The canal begins

Simon Ridley
Fri 18 Jun 2010 19:09
58:50 N 13:58 E
Apparently we are in Russia. I can safely say we are not, unless of course there has been considerably seismic movement under us caused by that volcano somewhere where you can buy lots of frozen food.
Today we made it to the start of the Gota canal having sailed across Lake Vanern over 2 days, stopping over night in an authentic Swedish fishing village that was less rustic and ramshackle and more clipped hedges and scrubbed decks. Very clean and tidy as it appears most of Sweden is. Yesterday saw an outing of Gertha's finest sails including Geri and Doby whilst the crew basked in the highest temperatures yet seeking shade for the first time. Today was not quite so tropical resulting in wooly hats and thermals being donned once more.
For the past few days we have been following two Swedish men on a Bavaria who have been keen to show us the way, make recommendations and help us out of sticky situations. We have christened the skipper Papa Sweden and we feel lost without them taking the lead. Now we are in the canal and shouldn't manage to get lost it seems we will see a lot more of them.
Tomorrow the King's daughter is marrying a common boy from the north and apparently the whole country will come to a stand still. You can even by a handy fridge magnet in the local shop with their beaming faces on. Next Friday into Saturday is Sweden's official midsummer celebration which could prove to be a very interesting affair, Papa Sweden says we must make sure we get Gertha tucked up early to ensure we claim a suitable spot.
Gertha out