Lumbering to Loftahammar

The solid part of Visby (the land) is lovely and the watery part is nice when the wind is blowing from any direction other than SW. For virtually all the days we were there, it blew from the SW! When that happens the breakwaters are almost completely open to the wind and waves and they manage to creep through into the gasthamn (marina). This wasn’t helped by the ferry operators removing a part of the breakwaters a number of years ago to make it easier for ferries to get in and out. Easier for the ferries, but not so good for yotties …. So for three days our ‘rubber snubbers’ on the warps worked overtime to limit the boat from bouncing around. We got to Visby with three snubbers and left with two – one had worked so hard that it decided it had had enough!

So, in a sense we should have been used to bouncing around, but despite that the first four hours or so of the trip back to the mainland was a little grotty. It was only blowing around a F4, but it was bang on the nose with a leftover sea from the strong winds of the previous days, so we motorsailed to try and climb as far to windward as possible. Gradually the sea settled and by midday or so the wind had more or less completely died, so the engine unfortunately stayed on pretty much all day. Gradually it got more and more sheltered and around 3.25pm we were entering the channel up to Loftahammar by the Väster Kläppan lighthouse. Just over an hour later we arrived through the narrow entrance channel into Loftahammar after 56.1 miles.

Loftahammar was a nice little town. It apparently has around 800 permanent residents and this swells to around 20,000 in the summer as the people from inland come out to their summerhouses. Many of these summerhouses are in and around Loftahammar, but many are out on the thousands of islands in the Norra Tjust archipelago.