060212 - Stockholm

052712 25 Katherine on her mooring

Katherine alongside Strandvagen Stockholm

Saturday 26th May to Wednesday 30th May

We moved on from Mariehamn on Friday taking the opportunity to anchor in the Swedish Archipelago on our way to Stockholm. Such a maze of daunting but beautiful rocky outcrops. Our first stop was on the northern edge of the Archipelago at an island called Arholma and the harbour of Osterhamn. It has a permanent population of 60 that apparently swells to all of 500 during the tourist season. No bitumen on this island, just gravel roads with quad bikes, push bikes and small motorbikes modified to act as utilities. We passed kids zooming down roads on billy carts and an older lady zooming down the hill on her pushbike with trolly dragging along behind whilst deer were peering at us from the paddock. We also found on this island a restaurant called Krog and Kafe and had a delicious evening meal cooked by a chef from Barbados enjoying the rare warmth before the mosquitos equivalent to the B52 bombers of Kakadu decided to try and carry us away.

The next evening saw us closer to Stockholm stopping in a small bay off Sjabottna some 35miles from the city. It felt like we were in the backyard of the surrounding houses as the bay was just big enough for us to swing. Getting use to these smaller spaces. A 28 footer came in after we had our pick down, motored passed and squeezed into the rocks with a stern anchor and stepped off onto the rocks at the bow to tie to a tree - the way it should be done around here. 

Sunday was  a special day - nearly brought a tear to the eye - well for Lee the emotional one. We clocked our first 1000 nautical miles and entered Stockholm harbour to be greeted at our dock by friends David and Norelle Millen (Darb and Nell) from Australia who will join us on our leg to St Petersburg. To say our berth was central was an understatement. We had to get the tourists to pull their legs in from the dock as we berthed! We were on Strandvagen the area that all the charter boats pick up and leave from and only a short walk to the Old Town, palace, shopping area and more. 

A highlight of our short visit to Stockholm was the Vasa Museum. The Vasa a 69m long and 48.8m tall ship was launched in 1628  but only made it a short distance down the harbour before sinking. She lay on the harbour bed for 333 years before being raised in 1961. Incredibly 95 percent of the original ship had survived the time on the seabed and she has been painstakingly researched and restored. On entry to the museum The Vasa brought goose bumps to your skin - no hollywood production required for this vessel - she truely had the feel of a ghost ship. The museum was purposely built to house the Vasa and has three levels so that you can take in all of her levels.

We had intended to stay and do a tour of Stockholm but weather predictions were not looking good for the upcoming days so with the Mastervolt man literally packing up his tools following the replacement of the batteries, the watermaker parts finally on board after following us around the baltic from launch and our newest member safely stowed we set off on Thursday night to do an overnighter across the Baltic to Hanko in Finland.
Stockholm is truely a beautiful city. We all agreed the people have a style about them unique to any part of Scandinavia we have yet visited. We will certainly put Stockholm on our port of call for the future.

Now having sailed some twenty two hours we are in Hanko and as the weather forecast predicted the wind is growing and the weather somewhat miserable. Its blowing 30plus knots and we have more lines out than we thought ever possible but still sailing on the dock. Still happy to be in harbour and will await a break for our next run to the outskirts of Russia.

Next major port of call St Petersburg.

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© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain