Fejan Island, Stockholm Archipelago
This morning we were discussing options for what we could do today. Per has been wanting to take us on a boat ride to another island, and today there happened to be just enough people at the house to fit in the boat. Eva Lotta, Albin and Prince Hugo had gone into Stockholm. The weather report said 80% chance of rain, but we took the chance and decided to go to the island of Fejan, which has a small resort with an outdoor restaurant, boat access only…island right, duh.
Captain Per, Gigi, Bob, Jordan, Justin and Filippa piled into the little yellow boat with the 80 horsepower outboard engine and started out. There were some dark clouds to the west of us, and as we got out into open water with better vistas, we saw it was quite the ‘squall’ front heading east towards us. (Since we are on a boat, I can use the word ‘squall’ instead of something more mudane like ‘thunderhead’.) I thought we could get lucky and motor south and around the cloud and avoid the weather. Fejan Island was about a 30 min high-speed ride south of us.
First stop was Arholma Island for some ice cream, a little treat for the kids. Per also wanted to buy some care package snacks for his 15-year-old daughter Greta, who was nearby attending a religious Confirmation preparation summer camp. Per was bringing her Coke, chips, and candy. As she purified her soul, he was corrupting her physical body with this crap. Still, it probably made him Dad #1 in the whole camp that day.
As we pulled away from the dock, I saw some pretty impressive lighting bolts coming out of the black wall of sky to the west of us. Thunder very distant. We had time. Everyone put on raincoats and we beat it to the South. We were back in among islands and away from the open Baltic, but the water was very rough; it should have been calm. Per explained it was the coriolis effect from the storm: counterclockwise winds circulating around the squall brought wind and wave from the south, causing the rough seas. Boy, Per sure sounded smart. Delivery of junk food to the camp, bumpy trip through light rain with lighting now to the north of us, a few minutes checking the nautical charts to figure out where we were – there are a LOT of small islands out here that we are weaving our way through – and finally arrival at Fejan Island.
Fejan Krog (bar/pub) is definitely a Sausalito boat-crowd style locale. The people sail up from Stockholm; we also saw flags on the boats from Finland and Germany. There were about 15 largish (30+ feet) sailboats lined up along the dock. We snuck our little yellow speedboat in at the end of the line and anchored just off a granite rock. Restaurant is indoor/outdoor with a small bandstand/cushy chair patio off on the side with a bar cabana. So, we sat outside under the large awning at a picnic table, all smiles that we outran the squall, it did stay to the north and we actually had sunshine now. Lunch was very good, Per and Gigi had Caesar salads, I ordered Rodda (looked like steelhead), and had to trade with Justin because he liked my fish better than his Char; Jordan and Filippa split a Caesar salad – a foreshadowing of things to come this day. Per told us the story of his trans-Atlantic journey on a large sailboat with 5 other people from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean and back. He really does know his stuff about squalls and corydalis effects.
After lunch we moved over to the bandstand area – in the sun – to listen to a guy singing and playing guitar. He was a bit more than decent. He sang Coldplay, the Police, and even an AC/DC song ‘Thunder Struck’. Per and I were talking about asking the guy to let Jordan come up and play guitar, there were only about 25 people in the audience and it was all very casual and mellow, but Jordan was giving us the stink eye. C’mon, we said, we are on a little island in the middle of nowhere, have some fun, and who cares, you are never going to see these people ever again, what a great story to tell. Logic borne of a few beers Per and I had polished off. Jordan’s tea was just not giving him the same level of clarity of the situation.
Per is definitely the brave, social sort who does not let opportunity pass by, and at the end of the set asked the guy if Jordan could come up and play his guitar. The guy said yes, and Jordan did not hesitate, although he was not smiling. Jordan started in with a blues riff, and the guy immediately grabbed a harmonica and started jamming along. If you have had the chance to hear Jordan, you would know this all sounded pretty darn good. Jordan got claps all around from the people when he finished. Afterwards, the performer told us he had been to California – friend in Carlsbad – and had driven Highway 1 up to San Francisco.
We took a walk on a nice trail to a fish smoke house to get some fresh smoked fish to snack on. In contrast to the Fejan Krog, this place was quite pathetic; they obviously went the wrong route in trying to establish a business. Crummy plastic mini-golf course holes sat in the grass, the café/picnic lunch store was quite the rotting building. Still, they had the smoked fish part right and we ate fresh smoked mackerel with some more beer and ice cream.
I told a story about how I had once said ‘ass onion’ instead of ‘asshole’ in Germany because of pronouncing the one vowel wrong. My boys thought this was funny and started repeating ‘asshole/ass onion’ over and over in German. Turns out the only other patrons in the café were an old German couple.
On the way back, Jordan and Filippa got into a teasing shoving match, which lasted the whole walk. This was the most Filippa had engaged with Jordan. We adults were smiling because it was a real breakthrough. Filippa even started speaking a little English.
Filippa and Jordan got the chance to pilot the boat back home full throttle in the calm parts, which they thought was excellent. Justin was curled up under the bow cover and napped. The trip was faster and smoother coming home, as we were travelling with the weather and not against it.