Golden Eye in Sweden

Golden Eye in Sweden

Here is a report from RoRC Ernie Godshalk on a portion of Golden Eye’s 2017 cruise including members, events, a Port Officer and navigation

By Ernie Godshalk - 01/02/2018

Sweden is a spectacular place to cruise: tens of thousands of islands, many hundreds of harbors, minimal tides and currents, generally good weather and winds, no lobster pots, little fog, wonderful food, beverages, and lots of singing and celebrations among very friendly people. And the canal that cuts across the country leads to surprisingly large and attractive lakes. The boating opportunities are so idyllic that at the height of the Swedish summer holiday, mid-July to mid-August, the harbors and waterways tend to be busy and in some cases packed.

The best cruising on the west coast is found from just south of Gothenburg, home of Royal Gothenburg YC (Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap – GKSS) north to the Norwegian border, a distance of 100 miles. This was the venue of the 2017 NAS Cruise, attended by OCC members (and in some cases their boats) Susan and Doug Adkins; Peggy and Carter Bacon (Solution); Dave Brown and Sheila McCurdy; past Regional RCs Dale and Doug Bruce; Marty and Paul Rogers (Canty); David Tunick (Night Watch) as well as your RoRC (Golden Eye). We were very honored to be joined for an evening by PO Sweden, West Coast Staffan Agnetun (see photo).

On the west coast, the islands extend about five miles from the coast, forming channels that provide inside, protected routes as an alternative to going offshore. There are hundreds of harbors as well as spots for a few boats each. The islands are mostly treeless. Tides and currents are modest, allowing for typical Swedish mooring in which the bow is brought into an island where crew may step off, lines taken ashore and a stern anchor deployed. For those of us who grew up with tides, this is a “learned skill.” Especially on the west coast, where there are few trees to which to tie, it is common to hammer pitons into the rocks. The local practice is to find a spot that enables tying up with the bow into the wind, i.e., on the lee side of the island.

GKSS’s primary facility is at Långedrag, about five miles SW of Gothenburg. The club is extremely hospitable to visiting yachts. Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, is attractive and historic, well worth a day ashore.

The major yachting center on the west coast is Marstrand, 15 miles north of Gothenburg. In addition to full marina facilities and a GKSS outstation, the island offers fine restaurants, excellent walks, the well preserved 18th century Carlsten Fort that offers tours with actors in period costumes, and a dramatic venue from which to observe the annual match racing events. We particularly enjoyed a couple of days on the island of Käringön. Smögen Island harbor is cozy and quaint, and its night life is a particular attraction to the younger crew.

While at the northern extremity of Sweden, Golden Eye crossed into Norway and then reentered the EU, restarting the VAT clock.

Photo: L-R: Doug and Dale Bruce, Staffan Agnetun,Sheila McCurdy, Ernie Godshalk, Dave Brown, Doug Adkins

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