The Season 2011 was dedicated for sailing S/Y Dolphin Dance from Finland to Norway and back. Our adventure started on May 27th and we came back home on the 12th of August. During the 11 weeks, S/Y Dolphin Dance travelled the total of 1972 nm in 60 sailing days. This makes an average of 33 nm per day. We spent totally 422 hours at sea and our average speed was about 4,7 kn. The engine logged 200 hours and thus we travelled about 220 hours under sail. When going southwest along the east coast of Norway, we had to use the engine quite a lot since the wind was mostly against us.
Our initial plan was to sail up to Stavanger and Bergen in western Norway. However, the weather conditions in mid-June were not on our side and there was about two weeks period of strong westerly winds. We had planned to go via Limfjorden in Denmark, but due to the winds, we chose to head for the Swedish west coast instead. In fact, during these two weeks, there was only one day when the Skagerrak crossing could be made without beating against +10 m/s winds: on 22nd of June wind turned to south-southwest and we could make a fast and rather comfortable crossing to the Norwegian side of Skagerrak. However, we were late from our initial schedule so we decided that it is better to leave Stavanger area for the future expeditions and spent the time exploring the southern Norway instead.
Thus, Egersund was our turning point and furthest place that we visited in Norway by boat. We spent four days there waiting for the strong winds to calm down. In the beginning of July, when coming back from Egersund, there was a period of mostly light winds and this gave us a good opportunity to explore the area around Hidra island in the exposed south coast of Norway.
Our return journey from Lillesand to Copenhagen was mostly good sailing in fresh winds. After Copenhagen winds got more variable and we had to rely on our Volvo Penta more often. The most tiring leg was probably from Bornholm to Utklippan; although it was only 9 hours of sailing at good speed, it felt a lot longer due to the pouring rain. In Kalmarsund winds turned to north and then calmed for many days, and thus we had to motor again quite a lot. The longest leg from Öland to Nynäshamn was mostly motoring, but after that we enjoyed many days of the best sailing weather during this trip.
In general everything worked well and Dolphin Dance took good care of us. We had the biggest drama already on the first day of the journey, when the rudder shaft box started leaking. Fortunately, after adding petroleum jelly (vaseline), it remained watertight for the rest of the journey. I also added vaseline into the stuffing box a few times during the journey. We also found an underwater rock in Norway when leaving a wild anchorage in Blindleia.
Rest of the season was spent cruising in beautiful Finnish Archipelago. S/Y Dolphin Dance was laid-up for winter on the 10th of October 2011. She logged total of about 2250 nm this season.
Here is a collection of places and moments that we consider to be among the highlights of season: