The wind today had been forecast a SW, perfect for a voyage SE to Ängskär. Compared to many of the islands, it is also quite high, so promised some good views. We set out in convoy with four aboard Trev’s motor boat and four aboard Aurora. The idea was that we provide some backup for the motor boat; Trevor had wanted to visit these islands but was always aware of being reliant on a single outboard.
As soon as we set off, we realised that the wind was too much in the South for the anticipated fast reach, but was instead, pretty much a beat. Still, it was a glorious day, with clear skies and a wonderful sailing breeze. With the exception of a lull mid-journey, we had a fast sail across to Ängskär. Having weaved our way through the rocks, we soon anchored in a sheltered and shallow bay on the West side of the main island. The motor boat had arrived long before us, of course, and had established “base camp”. After a welcome swim to cool down, we had lunch and then set out to climb to the highest point on the island, which was indeed more steep than the others in this part of the archipelago.
The soil, like most of the islands we have seen in the southern archipelago, is thin and supports few large trees. One or two pine had exceeded the size which can survive the winter storms and had been ripped from the ground. The usual juniper, blueberry, birch, small ash and “bird cherry” trees eked out a low existence, gripping the cracks in the granite.
The views from the top were spectacular, offering clear views of the small Ängskär archipelago, with the other island groups visible in all directions. Returning to the boats for a swim, followed by coffee and fruit cake. Reluctant to end such a lovely shore trip, we left late in the afternoon for the run back.
At first, we were able to make good time, heading deep downwind back to Svartlöga. However, as so often happens in the early evening, the wind started to decline. We gave up trying to use all three sails, rigged a preventer and sailed dead downwind on main only. Ultimately, as the sky turned gold, we had to admit defeat and start up Mr. Honda and motor the last sea mile; at least we had all sails furled and could drive straight into the harbour for a well-earned supper. 19nm covered at an avg speed of 3.2kts.