We departed the HR yard at Ellös on Monday, having finally
stowed and attached everything - amazingly with space to spare. A lovely place
to revisit, full of people collecting boats, dropping in with or without boats
and a stunning setting. We went for a late walk on Sunday evening in good
daylight and well after 11pm - the photo below was taken right by the yard.
So Monday found us setting sail to a destination rather than
just out playing. We decided to take the route round the north of Orust to
meet Peter (my NZ brother) and Clare in Steningsund on Wednesday. A beautiful
clear day, with a decent sea breeze kicking in around 11am - much the same
being forecast for the next week. After a lovely sail down Koljö fjord we tried
to anchor in Sandviken on a small island called Hjältön, but this was in the
cruising guide and just off the main sailing route and already full. We
decided instead to head back toward Flatön and Handelsman Flink, the hotel we
had stayed at on Monday, and where we knew there was space on their guest dock.
En route we diverted to what, on the chart looked like a perfect, if unmarked,
anchorage and completely empty. For good reason, as we found out as our anchor
collected a great ball of weed and bounced along the bottom. So third time
lucky we went onto Handelsman Flink and onto their very fine pontoon shared only
with a Nijad 400.
Tuesday morning was a fairly lazy start, with some knot and
anchoring tutorials for Ann and good chance for a photo of Swallow - above. The
only problem we had on Monday was that the gib sheets tended to get caught on
the dingy, which is lashed on the foredeck. After some relashing and a new
line to deflect the sheets, we left around noon on an even more perfect day. Apart
from a mile or so of motor sailing, through a very narrow area with the wind
dead on our stern, we sailed all day. The modifications to the dingy
fastenings worked perfectly, which is a great relief. Swallow sails superbly
in light airs, easily converting 8 kts of true wind into 5 kts of boat speed on
a broad reach and making 6 kts out of 9-10 kts of true wind just forward of the
beam. I'm also very impressed with the engine, with 2000 rpm delivering better
than 6 kts of boat speed and consuming not much more that 2 litres an hour.
After 5 or so hours of very serene cruising, we dropped
anchor in a lovely spot a few miles north of Steningsund - unmarked and empty,
but this time recommended to us by Vickie Vance of HR Parts. A very slick bit
of anchoring by Ann on the winch in around 7m. Set the first time and rock
solid. Forecast to be a very quiet night, so after a splendid risotto for
dinner and with the GPS alarm on we shall sleep well.