Once again the wanderlust has invaded this restless soul, and after the intense romance and wild passion of this Viking anchorage I found myself bidding farewell to Thomas; the wind sympathetic out of the west…
With the wind on my port beam, I was able to progress full sail on the reach for a full thirty five miles leaving plenty of sea room. I always have to go hunting for the bigger winds for Free’s smaller rig, and that means sailing further away from the coast. My sturdy old motorsailer sails well but she will never be the Cutty Sark; however, this was a beautiful day of sailing and I could relax on deck in the sunshine and teasing winds as she racked up five and a half knots.
Soon comes the time where a landfall has to be approached so I headed inshore for the islands to hunt for an anchorage; but in an increasing wind, felt perhaps it would be better to make for Valdemarsvik, a small town at the end of a long fjord. Of course the light was fading fast and I reluctantly started up ‘Polly’ who now sounds sweet (thank you Thomas!)
I am embarrassed to admit miscalculating the long passage up the fjord due to my enjoyment of the sailing, and the light was fading rapidly. A night approach in such waters is not the best idea and pretty poor seamanship. (Sorry Dad. I can see him shaking his head at his crazy daughter!)
Well… what to do? Intense concentration and a lot of ‘looking out of the window’, something which many modern sailors forget to do with all their posh navigational aids. My father was quite clear about this, he said: “Slow down and stop if you have to… get out on the foredeck and look.” So I did and eventually after much painstaking approach work, came alongside in the harbour.
I often reflect how the world changes on opening the wheelhouse door in the morning. Every day is a new one and every place too… I will never tire of the thrill of a new harbour, and the excitement of different folk.
I’m not much of a ‘past life’ type, especially when nobody ever remembered being a milkmaid in rural Lancashire. It is always a queen or temple dancer, and never a Newcastle shopkeeper! However, as I sail up the coast of Eastern Sweden, I feel an uncanny sense of having been here before. I love this country, more than any I have ever visited, and the seafaring is exciting, challenging and yet deeply mystical. The light in the evening can make me cry and I remain hopelessly enchanted.