We needed some supplies and decided to use the trip to visit a new island. Trevor wanted to see the Norrapada archipelago, so we decided to go first to Rödloga for supplies and then sail on the Norrapada. Today’s crew were myself and Niki, along with Alice and Trevor. It was a glorious morning and there was a lovely breeze, which took us into Rödloga on a fetch. We motored carefully into the harbour through the narrow channel and moored on the jetty- it was much quieter than our previous visit.
The shop on Rödloga is the only one in this part of the archipelago and stocks a wide variety of stores from fresh fruit and veg, deli goods and take away food -the takeaway burger was a do-it-yourself affair- help yourself to the barbecue to cook it!- to petrol and gas cylinders. We needed one of the latter, and Alice was very happy to heft the empty one, as it was made of fibreglass.
The shop had a timeless sort of feel to it, set among the old but well maintained summer houses. One or two small yachts tied up to the jetty and a few passengers turned up. Soon the mood changed, as the ferry arrived and disgorged a crowd of visitors, who swarmed to the shop for picnic lunches. As has frequently happened, Aurora got a lot of attention, with us being asked several times if we had sailed all the way from the uk.
Our own shopping done, we cast off and continued to Norrapada. This skerry of islands is described as one of the most lush in the archipelago, but it is not on one of the main channels, nor are any natural harbours mentioned in the guide book. We were therefore expecting it to be quite quiet- how wrong we were! Having picked our way past all the rocks- visible, awash and submerged, we arrived to find we were certainly not alone.
Much of the main island had steep-sloping rocks, so we had to raise the bowsprit to moor up. It did not take much searching to find a quiet spot with some conveniently-placed rocks to tie our warps to (though we did need a double length for one warp). Alice was soon diving into the water, and we were all glad to cool off from the heat of the day.
It is tempting to suggest that all the islands in the archipelago are about the same- a few rocks sticking with some vegetation clinging to the granite- but this is not true. Each island has its own character. Norrapada is indeed lush-feeling, with thick vegetation at the waters edge, due to the many shallow inlets, which have filled with soil over time. It is also a fairly high island, with many steep rock walls and some high places from which to admire the view.
Norrapada consists of many small islands, islets and rocks, crammed together. This creates numerous narrows sounds and passages and looks very impressive from the vantage points offered by the hills. It really put the archipelago in context to see the island group we were on, as well as other places we had already visited in the distance.
After an explore and another swim, it was time to return to Svartlöga and although the wind had shifted and the expected training run was almost a beat, we did have a lovely sunset into which to sail. The round trip was 15.4nm.