Thursday, 12. August
Click to enlarge photos
We have considered for a long time how to sail on. On the one hand, we could sail along the coast of Hanköbukten with the intention of reaching Karlskrona. This would have the advantage that we would finally see the skerries, and Karlskrona seems to be an interesting place worth visiting. The guide/pilot recommends this solution very much. In addition, there are many ports along the way, which we can call if reaching Karlskrona gets difficult. On the other hand, I do not want to spend time at such an early stage of our trip – we may not have enough time at the end. So we leave Hanö Bay on our port side and sail straight west to Utklippan.
Utklippan and waters around it
Utklippan is an interesting harbour. It lies between two islands and the strait between them creates two entrances, the western one (to which we are heading) and the eastern. This way you can enter the port in any wind, there will always be an entrance shielded from the waves. So, theoretically, today we should circumnavigate these islands and enter from the east. But. We have to enter Utklippan during the day. The pilot book strongly advises against entering this narrow port at night, especially as both entrances have rocky shallows. The ones on the eastern side are even more mean, because they do not stick out above the water. In addition, when entering from the eastern side in the evening, we will have the sun in our eyes. So I hope that the wave will not rise enough by the evening to make it significantly more difficult for us to enter from the west.
But when we leave the port of Simrishamn, the sea is as smooth as glass. However, we cannot wait for the wind to pick up because we have a lot of miles ahead of us. Anyway, the wind, which our boat can go, comes only after 2 PM, by that time our engine has painstakingly moved us over 20 nautical miles closer to our destination. However, we are pleased to be able to sail in silence now without losing speed.
Finally, the Utklippan lighthouse appears in front of the bow, now is the last moment to think about which side to enter from. The wave has risen to almost one and a half meters, but it comes from the south-west, the western entrance is slightly covered from this side by small skerries. These just need to be carefully sailed around. This causes some discussions, because it is not very clear what is a separate skerry and what is Utklippan’s rocky breakwater. However, we finally manage to enter and we turn and dock in the extremely narrow harbor basin, after sailing a total of 52 miles today. Despite the late hour – after nine – we even visit the northern island of Utklippan. We skip the south one, as we would have to take a separate boat.