Schooner sailing: Kalmar to Klaipeda

Day 1 – Kalmar, setting sail

Beautiful morning at Kalmar Slott
Sunset over the Baltic. Sailing overnight to Visby.

Day 2 – Visby

Dawn at sea, 4.18am. Poor Lucy’s watch missed both sunset and sunrise, but reported later that never got totally dark, so they had stunning skies and seas throughout.
Safely moored in Visby, and while some of the other sleep, I’ve gone for a run
There was something very artistic about the positioning of the bicycles on the beach
Part of the old town walls
Back at Trinovante after my run
Later, Lucy and I went out for a wander around the town and for some lunch. The town is known as the city of ruins and the city of roses
Sankta Karin dominates the town square where we had lunch
One of the 12 ruined churches in Visby
The town walls run for 3.4km
Stephen exploring the city of roses
Time for an ice cream and then to head back to the boat to catch up on a bit of sleep.

Day 3 – Visby to Burgsviken

Preparing to hoist the fishaker, a large sail used in light winds, something of a cross between a fishman’s and a spinaker, hence the name.
Sadly this video has been taken in portrait format, which I can’t condone, but it does show the process better than a couple of still photos
Not perfect, but we got there, despite the calls from the stern from the female contingent about how many men it takes to hoist a sail.
Lucy at the helm
The jib, fishaker, and a fisherman’s topsail.
We anchored off Burgsvik towards the southern end of the island of Gotland

Day 4 – farewell Sweden, heading overnight for Lithuania

While still at anchor, a little morning wander around the foredeck
Getting underway: this time it is the gaff sails rather than the light wind rig
Sailing out of the bay of Burgsviken. We are sailing goose-winged, with the wind aft and one boom each side – you can just see that the job is almost end-on, doing nothing at the moment.

Day 5 – arrival in Klaipeda

Just before 6am through a porthole in the saloon, and time to be on deck
Not a good photo, but you can just see two other tall ships, also making their way to Klaipeda. We saw several during the night, with a ghostly glow on their sails.
Making our way into the very industrial-looking Klaipeda
We hired a couple of bikes for some exploration
Bikes on the bike rack on the ferry
Looking to some of the tall ships as we make our way across the river to the national park on the spit of land on the other side.
We’ve cycled across the spit of land, and reached the sea, and a lovely beach.
Cycling part of the Iron Curtain Trail, European cycle route number 13 – we didn’t quite manage the whole 10,400km. We do find a few geocaches, before making our way back to the ferry – via an ice cream shop.

Day 6 – Klaipeda

Lithuanian legend tells of an ancient tribe, who worshipped the sun and fire, that once lived along the banks of the Akmena river. The time came when the tribe needed to find a new place to settle, so they sent out their bravest hunters – two fair-haired and blue-eyed brothers, Deer and Wolf – in search of a place for the tribe’s new home. The brothers made their way along the tracks of wild animals and over the oak covered hills when finally from the top of a hill they saw the majestic blue sea stretching before them. They wished to reach the sea so that they could greet her, but between the brothers and the sea lay a boggy marshland. Each brother took a different route to try and find a way around the marsh.

Deer reached the shore and decided that here, where the yellow sand touched the sea, he would bring his tribe, but Wolf, who had followed the river, disappeared forever. As much as Deer called and searched for Wolf, all that he found was a single footprint slowly sinking into the muddy bog. Deer returned to his tribe and brought them to the new found area to live and for generations the stories of Deer’s adventures and the tale of Wolf’s fruitless quest were told. As time passed much of the story was forgotten except for the part where Wolf was lost forever and all that was found was his “lost footprint” (klai peda).

Out for an exploration of the city
Musicians entertaining the crowds for the tall ships festival.
How often do you see Omani bagpipers on a Czech ship in Lithuania?

We then went on for interesting explorations of RNOV Shaban Oman II and NVe Cisne Branco, both modern three-masted square-riggers, of the Omani and Brazilian navies respectively.

Lucy at the wheel of RNOV Shabab Oman II, of the Omani navy.
Me at the wheel of NVe Cisne Branco, of the Brazilian navy.

And so it was time to head to the airport, after a short but enjoyable holiday with Trinovante once more.

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