Now that we have passed the darkest weeks of the year and daylight is increasing slowly but firmly, it is good time to start planning the coming sailing season.
Last summer we spent totally eleven weeks on our journey to Norway and back. However, the whole process was a lot longer since there were a lot of preparations to be done. We had scheduled to start in the end of May, so we were in quite a hurry to get everything ready on time. However, in the coming season we are going to take a bit more relaxed schedule and stay at the Baltic Sea. We are planning to sail north from our homeport in Turku and head towards Höga Kusten (The High Coast) in Sweden. This area will be completely new for both of us, but we have heard and read a lot of positive experiences from other sailors.
The High Coast is an area located in the northeastern Sweden and on the west coast of the Sea of Bothnia. Together with the Kvarken Archipelago on the Finnish side of the gulf, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The unique nature in this area has been affected by the latest glacial period, when the land masses were depressed by the weight of a glacier. After the ice age, the land started rebounding and is now rising at rates that are among the highest in the world. Interestingly, these two areas have a very different kind of landscape: in the Kvarken Archipelago the islands are flat and waters shallow, whereas the High Coast has a hilly mainland, high islands and deep waters. The Kvarken Archipelago would be interesting to see as well, but it is probably not the perfect place to explore with a sailing boat.
According to our current plan, we will celebrate the Midsummer day in Kustavi, Finland and after that continue with a long leg across the Gulf of Bothnia. During the summer seasons the prevailing winds at the Baltic Sea are from SW, so the passage from Finland to Sweden should be favourable. Furthermore, we do not have to have any fixed arrival port on the Swedish side, so this can vary depending on the weather conditions. We are planning to come back via Stockholm Archipelago and Åland. If we have enough time, we will make a detour to Stockholm as well.
/Antti & Minna