Across the Sea of Åland 5.6.

  • Posted on: 9 June 2011
  • By: Eve

On Sunday we woke up full of energy to go towards the Sweden and new challenges. We prepared Suwena for sea. One task of preparations was to add a shackle to our stern anchor so we can put a rope on it. We know that in Sweden are fewer harbours with buoys and stern anchor with a bow to dock is a normal way of mooring.

After everything was ready it was time to turn our bow towards Sweden and Arholma. We raised mainsail, genoa and mizzen sail shortly after leaving the harbour. Sails were powered nicely until the wind started to decrease. When our speed dropped below four knots we decided to raise the gennaker for the first time. Gennaker bag was put on deck and made fast to the railing. With Patrik's advices in our memory we put the manset??? around the rolled up genoa and changed gennakers sheets to genoa winches. Andrus raised the gennaker sock by using the halyard and then we opened her up. This was a really beautiful moment.
Gennaker raised at the Sea of Åland
Just as we were about to cross the shipping line the wind stopped almost completely and our speed dropped below two knots. We were in no hurry but according to AIS we were on a collision path with three ships. We did not want to be disturb the commercial traffic so it was time to put the sock back around the gennaker and move to horsepower. Just as the three ships passed us we saw another one doing only six knots coming from the right. Andrus calculated that with a little speeding up we pass on hew bow with a 1.5 nautical mile clearance. After a while another ship appeared on the horizon passing the slow one on the right. Of course now that our speed was a little faster we would be on a way of the new ship. According to Colregs a motor vessel coming from the right has a right of way so we changed our course and passed both of the ships from stern.

The wind did not pick up so we continued with Perkins until the Arholma and packed the genakker away.

In Arholma we went to the Österhamn a la the east harbour that is recommended to be more beautiful. We moored with the stern anchor and in our crew this meant that at first the captain carried the 20 kilogram anchor from anchor locker in the bow to the aft deck. We discussed about fixing the stern anchor to the aft railing during the last winter but somehow we forgot about it. Andrus thought that if another boat would make a wave while he is carring an anchor on our deck it could be that our salon windows will need refitting afterwards. I managed to lower the anchor and rushed to the bow. We were lucky that there was another boater taking our bow lines because our bow ladder is still too long. I would have not dared to jump more than one meter with lines in my hands even if I trust the captain gives a jump command at a right moment. Then Suwena was moored and the Sea of Åland was behind us.

We started cooking the evening food and when I opened a refrigerator the really bad smell puffed out. Our fridge smelled like a dead animal. No can do, take out all food containers one by one smell which one has gone bad. The best before dates were all ok but all the food we did buy the last evening in Mariehamn Sparhallen smelled terrible. Even if we washed the packages it did not help Sparhallen food. Everything else was good after wash up but I needed to clean also the fridge few times before the smell was gone. I felt very sorry to throw so much food away.

Afterwards I cleaned also the kitchen table and raised the hatch for a small freezer to clean its edges. It can not be true. The hatch was warm inside. Its either myself who have by accident turned to freezer off while loading it or the topmost ice cream package has hit the switch in sea waves. In any case we had four 1 liter packages of ice cream, several packs of frozen vegetables and meat all melt. On the bottom of the freezer was a thick layer of metl ice cream. I was really angry as I just finished full clean-up of the fridge. So the project continued into the late evening. At least we know now how much stuff can be loaded into the freezer.
Suwena's smaller freezer