Augustenborg to Loftahammar
Date: June 2nd to 12th 2004
Distance : 457 miles
Weather : Mostly good, light winds, one Thunderstorm
For us, it was a relatively uneventful trip.
There are three ways to get from Southern Denmark to Eastern Sweden. The best option is via the Smålands and Stege Bucht. It’s only about 5 miles more than the shortest route and infinitely prettier. However we went that way last year, so that leaves the north German coast, via Rostock and Rugen, or the shortest, least attractive route via south Lolland. Guess which way we went…..
It started badly, with weeks of south westerlies suddenly becoming strong easterlies. (Not great for a 500 mile trip to the east). So we waited a day or so for the breeze to go round and then we set out for Rødby Havn. A long frustrating bash straight into the wind saw us arriving at the Danish equivalent of Dover. I didn’t realise, but the German coast is only about 10 miles away at that point. The harbour has plenty of ferries, but minimal other facilities.
Next day, and a 30 mile trip down to the southernmost Danish town of Gedser. Stuck out on a peninsula it really does feel like the end of the world, however the marina, reached via an eccentric channel, is pleasant, with a good restaurant. In the height of the season, it gets over 100 visitors a night.
The private marina of Klintholm Havn was the next destination, and we made a complete horlicks of getting into the mooring box, bending a stanchion into the bargain. Fortunately, no one was around to see us cock it up, so by the time the other Brits in the marina rolled up, we behaved like we knew what we were doing and made out nothing had happened. Klintholm is an acceptable Truck Stop, but a tad expensive for Denmark.
Next day – off to Sweden and Ystad. Starting off with poor vis– ferries appearing and disappearing into the murk, the day ended up in glorious sunshine, but,sadly, with no wind.
We had a day off in Ystad to fix a couple of leaks. We’d been having problems with low pressure to the shower tap in the heads. Only when I investigated did we discover where most of the water had been going – straight into the bilge! One lesson we learnt from last year was to buy our booze in Denmark, and we’d filled the cupboard under the heads with beer. In my enthusiasm to cram more beer in, I’d made a hole in the flexible pipe that leads to the tap. Everything in sight was wringing wet and dissolving!
We sneaked out of Ystad the next day at 5:30 to beat the Germans to Simrishamn. In a glorious spinnaker run, we beat the pants of all except a sneaky HR34, who managed to get past us when I was a bit slow gibing the spini. At one point we were doing over 8 knots!
The following day blew a hooly, so, along with all the others in the marina, we sat it out and went to the Chandlers at Skillinge by bus. The day after dawned fine, so we waited for a couple of boats to leave before we too, set out across Åhus Bight. Just as we were leaving, one of the boats returned – ‘near gale warning’ they shouted, ‘too much for us’. Well, that at least left one other boat carrying on, so things should be OK. It was only much later that it dawned on us that the other boat was the loony who had been out in the blow the day before….
The sky clouded over, the sun went milky, and then…nothing. The sun burnt off the cloud, the wind refused to budge above 8 knots, and we arrived in Karlskrona by 2pm.
We were keen to try the ‘quick’ Eastern (rather tricky) route out of Karlskrona, but the following morning the vis. was appalling and we had visions of being lost in the islands, so we bottled out and went the long way round – along with four other Dutchmen, all trying to get round the same buoy in a significant swell. Fortunately as we went north towards Kalmar, the sea flattened out, the wind swung round and we had a terrific sail on our new genoa.
We wanted to stay in Kalmar, but after Pat’s little escapade last year when she broke her foot, we decided to get in and out fast. A good run ensued, this time under poled out genoa, north towards Figeholm.
Just before we arrived, we had a massive thunderstorm. Thunder and lightning all round the boat. We were just passing Blå Jungfrun, when a local ferry cut across our bows. We thought this was a bit antisocial considering we were the only two boats within 10 miles.
Two minutes later, the heavens opened and we couldn't see our nose in front of our face. Thank goodness for the plotter. We bottled out of the rather tricky Figeholm approach and diverted to Oskarshamn. In retrospect, we think the ferry was offering a ‘follow-me’ service!
Next day - ten miles later on and – islands! - we’d arrived!