Monday, August 27, 2012

A Swedish sail

archi mapThe Stockholm Archipelago is a wedge-shaped region of thousands of islands extending east from Stockholm, Sweden to the Baltic.  On the map it is a tangle of curved waterways  and irregular landforms.

archi2From the air it shows lush green forest and deep blue water.  You can get a hint of what its all about along the shores of Stockholm’s harbors and ferries.


But then there’s the view from a sailboat.


Along with Puget Sound, these islands have long been one of my favorite cruising areas. The waters are protected and not particularly salty.  They are, at 19 deg C, tolerable for swimming.

The Swedes leave the water around August 15, leaving it empty and moderately priced for the latter part of the summer.

There are nice southerly winds at 5-10 knots, warm days with impossibly blue skies punctuated by slow-drifting squalls, and cool lazy nights.

Red-sided, barn-roofed villages dot the larger islands, docks and electricity, a restaurant to discover or a shop to explore.  Others have a shoulder of rock and deep silent  forest beneath blazing stars.

We book through Boat Charter Stockholm, an outstanding group with well-maintained new boats at good prices.  Then we gather a group of friends, food, drink, a couple of decks of cards, and a vague idea of where to go.  And we take life as it comes, sailing, cooking, navigating, exploring for long days of total vacation.

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