“It will be cool to see the Öland bridge,” I said to the children. “And when we’re this close to Kalmar, I guess we should go there too?”
“Yes, let’s go to Kalmar!” M chimed in.
It was just a short fifteen miles hop from where we had ended up the the night before, however, so we weren’t in any hurry to leave. We spent some time swimming, eating, and relaxing in the sun, and only after that, at about two o’clock in the afternoon, we pulled the anchor and set off.
Wind Speed Boat — Again
There wasn’t a whole lot of wind — nothing compared to the day before. The wind direction, however, was once again perfect for flying the code zero, so we did get very decent boat speeds.
Getting over five knots of boat speed with just over five knots of true wind speed, that certainly felt quite magical.
Having the (light) true wind right on the beam is a good sweet spot for sailing with the code zero in apparent upwind. Going significantly higher upwind, and the preferred sail would be a large genoa (which we don’t have). Going much further downwind, and the pressure starts to ease off.
Seeing the Öland bridge was magnificent.
“Whoa! It looks like it’s going on forever!” J said, following the bridge into the horizon and beyond, to the assumed endpoint, on faraway Öland.
Docking Heart Rate
After the bridge, we were right at the entrance of Kalmar, and it was time to start stressing about the docking. (Yes, it would be nice not to stress, but well, maybe someday!)
We motored slowly towards the inner harbor basin, at the same time putting out the fenders and the mooring lines.
Ideally, we wanted to find an alongside spot somewhere on the outermost piers. When getting closer to them, however, everything seemed already occupied.
Then, a bit ahead of us, I saw a free spot. And, unfortunately, my heart rate also went up a bit.
It was right in front of a cool restaurant. A cool restaurant with an outside terrace stuffed with people (read: onlookers) enjoying their dinner. It is, in fact, secretly delightful being one of those people, sitting there, enjoying food and beverage, while checking out how other people perform their docking maneuvers. Not equally inspiring, however, being on the other, performing end.
Also, although there was indeed an opening (with a crowd), there were quite expensive-looking yachts moored on both sides of that opening. (As I later found out, a Hallberg-Rassy 62 and an ICE 52 belonging to a famous Swedish sailor.)
I did have a secret weapon of my own, however. The wind direction!
“Ok, we’ll just position ourselves in a good place and then we’ll drift in there,” I announced to the others. “When we’re there, you can step ashore and secure the stern line,” I said to Charlotte.
And so we did.
I positioned the boat a few meters from the pier wall, and then we just slowly drifted inward, until we lightly touched the wall, and came to a stop.
I looked at a two persons dining at a restaurant table just a couple meters from us.
“Hello!” one of them said, with a smile.
“Hello!” I replied, returning his smile with mine.
Docking, Part 2
A short while after our arrival I was cleaning the deck when a couple of men walked up to the boat.
“Hello! What a beautiful …” one of them said to me, but I couldn’t really hear what he thought was beautiful. Usually, people commented on the color of the boat, so I went with that.
“Yes! We think so too,” I replied. “And it’s a wrapped color, you know, not painted,” I added, as I usually do.
The man looked confused. “No no, what a beautiful docking maneuver you did,” he said, smiling. “When you just arrived a while ago, you know,” he added. “You arrived so graciously that it was so nice to look at it!”
Wow, I thought to myself, so surprised that I didn’t really know what to say. Going from a stressful situation, having been afraid of screwing it all up and feeling the down-putting mumbles and superior headshakes of the onlooking crowd — to someone actually commending us on the whole thing. Nobody never!
“You must have a good bow thruster?” he asked, to break the silence.
“Well, yes, we do, really,” I said, regaining my composure, and producing a smile. “But we didn’t use it this time,” I added. “The wind was coming from a good direction, so it helped a lot!”