The frequency of my posts, have increased (alarmingly?) since leaving Borka. I suppose that the whole reason for this website is to tell of a slightly unusual lifestyle and without meaning to be tiresome; now is the time to do it, rather than those days ‘on the beach’ away from sailing and Scandinavia.
Some of you have almost become friends over the past few years, and I thank you for your continued support and encouragement; strangely, most of those who I actually know have faded away. I can’t blame them; there is so much stimulation from the Internet and media in general that I feel personally sometimes, as if I am drowning in verbosity. One of the advantages in going ‘off the radar’ as a solo sailor is the temporary cutting of the gross ‘umbilical cord’ of negativity and obsessive bad news; for that I am eternally grateful.
Sharing my sacred space with another was difficult for me, as I am one of life’s solitaries. Certainly the slow anchor-ridden passage from Ängskärsund down the coast towards Stockholm has enabled me to return to my centre. However, now I am riding on the eve of a crucial decision: Stockholm or the Ålands? Um err, um err, um err………….
A scarcity of fresh water forced me to put in to the small, very touristy town of Öregrund. This is the second time I have visited it, the first being on my northward voyage to Borka back in 2013. This can be an extremely tricky place to get into, as one has to take a buoy with a hook and line (a nightmare for a single-hander) and then reverse against the jetty. If there is a stiff breeze blowing this adds to the drama.
This time I managed both arriving and leaving with a relative ease that surprised me. Could it be that I am actually improving? (Touch-wood) A very stiff northerly breeze created mayhem on the following morning, with some Swedish and Finnish boats becoming entangled, but the very kind sailors, Jan-Erik and Erik (thanks guys!) re-rigged my mooring line so that I could front the wind on departure, without taking out half of my Finnish neighbour’s beautiful Bavaria yacht! Free is thirteen tons, twice the weight of most boats her size, and she packs an awesome punch, so close quarter manoeuvring is critical especially in high winds. Both gentlemen live in Njutånger just to the north of Borka, so they deserve a drink on me, when/if I return in September.
I have reached the small tourist ‘village’ of Grisslehamn, and it is here that the decision has to be made.
The Ålands: Do I have the bottle?
To go or not to go, that is the question.