Helsingor to Varborg was a 70nm sail in reasonable conditions. Varborg marina was unremarkable but at least we managed to find an alongside mooring. Another pay machine!
Away again in the morning to Goteborg. This proved a much longer leg than predicted as the wind switched to a “noserley” with velocity and we ended up doing more miles than predicted. The Goetborg marina proved the most expensive yet at 500Skr (Aussie $77) per night. We were asked to move the following day to make room for a 100 footer so we negotiated a better rate. At least Goetborg Marina was across the road from a large shopping centre and we were able to top up supplies during the 3 days we were forced to remain there because of strong wind and rain.
Out again into the River and north up the Alv in the Trollhatten Canal. The waterway is used by shipping and includes 6 locks in its 47 mile length. Four of these form a staircase at Trolhatten. The locks do require some technique. There are bollards set into the wall at about 5 foot vertical intervals, and you must get a rope onto these. As you rise or fall, you put a second rope on the next bollard up or down, releasing the previous rope. The drop is too big to leave ropes in place. There is also the odd ladder, where you can use the rungs. The best thing on entering the lock is to aim for a ladder. With only 2 of us we found grabbing a ladder with a midship line gave us more possibility of gaining a forward or aft bollard. It was always stressful and we were lucky to have only one other boat in the lock with us for most of the locks. Once through the Trolhatten locks there is only one other lock before Lake Vanern, the largest lake in Sweden and in the EU. The third largest lake in Europe.
We found a suitable anchorage and sat out some more foul weather for a couple of days. Less said about the lake the better! We had to decide to stay a week or possibly longer to see the lake or cut our losses and scarper. With our Schengen time ticking we very reluctantly decided to backtrack and try to make it to some point from which we could jump off to Norway. So back down the waterway we went in unpleasant windy weather and made it that day to the Bohus Fortress to anchor. This fortification was originally on the Norwegian Swedish border. Work commenced on it on the early 1300s. It was besieged 14 times but never taken. The anchorage was small but snug with good holding.
The following day was harrowing in up to 40 knots. We just made it through the Gotenborg lifting bridge before it was closed due to high wind. We then went out to sea but were forced back to anchor in a tiny rock strewn bay just outside the shipping channel. Very pleased to be there however as the wind screamed and howled all night. Morning dawned clearer, if not fine, so we elected to make the 65 mile dash west to Jutland Denmark and the Limjforden Canal to cross the peninsular to the western side with the hope of getting favourable winds to carry us north to Norway. The day fined up and a pleasant days sailing was enjoyed with a nice anchorage just outside Hals, Denmark.
|Cottages are dotted on rocky islands along the coast.|
Next we cross the Danish Peninsular.