Monday, 27 June 2016


We had a sunny fair wind sail from Kalmar today. While Kalmar is a city, Sandvik, on the island of Öland is just a collection of a few houses around a small harbour. The main industry here is limestone quarrying and the harbour was originally built to serve this trade. Before the harbour was built in the 1870s the trading ships used to anchor off the beach. Limestone blocks for export were loaded into rowing boats and then taken out to the waiting ships. There are no longer any commercial ships using the harbour now which is mostly used by yachts.

Visiting yachts use the box mooring system which is quite common in this area. The boat is moored bow or stern against the quay, and the other end is moored to a buoy out in the harbour. This means you have to get a rope on the buoy as you approach the quay, then rapidly come to halt close enough for your crew to get a line ashore without actually hitting the dock side. When, as was the case today, there is a brisk cross wind, this procedure requires a degree of power and maneuverability that we do not possess.
I avoid this type of mooring berth in harbours whenever possible if there is a choice, but sometimes like today there is no alternative. Fortunately there were lots of people around who were happy to help by pulling on ropes, giving advice, etc.  The only consolation is that some owners of more modern boats seem to have as much difficulty as we did.

The windmill at Sandvik was built in Dutch style in 1885, but has now been converted to a restaurant: