Sweden to St. Lucia
We took delivery of Sister at the
Hallberg-Rassy yard in Ellos, Sweden on April 13, 1999.
She had been officially launched sometime before that, since HR launches
the boats before they are finished then rigs and puts other finishing touches on
them once they are in the water. The
core crew was on hand for the one day test and training sail that HR provides
April 13 - May 1, Shakedown:
We stayed at the yard well into May mostly because of the unexpected
delay in the delivery of our shipment of “stuff” from home.
We tried to take advantage of this time by learning how to move our new
boat into and out of a marina, how she responds when under power (both forward
and reverse), how her anchoring system, sail handling systems, , navigation
equipment, electrical system, etc. etc. all worked. We actually did learn a lot about our boat during this time
so waiting for our shipment wasn’t a complete waste of time.
May 5 - June 3,
Southern Sweden: We sailed south from Ellos along the Swedish West
Coast, between Sweden and Denmark, around the Southern tip of Sweden, to the
Danish island of Bornholm, up the East Coast of Sweden through the various
archipelagos leading to and including Stockholm. From Stockholm we backtracked a
bit and transited the Gota canal which will took us through the Swedish
countryside back to Gothenburg.
June 4 - June 25, Sweden
to Norway and back: We spent two weeks on the Norwegian southeast coast.
From Norway we returned to the yard to get some maintenance and repair
done of the boat. While the boat
was being repaired Andy and I returned to Ames Lake.
We were home for the Fourth of July.
June 25 - July 12,
Home for a break and the Fourth.
July 13 - August 21,
to the Isle of Wight England: Thus began our trip South. From
Denmark, through the Kiel Canal, along the German, Dutch, and French coasts,
across the English channel to Brighton then into the Solent and Cowes on the
Isle of Wight.
August 21 - August 28, Cowes:
We were about to try the open ocean. At Cowes we made final preparations and
topped off ship's stores and our resolve.
August 28 – September 2: Across the Bay
of Biscay: Leaving Cowes going
west/southwest toward Land’s End then south across the Bay of Biscay. The
books all say to get across the Bay of Biscay before the equinoctial storms
start to blow in September. Clearly
we were a little late and we paid for it with a wild and wooly ride.
September 2 – October 30:
to the Canaries: We spent these
two months cruising slowly down the coast of Portugal, across to the Portuguese
island of Madeira 500 miles out into the Atlantic and then down to the Canary Islands. This was very enjoyable cruising.
October 30 - November 22, Las Palmas,
Canary Islands: We arrived early to rest, make repairs, re-supply and
to associate with other cruisers who were participating in the Atlantic
Rally for Cruisers.
November 22- December 13
The ARC leaves Las Palmas for Rodney Bay, every year at approximately this time. In our event nearly 250 boats
crossed together. After the start
It was very unusual to actually see any of the other boats but they were there
and we were in regular radio contact with a number of them during the entire
crossing. This is a "safe and sane" way to do one's first crossing.
After the ARC Andy and I returned to Ames
Lake for Christmas. In February,
2000 it was back to St. Lucia to begin our cruise of the Caribbean.
Check out our Y2K itinerary.