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Dec 2010 iss1

Baltic with Goodwill by Dan Jaffe

In May 2005 Jean and I sailed from Lyme along the channel and up the North Sea via the Dutch and German Frisian islands to the Elbe and our final destination Hamburg. Some of my abiding memories of our voyage that year were the fair winds, the flat seas and the continuous sunshine, the sailing amongst the sand banks and the Frisian islands as described in ‘The Riddle of the Sands’ by Erskine Childers, and the many sailors from the east coast we met who said ‘You must go to the Baltic’.

So this Year in April I set out with Jenny Hanmer for the Baltic via the Elbe and the Kiel Canal having suggested to her that sailing in the North Sea can be very pleasant. How different it turned out to be from 2005! We had at least twenty two days of strong or gale force Northerly winds and it was bitterly cold, but my crew was a goodun and stayed with me beating to windward most of the time. We reached Dragor just south of Copenhagen at the end of May. On 1st July, Roger and Cec Downing joined Goodwill in Dragor and we sailed to Southern Sweden and then up the eastern coast via the islands of Oland and Gotland to the Stockholm Archepeligo with its 24000 islands and indeterminate number of rocks. At last the weather was warm! Exploring the islands and anchoring in bays was magic and a sheer delight after May in the North Sea. Later Nick Butler and Hugh Duncan joined Goodwill and then I had haute cuisine food and good sailing exploring more of the Archepeligo. Finally Jenny Hanmer joined me again in August and had a taste of sailing amongst the islands in sunshine and flat seas, perhaps a little reward for enduring the wet, strong winds and bitter cold of the North Sea in May. Sailing in the Baltic amongst the Swedish Islands is just fanatastic.

1Anchored in Skutviken

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