Northern Europe,  Sailing

Autumn sail to Stora Nassa

During the weekend we decided to take a weekend sail to Stora Nassa, an island group in Stockholm archipelago. The weather was kind of cold and northerly winds around 7-9 m/s (14-18 knots) gusting up to 11-12 m/s (21-23 knots). We left work early on Friday and headed out to the boat and left as soon as possible.

A map of our autumn sail, blue is start position, red is Säck where we anchored Friday evening and yellow is Stora Nassa where we anchored Saturday, with a total distance sailed back and forth of 40 NM.

We have had a damage in our furling genoa, which we got fixed this week. We took the genoa and two other small headsails to Björn, a sailmaker in central Stockholm. He repaired the sails and took a look at them. We also got a lot of tips regarding sail care and sail theory in general. Can really recommend Björn if you need to repair your sails, link to his website can be found by clicking HERE.

Anyway, we set sail and departed to find a good place to stay for the night.

On our way to find a good spot to stay the first night out.

We ended up in the protected anchorage Säck, even though it was northerly winds we found a spot that was pretty protected.  We were all alone there, which is quite uncommon. Usually you have to fight for a spot in this very popular anchorage.

Säck a very popular and protected bay in Stockholm archipelago.

We anchored and started preparing dinner and starting our diesel heater, but not without trouble. After a while we got it working and let it run for a while during dinner.

After some issues getting the diesel heater to start we finally could eat some dinner.

We turned the diesel heater off during the night since we haven’t used it that much before. When we woke up on Saturday we had 8ºC (46ºF) inside the boat. We turned on the diesel heater and prepared breakfast.

Säck Stockholm archipelago
A cold but beautiful morning in Säck.

We didn’t hurry Saturday morning and did some small jobs before we left for Stora Nassa, like changing the halyard for the cutter stay, which we were gonna try out.

Finally we we were on our way to Stora Nassa, the wind was quite strong and there was the occasional rain and even some hail at one point. We had set the biggest of our jibs (we have three in total at the moment) on the cutter stay, and we made an average 5 knots on the way in 9 m/s (14 knots) winds. We took the northern route around Möja to reach Björkskärsfjärden, and here it is really important to keep an eye on the navigation as it is a maze of small islands and underwater rocks, as seen in the picture below.

This is what you have to navigate through at some places in the archipelago. A lot of small islands and underwater rocks everywhere.

We arrived at Stora Nassa and anchored at a very sheltered bay, even though the winds were strong outside it was completely calm where we were. There was no other boats in position. We anchored and ate a well deserved late lunch.

Stora Nassa
Anchored at Stora Nassa early October, all alone.

We took a tour around the little island we anchored at, the weather was quite dramatic and we spotted the wild Mouflon sheep that lives at Stora Nassa.

Stora Nassa
A storm is coming…
Mouflon sheep Stora Nassa
A quite bad picture of the Mouflon sheep that lives wild on Stora Nassa, but they were quite scared of us and we didn’t want to disturb them to much.

After our tour around the island we relaxed inside the sailboat and did some small boatwork, working with connecting the VHF antenna was one thing we did.

Sunday arrived and it was time to head home, we ate breakfast and set sail shortly after. On Björkskärsfjärden it was still quite windy so we tried our middle jib, which Björn, the sailmaker, had gone over, on the cutter stay. With that sail and a reefed main we sailed approximately 5-6 knots without cringing to much.

When we reached the bigger islands around Möja the wind died a bit so we un-reefed the main and took down the cutter stay jib and furled out the genoa instead. It last part was quite slower than the first, but the sun was shining. At one point when sailing downwind we tried the whisker pole for the first time, not for long, though, since the wind is constantly changing direction in Stockholm archipelago.

On our way back, sunny weather but still quite cold.

Soon we will sail back Anne-Mon to the city for the winter, which means we will focus more on the final preparations before our big sail. It also means that there will be more frequent blog posts here, since we have the boat closer.

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