Going under a bridge is always exiting, because when looking from the cockpit and up it always seems like the mast is too tall. This time we had a guinea pig to show us that this bridge ( to the Quark) is actually tall enough, well at least a couple of meter higher than our mast!
Arriving at the harbour, the island master had already lit up the fire in the sauna, and later on the crew had sauna with a couple of fresh dips in the water (20°C). A couple is running a guest house, cafe and guest harbour at a forest ranger station. In addition boats are commuting from Vaasa. While we were there people arrived with the kayaks, too. A perfect place for some out-of the-way vacation! The island itself only came out of the water about 1000 years ago - so it is about the same age as the first mates hometown!
This nice outside shelter & grill is for visitors, and in the evening, the island master smoked his newly fished "Sik" (Baltic Herring) on the fireplace. The island was previously a coast guard station, but now it is a protected nature reserve.
And in the really old days (considered here: 300-400y ago) , the fishermen cleared landing places for their small open boats, and slept in these small shelters made out of circles of stones with a low cover of wood and animal skin. The landing places are now 3-4 meters higher than the water due to the isostatic uplift.
... and I just had to include this small family of ducks swimming around in the harbour
A quick trip up to the coast guard's watchtower showed that we were in for a rough day at sea, crossing over an open part of the bay of Bothnia.
And a rough sail it was! Tacking against a near gale with up to 30knots wind, the sea was choppy and it was difficult to maintain the speed through the waves. When we finally entered the 6nm sheltered fairlead to the harbour, the wind, after having passed over land, turned warm and dry, and we could get out of the rain gear.
When we landed, it was suddenly more then 30°C, and in shorts and singlet we had a late outdoor dinner at the summer restaurant in the harbour. The harbour is nicely situated close to a sand beach and surrounded by green forests.
Harbour day in Jakobstad
On the way from the harbour to the city (1km), we saw a lot of old wooden houses. One of them even had what we call "gossip mirror", an old device that enables people to sit in their living room and see who passes on the street!
Sunset in the harbour. During the night we were woken by a squall with heavy rain and wind gusts of more than 40knots. After doing some shopping in the city, a surprise visitor showed up in the jetty, our Spanish lawyer! He is actually from Jacobstad.
The harbour is quite small, but gave good shelter to the strong winds from south.
The island of Tankar is not very old, it also came out of the sea about 1000 years ago! It hosts one of the most famous lighthouses in Finland, and sports more than 10000 visitors every year.
When we landed a newly wed couple came out of the church, and the whole wedding party went to the passenger ferry, where dinner was served.
The white house to the right of the lighthouse is the largest house on the island and belonged to the lighthouse master, a similar house, a bit smaller is found nearby hosted the lighthouse keeper. Many of the houses dates back to 1700-1750. A nature path, with illustrations of the local wildlife, is twisting around the old fisherman's summer dwellings and thru the moors and shores of Tankar.
Besides the usual sauna, this harbour has a café, a church and a museum (below right) showing the historic activities on the island, mainly fishing and seal hunting.
This island is also a nature reserve, and many bird hatch on the northern cliffs, among them quite some Eurasian curlews.
The guest harbour is on the west side of the harbour, but there was no free buoys and when the sounder showed less then our 1.95m draft, we went to the east side (left in the picture) and found a place at the quay there.
Just when we landed, the ferry arrived to pick up the visitors from the annual ballad festival. We thought that all this people would not fit on the tiny ferry, and we were right!
harbour day in Byviken
Just by the harbour is the maritime museum with lots of open boats and gears used for fishing and hunting. If you don't recognise their prey, it is the dried out head of a seal. The people here on Holmön are keeping the island tidy and managing the garbage without any support from the community, and everywhere you go there is a small sign saying just that!
Nice sailing today in a fresh breeze, speed record at 9.2knots! Järnäsklubb is a tiny little harbour with its own restaurant. Its deep enough along the quay, but shallow on the opposite side.
Later on a Swedish and a German sailboat arrived, and when having some drinks with the crew on the German boat, the sea fog came rolling in, and suddenly it was damp and cold!
It was raining the whole trip today. We planned to go to Husum guest harbour,
but after having a peak at it's location, only half a nautical mile away from this pulp factory, we decided not to stay there. We sailed on to Örnsköldsvik, where shopping and refuelling possibilities were more promising. Just south of Örnsköldsvik, the High Coast of Sweden is starting. This is a World Heritage area, and holds a world record in isostatic uplift - the land is rising at a rate of 8mm per year! Below is the guest harbour with a view to the local ski jump, situated almost a sea level, as a reminder that this area is covered with snow and ice half of the year! But - the next day, the sun was shining!
The rookie sailor's corner
Now we have been on the boat for more than a month, and today for the first time; it was raining! I'm wet and cold - me don't like that!