No rain this morning, and a good forecast of F4 , so off to Gothenberg's Langedrag Marina ( 57:40.0N, 011:50.6E). This was to be our first real encounter with Swedish 'rock hopping' sailing, and we spent some time planning the route carefully. I am sure you get used to it, but the first time you thread yourself down 100 metre wide channels between islands and half submerged ( or even worse,just fully submerged) rocks is bound to be interesting.
We sailed the first leg and had a good reach across the bay from Lerkil, with Cathy as chief navigator, plotting bearings to various light houses and beacons, and counting bouys and matching them to the chart. We then dropped sails and motored for the tricky bit, until we had a bit more experience of this type of pilotage; there was enough to worry about with the rocks, and we could do without setting the sails for now. We had resolved to do this leg the old fashioned way, without depending on the gps, and so only used the gps to confirm our plotted positions. This was great fun and certainly makes for a busy crew !
Michael was on the helm , and looking out for the numerous ferries, fishing boats and sundry craft criss crossing the narrow channels, so this also became a good revision of the Collision Regs......who has right of way ? As normal we paid close attention to the unwritten rule that 'might is right', particularly when we saw a Maersk container ship ( fortunately a long way off in a deeper channel), which showed up as being 1100 feet long on our AIS, and doing 15 kts....in fact we initially thought it was an island until we realised it was moving, and the 'houses' were containers !
Shortly after this we looked astern and saw 3 ominous grey boats screaming towards us very quickly.I thought this was a bit excessive for a VAT inspection of a new boat being exported to the UK, and I confidently stated that as the overtaking vessels they had to keep clear and we were the stand on vessel. However, it quickly emerged that they could have removed us from their path in other ways, as they were Swedish Navy fast patrol boats, and they gave us a friendly wave as they went past, just before almost sinking us with their wake. We were grateful to have deferred making a brew a few minutes earlier.
We continued to weave in between rocks and bouys until ultimately arriving in the very well equipped Langedrag Marina on the oputskirts of Gothenberg. This is to be our base for a few days as we change crews and tidy up the boat...and hopefully do some sight seeing in Gothenberg.