Week 16 - A final Swedish port of call before sailing back into Danish Waters.  Monday 9th to Sunday 16th September

090913 2 Albrekstssunds Kanal090913 8 Downtown Goteborg

Leaving Marstrand we passed through the Albrektssunds Kanal our final narrow canal for this season. From there we had a great run - though a short 8 miles- with the Full main and jib tootling along at 7-9 knots in 12 knots of breeze before the busy entrance and more rocks saw sails packed away and Katherine motoring into the busy harbour of Goteborg. Our mooring in Goteborg was Lilla Bommen in the centre of town where we had some competition for the tallest mast. 

091213 1 Leaving Goteborg The Lipstick Building

We had three nights in Goteborg the second largest city in Sweden with a population of around 500,000 and a large diversity of cultures and characters a few of whom we saw within the marina. It was an easy city to get around and we walked to the Old Quarter of Haga, circumnavigated the inner city area and dined out one evening during our stay. 

There were two highlights for our Goteborg visit. 

090913 GOtaburg

The first was catching up with Jonas and Charlotte Bourgliardt and their daughter Carin at their home in Budskar just south of Goteborg. They live in a house that was once the families summer home with a beautiful vista of the ocean. They had threatened to make for dinner Surstromming a swedish delicacy made of rotten fish but instead spared us the initiation and made a delicious meal of chicken with most of the vegetables having come from the garden. It was a great evening catching up with people we had met many months earlier in the Orkneys and we look forward to the next time where ever that may be. 

091313 2 Racked and Stacked the new kayak

The second was the unexpected purchase of a kayak from the Point 65 kayak centre at the marina. We are now the owners of a very bright red Mercury kayak that can be assembled and paddled as a single or double. We traded in the sit on top and the space that the new - modular - kayak has given in the garage is quite surprising. She may not be the prettiest kayak when assembled as a double but she does paddle well and provides a dry seat something that is very much appreciated when paddling in these waters. 

From Goteborg it was another excellent days sailing to Laeso a small island in the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden. We pulled the Code 0 out for its first run in a while and given the impending weather most likely its last for this season and had a smooth and fast sail across to Denmark in light breezes. 

091313 5 Cycle day in Laeso

Laeso is a very popular summer holiday island but has a small permanent population due to its fishing industry. The weather was fine enough on our first day in harbour to get the push bikes out and to ride the east side of the island visiting the Laeso Saltsyderi where salt is hand seethed as it was originally done on the island up until the mid 1600s. It wasn't long after we left the marina that you knew you were definitely back in Denmark - the terrain was flat, fresh produce was for sale in honesty boxes and many of the houses had the traditional thatched roofs. 

091413 2 Stop 1 Pa Lynget Farm House from the 1700s and lived in up until 1949

Day 2 as we set off to continue touring Laeso the clouds were looking a little more ominous, the wind was definitely stronger and so we opted for the speedy looking electric car available for hire through the marina. Good choice it turned out to be as we wove our way up and down lane ways on the west side of the island visiting a 350 year old farmhouse, craft galleries, the beach at Danzigmand on the north western point of the island and Osterby Havn.  

091313 7 Cycle day in Laeso

There are around 18 buildings left on Laeso with seaweed roofs - the craft having died out in the 1600s when eel grass which was twisted with seaweed to make the roofing disappeared. They estimate that the material on the roofs of the remaining buildings are all over 350 years old and many are in poor states of repair - an effort is now being made by the Danish Agency for Culture to re-establish the skill of seaweed roofing in an effort to sustain this part of Laesos history and these homes - the roofing not only adds so much character to the housing looking somewhat hairy but apparently is also a great insulator so you can only hope they are successful in their efforts.

Today the wind has blown to 32knots as predicted so we opted to stay put and make it a paperwork day. Tomorrow we hope for slightly easier conditions as we make our way south slowly - trying to avoid the inevitable reality that our journey is nearing its end for this season. 

Still no need to dwell on that just yet - still another week or so of sailing….

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© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain