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Synopsis

“Bobbing to the Baltic” is the story of my cruise from Edinburgh to the Russian border aboard my 27ft yacht ‘Zophiel’.

In May 2012 we left the Forth to cross the North Sea. Though we originally intended to go to Denmark, a combination of wimpiness and extraordinarily poor navigation took us to Holland instead.

From there I sailed to the Baltic, via Germany, then to the eastern Baltic, via Denmark and Sweden’s Gøta Canal. We cruised the million islands of the Swedish and Finnish archipelagos as far as the Russian border. We then returned, via Estonia and the east coast of Sweden, as far as the Netherlands

In 2003 Griff Rhys Jones published a book giving an account of a trip to the Baltic with the title “To the Baltic with Bob – An Epic Misadventure”. ‘Bobbing to the Baltic’ is the story of a trip along a very similar route in a much smaller boat. It is better in four important respects. Firstly there’s more pictures. Secondly I actually enjoyed the trip, for the most part. Griff Rhys Jones paints an altogether more gloomy and miserable picture of the Baltic. I hope I make it sound more like what it is – an idyllic summer cruising ground of infinite appeal. Thirdly, my book is cheaper. Fourthly, I need the money much more than Griff Rhys Jones does. After all, someone’s got to pay for me to swan around sailing all summer.

On the other hand I make absolutely no claims as to literary merit or ‘epicness’. This is not a tale of conquering the savage seas against all odds. Neither does it claim to be a pilot book or sailing directions. It’s just the story of a holiday in a wee boat that went a bit further than most people manage in a summer cruise. I hope it gives you a flavour of just what a fabulous summer cruising ground the Baltic is

This is the fourth in a series of cruising ‘logs’ about Zophiel’s voyages. “Skagerrak and Back” is the tale of a North Sea circuit, “Floating Low to Lofoten” describes a journey to Arctic Norway and “A Gigantic Whinge on the Celtic Fringe” is the story of our circumnavigation of Ireland.

Recently some of the people who have been slandered in these tales have suggested that they should be used for kindling. I’ve taken these kind words to heart, so here they are formatted for your Kindle.

This volume contains nearly 350 colour images. If you’re struggling with grainy black and white on a ‘Kindle’, there’s more sailing tales and the full set of colour photos from this volume at: edge.me.uk/Sailinghome.htm

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