6 weeks later and we’re back for more summer fun! Bump is getting bigger but Fran still managed to pull a few ropes and get Hal safely up to the odd rock.
We had some wonderful friends on board, Lucy and Aled and Aled’s two lovely daughters E&A. Both showed a clear knack for cruising and picked everything up very quickly – might be all that dinghy sailing! They started with a weekend in Copenhagen, seeing a few sites, drifting South and West to Sweden and back East to Denmark again with Captain Haddock, waiting for Fran to finish her 6th weekend in a row at work.
Fishing started early and with no end of determination!
Fran joined on Monday in a sweet little fishing village called Dragør (quiet and cosy but just 15 minutes from the airport! Definitely the place to leave a boat if you’re planning passages or crew changes around Copenhagen) and after a welcome dinner and long sleep, we all set off North together to a little island called Ven. Ven is just 20 miles up the channel between Denmark and Sweden and a popular local cruising spot for this reason. Easy day-sailing with a few small marinas. The Southwestern harbour, providing a bit of shelter from the strong northerly breeze but none from the ferries coming in and out, was already full and we tied alongside a Danish boat in the hopes something more appealing would become available. After a couple of ferry dockings however we quickly decided that an overnight stay would be more uncomfortable than the short sail across to the Swedish mainland for the night. So we made the most of the afternoon and headed up the steep hill to the bicycle rental shop, where we picked up bikes and maps and went cruising around the island.
The views were stunning and it was great to stretch the legs for a couple of hours, particularly with the promise of ice cream at the end! Fran and Captain H thought it would be fun to try a tandem but this may have been harder work for one of us ;P…
We left Ven in the early evening and skipped across to a little town called Raa. It was actually a very uncomfortable motor with 25 knots on the nose!. The village was laid around a lovely channel but we couldn’t find a free space anywhere! Eventually we tied to a spare bit of wall outside the Volvo yard in the hopes no one showed up too early for work on Wednesday!!!! After a lovely dinner we passed out exhausted from all the sun and cycling and sailing.
It was straight to another island the following day. This time with less wind from a better direction and slightly more sailing! Initially we thought it would be nice to break the journey and stop along the way but the marina we were hoping to visit (Mollë) described the entrance as being akin to a tidal wave in northerly winds. It was the only harbour where in the right conditions (as conveniently predicted for that particular day!) you could surf right in. Captain Haddock wasn’t up for the challenge… So we pushed on and had a beautiful sail instead to Hallands Väderö.
This was one of the points along the Swedish coastline. Apparently it’s possible to walk most of this coastline from Malmo up almost all the way to Norway!
We arrived mid afternoon and claimed our space amongst the rocks. From here everyone immediately set off swimming and paddle boarding and fishing!
Fran and CH had a little wander along the shore while the others went out fishing…
It was perfect weather for a BBQ and we spent the evening relaxing in the sunshine polishing off boxes of wine and chocolate biscuits for fran and the girls.
The most successful fishing efforts seemed to be catching crabs from the boat using gristle from the steaks. They absolutely loved it! We weren’t allowed to eat them for lunch the next day though – they all made it safely back to sea.
Thursday was another stunning day and nobody was particularly keen to leave so we had more time paddling and fishing and cruising about in the dinghy.
We even found a small colony of seals!
Most of these islands are protected for birds and seals so everyone was tied up in the same little corner. Again the vicinity to both Sweden and Denmark made it a popular place to picnic for the day so there were quite a few other boats about. We stayed for lunch and then set off early afternoon to a town called Halmstad, where we planned to leave Hal for the weekend. This was slightly further than Fran initially estimated (18 miles not 10…) but we arrived just in time to go searching for a restaurant for dinner!!
Our final day together was spent pottering about Halmstad – Fran and CH went off in search of an outdoor museum showing life in 19th century Sweden, while the girls finished off their umpteenth books and Lucy and Aled had a long walk to pick up a hire car.
They all set off in the afternoon to explore Sweden by car for a few days. CH and Fran had a quiet evening before heading by train to Copenhagen on Saturday, where we flew direct to Rome to see the Keene’s and the Giusti’s for Azurra’s christening!!!