Having tested the water, so to speak, we decided to make an overnight passage. With a crew consisting of myself, Trevor, his son Stefan and his nephew Felix, we set out to see where we could get. The weather was still hot and the wind was very light, so we made slow progress from Svartlöga to the channel. Eventually, there was so little wind, we had to motor and we decided to find a nearby island for some lunch and a swim.
Vindelskär fitted the bill nicely, and we motored along its North side until we found a place where we could bring the bow tight up to the rock. Having found a likely spot, we anchored the stern, motored in and secured two bow lines to large rocks. This was the first time Aurora had been moored “Swedish Style” and I was pleased it had gone so smoothly.
We then cooled off with a swim and then had some lunch of cheese and biscuits. During this time, I noticed the sky getting blacker to the West and the wind starting to pick up. “We may get some rain”, I thought and decided to move off as soon as lunch was finished. Quite quickly, I noticed the boat moving sideways with a wind shift, and thought we had better move off immediately. It was not a moment too soon, as within a few minutes, a fierce squall blew in. Whereas previously a very light breeze had been blowing off the shore, now a strong wind was whipping across the shore and bring up a surprisingly large swell.
We got the warps off, but I. The cross breeze, could not do it without leaving a crew ashore. Stefan, having volunteered, could only watch as we recovered the anchor and tried in vain to approach the shore to pick him up.
It became clear that we could not pick him up there and in the end he had to make his way to the far end of the island, so we could recover him.
After that excitement and with the squall now throwing buckets of warm rain on us, I pointed the boat downwind and we ran with the wind on staysail only.
After half an hour or so, thing calmed down and the wind dropped considerably. We put up the main sail and made our way to the island of Kallskär, a place Trevor knew from visits many years ago with his grandfather.
There is a natural harbour there, entered by a very narrow passage I to a sheltered lagoon, which was obviously was a popular destination. We again managed to moor to the rock and were able to easily hop off the boat, though this time we arranged the warps so we could recover them without going ashore.
Trevor then set a barbecue and we feasted on grilled fish caught the previous day at Svartlöga. The boys found a place to jump from a high rock into the water, whilst Trevor and I explored the island.
We passed a peaceful night and awoke to (another) gloriously sunny morning. With the damp gear drying and the battery charging in the warm sun, we had breakfast of fresh bread cooked in the thermal cooker. Although I had left the trivet at home, so the bread was a little uneven, it was all consumed quickly enough.
We decided to return to Svartlöga, as there seemed little wind and were soon sailing nicely on a three sail reach, exceeding five knots.
Trevor wanted a close look at the lighthouse on Morsken, whose light he often saw from Svartlöga, but which he had never seen at close quarters.
The wind built steadily and soon we shortened sail to main and staysail and soon arrived at Rödlöga, having tried unsuccessfully to make a lunch stop at Viksharan.
Having bought some supplies and an ice cream from the shop, we then had an exhilarating beat back to Svartlöga on reefed main and staysail, in what was now at least a F5. The entrance to the harbour was interesting, but with lots of hands on the pier, we were easily caught and moored on the down wind side.
Total trip distance: 32nm