Jun 30, 2012


On Thursday we set sail just before noon and headed for Härnösand, which is the starting point of the Hight Coast. The sun was shining and we had finally some cosy downwind sailing in the morning, like the ones who like us on Facebook saw in the photo we posted while we were sailing! :)

In the evening we then arrived in Härnosand. We chose to go to the Norra Sundet - the northern harbour. Unfortunately, this one does not have service like toilets or showers but one needs to go to the other harbour for taking a shower and borrow the toilet in the nearby hotel. 

By the way, as you can see in our last photo, we are back at using our old CQR-anchor. It turned out that the roll-bar in smaller 10 kg Delta anchor was placed higher, when stored in the bow, than in the CQR. Also the roll-bar was smaller, and therefore getting on board from the bow was a bit too difficult. We also tried to find bow ladders, that would work with Delta, but could not find suitable ones from local maritime stores. Thus, we decided to return the Delta and continue with the CQR after all...

Now we shall start exploring the High Coast!
/Antti & Minna

Arriving in Härnösand

Norra sundet 

Nordiska dagarna - the Nordic Days are organized in Härnösand now

Jun 29, 2012

Decorating the interior of S/Y Dolphin Dance

We have earlier already blogged about our new pillows, curtains and storage boxes. Now they are happily settled at the boat. During these first days of our sailing journey, we have been very pleased with this new storage system since our clothes have their own places and they need not be carried in huge bags that are on the way all the time. Here some photos, how the pillows and storage boxes actually look like at the boat. Additionally, you will now see my DIY-project's results - those new lovely curtains!

Jun 28, 2012

Leg 3: Sundsvall-Åstön

On Wednesday afternoon, we continued with a short leg from Sundsvall towards north. We decided to stay at wild anchorage, but since it was an evening of Euro 2012 semi-finals, we tried to find an anchorage with a good tv-signal. We first sailed to Söråkersviken, but the forrest and the hills were blocking the tv-signal, and the place also appeared to be a bit dark. Thus, we decided to continue a few miles northwest to Kattskär, which is Svenska Kryssarklubben's skerry harbour. There is a very narrow, river-like passage to Kattskär. However, we read in our harbour guide, that the waterway should have minimum depth of 1,9 meters.

Otherwise the passage was well marked, but one seamark was damaged and only partly visible. Unfortunately, we passed it from the wrong side and motored straight into shallow water. We did not have too much speed and luckily the bottom was very soft, so we did not get stuck. We managed to motor out of the shallow water, but decided to turn back and anchor outside the island of Åstön. 

Sundsvall marina

River-like narrow passage to Kattskär

The damaged, small mark in the center of the photo next to the pier was green and should have been rounded from the left side...

Jun 27, 2012

Arrived in Sundsvall

On Tuesday just before noon, we arrived in Sundsvall in Sweden after a pretty tiring 154 nm crossing from Finland. Actually, this leg was longer in terms of distance than any of the ones that we sailed last season. We delayed the decicion to go until the early Monday morning, when we got the latest weather forecast. In the end we were quite lucky with the wind, but not with the rain. We were able to travel most of the leg under sail mostly at good speed. The wind was first from east, but it veered to north-northeast during the day and increased to about 12 m/s. The rain started at around 4 p.m. on Monday evening and lasted persistently during the whole night until the next morning. Thus, the windvane was steering 95 % of the time, while one of us was monitoring under the sprayhood.

Last glimpse of Isokari

Breakfast at sea

Pytt-i-panna for lunch

Arriving in Sundsvall

Jun 25, 2012

Final preparations and the first leg to Isokari

We spent Sunday doing a lot of preparations for the beginning of our journey towards Sweden. The weather seemed to be getting better and we were eager to go! We set sail in the evening and started with a short leg to Isokari which is the last island before the open sea. 

At Isokari, we walked around the island and went to see the lighthouse. After eating (and watching football via the crappy internet connection) we have now checked the weather and are wondering how we should continue. There seems to be much more rain coming than they forecasted earlier and the wind seems to be getting stronger so now we are trying to decide what to do...
/Minna & Antti

Jun 24, 2012

Celebrating the Finnish Midsummer

Midsummer is the biggest celebration of summer in Finland. Basically, most of the Finland moves to the archipelago and countryside for a weekend. Boats and buildings are decorated with birches, we eat, swim and go to the sauna... On the Midsummer Eve, the weather was perfect: sunny and warm and we got to enjoy the fantastic Finnish summer!
/Minna & Antti

S/Y Dolphin Dance in Kustavi

Peterzen's guest harbour full of boats on Midsummer Day 

Jun 19, 2012

New Delta anchor

I wrote earlier a blog post on bow anchor selection. Last week I lowered the anchor and all the chain to the pontoon to check the condition of the chain and to improve the length markings. It turned out that the anchor chain was 40 meters long and not 30 meters as I had previously recalled. The chain weighs probably well over 1 kg per meter, so it is a heavy lump in the bow. Furthermore, I think that our 20kg CQR-anchor is a bit over-sized for a 29ft boat and it is often seen in boats over 40ft. Therefore I decided to order a new 10 kg Delta-anchor which arrived today, just in time.
Delta's fluke has a plowshare shape similar to the CQR-anchor and both anchors are nowadays manufactured by Lewmar. However, perhaps the most important difference is the hinged shank in the CQR, which makes it cope better with windshifts. Also the shank is longer in the CQR. The Delta is a more recent design, and it has some benefits. Its shank is shaped so that the anchor will self-launch from bow roller when released. The tip is ballasted to give a low center of gravity, which should make the anchor set more quickly.

Anchor and chain lowered

Now Dolphin Dance is floating as the waterline is painted

Delta is basically a modernized, fixed shank version of CQR.

Testing how Delta fits to the bow roller. I haven't fitted the Delta yet, but one potential problem might be, that the roll-bar, which we use as a step, appears to be higher. Not sure if it is because of its shape or just because the new anchor is smaller.

If anyone is interested in our old 20 kg CQR, feel free to contact: sydolphindance(a)gmail.com. The legendary CQR-anchor is guaranteed for life against breakage in use and Lloyds rated High Holding Power anchor.

Jun 18, 2012

Celebrating a friend's birthday in Pihlajasaari

Before we set sail, I would like to share you a bit of information and lovely photos from Pihlajasaari, where I went last Saturday to celebrate a friend's birthday!

Pihlajasaari is an island (or actually a group of islands connected with a bridge) situated only ten minutes' boat trip away from the centre of Finland's capital, Helsinki. During summer, there is a boat travelling between Kaivopuisto and Pihlajasaari and we took this boat to get to the island. The island has no permanent residents and it is the most popular summer oasis for the citizens of Helsinki.

First of all, it was great to see how much activity there was in the harbour called Merisatama in southern Helsinki on a sunny Saturday afternoon:

Merisatama, Helsinki

I was interested in visiting Pihlajasaari since I had never visited this place. If you ever come to visit Helsinki during summer time as a tourist, I recommend you should visit this place if you can not go sailing! It is namely very easy to make a trip to Pihlajasaari.

There is also a harbour for sailors on this island, so when we one day will sail to Helsinki region, this might be a possible harbour for us. The cost for staying in Pihlajasaari harbour seems quite reasonable: only 12 € per night compared to many other more expensive harbours in the area.

Had a lovely weekend meeting friends in Helsinki! Now we can focus on getting everything ready before beginning this summer's sailing trip towards Sweden...

Idyllic houses on the island

Went swimming from sauna, even though the sea water is still quite cold here!