Over the last six weeks the ARC Baltic fleet have sailed nearly 1800 nautical miles, visiting six countries and six capitals. The rally has now arrived in the final destination on the small picturesque island of Møn with its iconic white cliffs, located 130km south of Copenhagen, Denmark. Visiting Stockholm, the Swedish Archipelago and Kalmar before the final passage to Møn again involved some of the many memorable experiences of what the Baltic has had to offer.
Kokar, Finnish Archipelago
Moored in the small KSSS Saltsjöbaden Marina close to the centre of Stockholm, the fleet enjoyed a tour to the impressive Wasa Museum reminding crews of the technological advances and developments over the last 500 years. It was clear a sense of admiration was felt for the sailors who navigated the rocky archipelagos on these large ships without the assistance of the navigational aids and engines.
A free cruising period from Stockholm to Kalmar allowed the fleet to explore what the archipelago has to offer. The endless opportunities to anchor in sheltered tranquil bays or moored Scandinavian style bow to the rocks was a pleasant reward for what can be tricky navigation through the small rocky islands. Several anchorages were visited and islands explored before sailing south through the Kalmar Sound before reaching Kalmar Marina.
The guest harbour in Kalmar offered the fleet good facilities and with its close proximity to the town centre, for many it was a nice change from the remoteness of the Swedish Archipelago. A visit to the impressive Kalmar Castle highlighted the strategic importance of the town where the castle was placed as defender of the Swedish border. A crew dinner marked the turning point in the rally where boats started to leave the rally.
Due to strong south-westerly winds and the new found cruising ground of the Swedish Archipelago, many decided that Kalmar would be an ideal place to leave the boat as a base for their future sailing adventures acting as testament to the beauty of the sailing grounds that this region of the Baltic has to offer. Goodbyes and contacts exchanged, the remainder of the fleet departed Kalmar for their final leg of the ARC Baltic 2014, an 180nm passage to the small island of Møn.
For the remaining 16 boats, the final crew BBQ tonight which have proven highly desirable due to the warm weather experienced over the course of the fleets time in the Baltic, tour to Copenhagen tomorrow and farewell dinner in the evening will mark the end to what has been a fantastic first ARC Baltic.
World Cruising website