Scurrying to Sundsvall

With northerlies forecast and a reasonable breeze, it seemed like a good idea to get going straight away (in company with Airborne) and start heading south. We left Härnösand shortly before 11am and had to motorsail the first stretch heading south, but after just over an hour the breeze filled in nicely and we were able to make the direct course down the coast towards Sundsvall. As we headed down the coast we were gradually able to bear away and gradually sped up, eventually making over 7 knots over the ground. A lovely sail, and a fast one. We did the 34.3 miles in 5 hours and 25 minutes. To see our track, follow the link below

We got in just after 4pm, so Anne and I immediately headed into town – first to the wool shop (an excellent selection) and then on to the chandlers – Hjertmans. We had bought quite a bit from them on our previous stop, including the charts for the very northern section of the Gulf of Bothnia. However, with our subsequent change of plan, we didn’t use them at all and Hjertmans gave us a refund no question. Excellent service.

Sundsvall is an intriguing town. Its character was dictated by a major fire on June 25th 1888. Coincidentally there was also a major fire at Umeå the same day, but the one at Sundsvall was worse, destroying much of the town. It was thought to have been caused by a spark from a steamship and the windy and dry conditions meant that the fire spread quickly. This was the fourth time that Sundsvall had been burnt down, but this time it was rebuilt differently – in stone. Indeed the centre of the town became known as Stenstaden – the stone city.

Today Sundsvall is quite an industrial town and is dominated by the paper and pulp industry and the aluminium industry, but it is also the base for many large data-processing centres.