Arholma


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Coastal defense posts always have great ocean views and Battery Arholma is no exception. The Swedish Cold War coastal battery was built in 1968, decommissioned in 1990, and now is open to the public. Onsite you can see guns, bunkers, radar and artillery-range finding equipment, and those amazing views. The island of Arholma also has several other attractions, including excellent walking trails, a working sawmill, a small church, and the old pilot watchtower Baken.

Below are trip highlights from April 29th at Arholma, Sweden. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

4/29/2019
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Stockholm Traffic
As we travelled north from Norrpada to Arholma, on AIS we could see steady stream of ferries heading into Stockholm.
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New Temp Sensors
We have a lot of temperatures sensors on Dirona since a great many faults are signaled and sometimes even proceeded by temperature changes. But, even with all those, we just added two more. Last year we had an autopilot failure. What went wrong was the autopilot pump motor bearings failed. What happened is the system got very hot and we didn’t notice. In fact, the automatic transmission fluid got sufficiently hot that it went from a nice bright red to a dirty brown. To ensure we see these faults much earlier in the future, we put a temperature sensor on each pump and set the alarm to 140F so we’ll know about any even borderline problems before they develop into bigger issues.

What we found surprising is the system stabilizes at a fairly high 115F when used for a long period even in fairly cold weather. We wouldn’t have expected the system to generate so much heat but we guess it makes sense given the big continuous-running pump that drives the system.

The two other issues that jump out when scanning the list of temps (click image for a larger view): 1) the house batteries are charging and, because of that, they are running 16F hotter than the start battery bank in the same cabinet, and 2) the humidity on the ER Intake is clearly incorrect. Humidity sensors are very sensitive and tend to have short lives. We mostly focus on temperatures so we don’t worry much about the humidity sensors if they start reading incorrectly.

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Baltic Queen
The Tallink ferry Baltic Queen en route to Stockholm.
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Osterhamn
The view to the village of Osterhamn as we arrive at Arholma.
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Dishwasher Spring
We heard a tremendous cracking sound when we opened the dishwasher and found this piece on the floor. One of the two door springs had parted. Fortunately the door still opens and closes on just the one spring, so we’ll just be careful with it until we can get a spare spring.
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Blog Readers
For the second time in two days we met Finnish blog readers at an anchorage, and we’re not even in Finland yet. Ari and Minna, owners of Nordic Tug Asterix, were heading to the same park that we were in and stopped by to say hello.
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Alongside
We tossed out some fenders and invited Ari and Minna to tie Asterix alongside for a visit.
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Ari and Minna
Ari and Minna are just beginning a multi-year European cruise. We had a great time meeting them and they gave us some good advice on places to visit in the area.
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Asterix
On board Nordic Tug Asterix with Ari and Minna. It’s been a while since we’ve been on a Nordic Tug. They’re great coastal cruisers and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular in the Pacific Northwest. One of their many appealing aspects is a bright and open layout that makes the interior feel very spacious.
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Wood Buildings
Traditional wood buildings at the village of Osterhamn on Arholma.
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Fingerpost
Large parts of Arholma and the nearby islands are part of a nature reserve with trails throughout. We have many choices on direction to walk. We chose a loop that went roughly clockwise around the north half of the island.
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Sawmill
Working sawmill at the village of Osterhamn on Arholma.
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Arholma Kyrkan
Arholma’s church was originally built in Stockholm as a mission and transported here in the 1920s.
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Kyrkan Interior
The bright interior of Arholma’s church.
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Pilot Boat
From studying the Swedish interpretive sign, it appears this boat on display in a shed on Arholma was used on the island in the early 1900s to carry pilots back and forth from larger ships.
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Baken
Baken on Arholma was built in 1768 primarily as a fixed maritime mark, but also served as a pilot watch tower. In the early 19th-century, it was part of the optical telegraph station during the war with Russia. In the summer it is open as a museum.
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View from Baken
The sweeping view west from the base of Baken on Arholma (click image for a larger view).
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Stairs
Stairs on the pathway to the Norrabryggan ferry landing on Arholma.
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Norrabryggan Ferry
View to Norrabryggan where the ferries land on Arholma. We’ve seen photos showing three ferries in the area at once.
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Transportation
Near the ferry dock at Norrabryggan were rows of bicycles and ATWs. It appears that locals use them for island transport and leave them here when the take the ferry to the mainland.
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Storm Alfrida
Blog reader Torbjorn Curtsson told us the downed trees we’ve been seeing everywhere were a result of Storm Alfrida that hit northern Europe in early January of this year. The worse hit area was Aland, where winds reached a near hurricane force of 63 kts (32.5 m/s).
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Battery Arholma
At the north end of Arholma is a Cold War coastal battery built in 1968 to accommodate 110 men. The fort was decommissioned in 1990 and now is open to the public, where you can see guns, bunkers, radar and artillery-range finding equipment. In the height of the summer season, tours of the interior corridors are available.
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Camouflaged Artillery
Straight lines are obviously man-made from a long way away, so these large guns atop Battery Arholma are camouflaged with irregular round structures.
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Steel
The air vents above the battery were capped with solid steel lids nearly 6 inches thick.
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Turret Gun
Coastal batteries always have great ocean views. This 10.5 cm tornautomatpjas m/50 (105 mm automatic turret gun model 1950) on Arholma, designed for the Swedish Coastal Artillery, is the last remaining gun of that type.
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Artillery Range Finders
These artillery range finders essentially are periscopes from the bunker below.
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Tunnel
Looking out from a tunnel leading to one of the entrances to Battery Arholma.
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Picnic Table
Enjoying the view from a picnic table at the edge of Battery Arholma.
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Bunker
Jennifer peering out through one of the open shutters in a bunker at Battery Arholma.
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Arholma North
Tours of Battery Arholma are run by Arholma North, a rustic resort on the property of the old battery. We were impressed with the beautiful dock they were building, carefully shaped to the rock surface.
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Storage
Inside what might have been a munitions storage area at Battery Arholma. This is one of the unmaintained sections of the battery that are open but completely unlit, so its pitch black in here. Jennifer is using her cell phone as a flashlight.
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Fuel Tank
Arholma North uses this fuel tank from Battery Arholma as a climbing wall and zip-line launch.
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5000 Liters
It’s hard to believe that this huge 5,000L fuel tank is only 3/4 of what we carry on our small boat.
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Beach
Beautiful beach on the east shore of the island as we return south from Battery Arholma.
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Blocked
Felled trees, courtesy of Storm Alfrida, were everywhere as we returned to Dirona on a trail through the woods. Several times we had to climb around ones that blocked the trail entirely.
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Dusk
Calm scene at dusk from the anchorage at Arholma.
4/30/2019
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Arholma
When we arrived at Arholma, the park dock was empty. By the end of the evening, three boats had arrived.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.


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