Summer adventure

Hello again! It’s been a while since my last post, andI didn’t even Finnish Barcelona off properly. Now were off for our next adventure, and we’ve had some in between.

Actually, our first week of sailing is already behind us and we’ve reached the island of Lidö in the Stockholm archipelago all the way in Sweden. And what an adventure is has been.

Everything started pretty well on a Friday evening. No wind though, but we made it to Vallisaari in Helsinki. On Saturday we cruised along in very light winds and by midnight we reached Barösund. The next day was better, even though it was upwind. Me mad good time and were reaching Hangö by late afternoon.

The wind was good, and we thought we’d continue after giving the dogs a short walk. Alas, about an hour before getting to port, Jaana took a step down into the cabin. Something we hadn’t done since lunch. Catastrophe! The cabin was filled with water up to the floorboards and a little bit more. Our bilge pump isn’t automatic, so we quickly switched it on, and the skipper started looking for major leaking points. None to be found.

Luckily the engine wasn’t submerged, and we got to port. The bilge pumps hadn’t been able to do much good. After emptying the forepeak, which was absolutely filled with water and wet gear, the culprit was found. The Raymarine speed-temp transducer had flown out of the through-hull casing. The plastic screw on ring had just blown right apart and water had started flowing in. Luckily the dummy plug was right where it should be, and I just popped that in and the water flow stopped. Why had the screw broken? The transducer was pretty new, only third season in use. Maybe some water had got in somewhere and the winter weather had frozen and cracked it a little and while banging hard on the waves, it just couldn’t take the strain anymore.

After emptying the boat and drying out till the next afternoon, we set off again. A little bit wary and tired but happy that all was well. We sailed well into the night and arrived in Nagu during the darkest moment and a shower of rain. Happy to be safely in port, it was time to go to bed.

Disaster! We sleep in the aft cockpit and the foot of our bed was drenched in water. Where did it come from? The rain? As it was the middle of the night, it was quiet. I could hear an ominous hissing sound. SHIT! Something is leaking. After opening a hatch to the aft section, I could see the bathing platforms’ shower plumbing sprouting water all over. A crack in the pipes. There was nothing else to do, but to turn off the water completely and move into the forepeak to sleep.

The next morning, tired and pissed off I started to fix the problem. Luckily it was a sunny, windy day and all the mattresses and sheets could be placed outside to dry. Best of all, our new mattresses are made of special plastic wiring and soak absolutely zero water. Only the cover does that to a limited extent.

I took a taxi and drove around Nagu trying to find replacement gear, but in the end all I could do was to plug the pipe leading to the shower. We’ll fix the rest when we get home. The parts needed have to be ordered anyway. What I did express order was a new transducer. Since my chandler had one lying around, we decided to wait till the next day when it arrived before setting off.

Another midnight sail later, we were in Iniö for a quick sleep. We got off early in the morning, and had a really good day, reaching our destination, Rödhamn, for Midsummers Eve festivities. What a relief after all the troubles.

A couple of nights later she headed for Mariehamn to fill up on water and diesel, empty our waste water and take a shower. A really good nights’ sleep later, we headed off early. The wind was forecast to reach 20-25 kn in some areas which we might pass, and that wasn’t what we really wanted. It’s a holiday, not an extreme sporting event.

We sailed across the Sea of Aland in SW breezes, varying in strength, anything from 5 kn to 26 kn right at the end. We had a look at Arholma harbour on the west side of the island, but decided that the continuing SW winds would be unconfortable and drove the five miles south to Lidö island, where we knew it would be calm. It wasn’t as calm as I thought it would be, but safe anyway.

So here we are on a Monday morning, waiting for the rain to pass over so we can continue south, towards our next goal, Sandhamn, were there have been a lot of murders during the past years. We’re going to check out what it’s all about.

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