After a light wind sail (mainly motoring) of some 200 miles the fleet are all settled in the beautiful town of Visby on the Swedish Island of Gotland (God's land). Paul and Linda arrived first on Sea Crusader in anticipation of collecting their new crew Jane, who flew into Visby.
The fleet arrived over a period of 24 hours due to various detours along the way. Some found deserted anchorages and beauty stops for an evening swim and restful sleep. Others sailed all the way very slowly. Kleopatra using it once again as a crew training exercise - brilliant to see.
Baltic weather moved in on Monday afternoon with monsoon like conditions, which was a blessing for some as the water restrictions here prevent boat washing. A nice fresh water bonus rinse, with enough notice to check the hatches!
The code and rally flags where all flying high in the stiff south-westerly winds of 25-30 knots, creating a little bit of chop in the harbour. For those arriving slightly later it meant a wet and windy welcome but they did have the bright welcome of the yellow shirts to assist with mooring lines and fenders. Herve from Ruby was very impressed by the proactive approach and assistance given despite describing Mark as “the best fender he had ever seen” (no reference to size or shape - just sheer strength!).
Tuesday morning saw the crews all set off on an organised walking tour of the ramparts and town with two local guides, Ingegerd and Gunnar, one of whom was fluent German happy tour groups.
Hopefully the rain stays away today as the fleet will be doing a pot luck night on the dock. Each crew provides a surprise dish to share and compare. We opted out of the BBQ option as the supply of disposable units is somewhat limited here and unlike Ronne there is no industrial style grill available.The yellow shirts are certainly looking forward to sampling the crews' culinary creations!
A few of the yachts will be leaving on Wednesday to head to Gotska Sandon - the Baltics own Pacific Island hideaway. A beautiful sandy island which only has seals and birds as full time residents. The local seasonal ranger Ojan is looking forward to welcoming our crews. There is a seal sanctuary on the island which is somewhat ironic as it used to be the base for seal hunting in the area.
Next stop Tallin - more details and stories from the Baltic Seas then.