May 19 – 27, 2024


Having stayed in marinas in small towns for a bit, we thought it was time to anchor in a more remote setting as we continued on our way north towards Fredrikstad, Norway. We reviewed our sailing guides for and found a very well protected anchorage in a fjord-like area where the land/rocks were covered in pine trees. Nyckelbykilen was lovely and the smell of pine surrounded us. It was a reasonable depth for anchoring (5.5 meters) and the mud bottom was good holding.

Looks well protected to me!

It’s common to see swans in Sweden.
Anchor is set; Time to relax.
There were only a couple of boat houses and individual homes in this anchorage.

MJ raising the flag of Norway as we sailed across the border from Sweden into Norway.
When we began furling out the mainsail on the way to Fredrikstad, it got a crease in it and got stuck. We couldn’t pull it all the way out. We were able to furl it back in, so we did that. Luckily, when we got to Stromstad, our friends, Kate & Mike on Vår Ö were there. Mike came to our rescue, went up the mast, and got the sail unstuck!

Fredrikstad, Norway

As noted in earlier posts, we had two objectives in going to Fredrikstad. One was to export the boat by leaving Swedish waters and moving the boat to another country. The second objective was to go to a boatyard, Seilbåtservice, where we had arranged in advance to have our Hydrovane installed. The Hydrovane is a self-steering device that will keep the boat on course to a wind angle. It does not need electricity to work. This will be important when we make long passages (multiple days) and want to avoid running our batteries down. We also have an electric self-steering “auto-pilot.” We were in Fredrikstad for 4 nights.

Sailing into Fredrikstad was the first time Adam and I sailed into a big city with Hokukea. Thinking about it was intimidating, but there was very little traffic, so it was actually easy. We were a bit worried about the current on the river (always flowing out), but even though it was moving at a little more than 2 knots against us, we easily motored upstream.

The fast moving current of the Glomma River, as seen through the portlight on our boat.
Occasionally a really big ship would motor by us. We saw this one as we were departing Fredrikstad.

The large contraption with the big red vane on top is the Hydrovane!

Stromstad, Sweden

We’ve begun heading back south again and will return to the Hallberg-Rassy boatyard in Ellös, Sweden. We need to submit our boat export documents to Hallberg-Rassy, pick up a couple of packages from Amazon-Sweden that we had delivered there, and have a few “new boat issues” addressed.

In Stromstad we had the pleasure of spending time with new friends, Kate & Mike, from Portland, Oregon who picked up their boat, Vår Ö (“Our Island”), 12 days after we got ours. We enjoyed socializing with them in Ellös, so it was fun to catch up with them again. They also did a little shopping for us while they had a rental car (Ikea!) and this was an opportunity to get our purchases from them.

Stromstad was another lovely west coast Swedish town. We enjoyed 3 days there and had terrific warm weather. We were also lucky to have front row seats to the start and finish of a sailboat race with boats and racers from Norway & Sweden.


Grebbestad is about 24 miles south of Stromstad, and up a little fjord-like area that was really charming. We had mostly light winds during the passage, but also encountered some squalls with gusts up to 32 knots. As we arrived in Grebbestad, the wind was blowing 18-22 knots off the dock as we were trying to dock. MJ was not able to get to the dock under those conditions, even with the use of the bow and stern thrusters. We went to “plan B” and docked on the other side of the dock with the wind blowing us on to the dock. It didn’t feel like the best conditions because the wind was pushing the boat so hard against the dock that it felt like our fenders would pop. Luckily, those conditions subsided after about 45 minutes and now we are resting easy against the dock with about 5-10 knot winds.

4 thoughts on “May 19 – 27, 2024”

  1. Laura Wittig

    Hello MJ and Adam,

    I am finally catching up with your adventures. I am exhausted just sitting at the computer reading it. I would gather that both of you have a high tolerance for motion. I know I couldn’t handle the currents. How long are you two planning to be gone? Still the pictures are showing what a beautiful area it is. Enjoy you two crazy people!


    1. Actually, we’ve been sitting still for about a week now as we wait out gusty winds and heavy rains.. Also having some work done here. This is that spot that’s inland, up a waterway. It’s far from any stores (25 min. walk to catch a 10-min bus ride) and it’s out in the country. It’s good to sit still for a bit, but now I’m ready to get moving again 🙂

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