An opportunity arose to assist with a new boat delivery from Finland to the UK. It was a new Swan and it was going to be collected from the Nautors Swan factory in Jacobstad Finland. Destination was to the south coast of England at Chichester – fortunately just down the road from where I live !
On the way to Helsinki and then onto Jacobstad –
At the factory with one of the many pallets of owners gear that needed to be loaded.
Unfortunately the weather was mostly overcast with a lot of drizzle and lower than average temperatures. As it was only a couple of weeks after mid summers day it should have been better than this !!
It was my first new boat delivery I was soon protecting the boat with blue and orange tape. Every corner and edge was taped up so it wasn’t scratched or damaged during the delivery. Table tops were covered with bubble wrap and mirrors were stuck down. Floors were covered with protective material to prevent anything dropping on them and causing damage.
You have to try and deliver the boat as it would have left the factory, even if it were to take you hundreds or thousands of miles to get to your destination.
Boat being loaded up and protective tape being stuck on all corners of every surface to prevent scrapes and knocks –
Ready to leave –
The rain on the deck was going to be a familiar sight –
One day bright but chilly –
Next day sunny and bright but didn’t last long –
A rare days sunshine and calm waters !!
Dusk – at about 11 o’clock at night. It never went totally dark as the sun was only just below the horizon.
Daytime cruising in the Swedish archipelago –
We had to stop off for fuel in Byxelkrok which is a small harbour at the top of Oland , Sweden. It was just a splash and dash, filled up with fuel and water and I found the nearest shop for bread and milk. Fortunately they accepted my Euros – I hadn’t realised they had kept their Krona currency !! Must have spent all of 30 minutes on Sweden.
After travelling between Oland and mainland Sweden we went under the impressive bridge at Kalmar, at nearly 4 miles long it is one of the longest in Europe. Even though there was still 4 meters obove the top of the mast you always seem like you’re going to hit the bridge due to the perspective of looking up from the deck !!
After travelling past and south of Sweden we arrived at Kiel in Germany. We were going to use the Kiel canal as it saves about 250 miles of going up over the top of Denmark and doesn’t mean you come out so far north in the north sea. The canal itself is about 60 miles long and was first completed in 1895, later widened between 1907 and 1914 due to the ever increasing size of the German Navy fleet.
Approaching and waiting for the bigger boats to enter the lock at Kiel –
You always have to keep a look out as around every corner can be another big ship !!
Dotted along the canal are these ferries which take people and vehicles across the water. They move very quickly back and forth so you have to be prepared to give way quickly. I think they are more sympathetic to the cargo boats than the sailing boats 🙂
Another cargo boat goes by –
After we came out of the Kiel canal we were in the north sea. Conditions were calm but the wind of course was on the nose again with some rain and drizzle persisting. We sailed past Germany and Holland (well motored really) and the weather improved as we approached good old Blighty. Ramsgate shone in the sunshine and so did Dover as we approached for another fuel and water stop.
The white cliffs of Dover from ths sea –
Soon after we left Dover the winds picked up, the sun went in, we had wind over tide sea state and it started to rain. It just became miserable for the last few hours taking us a lot longer to get to Chichester. We got just inside the harbour at about 3 a.m. and set our alarms for 6.30 a.m. to make sure we could get into the marina.
Arriving into Chichester harbour early morning on the 8th day, we had to enter into the marina that morning or wait until later in the day as the marina is tide lock.
The whole journey took us 8 days and nearly 1400 nautical miles. Most of it was motoring as with most deliveries the wind always seemed to be on the bow !!
The new owners of the boat were waiting at the marina and had been following our progress. All we had to do now was unwrap the boat from its protecting blue tape and bubble wrap and give it a wash and polish !!
Route taken –