After days of being in the depth of the engine compartment, sorting out the engine cooling problems and tackling numerous other tasks on our endless to do list we were “ready” for our next sailing adventure. This time we were buddying up with friends we’d met at our boat yard to avoid the minor disasters of our first sail.
We got the WhatsApp message from friends on True Love that they were setting off.
According to my calculations that meant we should be rendezvousing with them outside the marina in just over an hour later. Mariposa was in no state to sail: there were still tools and still too much stuff on her, she was a mess inside. A frantic drill started to get everything stowed securely.
We made it: just as True Love was at the marina we were ready to set off. We untied the downwind morning lines, switched on the engine to idle and uncleated the upwind lines.
Then it hit us…
…with force- a storm with 20-30 knot winds, rain and some hail thrown in for good measure.
Antoine, Angelina and I stood there hanging onto the mooring lines, fending the boat off the pontoon. The boys were sent below to keep dry and close up the boat.
The summer storm lasted a mere 10 minutes, but soaked us through.
The winds subsided, we cast off and headed out to the sound. Out in more open waters the waves had picked up as we motored into them.
True Love was waiting for us. We headed off together, keeping an eagle eye on our engine temperature. It was showing that it was cooling beautifully.
True Love hoisted their foresail, we followed suite. They hoisted their mainsail, we decided to stick to our foresail only. We were sailing at a leisurely, tea-drinking pace.
True Love’s owners knew the waters very well, so instead of following our plotted route, we followed them through narrow channels, taking short cuts we probably wouldn’t have dared to on our own. They knew where they were going, where hidden hazards were. We kept in contact via VHF radio the whole time. It was really reassuring!
I never thought I’d be so nervous sailing our own boat, even after couple of thousand miles I had under my belt (albeit most accumulated pre-kids).
As we were passing through the final narrow channel, keeping to port to avoid submerged rocks, as advised by True Love, Angelina went to sit on the bow of the boat, right up in the forepeak. It was a beautiful leisurely sail!
Approaching the natural harbour of our destination, Svartskogskär, we listened to True Love’s advice on approaching the bay and watched as they finished tying up. And then again, out of the blue, it hit us: howling winds and rain, quickly whipping up short steep waves. On went the engine. Angelina was stuck in the front, but well placed to wrestle the foresail down.
We got the sail down and battled the wind, motoring back and forth.
“Mariposa, Mariposa. This is True Love. Is everything ok?”, we heard the radio crackle.
“True Love, True Love. This is Mariposa. Yes, we’re just waiting for the winds to subside a little so we can head in. At the moment we can’t see the little bouy marking the submerged rock at the entrance and our [Garmin] chartplotter doesn’t show it.”
The winds died down just as quickly as they’d arrived and we slowly motored in.
Drawing a figure of 8 twice with the boat, we dropped the anchor in the middle of the bay and motored towards the rocks. It felt wrong going so close! And I’d never have dared to do it, had it not been for our friends being there. Hugo jumped on land with the mooring lines as I flicked the engine into reverse to avoid banging into the rocks.
We tied off to 2 mooring rings installed into the rocks and tightened up the anchor line. (The holding ground is thick mud, so even without chain the anchor bites and holds well in protected harbours)
Alice, the dog was ready to go explore with the kids.
It was just our 2 boats on this pretty little island at the mouth of the Norrköping Sound. We grabbed our picnic and enjoyed a lovely Midsummer’s Eve feast, despite some rain showers.
Our friends left the following morning. We stayed another 2 days. On Svartskogskär, we got to understand what is so amazing about the Swedish and Finnish archipelagos: having an island to yourself, being able to swim, fish, enjoy nature and quiet time. We look forward to a lot more such experiences over the next month!
Thanks Henrik and Agnes of True Love!
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