Fjällbacka, Sweden 58:35.933N 011:16.678 E

Frans & Sarah Toonen
Sat 15 Jul 2017 17:00
Saturday 15 July 2017. 19nm. 2.8 engine hours. South westerly 4, warm and sunny.

Reluctantly we left our lovely rock in the Koster archipelago and entered the ‘inner lead’ (the route for boats inside offshore islands, rocks and skerries) with hundreds of other boats on the move to seek shelter for the impending high winds. We tried Grebbestad but that was totally full before noon so we carried on to Fjällbacka where we had stopped on the way north. 

The inner parts of the marina were rafted 6 deep with smaller boats and the outside pontoon was fairly light as only rafted 2 deep in most places.  We rafted as number 3 although the outside was exposed to the west and the fetch was perhaps a mile. A small yacht tied on as number 4 for the afternoon but weight wise it was like a fly on a horse. We managed to get a line ashore (to reduce our load on the inner boats) by adding a shackle to the strong point for the cruising chute which is the further point of the bow. When the boats are all rafted it is tricky to do this without the line catching on the stern or bow of another boat. Lines and fenders checked we had an early night. At 10pm the yacht on the inside needed to leave to get home to Oslo for a family emergency so all the crews nearby came out to help. Sarah stayed on the pontoon as often well meaning helpers cause us issues as they don’t understand that Pelagias’ weight means you can’t just stand there and hold a line like you can with a modern production yacht. It had been decided that Pelagia would move to the pontoon being the heaviest boat and so Frans had to get in a hole not much longer than Pelagia with 3 boats rafted each side of it. The wind was building as was the swell. Captain Frans did everything fine and he certainly had an audience. It took nearly an hour by the time we were moored again and had re-secured all the extra lines. 

By morning the wind was splashing waves over the pontoon next to ours as that was facing west and the boats were blown on hard and moving up and down. The lifeboat came and pulled one yacht away as it was at risk of damage. The low freeboard of yachts can cause them to catch under the pontoon whereas the high sided power boats fare much better. Still sunny though so we headed out on the free tourist bus for the day.

We went to Tanum to a World Heritage site where there are hundreds of late Bronze Age rock carvings. The carvings are filled with paint so that they can be seen. They are very shallow and it is thought originally they would have been pale when the dark rock surface was removed. Over time, the surface weathers and when newer carvings were made the fact others were underneath was unknown. The carvings were done over a period of 800 years apparently and this accounts for the different details of the ships and the shape of the shields as the styles changed. In the museum there were photographs of carvings from Scotland, Russia, the Mediterranean and Babylon during the same period and it was striking to see the similarities.  As well as many different sites at Tanum there are some huge rocks brought in by truck as when the E6 motorway was built in the 1990’s many more carvings were discovered and where the road could not be re-routed they had to move rocks to preserve them.

Here you can see carvings over the top of each other

Fjällbacka’s cute wooden houses

Living it up on crayfish at Matilda’s restaurant on the harbour front