Sailing to Öland - 2021
I'm behind on sailing logs, so it's a little throwback to last summer, when we sailed 380 nautical miles from Stockholm to Öland and back. Visited Huvudskär, Hävringe, Arkösund and Trässö on the way.
Winds were favourable, between 8 and 22 knots, mostly downwind and beam reach. Wonderful sailing weather most of the time. We even saw a seal swimming next to us.
We sailed from Gällnö, which was 35Nm. We arrived in the evening, almost no wind, calm sea, which is pretty rare on this remote and barren island group of the Stockholm archipelago. It's a natural reserve and popular due to it's beauty and location which we could also feel as all the bouys were taken. We could tie to the shore though as the water is deep.
During the night fog fell, it was magical with the completely calm seas. Next morning was a beautiful sunny morning, so we could explore the islands with the dinghy and on foot, also took a bath, the water was surpringly warm (above 20 degrees).
30Nm from Nynäshamn. Another favourite of ours on this trip. A small outer island in the Oxelösund archipelago with a 22 meter high lighthouse, built in the 1750s.
A few houses were built by the lighthouse keepers and their families and they're still owned by the descendants. It all has a very cute and remote village feeling.
It has a small but protected harbour used by locals and visiting boats are welcomed, even though there are only a few berths. We were luckly and got a place despite arriving late in the evening. The mooring is free, but there is a recommended donation fee of 50 SEK per day and 150 SEK per night. We explored the whole island on foot.
A short leg of 15Nm till Arkösund. We were getting tired, the wind was reaching 22 knots so we decided to stop earlier and have a rest.
Arkösund's marina is really big and equipped with all the amenities. A small chandlery, grocery store, restaurants. The ice cream was really good in the harbour, can recommend! We did the laundry in the evening and explored the place. There is a small island that's reachable on wooden bridges on foot and hides raspberry bushes and a very nice beach for swimming. There is also a small museum with free entrance.
30Nm from Arkösund till Trässö, which is a reserve with natural harbours. 15-20 knots of wind. The entrance to the natural harbour was pretty rocky and shallow, so need to be careful.
We found a good gunkholing spot and tied to the shore. Calm and beautiful evening and morning, paddleboarding and swimming, wonderfully clean and transparent water.
37Nm from Trässö, mostly on open sea. 10-12 knots of wind, on beam reach. On the last few nautical miles close to Öland the wind turned to head wind. We arrived at 11pm at night. Byxelkrok is a big and crowded marina, with a market, restaurants and busy summer life.
The next day we rented bicycles to explore the area. Öland has a lot to offer! We cycled to Böda sand, which is a huge sandy beach on the other side of the island. It has a crowded and touristy area with lots of amenities, but also more remote sections where we were almost by ourselves. Fine sand and warm, clear water.
We also visited Naptune's fields (Neptuni Åkrar), which is a unique and different environment from it's surroundings. It's a cobble stoned beach with some huge stones left from the last ice age, that eroded over time by the waves and bacame completely flat to walk on. Blueweed (Echium vulgare) grows around the beach, making the whole landscape blue in the summer.
On the next day we took the bus to Borgholm and explored the city and the castle. Borgholm has around 3000 inhabitants and is the major city of Öland, but one of the smallest cities of Sweden.
It has ruins of a fortress built in the second half of the 13th century, then rebuilt several times over history.
Our son started to get sick however, so we had to combine the visit with a visit to the local doctor. We were worried that it might be Covid and we need to go to quarantine, so we got tested, but it was negative. It turned out that it was an inflammation of tonsils. He got fever and needed rest, so we returned to the boat and spent the next few days with resting. As it didn't get better, we decided to interrupt our plans sailing further south and head back home and find a more equipped medical clinic.
We took the route Västervik - Håskö - Lacka - Nynäshamn on the way back.
It was a rolly ride from Lacka to Nynäshamn in 20-22 knots of head wind, which we had to motor trough to reach the opening hours of the medical clinic in Nynäshamn. It turned out that the infammation of tonsils was caused by a virus (mononucleosis infectiosa) that one can get once in a lifetime. It cures by itself, but takes time and needs rest. So we decided to continue our way back home.
It's unfortunate that the "once in a lifetime" virus found our son during the vacation, but despite this it was an eventful, memorable and beautiful sailing vacation for all of us.