The Season 2011 was dedicated for sailing S/Y Dolphin Dance from Finland to Norway and back. Our adventure started on May 27th and we came back home on the 12th of August. During the 11 weeks, S/Y Dolphin Dance travelled the total of 1972 nm in 60 sailing days. This makes an average of 33 nm per day. We spent totally 422 hours at sea and our average speed was about 4,7 kn. The engine logged 200 hours and thus we travelled about 220 hours under sail. When going southwest along the east coast of Norway, we had to use the engine quite a lot since the wind was mostly against us.
Our actual route from Finland to Norway and back. Blue line is our route to Norway and the red line is for the return journey (when there was difference).
Our initial plan was to sail up to Stavanger and Bergen in western Norway. However, the weather conditions in mid-June were not on our side and there was about two weeks period of strong westerly winds. We had planned to go via Limfjorden in Denmark, but due to the winds, we chose to head for the Swedish west coast instead. In fact, during these two weeks, there was only one day when the Skagerrak crossing could be made without beating against +10 m/s winds: on 22nd of June wind turned to south-southwest and we could make a fast and rather comfortable crossing to the Norwegian side of Skagerrak. However, we were late from our initial schedule so we decided that it is better to leave Stavanger area for the future expeditions and spent the time exploring the southern Norway instead.
Thus, Egersund was our turning point and furthest place that we visited in Norway by boat. We spent four days there waiting for the strong winds to calm down. In the beginning of July, when coming back from Egersund, there was a period of mostly light winds and this gave us a good opportunity to explore the area around Hidra island in the exposed south coast of Norway.
Moored in Hidra, Norway
In southern Norway: Imsøysundet
Our return journey from Lillesand to Copenhagen was mostly good sailing in fresh winds. After Copenhagen winds got more variable and we had to rely on our Volvo Penta more often. The most tiring leg was probably from Bornholm to Utklippan; although it was only 9 hours of sailing at good speed, it felt a lot longer due to the pouring rain. In Kalmarsund winds turned to north and then calmed for many days, and thus we had to motor again quite a lot. The longest leg from Öland to Nynäshamn was mostly motoring, but after that we enjoyed many days of the best sailing weather during this trip.
In general everything worked well and Dolphin Dance took good care of us. We had the biggest drama already on the first day of the journey, when the rudder shaft box started leaking. Fortunately, after adding petroleum jelly (vaseline), it remained watertight for the rest of the journey. I also added vaseline into the stuffing box a few times during the journey. We also found an underwater rock in Norway when leaving a wild anchorage in Blindleia.
Rest of the season was spent cruising in beautiful Finnish Archipelago. S/Y Dolphin Dance was laid-up for winter on the 10th of October 2011. She logged total of about 2250 nm this season.
Here is a collection of places and moments that we consider to be among the highlights of season:
Minna arrived at Egersund and we started our home journey. At first, we moored in Berefjord. This little fjord was one of the most amazing places during the trip.
After many days of waiting the wind finally veered to SW and eased somewhat, so we (Antti, Pertti & Timo) enjoyed a perfect sailing leg from Sweden to Norway. Seeing the coastline of Norway in front of the bow was something I had dreamed of for a long time.
Finally after several days of rain we found summer: clear skies and 25 degrees! Rasvåg is a picturesque small fishing village on the exotic island of Hidra in the southern coast of Norway.
In Norway the first port that we arrived at was Grimstad. It was Midsummer day and there was a big celebration on the harbour.
In the beginning of July, the high pressure ridge strengthened further and winds calmed. We had a good opportunity to explore the amazing island of Hidra. We anchored in the bay of Ytre Kalvekilen and climbed to a nearby hill.
Minna's first ever night sailing leg! We sailed from Nynäshamn to Öland. Seeing the sun setting and rising at sea is something that I never get bored at watching.
We took a train to Stavanger and rented a car for two days to see the Western Norway. We also climbed to Preikestolen, the Pulpit Rock, which is a famous cliff rising straight over 600 meters above Lysefjorden.
We visited Öland again on our return journey. After many rainy days, the hot and sunny weather waiting for us in Öland felt luxurious.
Singlehanded sailing from Bergkvara to Copenhagen. Early in the morning at Southern Baltic Sea, I was sitting on the fore deck and taking photos.
On our return journey we spent a beautiful day in Hammerhavn, Bornholm. We climbed up to hill to see the Hammerhus castle ruins. The castle and hilly coastline give this place a Mediterranean feeling.