Monday, July 19, 2021

Sailing the Gullkrona Bay


My vacation has started and I wanted to the archipelago.

My vacation finally started after a rather busy summer at work. Too many things to do at the same time, and I couldn't find time for some extended weekends earlier in June, which I had hoped for. The first week I was actually to have a kayak guiding work for a few days, but we agreed to postpone it with a week due according to what the customers wished. It would have been perfect for kayaking, though. Fairly weak winds and a continuing heat (over four weeks of temperatures of 25-30°C, with only a few days slighty less hot). Less good for sailing, which I opted to do instead. Incidentally, the coming week has much stronger winds, perfect for sailing and less than ideal for kayaking.

Anyway, I started a trip for the home harbor with Tor, 16 years young, around noon on Thursday. We had a wind of 5-7 m/s from south, enough wind to get a decent speed and a direction that would keep us tacking the entire day.

The Airisto section went without problems, as did the following section after the Nagu ferries.

The final tacking section, after which we could sail close reached to the intended island for the night.

Closing in is much easier when you are not going solo. The intention is to land close enough to land that you can get ashore without getting your feet wet, not always easy with a sailing boat in the mostly rather shallow waters of the Archipelago Sea.

Landed afer a good sailing day. with 27 NM and only around 30 minutes of running the engine.

1.2 m deep, but the depth sounder is a bit forward of the deepest point of the keel. Still a bit tight, since the draft of the boat is 1.2 m.

Evening stroll, dinner and evening swim followed.

As it turned out, the boat was a bit close to land. During the night, the wind started to come from east, despite the forecast and the boat thus moved sideways a meter or two and the keel started to occasionally bump into an underwater rock. I had to get up and pull the boat outwards a few meters. Maybe the lesson here is to pull the boat out a few meters during the night, and then in the morning pull it in again, to be able to get ashore.

We got going again a little over nine in the morning, having easy sailing in broad reach.

Lunch stop at Kråkskär, which is becoming a favorite of mine.

The first tracks are obviously birds, the second tracks not obvious to me.

We decided to go a little south, before turning northwards again. The wind had now increased a bit and I decided to experiment with going only with the main sail. In broad reach the speed was quite ok.


The tacking angle however was not good.

Turning back to northeast still got us in an angle where the mainsail only worked well.

There are a few guide books about nature harbors along the Finnish coast, and we aimed for one of them. Closing in, it seemed we got into a little competition there, but arrived at the spot before another boat. The drawback of sailing in July, when everone else is out... Basically another boat would have fit there, but in my opinion would probably have been a bit close. Obviously that other boat, and yet another one a little later thought that as well and continued to somewhere else. Alternatively they just look at our landing technique, which was a bit entertaining. The wind from the side was quite hard and I didn't take that into account when closing in, and Tor was forced to step onto a rather bad place. We got it sorted out, but it is a bit of a challenge to maneuver a long keeled boat in slow speed. The distance of the day was 26 NM and again no other motoring than getting in and out of harbors.

Just in case the wind would again turn and come from east, I put out a second anchor to account for that wind direction.

Dinner and more swimming.

A nice view.

I woke around midnight to some stronger wind gusts, probably around the forecasted 12 m/s, but the wind directions remained the same and the boat didn't move. Otherwise I slept very well.

The morning was actually a bit chilly and I had to put on a fleece, the first time in over a month. It quickly got warm, though, when the sun came out from behind the island.

Breakfast with coffee and fresh bread from the Omnia oven.

Looking at the forecast, the wind had gone down a lot and this would mean a lot of motoring. We started with motoring, since the headwind was too weak allow reasonable tacking.

A one hour sailing section. More that half of the sail boats still motored it.

We did try sailing a bit more, but soon have up and started the engine again.

The stove is gimbaled, so it is quite possible to make food underways. Of course, going by motor means no heeling, so it was even easier.

We did try putting up the sails a few more times, but in vain. There was simply not enough wind. A few sailboats going in the same direction did have the sails up, but moved quite slowly. And my boat is certainly no boat for light winds.

Back in the home harbor at around three in the afternoon after 25 NM, unfortunately mostly going by engine. I'm beginning to appreciate the decent inboard motor more and more, even the sailing is the real thing.

There will be no longer trips this summer with the boat. I'm still learning to sail, learning the boat and fixing the boat. Next year everything should be fine for some more demanding trips.

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