Orienting to Oxelösund

Another jump north today. To ensure we get to Nyköping by Saturday we decided to head straight to Oxelösund today. So we weighed anchor at 0725 and headed off – once the anchor had been cleaned. The windshifts during the night had ensured that the anchor was well dug in and for well dug in, read muddy! So, 10 minutes of scrubbing and chucking water over it was required before we headed out. Once out we cut quickly across to the main channel again and headed north(ish) again. Once at Arkösund we headed back to the north east and across towards Oxelösund. We knew we were heading in the right direction when the first thing we saw was the steelworks and it gradually dominated the skyline more and more, so we knew we were close. Once in the main channel we headed west for a mile or so and then turned left into the Fiskehamn and associated Gasthamn.

After checking in with Oxelösunds Båtvarv to ensure that they were still happy to look after Charmary for the winter, we headed out for a walk. Just to the south of the harbour is Femörefortet. This was one of the front lines of the Cold War. It was originally operated by the Swedish Coastal Artillery and is essentially a fort blasted out of the rock. It is 36,000 sq ft in size, and is all inter-connected via through a 1,480 ft long tunnel that stretches across the length of the facility. It was built in the 1960s and 70s as part of the Swedish network of defence against the Soviet Union and the only real evidence of it is a few things like radar stations popping up through the rock. All the rest is underground apart from a few guns and various other structures intended to make the fort look more significant than it perhaps was. While not a military expert, I knew this was the case, not least because the guns were made out of fibreglass!

Femörefortet was decommissioned in 1997 and was due to be dismantled in 2003, but a local group has managed to argue for its preservation and it now operates as a museum – summertime only ……