This is "Onbekommerd"!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Precise navigation and three new records

Our original plan had been to go to Fejan today, this being the point in Sweden with the shortest crossing to Mariehamn, the main town on the Åland Islands. But the forecast for today was excellent for a 'sea voyage', so we decided to go for a no-stop strategy and combine two days into one.
The first bit was through the northern Stockholm skärgård. The chart looks like this:

The plotter, when zoomed in, looks like this:

Lots of little islands and rocks, marked with red and green buoys. If you can see the rock clearly, there is no mark....

That all seems a bit daunting, but as long as you concentrate on where you are (that's what the pink marker on the chart is for), it's not that bad. This is what it looks like in real life (all three pictures taken a few minutes apart).

As you can see, the weather is great. Pictures taken just before 7am this morning, after pulling up the stern anchor at 6.

By 9:30 we were abeam of Fejan and we had joined the ferry route.

Åland is a semi autonomous region of Finland, it is part of the EU, but not of the EU tax zone. Because of this, the ferries that cross from Sweden to Finland (or vv) and stop at Mariehamn make a voyage outside the EU for tax purposes. This must have some pretty significant benefits, the ferry terminal in Mariehamn -which in itself is rather a sleepy small town - is big and busy.

Some 15 miles out, our phones told us we were now in Finland (Vodafone sends a message 'welcome in Finland, calls cost 23cents a minute.....'). And by then land was also visible.
Soon, we could take this picture:

We passed the 60 degrees North latitude. Record #1.

Finland is also in a different time zone, the phones and iPads adjusted themselves and we advanced the ship's clock by one hour. First time we crossed into a different time zone. Record #2.

Nine hours and twenty minutes and 55.2 miles after leaving Finnhamn we tied up in Mariehamn. Neither of these two are records. But when we hoisted this courtesy flag:

it was the forth one this year after Germany, Denmark and Sweden. And that is record #3.

Rest day tomorrow!

Location:Storagatan,Mariehamn,Åland Islands

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