I love the skies in Sweden, especially the evening skies just before the sun sets after a long, long summer's day.
It is rarely dark before 11pm and light starts creeping into the skies again by 3am in June/July, which I found rather unsettling. I don't think we really slept deeply at all.
We dropped anchor for the night in a quiet inlet before heading to Fyrudden, a small pretty harbour, just a shop, a bar and a few houses, then on to Arkosund and a pretty sunset. We found ourselves caught up in a Swedish music quiz - we didn't understand the questions, never mind having the answers. We did, however, manage to score one point - probably the answer was Abba!
|Nykopping Marina at Night|
Next stop was Nykopping marina where we could have showers and catch up with the laundry. Luxury! Then on to Ringson, an island in the Stockholm Archipelago where we learnt to moor onto the rocks, very popular with the Swedes, as you can then hop ashore and light a barbeque, walk the dog etc!
|Mooring onto the rocks at Ringsom|
... before heading for the marina at Trosa, a beautiful little riverside town with a New England feel where we stayed a couple of days before a long, so very hot day motor sailing which brought us to the beautiful island of Rastaholm on Lake Malaren, our favourite place of all, I think. Just idyllic!
|Sunset on Rastaholm|
But we had Stockholm on our minds and the chance to sail into this stunning city, admiring the gorgeous Swedish summer houses built on the water and a chance encounter with Andreas, a lovely German who had hit a rock (a common occurrence in the Archipelago) and who needed a tow into Stockholm. We took his line and towed him for 2 hours - 4 tons of metal just behind us, and no brakes, negotiating a lock, a bridge opening and heavy boat traffic coming into Stockholm.
|Swedish Summer Houses|
We made it safely into Vasa Harbour in Stockholm, where we were found some scarce space - city harbours are popular in summer, but a crippled boat will always be a priority, and we ended our journey back where we started with an unlooked for extra two days in Stockholm, packed tight in Vasa harbour... with an invitation to a wedding in Germany very soon!