Season 2013


The season 2013 ended on Friday 25th of October, when DD was laid up on the hard. This was one of the latest lift outs and this year we actually did make a couple of sails still in October. Usually our last sails have been in the end of September. This season got a bit late start, as she was launched only on the 23th of May. So despite the late start, the season lasted for almost five months, which is one of the longest seasons so far. The goal is to extend this to six months next year, as we are planning to launch earlier next year.

In the early June we made a couple of shorter night trips and also one longer trip to Jurmo in the southern Archipelago Sea, which was one of the goals for the summer.


Visby – the capital of Gotland

The main destinations for this year were Gotland and Fårö. We started our four week's summer trip in the end of June. During the journey, we have been talking a lot about how different and interesting landscapes and places one can find from the Baltic Sea within just a few hundred miles. First of all, Visby is a one of the top sailing destinations in Northern Europe, a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site and probably the best-preserved medieval town in the Nordic countries. It is amazing how uniform the old town, located inside the City Wall "Ringmuren" is. At many places, it feels like being thrown straight into the middle age.



Lickershamn

Sunset in Lickershamn, located about 15 nm north of Visby

Fårö and Gotska Sandön - the paradise islands of the Baltic Sea

From Visby we continued to the Fårö island, located just a mile north from Gotland. I had visited this island in 2010, and instantly fell in love with its beautiful beaches, tranquil athmosphere and many amazing limestone formations, which are called rauks. This year, we visited the island first by car, and later in July, stayed also two nights on the island in Lauterhorn harbour. During our stay in Lauterhorn, we rented bicycles and drove to see the Gamle Hamn rauks in the evening. The weather turned cloudy in the evening, so we missed the famous sunset of Gamle Hamn (the sun setting through arch of the Coffeepot rauk) that we were looking for. However, an approaching weather front gave a dramatic scenery for the place.

The famous 'Coffeepot rauk'


From Fårö we continued to Gotska Sandön which was one of the highlights during the summer. This uninhabited and most isolated island in the Baltic Sea does not have a harbour, so boats are anchoring in the lee side of the island. During our stay, the island gave a relatively good shelter from the wind, but there was a nasty swell, which was rounding the island and at times was coming from 90 degrees direction to the wind. This made the anchorage rather bumpy and the night mostly sleepless. For a moment we were discussing about raising the anchor and taking a course towards calmer anchorages of the Stockholm Archipelago. However, afterwards it is easy to say, that the decision to stay was the right one: the following day on the island and walking along its deserted sand beaches made us to forget the miserable night on the anchorage.



Stockholm Archipelago and Åland

From Gotska Sandön we continued to Finnskär in outer Stockholm Archipelago. Strong northerly winds were forecasted for the following six days, so we made short legs in the archipelago and also stayed one night in Stockholm Wasahamn, while waiting for better conditions for sailing to Åland. We were late from our schedule, so we had to leave Dolphin Dance to Mariehamn for four nights, while we took a ferry back home for a long working weekend.


We were looking forward the last days of sailing through the beautiful Åland Archipelago, but unfortunately, the weather turned grey, cold and rainy as we started, and the sun only came out on the last day of the journey. Thus, we don't have many images from the last days.

During the season, DD logged 1196 nautical miles in 55 sailing days. This year we moved to a new homeport, closer to the main sailing areas in the Archipelago sea. Therefore, we made, compared to the previous years, quite a few day sails especially in the early summer. However, our average sailing distance 22 nm per day was lower than during the previous years, so we had a pretty relaxed schedule this year. I spent total of 263 hours at the sea and Minna about 240 hours.

This year's autumn was especially warm and summer-like almost till the end of September. Therefore, in August and September, we did many shorter night trips and also one longer sail to Kustavi and Uusikaupunki in northern part of the Archipelago Sea.

2 comments:

  1. Hi, lovely pictures. We (husband Noel and myself) are coming to Europe to buy a boat to explore Europe - the idea (so I thought) was to do the canals, my husband has just said he'd like to explore the Baltic! We have sailed around the world on our first boat and sailed the Pacific on our second - bascially I am tired of ocean miles - I know the Baltic has a lot of protected areas (and a lot of shallows - does the sea kick up quickly - we did the great Lakes in Canada, and they kicked up real quick!?) - anyhow, I also wanted to know if you had experienced any of the canals in Europe (we have done the French canals on our sailboat some years ago). We are considering buying another sailboat - I would like a canal boat, but with the ability to put up a sail - so we shall see what is available. Jackie

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  2. Hi Jackie, thanks for your comment! We don't have experience on the European canals, although I think that it would be wonderful to navigate through Europe some day. In the Baltics, there are some areas where a nasty steep sea will kick up rather quickly, but mostly especially the Northern Baltics is very sheltered. Furthermore, with your experience on ocean sailing, the Baltics is merely a big lake and the archipelagos are great fun for sailing.

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It would be very great to hear your opinion or comments. Thank you in advance for commenting! -Antti & Minna