Stockholm City Visit – Marina Review

Navishamn Marina, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55


Marinas in Stockholm

The city of Stockholm is situated between the sea and a large lake called Mälaren.  You’ll find two marinas for visiting boats on the sea side: the Navishamn, which is actually a boat club marina, and the Wasahamn marina.  We stayed at the Navishamn.

Marinas in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The island of Djurgården (on the right side of the map) and its two guest marinas (red stars). Ferries leave from Djurgårdstaden to take you directly to the Old Town (Gamla Stan).  Otherwise, the tram route (S) takes you right into town.

The reason we chose the Navishamn is that we are willing to give up some convenience in terms of closeness to the main parts of the city  in exchange for more peace and quiet.  A distance of  about 1.5 km separate the two marinas.


The Navishamn

The Navishamn is actually the marina for a club called the Navigationssällskapet (Navigation society).  Guest berths become available when members leave their permanent berths to go out sailing or to occupy a summer berth further out in the archipelago. Their berths are then rented out to visiting boats.  You can mail or call ahead to reserve a berth.

Navishamn marina in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

View of the Navishamn

The marina is located next to a small palace called Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde. Prince Eugen (1865–1947) was an artist, specialising in landscape painting. The palace showcases not just his amazing body of work; it presents temporary exhibitions of other artists as well.  Upcoming exhibitions in 2017 include Joan Miró and Carl Larsson.  It’s a must-visit if you are a fan of landscape painting. It’s a 5-minute walk from the marina. The gardens around the palace are free to visit and they are worth a visit for anyone interested in landscaping/ gardening and sculptures.  There are quite a few famous sculptures spread around the gardens, including those of August Rodin and Carl Milles.

Waldemarsudde in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The Archer in the Waldemarsudde gardens, created by Sweden’s most famous sculptor, Carl Milles

Waldemarsudde in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The old stables of the palace. You can sit here and look out over the water and the traffic going to and from Stockholm.

We walked through the gardens and the forest next to the palace every morning and evening with Senna.  The path continues for several kilometres around the island if you enjoy long walks.

Waldemarsudde in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Senna is always up for a swim! This little “beach” is about a 15-minute walk from the Navishamn, just after the Palace of Waldemarsudde.

Here are a number of Stockholm’s tourist attractions within a 15-25 minute walk from the Navis marina (or take the tram if you’re in a hurry):

  • Skansen, Stockholm’s fabulous open-air museum of life in Sweden during the “old days”
  • The Wasa Museum (the Wasa was a warship built in the early 1600s. It capsized during its maiden voyage, was recuperated in the 1950’s, meticulously restored and then  housed in its own museum for all to look upon with wonder).
  • Aquaria, Stockholm’s  Aquarium
  • Lilljevalchs Konsthall (an art gallery),
  • Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s Tivoli, with attractions, concerts and restaurants
  • The Nordic Museum (about life and history in the nordic countries
  • Junibacken – if you have children.  This is fairytale paradise for small children
  • In April of 2017, a brand new viking museum opens
  • Spritmuseet – the museum of wine and spirits (has an excellent restaurant)
Navishamn Marina, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

View of a residential part of Djurgården from our berth

Going back to the marina itself, here is what we appreciated most about the Navishamn:

  • We were met at arrival be the marina master, who showed us our berth and took our lines
  • The tram (nr.7N)  into town stops just outside the marina gates
  • Great area for long walks or bike rides if you love nature
  • Relatively calm for a city marina

What could have been better:

  • The electricity is only 10A. 16 would have been better for us.
  • The toilets and showers, although clean and in proper working order, could use a renovation.
Navishamn Marina, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Around 22.00 during the first week of July

Navishamn Marina, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Jacques is replacing the USB hub for our Furuno chart plotter remote. The hub suddenly stopped working. Lovely view from the cockpit!

Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

View of a moonrise and steamboat returning to Stockholm from our cockpit

Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Fiery colours of sunset reflected in the buildings across the water from the marina.

Facts: Navishamn

Prices in 2016:

  • Boat up to 12 meters: Day: 150 SEK, Overnight: 300 SEK, Week: 1750 SEK including electricity
  • Boat over 12 meters: Day: 200 SEK, Overnight: 500 SEK, Week: 2750 SEK including electricity
  • Boat over 18 meters: Overnight: 800 SEK,  Week: 3500 SEK. Electricity 100 SEK
  • Boat over 22 meters:  Overnight: 1000 SEK,  Week: 5000 SEK,  Electricity:: 100 SEK

Number of berths: up to 175. Berthing method: bow or stern to quay, buoy (are usually far enough away for a boat up to 55-60 feet.)  A few alongside berths on the outside that are for very large or heavy boats only. Facilities: toilets, showers laundry, electricity (10A), fresh water, free wifi (although if your berth is far from the office, you’ll need a wifi booster to get the signal) air pump for your fenders(!), berths for large boats up to 25 meters and 50 tonnes. Electricity costs 50 SEK per night. Open from 1st of  May until end of September Contact info: email: hamnkapten@navis.se, phone: +46 70 732 34 41,  Harbour office hours: 8.00–20.00 (during high season).

Navishamn Marina, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Google Earth photo of Navishamn marina and the surrounding area.


Wasahamn

The Wasahamn is located next to the Wasa Museum.  It is a private marina that functions as a guest harbour and has 146 berths.  The advantage of the Wasahamn over the Navishamn is its proximity to a large number of tourist attractions and restaurants.  They are a stone’s through away from the marina gates.

Wasahamn marina in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The Wasahamn marina on Djurgården.  The tower you see on the left is the Nordic Museum. The 2 red buildings on the left make up the museum of Wine and Spirits.

This does come at a price, though.  The noise level here is much higher, especially the noise coming from Gröna Lund or Skansen, where regular concerts are held.  Thankfully, the concerts usually end by around 22.30, so you will be able to get your sleep.  But forget about having a peaceful evening meal in your cockpit.

Wasahamn marina in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Here you see that the marina is right next to the Wasa Museum.

Facts: Wasahamn marina

Prices during summer season (15 May 2016 to 15 September 2016): 

  • Boats up to 12 meters: Day only: 200 SEK,  Overnight: 350 SEK. Electricity: 50 SEK
  • Boats over 12 meters: Day only: 350 SEK,  Overnight: 650 SEK. Electricity: 50 SEK
  • There are reduced fees during the autumn/winter/spring

Facilities: toilets, showers, laundry, free wifi, black water pump Number of berths: 146 Contact info: email: wasahamnen@telia.com, phone: +46 (0)8 661 9187 Harbour office hours: 8.00–20.00

Wasahamn marina in Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Google Earth photo of the Wasahamn and surrounding area

Sailing in to Stockholm

Sailing in to Stockholm

It was time to finally head in to Stockholm.  We had reserved a berth at the Navishamn on the island of Djurgården, close to the centre of town.

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Sailing past a small island near Dalarö, about 3 hours’ sail from Stockholm

Stockholm is protected by an immense archipelago and the only ways to approach it by boat are from the south via Saltsjöbaden or from the east via Waxholm or Värmdö.  Since we were coming up from the south, and since we are not sailing a boat with more than 3 meters’ draught or 30 meters’ air draft, we were taking the southern approach.  All larger, taller and deeper-draught boats need to arrive via the Oxdjupet (Ox depths) or the Kodjupet (Cow Depths) passages.

Stockholm southern approach - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The southern approach to Stockholm

Stockholm eastern approaches - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The eastern approaches to Stockholm. Most pleasure boats use the orange-coloured passage via Kodjupet.

The anchorage of Napoleanviken

We wanted to spend one more night at anchor before sailing to the city, so we selected the famous friday night anchorage of Napolenviken on the island of Ägnö, not far from Saltsjöbaden.Napoleanviken - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Napoleanviken - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

This chart shows where our bow anchor held and did not hold. GPS coordinates: 59°14’16″N 18°24’14″E.

Napoleanviken is often used by sailors leaving town on a friday evening, as it’s only an hour or two from the marinas and boat clubs around Stockholm

Napoleanviken - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

We were anchored in the tiny eastern side of Napoleanviken

This anchorage is perfectly protected from swell and almost perfectly protected from wind.  If there’s a hard WSW blowing, it can come into the eastern part of the anchorage.  This usually  isn’t a big problem in the Napoleonviken.

Napoleanviken - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Looking towards the western part of the anchorage

It’s best to anchor here “the Swedish way” (two lines ashore plus a stern anchor) but there are a few good spots to lie with a bow anchor.  We tried several times in the wester part of the anchorage with no success. We finally got it to hold when we went into the eastern part.  If you can anchor with lines ashore, there are many spots for you.  I used lots of different spots when I lived here and had a 36-foot boat  that was easy to tied up to the shore.  We’re going to have to try with Freja next year!

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Senna enjoying her morning swim in the Napoleanviken

Napoleanviken - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

On a Friday evening, you would see lots of boats moored up to the granite rocks you see in the background.

To get to Stockholm from the south, you need to pass through two narrow canals (straits) — don’t worry, they’re wide enough for a steamboat to pass through!

The Baggensstäket

The first canal/strait you’ll enter is called “Baggenstäket”.  The draught here is 3 meters, so most pleasure boats will be able to go through.  But if you’re floating around in a Swan 70, you’ll have a problem!

The second is the Skurusundet, which has a 30 meter bridge passing over it. This bridge is bow-formed, so if your mast is high, you’ll need to pass under the middle of it or you’ll won’t get the full 30-meter clearance!

One of the many fairytale-like cottages you'll see on the way to Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

One of the many fairytale-like cottages you’ll see on the way to Stockholm

You do need to keep a lookout on the bow for traffic coming towards you. A few passenger boats in regular traffic come through and they have the right of way.  If you see or hear them coming (they will sound their horn before entering – one long blast), you’ll need to either back up or move to the side so they have enough room to pass.  There are several areas too narrow for the two of you to pass side by side, so stay vigilant.

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Lovely old pavilion along the Baggensstäket

If you have a motor, you are required to use it — sailboats are not allowed to sail through the canal.  Stay on the starboard side of the canal while being careful of the marker buoys.  This may sound like obvious information, but one of our guests assumed that you should stay in the middle of a fairway or canal, and we had to correct him.

Sometimes you won’t come upon a passenger boat, but something unusual, like a barge or small cargo ship.  We were behind a barge called Tvättbjörn on one of our passages towards the canal. The skipper had announced his ETA to the east entrance of the canal on VHF every 5 minutes.  A barge, being constrained in it’s ability to manoeuvre, has the right of way.

Have a look at the video!

 

Skurusundet

After passing through the Baggenstäket, you’ll go through the strait of Lännersta, and then through the scenic Skurusundet (Skuru strait).  Again, the bridge has a 30-meter clearance, but that’s in the middle part of the structure.

Skurusundet, just outside Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

The Skurusundet, just outside Stockholm

Skurusundet - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Boathouse along the canal

Upon exiting the Skurusundet, you’ll sail past the little island called Sverigesholme and “turn left” towards Stockholm.  You’ll now see Stockholm in the distance ahead.  After passing the large island of Lidingö (where I lived for several years), you’ll see the Fjäderholmarna (Feather Islands) on your starboard side.  The main island hosts a couple of good restaurants. You can even visit them with your own boat if you can snag one of the few berths on the island.  Otherwise, you can catch one of  the shuttle boats that go out every 30 minutes or so from the centre of town.

Sailing through the Stockholms inlopp (Stockholm waters)

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Some of the many archipelago passenger boats that run out of Stockholm. One of them is a shuttle that goes to the Fjäderholmarna.

Just after the Fjäderholmarna, you’ll have the island of Djurgården on your starboard side.  The two marinas in Stockholm are located here.  One is called the Wasahamn and the other is called the Navishamn.

Sailing past Djurgården, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

Sailing past the western end of Djurgården island in Stockholm

The advantage of the Wasahamn is that it’s closer to town and a stone’s through from several of the major tourist attractions of Stockholm, restaurants, cafés, etc.  The advantage of the Navishamn is that it it’s farther from the centre of town, in a somewhat peaceful area.  So you have to decide what you appreciate more — a bit of tranquility in the city, or easy access to to most of the famous tourist attractions in Stockholm.

I’ll do a marina review and go through some of the famous tourist attractions in Stockholm in my next posts.

We decided that the Navishamn would suit us better, since a). we’ve already seen the tourist attractions on Djurgården, and b.) we prefer some tranquility!

Navishamn on Djurgården, Stockholm - Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog | Discovery 55

View of the Navishamn in Stockholm

Cruising the Stockholm Archipelago, part 2

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55We cruised the Stockholm Archipelago in 2013 to get some more miles under our belts, in preparation for acquiring our own boat.

Day 6 Utö to Munkö

The sail from Utö to Munkö was gorgeous, thanks to the beautiful weather and to a guide called “Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård” (Shortcuts in the Stockholm Archipelago).  It shows you little-known passages as alternatives to the “usual” way of getting somewhere.  If you’re in Sweden, and are planning to explore the Stockholm area, I would really recommend it.  Even if you don’t speak Swedish, the overhead photos and diagrams will enable you to follow along (you still need the chart, of course).

This chart shows how most people, out of sheer habit, would make this passage:

Utö to Munkö, the usual route | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Utö to Munkö, the “usual” route

This set of charts shows our route.

Utö to Munkö, using the guide "Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Utö to Munkö, using the guide “Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård (Shortcuts in the Stockholm Archipelago), first part from Utö, lower left

Utö to Munkö, using the guide "Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Utö to Munkö, using the guide “Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård, second part

Utö to Munkö, using the guide "Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Utö to Munkö, using the guide “Genväger i Stockholms Skärgård (Shortcuts in the Stockholm Archipelago), last part

About Munkö:

  • Beautiful, though relatively small anchorage – room for 12-15 boats to fit comfortably Protected from all winds except those from the north-northeast
  • Good holding (mud)
  • No facilities at all, but beautiful nature
Anchorage at Munkö, | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Our anchorage at Munkö

Anchorage at Munkö | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Dinner at Munkö

Anchorage at Munkö | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Anchorage at Munkö

Anchorage at Munkö | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

The beautiful scenery you’ll find on Munkö

Day 7: Munkö to Lökaön

The day dawned with grey skies and a light drizzle. We were so disappointed since yesterday evening showed us clear skies until we turned in for bed. We had hoped the forecast for rain in the morning was wrong.

Today’s plan was to reach Lökaön, a large island with a perfect natural harbour on its eastern side (Österviken).  We had a forecast for wind from the northwest, so this anchorage would be perfect.

Lökaö builds together with the islands Storö and Bockö the largest nature reserve in Stockholm’s archipelago.

Our route took us around the eastern side of Sandön and Korsö, around Björkö and then almost directly north to take us to a channel through a group of islands that includes Lökaön. Stockholm’s version of Cowes.  Sandön is home to a large marina and village called Sandhamn. It’s Stockholm’s version of Cowes, and is rather lively during the high season between the midsummer holiday at the end of June and the beginning of August.  If you’re not the type that enjoys rock concerts and partying young (and not-so-young) people making lots of noise, don’t spend the night here during the high season.

We arrived at Österviken under a double rainbow – the rainy weather was on it’s way out towards the east, and we had a few rays of sunshine as we prepared to anchor in the middle of the harbour.

Österviken, Lökaö | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

The well-loved anchorage of Österviken on the island of Lökaö

About Österviken on Lökaö:

  • Large natural harbour with room for lots of boats.  Excellent places to tie up to land.
  • Good holding with sticky mud bottom
  • No facilities except an outhouse and a few scattered picnic tables
  • Beautiful island to explore if you’re a nature lover
  • Be very careful of the underwater rocks shown on the chart.  I’ve seen (and heard!) a few boats hit them.

The north side of the island has several popular anchorage spots including  Saffransskäret and Lilltistronskäret, but since they are not at all protected, this area is suitable only if the forecast is for no wind, or just a weak southerly.

Day 8 Lökaön to Granhamn

The sun was back and it was a good thing because today we would be picking our way through some of the rockiest parts of the archipelago.  We would need to tack our way north as we now had a wind direction of NNE.  The channel that leads from just north of Lökaö up through the rocks and skerries to just south of Tjockö is well-marked and easy to follow, but when tacking, you sometimes find yourself just outside the channel. That could easily lead to a grounding as the outer edges of the channel are strewn with underwater rocks.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

One of the many Finland ferries in this part of the archipelago

In retrospect, Granhamn wasn’t the best choice of an overnight anchorage.  It’s quite small, so when we arrived at around 16.00, it was almost full.  We tried setting our anchor, but the bottom doesn’t provide enough holding for the amount of rode we could put out.  We ended up squeezing into a space to moor to land (the Swedish tradition of mooring to trees or spikes set into the rocks together with a stern anchor).  We had just enough clearance under our keel (the Bavaria 40 has 2.2 meters of draught) for the space that was available between another boat and a shallow beach.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

The anchorage of Granhamn

Granhamn is a traditional jump-off point for the passage to the Åland islands.  In the evening, you’ll see that big ferries to Finland and Åland steam by.  It’s an amazing sight, as the  ferries are like small glittering cities passing by your quiet anchorage.

Day 9 Granhamn to Sandhamn

We saved the visit to Sandhamn for almost last as we wanted to get there late in the season.  We are not big fans of noise and competing sources of music in the marina. As it was after the 15th of August,and mid-week,  a “low season” atmosphere reigned over the marina.

Another marina across the fairway from Sandhamn called Lökholmen is much quieter and provides a boat shuttle over to Sandhamn.

We arrived just in time to have a look at the summer pop-up shops, grab some groceries at Westerbergs and visit the charming little bakery.  Later that evening, we had dinner of cold-smoked shrimp in the Seglarhotellet (Sailors Hotel), which has a lovely second-storey view over the marina.

Sandhamn, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Sandhamn, Stockholm’s summer sailing centre.  During the high season in July until mid-August, this area would be full of boats

Day 10 Sandhamn to Träskö Storö

Tonight would be our last night in the archipelago, so I wanted to choose one of my favourites.  The choice fell to Träskö Storö.  It’s a large natural harbour protected from just about all winds except for north in some parts.

Since most of the good places to moor to land were already crowded, we decided to anchor out again.  We settled in the cockpit for a glass of wine and a book on our iPads as the sun slowly started it’s downward trajectory.

Träskö Storö, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

At anchor, Träskö Storö

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Enjoying the sunny evening at Träskö Storö

An hour later we noticed a very slight sound of vibration.  We checked to see if our halyards were perhaps too loose and were flapping with the little bit of wind we had. No. We checked to see if we were moving by taking a fix on a couple of distant rock formations.  After 15 minutes, we were still in the same place according to the fixes.  Then we thought maybe the flapping of the towels we had hung on the lifelines were causing the sound.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Sunset at about 22.00

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Sunset at about 22.30

We had dinner, took the fixes again and got the same degrees as before.  We went to bed at around 22.30, but I woke up every hour to look out the porthole to see if we had moved.

At about 3.30, I did notice that we were much closer to one of the little islands in the harbour and shouted to Jacques that we had dragged anchor and had to move the boat.  Thankfully, there’s not much darkness in August at this latitude, so the sun had already been climbing for awhile.  We weighed anchor and looked for another place. This time we backed down at 2,200 rpm instead of the 2,000 we usually do.  The anchor held and now there was no wind at all.  We were confident that the little Bruce anchor would hold.

Now we know what that strange vibrating sound means!  Fortunately, no harm done.

Day 11 Träskö Storö to Lidingö

Holidays can’t last forever, and the final day of our cruise arrived.  We slept a bit later than usual, waking up at around 10 o’clock instead of the usual 7.00 or 8.00 because of our anchor “adventure”.

After a last wonderful breakfast at anchor, we left for Lidingö, taking the long (eastern) way around the Saxarfjärden (“Scissor Fairway” in english).  We wanted to stay out as long as possible because of the fine weather.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Träskö Kvarn (windmill)

We filled the diesel tank at Waxholm, which has a choice of two fuel stations and a marina.  The marina itself is just in front of the main street. You’ll find boutiques, art galleries, cafés and restaurants as well as grocery stores, a pharmacy and one of the state-run wine/beer/liquor shops called “Systembolaget”.

From there it is a short hop to Lidingö’s Gåshaga marina.  We arrived at around 17.00 and went through the usual inspection procedure when chartering.  After dinner at the restaurant at the marina, we enjoyed our final night on the boat.

Cruising the Stockholm Archipelago, part 1

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55It was now August 2013, and we were in the midst of deciding which boat we were going decide upon. We thought a bit sailing in familiar waters would help us in the decision process.

It had been a long time since we last cruised  the Stockholm Archipelago — June, 1996 to be exact. We bareboat charted a Bavaria 40 from Sail Sweden, based in Gåshaga on Lidingö, a short distance from Stockholm.  Lidingö is the island on which I lived back in the late 80’s to early 90’s.

We first stopped at the Östermalmshallen (a wonderful food market in Stockholm) to buy some Skagenröra (Danish/Swedish shrimp salad) and Kräftröra (crayfish salad) at Lisa Elmqvist  and a few other items such as Västerbotten (the tastiest Swedish cheese) at Husmans Deli.   If you’re in Stockholm, you must go to Östermalmshallen! Click here for an image of this treasure from the 1800’s.

The second stop was the ICA supermarket in Larsberg, which has an amazing selection of high-quality food, including a great selection of organics. This was the supermarket I used to go to back in the 80’s and it was not at all like this!

We finally arrived at the marina and were welcomed onto the boat and given time to organise our shopping and our baggage. We then went through the functional, safety and security aspects of the boat with one of the owners of the charter company. When you charter a boat, it’s important to ask where all of the safety and security items are stored – sometimes it’s not the most logical area!  It’s also a good idea to ask how the VHF works if you’re not familiar with the brand that’s installed on the boat.

By the time all of the preliminaries were dealt with, it was around six-thirty.  We were exhausted, having driven up from Helsingborg the same morning (about a 6-hour drive), so we thought it best to get some rest and start early tomorrow.

Day 1: Lidingö to Paradiset

The day dawned a bit grey and misty, a disappointment after yesterday’s fabulous sunshine, but we left our mooring with a strong sense of excitement, eager to rediscover this fantastic sailing area.  Tillbaks i skärgården! Back in the archipelago!

The Stockholm archipelago has over 30,000 islands and many more rocks and shoals making it a difficult place to navigate, if you’re not accustomed to always checking your chart. Fortunately, there are no tides, so the depth of these rocks doesn’t change in a dramatic way.  The water level does rise and fall with weather conditions, though, so be careful with strong high or low pressure conditions. A high pressure system will push the water level down and out of the Baltic via Denmark, and a low will allow more water to flow into the Baltic, raising the water levels.  I’ve seen differences of around almost a meter.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Our route to paradiset

Our route took us past Waxholm, with its 16th century fortress, through Lindalsundet, past Grinda island, and finally to the well-known anchorage of Paradiset.  We enjoyed a lovely afternoon with a glass of our own Chardonnay on the low granite cliffs in front of the boat.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Enjoying a glass of our own wine, a chardonnay from Domaine de la Roselle, at Paradiset.

Paradiset in the Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

The perfect anchorage on a perfect day.

Paradiset, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Paradiset in the Stockholm Archipelago

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Our neighbours at Paradiset

About Paradiset :

  • Good points: large, room for lots of boats, good holding, not far from Stockholm (less than a day’s sailing)
  • Bad points: Could be overcrowded and loud during the high season and weekends as it’s popular for families with small children.
Day 2: Paradiset to Gräddö

We ended up on Gräddö because of a genoa failure. We had intended to sail farther north to Arholma, when suddenly, the leading edge (luff) of the genoa ripped off the rest of sail. We were running with about 15 knots of wind – not exactly storm conditions.

We called the charter company, and they arranged for a sailmaker to be standing by when we returned to repair the sail.  We had an early dinner and bedtime at Gräddö because it would take us nearly the entire day to get back to Lidingö.

Gräddö marina in the Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

At Gräddö marina

About Gräddö Marina:

  • Good points: Calm, quiet, well protected for all but north winds.  Fuel dock, showers, sauna, toilets and laundry room. There’s a grocery store about 500 meters away.
  • Bad points: Small, may not be suitable for boats of over 45-50 feet, as the mooring buoys are probably not far enough away from the dock.
Day 4: Lidingö to Napoleanviken (Agnö)

After having spend our entire third day, getting back to Lidingö, and half of our fourth day getting the sail repaired,  we finally got under way at about 15.00.  I decided that Napoleanviken on the nature reserve island of  Ägnö would be a good goal for the day.  It’s a favourite Friday night anchorage since it’s not far from Stockholm, it’s gorgeous, it’s quiet, and it has lots of room so you can find a place to anchor even if you arrive in the evening.

To get there, you need to pass through three different canals, the Skurusund, the Lännerstasund and the Baggenstäk.  It’s an interesting voyage with lots of fabulous houses lining the banks of the canals.

Skurusundet, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Motoring through the Skurusund

The first two canals are “normal-sized” —  most traffic can pass side by side with lots of room to spare.  The third, however, is really narrow.

If you meet one of the archipelago passenger  boats (boats that act as public transport for the island and coastal population) in one of the skinnier parts of the Baggenstäk, you may just have to back up to let them through.  You are required to go through the Skurusund and the Baggenstäk under motor if you have one.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

This is the entrance when entering from the Stockholm side of the Baggenstäk canal. It’s quite narrow, and you don’t see what’s coming around the bend.

Before going through the Baggenstäk, keep your ears open to channel 16. Most of the bigger boats will warn other traffic they will be entering so you can take action to wait them out. They will also sound a warning before entering – one long whistle.  Don’t forget that passenger boats in regular traffic have priority over leisure boats.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

One of the narrowest places in the “Baggenstäket” canal.

Baggenstäket, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

One of the many charming homes you see along the canal.

Day 5: Napoleonviken to Utö

The sunny weather continued, and we had a leisurely breakfast in the cockpit with a pretty flock of ducks floating around the boat.  They know to stay close if they want something to eat.  We observed them paddling from boat to boat asking for donations.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Company at breakfast time in the Napoleonviken.

Napoleanviken in the Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Having a leisurely breakfast in the beautiful anchorage of Napoleanviken on Ägnö.

Today’s plan was to sail to Utö, one of our favourite islands.  Our route would take us past Dalarö and the Dalarö fortress.

Dalaröskans in the Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

The fortress at Dalarö, called Dalaröskans.

The village of Dalarö is worth a stop – at least for a couple of hours.  The small shops and cafés are wonderful. We highly recommend the Bistro Solsidan. In 1996, we were forced to spend three days here during a force 9 gale, and we were lucky it was here and not somewhere boring.

Dalarö, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

View of Dalarö in the southern Stockholm Archipelago.

Utö  has the advantage of being on the outer edge of the archipelago. It’s name means “out island”. The inland side, where the marina is located, is protected from the offshore winds and waves. The outer side gives you a fantastic view of the open Baltic sea.  Perfect for a picnic, a swim or just a glass of wine on the cliffs.

Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Beautiful cliffs facing the open Baltic Sea on Utö. You can see the evidence of my sprained knee in this photo.

The island was a used back in the day as a iron mine. From the 1100’s until the end of the 1800’s, iron mining was the main activity of the island.  At the beginning of the 1900’s people started using the island as a summer holiday resort.  A glamorous restaurant and hotel, the Utö Wärdshus, was built towards the end of the 1800s and attracted the celebrities of Stockholm.  It’s still open today.

You can still see the vestiges of the iron mines. They’ve been filled with water, but you can still see where they are if you follow the signs that say “gruva”.

The area around Utö marina hosts several restaurants, cafés and bar as well as a fantastic bakery.  There’s a well-stocked grocery store and a few boutiques that sell clothing, artisan-made home/boat ware, fresh seafood and souvenirs.  You can also rent bikes and kayaks to explore the island.

Utö, Stockholm Archipelago | Cruising Attitude Sailing Blog - Discovery 55

Utö Marina. The old windmill dates from the 1700’s and serves as a handy navigation mark. It’s open for visits.

About Utö marina:

  • Prices: 225 SEK for a day (between 15.00 to 13.00) Includes Sauna, showers, toilets.
  • Electricity (220 V, EU connection): 65 SEK
  • Free Wifi
  • Fuel station
  • The maximum depth is 3 meters, but boats with more than 2.2 meters draft need to reserve a berth with the marina office at 08-501 574 50.
  • Other facilities: laundry, kiosk for magazines, ice cream, coffee and snacks.  Grocery store, bakery and other shops nearby.