RoRC Report - The Baltic

RoRC Report - The Baltic

Golden Eye reports on the Göta Canal and plans for the new season.

By RoRC Ernie Godshalk - 19/04/2018

I am pleased to submit my second report since having been appointed RoRC – Baltic, joining Andrew Curtain, and, consistent with the “Terms of Reference - RoRC,” look forward to promoting OCC in the region, visiting with port officers and providing pilotage, navigation and cruising information.

Here is a further report on a portion of Golden Eye’s 2017 cruise including navigational information:


The Trollhätte and Göta Canals, often referred to collectively as “the Göta Canal,” connects Sweden’s east and west coasts. From the west, the Trollhätte Canal is reached from the sea through Gothenburg’s harbor and ends, six locks and +44 vertical meters later, at Lake Vänern, about one-quarter of the way to the east coast. The lake, the EU’s largest, is itself a major cruising area with over 100 harbors and significant anchorages. Its highlight is the stunning Läckö Castle [photo], built as a private residence and still well furnished and maintained and accessible to the public.

From the eastern shore of Lake Vänern, the Göta Canal proper is entered and, 21 locks, 20 opening bridges, another +45 vertical meters and 35 miles later, leads to Lake Vätern, only slightly smaller than Lake Vänern. The highlight of Lake Vätern is Vadstena Castle, in the moat of which there is a marina. Another two smaller lakes, 37 locks, 23 opening and three fixed bridges, -91 vertical meters and 50 miles later (phew!), the boat is back at sea level on the east coast about 75 miles south of Stockholm. All 64 locks (plus 45 bridges and two aqueducts, which carry the Canal over rivers), which give rise to the Canal’s nickname, “Divorce Ditch,” are attended by lock keepers, although a few of them are operated by hand – assistance by boaters welcomed! [photo] A local friend provided a tip to have a candy or cookie ready for the lockkeepers, who may be in contact with the locks ahead. Ann Noble-Kiley (BOS), who had joined the crew mid-Canal, was Chief Candy Officer.

The entire passage can be accomplished in seven busy and long days, although two weeks or more allows a more comfortable and enjoyable trip including a short cruise in Lake Vänern. Air draft is limited to 22 meters. There are ample docking (included in the canal fee), fueling and shopping facilities and restaurants along the way.

Golden Eye’s plans in 2018 include the Stockholm archipelago, then eastbound into the Finnish lakes via Saimaa Canal (Russian waters) and back to Stockholm for the winter of 2018-19. I hope to meet Mike Westin, POR Stockholm and renew friendship with Max Ekholm, POR Helsinki.

I look forward to meeting members in, or discussions with members about, this region.

Photo: La¨cko¨ Castle, Lake Va¨nnern. Additional photos will be posted in the photo gallery on this website.

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