Monday, 20 June 2016
We visited and enjoyed the Maritime Museum touring a not so old Swedish submarine and lunching on site. A boat trip taken on a water bus around the archipelago had been much enjoyed as we visited island after island in a fresh cool wind. It had taken over three hours to complete and ended with waves soaking those on the open top deck
Our comfortable marina base in Karlskroner had been enjoyed and we cast off to refuel and calibrate the new wind transducer. All done we were on our way out of the archipelago and had cleared the final pair of bouys by 11:00. Freeing the sails the engine went off and we had a glorious sail with eased sheets in warm sunshine and were easily able to lay the course to Utklippen. This is a rocky outcrop off the SE corner of Sweden and since the 1800 has been a refuge for seafarers. Initially if was for fishermen but now is enjoyed by yachts on passage and simply visiting, the harbour consists of a cluster of rocks with some peripheral ones joined up to make two inner lagoons and then a space the size of four tennis courts has been hewn from the rocks, tidied with concrete to provide a truly extraordinary harbour. Our dozen boats were accompanied by six others and we enjoyed a BBQ ashore with much good humour and some country dancing - thanks to our "Music man" Colin.
Towards the end of the afternoon a German boat arrived, coming through the inner lagoon far too quickly, I resumed my walk out on the harbour wall to be stunned by the sound of a maroon going up. Followed quickly by the unmistakeable rattle of a rigging shock the bang was not a maroon but this boat hitting a submerged rock and a very shocked couple manouevered their 31ft boat into the harbour and disappeared below to check damage. The boat didn't sink thank fully but we guessed significant damage must have been done.
It was a lovely day concluding in a remarkable destination the like of which I could never imagined. Tom & Ann enjoyed the dramatic change of scenery as we did too and the experience will live with us for a long time.