So today we set off from Simrishamn where we had stayed overnight and had a wander around the town, buying a few provisions. As I looked over the boat before take off I found a split pin on the foredeck – not a good start, but I wasn’t convinced it was one of ours as it looked far to small. Anyway we set of and had cracking sail for 3 hours until the wind dropped and we motored the last 30nm to the piece of rock that is Utklippa.
Approaching form the sea seem all OK navigating to the Outer West Entrance and then into the inner entrance carefully between the Red and Green markers when BUMP and GRAUNCH we stopped, quite suddenly, much more suddenly than you do in The Solent and with more noise.
So we were aground in the bloody harbour between the channel markers for Christs’ sake. So a bit of ahead, then a bit more – nothing – OK try full astern – nothing. Hmm a band of fellow yachties gather on the rocks along with Steve and Di to watch and see how we manage. Steve offers to come out in the dinghy and pulls out on a spinnaker halyard, but that is no good, then we have him pulling on a line from the end of the boom, but still no good. Di, in bikini, offers and goes and gets her mask and snorkel to see how we are aground, but in the end we are towed off by a motor boat that has to heel us to 20 degrees to get us of the rock.
We go into the harbour and Di is straight over the side to inspect for any damage and reports that apart from a scuff on the front of the keel all is well. Obviously being keen to see from myself I get the wet suit out and my dive tank and gear and go down to inspect myself, fortunately the prop and rudder are all fine and the only sign of damage are the scuff on the front edge of the keel and a scuff under the bottom of the keel where we sat on the rock, although even in the harbour we now only have 4 inches under the keel – scary to see.
As we watch another boat, a Najad, comes in and does the same, but doesn’t hit as hard so gets off OK. Whet h Harbour Master comes around I mention it and he says “Oh yes, I round aground today also and I have been here for 5 years, it is because of the high pressure the water is about 0.5m lower !”
So we are fortunate we have a very strong boat. In the morning when Kiakoura goes out she follows a Swan 46 out of the East Entrance and that also bumps right up in the water and grinds over a rock and then out to sea. Thinking of writing Utklippa out of the guide book.
But a cracking sail, wind up to 15 – 20 kts and we roar downwind at 9.5kts towards Christianopel our next destination 25nm away trimming and overtaking all the local yachts,
Love from David & Suzanne
First view of Utklippan
Heading for Utklippen…hit rock in entrance
Brave Di no wet suit checking the hull
David in his wet suit…
We had an audience of seals
Picnic on quay wall
Safely out the other side.