Little L and M in our Hanse 388 s/y Charlotte master cabin

After a week in the bustling city of Visby, and a nice sail over towards the mainland, it was time to enjoy the peaceful and rather secluded archipelago on the southeast coast of Sweden. And time to do what we all had been waiting to do since we left the Sand Island — jump into some refreshing water and swim!


We did try to find some good swimming places near Visby, but there weren’t really any. The shore was quite rocky, and while they had, in fact, a few long (and surprisingly popular!) swimming piers, the children didn’t like them that much. (“Where should we change our clothes?! We can’t do it here!” shouted both M and Little L in unison.)

To further spoil it, for the last few days of our stay, the water temperature dropped to about ten degrees! This was absolutely crazily cold for people who don’t want to get into it if it’s under twenty. (The sudden drop in sea temperature was, coincidentally, also one of the reasons for the substantial amount of fog we had experienced.)

July 1st and the water temperature outside Visby has dropped from about 25 degrees to 10 degrees in one day!
In the middle of the graph, we leave Visby to cross over to the mainland. You can see the water warming up the closer we get, and finally, we end up anchored in about 24 degrees on July 5th.

Our Kråkelund anchorage, on the other hand, was great. And the children, they loved swimming in our newly found twenty-four-degree hot tub in the Baltic Sea.

From top to bottom: M, O and little L (safely not in the water).

None of the children were good swimmers, though.

Of the four, only J and O had just learned how to stay afloat and swim without any flotation aids, but it was still a bit shaky.

M was really close to getting there, but she was still doing most of her swimming with a life vest on. (And unfortunately also having some difficulties with it, getting small chafing wounds.)

Little L was the least comfortable with the water. Two summers ago, she had a scary incident when, to her big surprise, she slipped off of our floating flamingo toy and slid straight into the water. She did have a life vest on, but the quick plunge head-to-toe had likely left a few traumatic memories.

So, as J and O were the first to eagerly jump into the water, with M close behind, Little L mostly didn’t want to. Rather, she let herself stay behind, lingering on the bathing platform to play with the water from a short distance, from safely above.

Overcoming Fears

“Would you like to try to go into the water?” Charlotte asked.

Little L had her eyes fixed on Charlotte, then opened her mouth to say something, but then closed it again. She looked at J, O, and M in the water, and then back at Charlotte. “Well, maybe,” she said, really slowly, with a small and quiet voice.

I went into the water first and positioned myself at the bottom of the swimming ladder to help her with her conquest.

“Ok, you can come now!” I said to her, trying to be as encouraging as I could. “The water is really warm and you’ll love it!”

She turned to climb the ladder facing forward, then took a few steps down into the water. “It’s too cold!” she shouted.

“No no, it just feels like that at first, and then it gets warmer,” I tried to reassure her.

She took a couple of steps more. And then, about ten minutes later, she was in the water. Gripping onto the ladder as tightly as she could, but all of her in the water!

Then, another ten minutes later, she was ready to let go of the ladder.

“I will hold on to you,” she said to me with a determined voice. “Don’t let go of me.”

She let go of the ladder. We drifted a bit away from the boat, and then cracked out a wide smile.

“Do you like it?” I asked.

“Yes!” she replied happily, and I felt her hands loosening her grip on me just a little, but not too much.

Outermost adventurer: J. Then me and Little L. Aiko in the corner, ready to rescue us all.

The Winch

During our previous daysail from Gotland, the starboard primary winch had sounded a bit weird, and there was certainly something strange going on with it.

I had never opened any of the winches before, so I certainly didn’t want to do that while sailing (potentially losing small vital pieces into the shallow, but still prohibitively inaccessible depths of the Baltic Sea). Now, however, at anchor (and after some swimming!), I was eager to get it open to see where the weird sounds were coming from!

I opened the manual on my mobile phone and got started.

What do you need to open the winch? Step 1: a manual showing how to do it!

Getting it undone was easy. No tools were needed, and behold, the inner structures of a Lewmar EVO 40ST were revealed.

The plastic ring was easy to remove with bare fingers.
The inner clockwork after removing the outer “bell”.

I carefully took the whole thing apart and brushed away any dirt I could find. Then, I made sure that all parts looked well lubricated, and started putting it back together.

To my big disappointment, once I had most of the parts attached, the squeaky sound was still there! And the rotational movement was still a bit bumpy and uneven.

Then I noticed the problem.

One of the two retaining collets had (for some reason) moved a bit out from its slot, and this had allowed the main shaft (or spindle as they call it) to tilt slightly down to one side. The winch was still working, kind of, but the main spindle was bumping both the walls and the floor of its tightly confined space.

I secured the collets, put together the rest of the winch, and voila! — it worked perfectly! As good as new, and the todo list of our (still quite new) sailboat was empty again.

Anchorage Vibes

“Won’t the children get bored when you’re anchored somewhere and they can’t get ashore?” a friend asked me.

Throughout our sailing vacations, I think we had (without giving it much thought!) developed an alternating pattern in choosing our sailing destinations, altering between sailing to really urban places, then into the wild, then to urban again.

A few days in a city, and then away from it all to somewhere nowhere, to spend a few days at anchor.

Then, the clothes are getting dirty, we’re running out of food, and drinks, and (oh no! start the engine! lift the anchor!) sweets! — and our next destination is again quickly set to the closest city in the general direction of where we are heading.

During our stays at anchor, the children didn’t seem to enjoy it any less than Charlotte and I did. They were reading, drawing, playing with (the few) toys they had with them, swimming, and — thanks to our Quicksilver dinghy — going for regular exploration missions around the boat or to the nearby shore. Sometimes by themselves (when there was no wind), but usually together with me.

Our Kråkelund anchorage was not much different from the others— in a good way. A small piece of beautiful archipelago heaven for us all to enjoy.

What I perhaps love the most about sailing, is getting closer to the slowly and steadfastly rumbling vibes of nature. Spending time at anchor, far and away from civilization, is, for me, a good way of trying to reach these vibes, and perhaps some deeper understanding about the beautiful planet we are living on.

But then again, there is ice cream. And I love ice cream as much as everyone else! Also, the freezer on our boat is rather small, so that’s obviously important too.

Little L and M in our Hanse 388 s/y Charlotte master cabin
Being anchored, descending into those vibes, there’s usually more of us all being together as well.
Little L and M in our Hanse 388 s/y Charlotte master cabin
Live, life, forever. I don’t know what the original thought was, but if you include all of nature, the planet and its inhabitants, it could be a rather sustainable concept.


  1. As always, nice to read your posts Mikael.

    What is your view on sizes of the winches on the 388? Could it be beneficial to have a bigger model or event change to electric?

    I think it’s pretty hard to set the main 😳

    1. Cheers!

      A good question, of course. I wrote a bit about it earlier over here (scroll down to the end):

      Simple answer: it would certainly be beneficial to have the 45ST instead of the 40ST as the primary winch on the starboard side! Or to have it electrified (but this was ~6200 eur including taxes on the Hanse price list, though for both winches).

      For my part, I had few issues with the 40ST size. Hoisting the main was a breeze as long as the reef lines were loose. Shaking out the reefs, however, with a lot of added friction, wasn’t as easy and sometimes required going up to the mast to pull a bit slack into the reef lines before continuing. I ended up considering it more a technique than a brute force issue, though.

      I’ve never considered myself especially strong (don’t work out and have never done it :), but I did notice it was a lot heavier for Charlotte to operate the winches.

      So yes, an upgrade (don’t know how easy that would be? I don’t think the current backing plate with holes is compatible with 45ST?) or electrifying one of the winches (probably not an easy install either, but hopefully Hanse left some room for it) would obviously help. I decided to be happy and make the most out of the original gear, so I didn’t have that option 🙂

    2. One more thing: when the reef lines are loose (and the main sheet is loose too so that the sail doesn’t get any windage) and you winch up the main, that shouldn’t be very heavy. I know it’s hard to define “very heavy”, but one of our girls was able to do it herself, although slowly using the slower speed on the winch and not further than the last 10 cm or so.

      Also, putting a fourth wrap around the winch gives some more power, so for the last few cm that can work.

      And the mainsail, upwind it should be well tensioned, but off the wind Elvstrøm recommends to ease the tension a bit (also to prevent the fluttering sound you can get on a reach).

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