A lot of people have asked us – “Are you experienced sailors?”
We believe that sailing is such a thing that is easy to learn the basics, but takes a lifetime to master fully. One of the things that we wanted to practice a bit more before sailing the big seas was sailing in shifts through the night. Yesterday we took the opportunity since we would get northern winds for the first time since we left the home harbour.
We sailed from Kalmar before lunch and crossed back and forth to Öland to try to get south. By 5 o´clock we dropped the anchor to cook some dinner, rest and prepare ourselves for the night. We slept a couple of ours and woke up to the dark night. We put lots of clothes on so we would not get cold and made meatball sandwiches and hot cocoa to energise us through the night. The first hour we spent together, lifting the anchor, going by motor out from our anchorage and setting the sails. It is not as easy in the dark!
The genua lit up by our lanterns and Petra gazing up to the Windex
We took turns in two-hour-shifts and sailed through the night in high speed, ranging between 5 and 7 knots. In the first shift (Jens) it was easy to navigate by lighthouses and the stars, but in the second shift (Petras) it already started to dawn, the bright stars getting more vague as the horisont started to glow from the rising sun. Since we had northern wind we had to use a flashlight from time to time to look up and see if there were any risk for jibing. The lanterns lit up the sail green, sometimes even the waves as they rolled by.
The plotter on night mode not to disturb the night vision
Then finally, the sun rose from the sea. We had just passed by Öland and it was time for Jens second shift. It was time for me to get another nap and get ready for a brand new day of sailing. Since the wind would turn south again, we wanted to take the opportunity to sail as much as possible before the wind would turn again. We decided to pass by Karlskrona and continue.
The Baltic Sea outside Blekinge, taken just a few hours apart
Finally we ended up on an anchorage just outside Karlshamn. This means that we have finally got past the east coast, and now causing the south coast on our way to Skåne.
So how was this first experience cruising Mouni in the night?
I loved seeing the Milky Way and taking help from the stars to navigate. It was in the same time a wonderful and a little bit scary experience to cruise through the dark sea. It will take me a while getting used to hearing the waves without seeing them. Mouni felt safe and steady even though we had rather strong winds. I didn´t sleep very well since the boat was rocking back and forth a lot, looking forward to catch up on some much needed sleep! – Petra
I always get surprised by all the lights when being at sea during night. A stretch of coast can look uninterested and almost uninhabited at daylight but as soon as night falls it starts to come alive; light by light. First all the phone masts fires up their red blinks, then the wind power plants. Invisible roads can easily be followed when their lightening is turned on and garden lights and house lights effectively reveal even small hidden cottages. We started our night sail in the narrow waters between the main land and Öland so we got the same kinds of lights popping up on both sides. Adding all the lights from buoys and lights houses if almost feels like an amusement park. But, with one big difference; this amusement park is completely silent. This gives a sensation of calmness and peace. I find it very peaceful sailing at night, listening to nothing but the waves and seeing nothing but distant lights. There is no way telling how fast the boat is going so it is almost like you are not moving at all. At night everything slows down, even time. A few hours during night can feel like forever so make sure to enjoy the stillness together with darkness. – Jens
Next post we will show an overview of our trip down the east coast.
Sweet dreams everybody!