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OCC report from the Baltic

by Ernie Godshalk 30 Jan 07:50 UTC
S/V Golden Eye © Ernie Godshalk

As mentioned in my July report, I was co-chair, with David Tunick, of a cruise organized by The North American Station of the Royal Scandinavian Yacht Clubs, Royal Swedish YC and The Cruising Club of America - and which included approximately two dozen OCC members aboard their own or chartered boats - in the Stockholm archipelago in July. OCC members on their own boats included: Ernie Godshalk and Ann Noble-Kiley - Golden Eye; Charlie and Heather Lalanne - Nellie; Steve and Nancy McInnis - Maverick; Paul and Marty Rogers (and crew Doug and Dale Bruce) - Canty; Brad and Christine Smith -Robin Leigh; David Tunick - Night Watch.

The archipelago offers idyllic cruising, with at least 1000 harbours or nooks in which to comfortably moor, berth or anchor for the night. Three hundred of these are described, with photos and chartlets, in Hamnguiden 8; the remainder can be found by inspection of the charts or adventuresome "gunkholing." The weather is normally benign, allowing exploration of the outer islands bordering the Baltic; when it blows, the inner archipelago offers ample protection. Royal Swedish Yacht Club (Swedish initials: KSSS) offers wonderful hospitality at its harbours at the island of Sandhamn and mainland town of Saltsjöbaden - and singing leadership!

In the tideless Baltic, mooring is usually bow-to-the-rocks. The local boats are gorgeous.

Following the cruise, Golden Eye proceeded S along the E coast of Sweden, which also offers many beautiful harbours including those of the St. Anna archipelago. We rendezvoused again with the Lalanne's Nellie in Kalmar.

A short tour of The Sound in Denmark included a visit to Helsingør ("Hamlet's") Castle, at which we happened upon an unscheduled performance of scenes from the play in situ.

On the now-Swedish island of Hven, in the Sound, we rented bicycles and rode to Uraniborg, the museum and planetarium of Tycho Brahe, the brilliant 16th-century Danish astronomer - well worth the ride. Brahe, whose research pre-dated the telescope, devised predecessors to the sextant (on display at the museum) which he used to make incredibly accurate measurements of celestial movement. These were foundational achievements for those who followed him, such as Kepler, but, despite these observations, Brahe insisted upon a geocentric (Earth at the centre) model of the universe.

Lübeck, Germany, was our next port, to research yards for shipping Golden Eye's mast to the Med next spring, and finally a passage back to Denmark to put Golden Eye up for the winter.

Next year, I plan to take Golden Eye into the canals of Germany and France, bound for the Mediterranean. This will bring to an end ten years cruising in northern Europe.

I plan to be at the AGM in April in Annapolis. I look forward to seeing OCC friends and especially anyone interested in cruising in the Nordic countries/Russia/Brittany or experienced in the canals of Germany or France.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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