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Marstrand, Sweden

Marstrand is a pretty spot on the west coast of Sweden, a little island that was once an important military fortress and herring fishing port. The herring have swam away and the Danes and Norwegians do not threaten so much these days so now it has become something of a yachting destination, perhaps along the lines of Block Island (in RI, USA) or something. A huge stone fortress from the 1600s tops the rocky hill and the pretty little village lines the quay along the narrow strait between Marstrand and the mainland which I think is just a bigger island. Little ferries steam back and forth all day long between the two.

An old shipmate from the Danmark, Olof Pipping, tracked us down here. He has been a very accomplished rigger and has worked on the large ancient vessel Vasa in Stockholm. Olof gave a short power-point lecture to the crew on the Vasa, a 1600s ship of the line that sank in Stockholm but was so well preserved that she was raised over 300 years later. Now she is preserved and interpreted in a fascinating museum in that city.

Crew walked the little island, swam in the surprisingly warm waters and ships work was ongoing. Lots of boats sailed by in this small harbour and our old friend the Ketch Bessie Ellen sailed in and anchored nearby. We saw almost no trees and got to thinking that winters could be a bit bleak hereabouts, maybe. Onwards, still with no wind, we got under way for Kristiansand, Norway. Calms turned to a nice sailing breeze and soon enough we were under all sail romping along to the ENE.

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