Web cameras, Google Earth and Navionics sea chart in iPad have now been in heavy use as we are following how the ice is melting at Baltic Sea. We are eagerly looking forward towards the spring and preparing Suwena for the adventures of the season. The countdown has already started by marking some items as complete on our ever growing list of things to do before the departure. Of course the last week will be anyhow very hectic despite of how we prepare beforehand.
We will sail next summer to Southern Baltic Sea. We will visit water areas of four different countries: Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Germany. Our target is to cast off the lines on 24th of May in Turku. If everything goes as we have planned then in May 2012 will start Suwena’s multi year voyage away from home.
Until now our summer cruises have been more or less round trips. Next summer brings a new challenge because at the end of the season we will leave Suwena into foreign country for a winter storage. We have also tried to prepare the yacht for leaving home waters and for challenges this might bring up.
During the first week we are going to sail to village of Mem in Sweden where the Göta canal begins. During the first half of the June we will travel through the Göta canal and its 58 locks. On our sailing in Saimaa during summer of 2010 we got familiar with the locks. Göta differs however from Saimaa because there are no floating bollards and no fixed lines on the walls of the locks like in lake Saimaa and Saimaa canal. Some call Göta canal as a divorce ditch due to many couples struggling with the lines in the locks. For us it is even more challenging because of Eve’s blindness. To facilitate our canal trip we have purchased a bottle of champagne to be stored in the bilge of Suwena. It shall be enjoyed only in Sjötorp after successful passage of Göta canal.
We will sail across Sweden: through Göta canal, lakes Vättern and Vänern and finally through Trollhätte canal to Gothenburg. The midsummer will be celebrated in the archipelago of Gothenburg from where we continue across the Kattegat to Denmark. In Denmark the first stop would be the popular island of Anholt.
We have selected a few reference points into our cruising plan. We would really like to visit in Denmark at least in Copenhagen and the islands of Bornholm and Christiansö. From Denmark the route continues towards Poland and from there to island of Rügen and other destinations in Germany.
Currently we’re still looking for the winter storage place for Suwena. We have got quotations from both German and Danish companies. The final passage routing depends on geographical location of Suwena’s winter storage place for next winter.
Upcoming season will bring us again new experiences and we will get new seamanship skills. The locks in Göta canal will be an exiting experience. In addition we will have more open sea sailings compared to the last year. The winds of Kattegat and Danish straits together with long legs on Polish and German coast will for sure enhance our sailing skills. Hopefully this summer we will have more downwind sailings so we could use more our gennaker. Last year we had a possibility to use it only once.
As we go more south the amount of yachts will for sure increase. When harbours will be full the boats will be rafting up. Being in the middle of the raft with Suwena will be a new experience that we will encounter for sure.
After the Easter it is time to go checking Suwena and prepare her for the upcoming summer. During the winter Suwena has received several upgrades like for example a folding propeller. We will write later a separate blog story about latest changes of Suwena.
For the upcoming season we are expecting a lot of pleasant sailing and interesting cruising destinations. We hope to write into these pages fun stories about our voyage that we would like to share with you.