Tuesday 12th August
Supplies were needed from the shop on Rödlöga, the neighbouring island and the girls were keen to come (I think it might have been the lure of the ice cream!). They both wanted to have jobs to do, so I suggested they should sail Aurora between them and I would navigate only.
It was a fine morning for a sail, but the forecast was for the wind to fill in and get much stronger later. We set off with Aimee at the helm and Alice attending to the sheets; it was a dead run to Rödlöga. Aimee handled the helm with sensitivity and we made good progress, the girls gybing nicely across the sound on main sail and staysail.
We entered the harbour through the wide Northern entrance and made a textbook approach to the empty dock, Aimee still at the helm. With the bowsprit up, we were able to bring the bow to within inches of the quay, so stepping off and on Aurora was easy.
Stocks in the shop were running down, but the important items were available and the girls were soon enjoying their well-earned ice creams. Having obtained a new gas cylinder for our host’s fridge, some lemons for the G&Ts and a few other fresh provisions, we retired to the cockpit for lunch.
The girls asked for a swim, so we moved to the guest buoy in the middle of the harbour, whilst I got things ship shape for the return trip.
The breeze had stiffened in the time we had been ashore, so I enticed the girls out of the water with a hot chocolate and we motored down the shallow channel, to enter the sound as far south as possible. We found a sheltered spot to raise the reefed main and then poked our nose out to sea.
It was indeed quite lively, but Aimee kept good boat speed as we sailed close hauled back to Svartlöga. With the wind in the west, a swell was building, though aurora cut through it confidently. As we progressed toward home, the wind built even more, so I used the outboard to augment the sails. Aimee has invented a new term for this- “smailing”; she is indifferent to the fact that the term motor-sailing already exists!
We saved ourselves a few tacks and got ourselves further to windward with the engine and were soon ready to drop sails to enter our little harbour. Aimee confidently wove Aurora between the bouys, which saved me going onto the foredeck while we were in the swell. She completed her impressive helming with a smooth sweep onto our berth.
I’m so pleased the girls enjoyed taking control of Aurora and it gives me confidence that Aimee is able to take the helm, even in more challenging conditions.