Agön Island and the Borka invasion!

Every year the Enångers Båtsällskap, better known to you as the Borka boat club (as I have referred to it in the past) visits a charming little island known as Agön. This beautiful, small wooded island lies at the entrance to Enånger Fjärden, on the charming Jungfrukusten (the Maiden’s Cost) and marks the beginning of the long inward bound approach to Borka Brygga; it used to play host to a working fishing community during the summer months, who would subsequently migrate to Hudiksvall for the long, cruel Swedish winter.

'The nature of the beast': Rainy and squally weather can be positive with this beautiful rainbow.
‘The nature of the beast’: Rainy and squally weather can be positive with this beautiful rainbow.

This time of year is crucially important for Swedish folk; in a short summer there is so little time to feel the gentle breezes and soak up the sun. The general consensus thus far has been of disappointment; the weather has been windy and wet with some quite dramatic climatic phenomena. Thankfully, Thor put away his anvil for the weekend and the good Borka folk descended by flotilla, treated to a lovely few days with a guided tour of the island and a wine-tasting game. The evening ended with a communal barbecue… Perfect!

'An island ramble'. A guide showed club members around the island.
‘An island ramble’. A guide showed club members around the island.

For those of energetic persuasion, a guide was employed for a historical ramble around the island. The fishing community was active from the Viking times, a fact that fascinated me. Interestingly enough, the old harbour was actually in the forest. The island has slowly risen over the past thousand years due to the geological phenomenon of ‘isostasy’, where previous depressed land elevates after the heavy covering glaciers melted at the end of the ‘Ice-Age’

Let the festivities begin! The grand Agön wine tasting game!
Let the festivities begin! The grand Agön wine tasting game!

The wine tasting game involved each member of the club bringing a bottle of red wine with them to the island and sampling each other’s wares. The ‘victims’ would grade the quality of each sample and estimate the price and origin, before returning their findings to the judges. I certainly felt like a victim after sampling some of the wines!

And the winner is... Kjell-Arne and his son, Andreas, deliver the verdict!
And the winner is…
Kjell-Arne and his son, Andreas, deliver the verdict!

Soon it was time for the barbecue, always special in Scandinavia with those stunning, never ending evenings. The concept of darkness has all but disappeared from my life right now, but then of course the winter returns with a degree of savagery that renders the average British winter comparatively meaningless!

'Skål!' Tucking ion to the barbecue fare!
‘Skål!’ Tucking in to the barbecue fare!

The final day began with an early exodus for most of the club, leaving just a few pleasure seekers (me of course!) behind to soak up more rays and fire up the old sauna in the forest. For many British folk that whole sauna concept is alien, something that one might indulge in in a health spar or some such establishment; however here in Scandinavia it is firmly embedded in the culture. It was rather fun to use wood to heat up the sauna by necessity, as there was no electricity available, but my attempts at swimming shortly afterwards, made the sea off South Shields feel like the Bahamas!

A perfect end to the day.
A perfect end to the day.

Unfortunately, the perfection of the weekend was spoiled somewhat as Free’s anchor windlass decided to play up, making it necessary to pull up the anchor by hand. The whole process took nearly half an hour, but thankfully the new Fortress anchor proved very light compared to my normal, but faithful Delta; it is even lighter than the chain attached to it! The return to Borka wasn’t a total flop though. A light following Easterly granted an opportunity to sail with a boomed out main sail, half of the return distance. The Agön sojourn gave me a golden opportunity to run Free through her various sea trials, but as usual ‘there’s always bloody something’, and this year it appears to be my horribly expensive, current-guzzling anchor windless!


  1. Sounds like u had a lovely time with few drops of red wine. Sauna and swim sounds like a great way to end the evening. With added bonus of bbq.
    Hope free gets her anchor sorted and not costs too much.
    Cant see pictures on the phone but am sure great ones as always
    C x

  2. Hi Poppy. Yes, that Fortress anchor is a favorite of mine too, so I’m happy for ‘Free’. I once had three, but bent one out of shape by a mistake on rock. The other two let me sleep “on both ears” and never drag, especially with the extra mud flaps attached. Glad to see you posting again. Please take us offshore and describe more of your sea adventures – you’re really good at it.

    1. Thanks Whitt, I’ll do my best! Good to hear from you again too. It’s a strange kind of year; I have no idea where i’m going yet.

      1. Maybe that’s the best way to travel, to have a rough idea, while keeping options open. ‘Free’ surely communicates with you, as do the sea and the weather. They’ll help you decide. We like to think of you as the exploring Viking discoverer. 🙂

      2. Exactly! Sometimes the wind will dictate… It just feels right to sail on a close reach rather than a broad, and that makes all the difference as to where you end up.

  3. HiPoppy Thank you so much for your newsy updates, really appreciate your insight and photos of what is happening in your life I have moved in with a lovely Irish lady in Houndslow, given word that the DBS would not ban me….hiphiphoray been looking for a new line of work. Applied 2 months ago to the jobcenter for a job at the Sky Chef unit, up the road from where I stay, had an interview with them a month ago, got frustrated waiting for sky chef to contact me. so went up the hi;lll to see what was happening…have interview tomorrow. Sent away for heaps of jobs….menial ones to say the least…no replies

    fingers toes crossed for tomorrow. Hope the weather improves and you have a long warm autumn instead.

    Kevin McLeod….Grand Designs has a program out re Brits who have escaped the rat race, last night there was a Welsh couple on living in the forest of Smagland….northern Sweden…what a life….they were super happy in the snow with their huskies, surrounded by trees and an outdoor larder. Be forever safe, happy and healthy Love Denise

    1. Lovely message Denise, thank you. I’m so relieved to know that you are clear. So why not get right back on the horse, Viking Queen style! You are a natural and should be doing that work. You deserve it. Can’t be forever safe, but I’ll try to be forever happy! Safety is a fantasy, but how we view the world moulds who we are, and that has to be enough.
      You are inspirational in your fight for justice… brava to the Maori Princess!

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