. In the evening we noticed a bird we had not seen before in the harbour, perhaps building a nest in the reeds.
|A Slavonian grebe?|
|Plenty of bird life including geese|
|Nynashamn and the harbour|
|One of the ferries and tourist boats|
After a windy night we enjoyed a morning walk towards the south passing a local folk museum where we had coffee and glanced at a few buildings and old photographs.
|Ludde's cottage, said to be the oldest house in Nynashamn|
|Old skis leaning against another house|
The next morning we got the bikes out and cycled further south through a nature reserve between two coasts. It was delightfully unspoilt with some beautiful coastal landscape.
|Coast in the nature reserve|
That night and the next day brought very wet and windy weather so we were glad to be safely tied up. We now only had three days before our return flight, so after spending a day sorting out the boat, laundry etc, we decided to get a bus to the town of Sodertalje. We had hoped to call there on Whileaway but were conscious that it was up a long fjord off our direct route. So a shorter cross country journey by bus seemed a good solution.
|The old wharf and waterfront|
|Gas tanker edges its way into the lock|
One ship of particular interest was the SS Ejdern, the world's oldest coal fired propeller driven steamer with original engine. She was built in Gothenburg in 1880 and still undertakes passenger trips each summer.
So that concluded our second leg of 2018. We shall return to Whileaway in August to explore the Stockholm archipelago and then return south.