We arrived to a gloriously sunny Göteburg and Transpulp executed a precise spin and reverse onto her berth.
We were soon off ship; the Swedish border police ladies were more interested in our holiday plans than in any potential contraband secreted on Aurora. Getting out of the port was no easy feat, given the lack of signs and the scarcity of people, but we were soon on our way. The journey to the appointed launch point at Högmarsö took about 7 hours, including a brief burger stop for Aimee.
This was the point of most uncertainty in the trip. I had felt worried about setting out on a trip like this without certain knowledge of how I was going to launch the boat. I had conversed with Hasse Möller at the boatyard in Högmarsö and I had examined the area on charts and Google Earth. Everyone I asked in England, who knew about Baltic sailing, had told me not to worry. So I decided not to. Worry, that is. After all there are boats of all sizes everywhere you look in the Baltic and they all have to get in and out of the water. How hard could it be…?
Well, not easy, as it turned out. The choice was an expensive lift into the water, using a crane which did not fill me with confidence, or else the slipway, which was free, but induced a great sucking of teeth when mentioned.
I chose the free option. The slipway looked fine at first- steep and concrete but contained unexpected hazards. These only became apparent when the trailer was lowered by rope into the water; the transom was only about 5cm out of the water, but the boat was not afloat. So with a deep breath I let out some more rope and thankfully the boat floated free.
Now however, I had the problem of pulling the trailer out, over a large concrete lip. Aimee put her engineering skills into use and built a ramp for the jockey wheel (I knew the after school clubs would pay off!). The trailer was soon back on tarmac; I motored Aurora back to the harbour and then walked to rejoin Aimee at the slipway.
Launching challenges notwithstanding, it had been the fastest rig up ever and we had time for a quick swim before returning to the harbour. The party in Högmarsö was in full swing by then- it has a large open air bar and a floating Chinese dragon boat restaurant. The harbour was full and much merriment was being had by all. However, we were too tired to do anything but crash out.
Still, we were now afloat and ready for the first sail on the Baltic.