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Crossing to Granhamn island, Sweden

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We left Mariehamn on a reasonably calm day. We had been warned by several sailors that the sea between Åland and Sweden could be quite rough even on a calm day so we weren’t sure what to expect. 

As we sailed south from Mariehamn the water was calm and the wind was blowing about 10m/s from the west which made for easy sailing. As we exited the sheltered waters of Aland the sea state started to become a little more rolly. Along the way we saw some wind turbines and there were several ferries both in front and behind us. After our previous encounter with a ferry we had the AIS app on one phone and the map on the other. Thankfully we were still close enough to land to have mobile internet. 

As we continued west the sea became rougher and the waves bigger. We soon realised that we were going to have to either tack through the wind or drop the sail and motor the rest of the way. Given this was our longest open water crossing we decided to motor so we could reach the Swedish coast before the sunset. 

The waves continued to build and we were experiencing 1-2m waves just off our bow. We both fell a couple of times although not badly. During the crossing we lost all mobile signal which was a first for us. 

As we approached the Swedish coast we had one more ferry to avoid, we then turned south to head towards our anchorage. As we entered the sheltered waters of the Swedish archipelago the water became almost flat and we were able to sail again! 

We arrived at Granhamn island just before the sun began to set. The anchorage was so still we probably would have stayed in place even with an anchor. 

The next day we woke up to sunshine and blue skies. I attempted to fish (unsuccessfully) and Uyen watched amusingly. Eventually, we gave up on the fishing and decided to have eggs on toast for breakfast.

A few hours later a motorboat arrived and tied up bow to the island and anchor at the stern. After an hour of intense discussions between ourselves, we decided we would try it too. We left the anchor where it was and moved the line to the stern of Polaris then slowly motored towards one of the marked berths on the island. It was nerve-racking as we had never done it before although the water was clear so we were able to see the bottom and check for any rocks. 

Once we were safely secured to the island we went for a walk, we found some raspberry bushes and a rope swing to keep us occupied for a while. After we filled up on raspberries we headed back to Polaris and decided we would unhook from the island and spend another night at anchor.