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16 August: On the way out of Stockholm it was nice to view the former "Nordic Education Centre", reminding of many nice memories.. Around noon, I reached Vaxholm

Vaxholm Fortress. The history of teh fortress begins in early 16th century, by the construction of a blockhouse on Vaxholm by Svante Nilsson Sture, the Regent. The later king Gustav Vasa instructed the governor of  Stockholm to replace the blockhouse with a stone tower and to fill the narrow passage of "Oxdjupet" with rocks, which was completed in 1839.

A Danish attack was repelled in 1612, and in 1719 the Russians were prevented from reaching Stockholm. In the 1870s, the defensive emphasis shifted from Vaxholm Fortress to the strait "Oxdjupet". In 1876, "Oxdjupet" was opened to traffic and a new fort - Oscar-Fredriksborg - was built.

In Vaxholm I had to have the engine repaired for a "minor" fault in the cooling system. Unfortunately it was not that minor and took most of the afternoon. It was 1600 hrs.before I left, heading North through "Furusundsleden". This narrow "water way" has since  ancient times been of importance as the inlet to Stockholm.

It is very busy with the many ferries going to Finland, Russia and Estonia and many passages is so narrow, that a Yacht needs to go outside the markings to give way to these big ships.

 

In the North end is the harbour of Furusund, where "Mary Lou" arrived at 2140 hrs. in pitch dark. Summer is over....

Furusund is a nice place with lots of history: In July 1463 anchored whole fleet - under the command of Union King Christian I - on its way to Turku and the war against Russia. From then, stems a "Compass Rose" carved in beach rock. As the water was several meters higher then, it can now be found above the pavilions at the marina. It is the oldest in Scandinavia and the only one with a royal crown.

From another royal visit to Furusund, the so called Royal Inscription tells: "Kong Frederik 1724"

17 August: At first light, "Mary Lou" sailed to Roslagen to visit Rossättra Varv, where many Laurin Kosters have been built in wood. After some enjoyable hours here, I went SW to arrange for provisions in Norrtälje, which is a nice little town with a good harbour and shopping. What more can one ask!

18 August: It was time to get to Åland (Finland). Departure at 0800 in - too - light winds and the majority of the trip was on engine. At 1915 hours; I arrived in Mariehamn (Eastern harbour).!

19 August: Was spent on Sightseeing, shopping and various smaller repairs.

20 August: I the morning, I noticed, that "Columba" - a Laurin 38 - had arrived in the port.  I had often spoken with the owner -  Ben Fellman - over the phone. I went to say hello. Ben was busy preparing the boat for a delayed "Summer Cruise" and suggested, that we could meet later in Rödhamn, which was a good suggestion and immediately accepted.

"Columba" arrived fairly late, but Ben and his wife Sässi were "in control" and I was invited for dinner. It was a very nice evening being added in the "Logbook" as an evening to remember...

21 August: After a final visit to "Columba" for a "morning coffee", "Mary Lou" set sail in fresh wind and left  at 1300 hrs. and sailed the rather short distance to Degerby.

The museum ship Pommern

"Mary Lou" in Rödhamn

22 August: In light wind, "Mary Lou" had a wonderful trip through the Åland waters. Unfortunately, the wind dropped and the last part of the 40 nm was done by motor, before arriving at 1915 hrs. to Korpoström in heavy rain.

23 August: During the night the rain had vanishe and the morning was sunny, when I continued Eastwards. After 6 hrs. sailing I decided an "early evening" and arrived at "Byviken" on the island of Högsåra.

"Mary Lou" in Byviken

24 August: From "Byviken", I sailed a few nm. South to get fuel in Kasnäs. Unfortunately, the engine has so far, been used TOO much and the rest of the day was no exception and after 4 ½ hours, I arrived in the famous Finnish Sailing Mekka of Hangö. which holds two Marinas. I picked the right one first, but on...

25 August: I moved "Mary Lou" th the other (left) as it offered an Internet connection, which is quite uncommon in Finnish Marinas... Funny thing is, that almost disregarding the size of a harbour, it will offer a Sauna facility....

26 August: Stayed one more day as I was facing electrical problems with "Mary Lou's" navigation lights, which was "suddenly" very important when sailing long distances in the Autumn and it become dark before you arrive.

27 August: It was time to get on and the wind was favourable untill the afternoon where it was replaced by rain... I moored in Ingå for the night after 36 nm sainling. Nice church (right) and good shopping.

28 August. A short trip to Källvik. Finally, a chance for setting the Spinakker, but all we got was 45 min. "A waste of effort", I hear some of you say :-)

29 August: It was now time for one of the "Mile stones" of the trip - the visit to my Finnish "Laurin Ambassador" - Fredrik Ekström, who lives with his wife - Lena - near to where his Yacht ("sister" to "Mary Lou") is moored in Långviken, i.e about 15 nm. West of Helsinki.

"Långviken" is situated remotely from the "normal" route to Helsinki, and when approaching, I thought, that it cannot be many Danish flags they see in here. At 1435 hours they did, when I arrived to this wonderfully and quiet place.

I was invited for dinner and we had a wonderful evening with lots of Yacht discussions and further I got a chance to connect to the Internet - first time since Hangö. Fredrik walked me back to "Mary Lou". It was a clear night and for the first time on the trip, I experienced temperatures below zero. A little earlier, than I had expected.

30 August: Fredrik had time for a "service trip" to Helsinki. First stop was to fix the TV on board. It turned out to work splendidly at the workshop. I got a lot of advice from the repair man, none of which worked when the TV failed again...What he could have said was: "The TV doesn't work on 12 V alone. Secure that the Arieal is connected". Maybe common knowledge, but not for me..., but now it is :-)

Then we went to see harbours in Helsinki, suitable for having "Mary Lou" moored during the Saint Petersburg trip. Many nice harbours, but nothing was decided

 On our return, Fredrik invited me to a big "Wellness" hotel near by. We spent a nice time swimming and having Sauna and Turkish Steambath. We returned to Fredrik and Lena's house and had a another lovely evening, during which Fredrik suddenly exclaimed: " I've got it, "Mary Lou" will stay in Sveaborg during your visit to Russia". This turned out to be a VERY good decision....

31 August: Fredrik waved me goodbye around noon, when I was heading towards Sveaborg.

When entering open sea, I had a nice sail to Helsinki in fresh headwinds (ESE 8-9 m/s).

Sveaborg became my "point of return" with the log on a total of 745 nm from Skovshoved and 315 nm from Stockholm

Sveaborg - or Suomenlinna (Finnish for "Finnish Castle") - was a "Scoop". Very nice, both as a Yachting Harbour and a sightseeing place with an interesting history. It consist of several small islands and situated close to the centre of Helsinki, done in 10 min by the ferry.

On my way to Helsinki, I have seen - with few exceptions - a maximum of 2 guests in the harbours. This Friday afternoon in Sveaborg, I could hardly find a free space... Sailors with arrangements in Helsinki during a week-end  have a splendid base in Sveaborg - offering both showers and sauna - and the last ferry from the centre leaves 0200...

1 September: I took the ferry from Sveaborg to the Centre doing some shopping and sightseeing.

2 September: Sightseeing on Sveaborg and making the last preparations for Saint Petersburg.

2-5 September: In Saint Petersburg

6 September: See "Return Cruise".