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Hanse Summer 2019

The Hunt for Warm Water

After a few days and nights in Stockholm, it was time to move on. One problem, though: our pre-planning had ended with reaching the capital of Sweden, so now we had no idea where to go.

After having looked at all the charts and flipped through the harbor guide for the tenth time, I got an idea.

“Hey, it doesn’t really matter where we go,” I said to Charlotte. “Let’s just find a place with warm water so that the kids can swim!”

This was one thing we were a bit embarrassed about. None of the children knew how to swim yet. J and O had been to a few swimming classes, but they still needed floatation aids to stay on the surface. (J’s opinion was that, “Papa, you float better because you have so much more fat in your body”. Ahem. May be so 😏)

Anyway, the first part of our vacation had been quite cold and rainy, with water temperatures as low as 14 degrees (℃), so not very tempting to jump in. Now, finally, the sun had been shining for a few days, so there was some hope that we would be able to find a bit warmer water, somewhere.

Before leaving the center of Stockholm, we took one more tour to the inner harbor to wave goodbye. Here’s J taking a last look at the Gröna Lund amusement park.
At Fjäderholmen. This was the first fuel station we could find on the way out from Stockholm. In the background, the Kaknäs tower.
Aiko, looking happy, even though he’s on a boat. Rock on! 🙂

Beautiful Scenery

Sailing (by engine, since no wind) out from Stockholm was really beautiful!

On our way in, we hadn’t really been able to appreciate the archipelago scenery because of the thick rain. And the thunder and lightning, and being a bit tired and just wanting to get there instead of being on our way. (Coming to think of it, I often find the last couple of hours of sailing a bit less enjoyable. Mostly because of docking pre-stress, but also because the closer you get to your destination, the more you start focusing on the destination itself, and reaching it. Less on enjoying being out there.)

But beautiful it was! And warm. So warm that I got a message from my mobile phone that I had never seen before.

The sea water, on the other hand, wasn’t very warm. Just between 16 – 18 degrees (℃), so not really what we were looking for. (I think anything less than 26 is freezing, but, well, that’s me 🙃)

We were hopeful, though, since on the chart, we had found a couple of protected and shallow anchorages just an hour or so away. There the water would, by all logic, be quite a bit warmer.

Tight Spot

The first anchorage, just to the north of Kalvholmen, was a bit too crowded and the water was still just a bit over 18 degrees, so not that inviting.

The second anchorage, though, to the south of Kalvholmen, was exactly what we were looking for!

Our boat, there, rounding Kalvholmen from the north anchorage to the south side. And look at the water temperature!

It was a bit tight though, we thought, with a few boats surrounding us in quite a narrow channel. And that was before three additional boats arrived! Then it got very tight.

But never mind. The water was now just a tad over 19 degrees, so off with the clothes, on with the swimming trunks and into the water!

“Hey, can you inflate the flamingo,” Charlotte asked, and giggled to me.

Dinghy, Flamingo and a Lot of Fun

Little L on the flamingo. Moments later she accidentally slipped into the water. Oops! 😆🙈.
Charlotte, showing how it’s done.
O and J in the Quicksilver.
O was very insistent that he wanted to fly the Swedish flag when they were out rowing. Also, he attached small paper labels with the “ship name” as well as which cruise line it belonged to.
Little L and M in the dinghy. And what a nice yacht in the background!

So, the water eventually went up to 21 degrees, but there wasn’t really that much swimming in the afternoon.

J was the bravest, immediately jumping in (with a buoyancy jacket) and splashing around for quite a while. The others tried their best, going down the ladder from the aft bathing platform, but it wasn’t that easy. The water wasn’t that warm, and letting go of the ladder to be partly swallowed by the chilly and wet— a bit too scary, yet.

All good, though, I thought to myself. They just needed more time and opportunities, and that was exactly what our trip was all about.

s/y Charlotte parked where the grass is green and the ehm water is warm!
(Tried to make a reference to Guns ‘N Roses there, but couldn’t figure out what rhymes with pretty 🙂)

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