Sweden to UK 14 May to 14 June 2007

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Sun 24 Jun 2007 16:19
We arrived back in Svineviken, Orust, Sweden on 14th June and spent the next day checking everything over and provisioning in Henan. Also met up with Lars at Malo.
And so it was that we set off from Svineviken on the 16th—only to return almost immediately as the autohelm was not working! The guys at Svineviken had a look—including a short trip—and concluded (correctly) that there was no simple fix—it was a matter for the Raymarine agent in Gothenburg. It was Wednesday—Thursday was a national holiday—so everyone took Friday off—and nothing would be done till Monday at best! So they helped us fix with Navship—the (excellent) Raymarine agent to sort it on Monday and we would take the boat to them just outside Gothenburg.
So the bad news—a delayed start—and good news—time to potter about for a few days in Bohuslan in sunny weather and enjoy another excellent dinner in Petersens Krug on the island of Karingon. Also a day in Marstrand and a dinner in Gothenburg with the crew of Salamander—the boat we towed down the River Alv at the end of last summer!

Navship sorted our Autohelm problem very efficiently on the Monday morning—a new girocompass and computer box—and done under warranty despite being over 2 years old—great service. So after a quick lunch we set off for Laeso in Denmark on a beam reach in a strengthening wind—a longish trip covered at over 7 knots and shortening sail as the wind rose to over 25 knots. An easy mooring in Laeso—very empty at this stage of the season—21 May. But we saw little of it as we were off the next morning to try to make up lost time.

The next few days were spent in Denmark—Grenaa, Juelsminde and Assens—and down to Kiel. Through the Canal, a night in Brunnsbutel and a short sail next day to Cuxhaven. This is a very well organised marina—which we got to know quite well as we spent the next couple of days stormbound there. Wet, very wet and even wetter. Blowing hard from the West. No point in battling against it when the forecasts predicted better weather coming with Easterlies.

So off again with lighter winds which unusually stayed in the East and North for most of the rest of our trip—ideal for our journey. Borkum we thought little of, but the Dutch Friesian Islands are lovely—a night in Vlieland followed by a lovely sail on inland sea to Texel—where we hired bikes and rode into Den Burgh. The warm sunshine helped but this would certainly be lovely cruising ground.

Off again to Ijmuiden—and a long day in Amsterdam –then Scheveningen and Stellendam and a couple of days later we were in Belgium—Zeebrugge. We had another rest day and took the tram to Knocke for the day—having done Bruges last year.

So off to France—a couple of days in Dunkerque and an overnight in Boulogne with a walk up to the old town. And then a channel crossing to Newhaven—horrible day with visibility coming and going and a strong wind forecast only after we were half way across—earlier forecasts probably best described as wrong—smooth sea indeed!

Newhaven –then Portsmouth—again poor visibility which had been an issue since Zeebrugge—and finally into Southampton on 14th June for some work to be done on Simanderal.

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