Birthday celebration and boat work at Björkskär

Next part of our sailing/boatwork week, we sail to Björkskär, install a solar panel, celebrate Petra’s birthday and get the sea water pump working. We left Horsholmen and started sailing towards Björkskär in the outer archipelago. The winds where still strong and we started by setting the furling head sail and sailed with it until we arrived to Björkskärsfjärden where we hoisted the main sail as well (we had taken the furling head sail down before to pass through a narrow strait). The wind where still quite strong, 18-20 knots gusting around 22 knots. Our initial plan was to head for Stora Nassa so we set a course so that we sailed close reach. We didn’t make that much speed since close reach is not one of Anne-Mon’s strengths. There where also some waves, which didn’t help us sail faster.

The Baltic Sea has not higher waves than other seas but the waves are usually choppy , which means that they are short, steep waves.

Sailing through the waves across Björkskärsfjärden.

While we where close to Björkskär we decided to skip Stora Nassa and go to Björkskär instead. We could then sail the final part on a beam reach, and at one point we reached a speed of 7.6 knots, a new record for us!

The strait north of Björkskäret is usually very crowded during the summer months, but when we arrived there were no other boat there, due to the weather, and we could chose whichever spot we wanted.

We had arrived quite early and started with some boatwork, to install the first solar panel.

Trying out how to position all the solar panels.

We have chosen flexible solar panels to have on the roof. We have bought 5, each gives 60 W, they are rough and you can walk on them without problem. We also chose to have small solar panels to get the most electricity out of them. The cells in the solar panels are connected in series, and if one part of the panel is shadowed the capacity of the solar panel is significantly decreasing. Having a large solar panel increases the risk of having a part of the panel shadowed, while having many small ones there will almost always be at least 1 or 2 that are not shadowed and will deliver maximum amount of electricity.

Glue, in the form of Sikaflex, for the first solar panel in place.
Using all kind of weights to fix the solar panel.

The following day the weather was much better and a lot more boats arrived. We woke up and took a swim, together with a grass snake, which are quite common in the archipelago. During these two sailing trips we have seen unusually many grass snakes and one viper, the only poisonous snake in Sweden but despite that, not very poisonous.

Anchored at Björkskär. The following day more boats arrived.
It was Petra’s birthday so we had a wonderful shrimp sandwich for lunch.
We also worked with installing the electricity for the solar panels so that they are able to charge the batteries and the electricity for the sea water pump.

When the electricity for the solar panels where in place we could try one of them out and the panel charged with 45 W, really good! We didn’t have enough Sikaflex (or weights, for that matter) to install the remaining four solar panels, so we will have to do that another time.

Installing the sea water pump.

After some time we finally had sea water connected to the galley. Makes dishing so much easier! 🙂 After some hours of working on the boat it was time to get back to birthday celebration.

Beers in the cockpit.

We ate a nice dinner and fell asleep. The following day it was time to head back. Our summer vacation was over and it was time to get back to work.

It is soon weekend and we will head out to the boat. Maybe do some sailing but mostly focusing on getting stuff done. The forecast says there’s gonna be a lot of rain so might focus working on the boat.

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