Kokar


Click for larger image

In 1965, baron Goran Akerhielm purchased land on Kallskar, a small island on the edge of the Baltic Sea in the Kokar island group at the southwest extreme of the Aland Archipelago. There he spent 18 years building extensive gardens and a villa where he lived spring through fall until 1983. He later donated the property to the region of Aland where it is now publically accessible.

We spent two nights at Hamno Sund in the northern part of Kokar and ran the tender south to Kallskar to explore this beautiful little oasis on the edge of the windswept Baltic.

Below are trip highlights from May 9th and 10th, 2019 at the Kokar island group in Aland. 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

5/9/2019
Click for larger image
Alandstidningen
Petter Lobraten, a reporter with Alandstidningen (an Aland newspaper), interviewed us on the boat shortly after we’d arrived in Mariehamn. It’s an unusual town that has two newspapers and it’s even more unusual for us to be interviewed by both (the other interviewed was at the Aland Maritime Safety Center). The full article is at Alandstidningen, and a Google translation of the text is at Alandstidningen in English.
Click for larger image
Water Tower
Water tower on Marso to our west.
Click for larger image
Beacon
A typical white-painted beacon, common in Sweden and Finland. They are visible from a long way off.
Click for larger image
Ejdern
The 144ft (44m) ferry Ejdern en route from mainland Finland to Langnas near Mariehamn in Aland.
Click for larger image
Islands
The area we’re passing through today is beautiful and complex, with an endless choice of anchorages.
Click for larger image
10,400 Hours
We just passed 10,400 hours on our John Deere 6068 main engine. We crossed 10,000 hours last summer when cruising Norway and the Deere continues to run flawlessly. It has never failed to start, nor has it once stopped running or even derated.
Click for larger image
Coast Guard
Coast Guard vessel on the move from Kokar.
Click for larger image
Watchtower
The Kokar Coast Guard watchtower, spinning a large open-array radar on top.
Click for larger image
Kokar Ferry Dock
Passing the Kokar ferry dock en route to our anchorage in Hamno Sund.
Click for larger image
Skitftet
The ferry Skiftet arriving into Kokar on the route from mainland Finland to Langnas near Mariehamn.
Click for larger image
Sandvik Gasthamn
Sandvik Gasthamn at the head of Hamno Sund looks quite appealing, but we generally prefer to anchor unless we’ll be spending a lot of time in town.
Click for larger image
Hamno Sund
Anchored for a couple of nights at Hamno Sund. The winds are forecast to blow easterly up to 30kts tomorrow, so we wanted something with good protection.
Click for larger image
Bridge
Out on a tender trip to the windswept island of Kallskar at the southern edge of the Kokar Islands. Our charts showed 1.6ft or less along the entire northeast side of the main island, so weren’t sure we could make it through the sheltered passage. It’s shorter and more scenic, and with the wind blowing 20kts the outside route would have been a wet ride. But we never saw less than 7ft and once we’d reached this bridge, we were in deeper water for the rest of the way.
Click for larger image
Local Boat
Local boat passing us just outside of the village of Karlby.
Click for larger image
Kallskar
With strong winds from the south, we were expecting to hit a little rough water on the final stretch to Kallskar, but conditions were surprisingly calm as you can see in the background. We soon shed our Mustang 2175s and were ashore.
Click for larger image
Boardwalk
In 1965, wealthy baron Goran Akerhielm purchased the central part of Kallskar and spent 18 years building a villa and an extensive garden oasis. The first stage was to build a boardwalk to the property from the north harbour.
Click for larger image
Gardens
The gardens at Kallskar, with the villa partly visible on the left. The thick stone walls absorbed heat from the sun, warming and providing shelter for a variety of plants that otherwise would not have been able to grow here.
Click for larger image
Terrace
The south-facing terrace at the villa on Kallskar. The baron lived on the island spring through fall until 1983, and later donated the property to the region of Aland.
Click for larger image
Venus Aux Belles Fesses
The baron placed marble statues throughout his garden. This is a replica of Swedish sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel’s Venus Aux Belles Fesses.
Click for larger image
Mars and Venus
Replica of Johan Tobias Sergel’s Mars and Venus in the gardens on Kallskar.
Click for larger image
Hercules
Marble statue of Hercules in the Kallskar gardens.
Click for larger image
Garden from Above
The view down to the villa and gardens from the hills above. A beautiful little oasis on the edge of the windswept Baltic.
Click for larger image
South Harbour
The baron also built a harbour on the south end of the island, closer to his villa than the north harbour. All work was done by hand—the baron didn’t allow any machinery to be used.
Click for larger image
Hermes on Cliff
Perhaps the most dramatic item on Kallskar is the bronze statue of Hermes, the emissary and messenger of the gods, standing on a cliff high above the Baltic.
Click for larger image
Hermes
A closer view of the Hermes statue.
Click for larger image
Irrigation
To irrigate the garden during the often-dry summer months, the baron constructed a creative system where water collected in pools was drawn down into three wells in the lowest part of the garden for use later on.
Click for larger image
Kallskarskannan
Another famous feature on Kallskar is Kallskarskannan, a 3m-high rock formation carved during the ice age.
Click for larger image
North Harbour
Looking down into the north harbour from above. Our tender is tied off to the dock at right.
Click for larger image
Rock Circles
Rock circles on Kallskar.
Click for larger image
Muminhuset
High up on the hills above the villa, the baron built a lookout gazebo, known as “Muminhuset”. In today’s heavy winds and seas, waves crashing against the south shore are exploding upwards to nearly the same height.
Click for larger image
Inside South Harbour
Before returning back to Dirona, we ran the tender around to the south harbour. We had to time the entrance. The entry is more than deep enough for the tender, but with the heavy swell the water is pretty much gone at the low point of the waves.
Click for larger image
Hermes from the Water
Looking up to the bronze statue of Hermes from the tender as we depart the wonderful island of Kallskar.
Click for larger image
Karlby
Well-marked channel leading to the village of Karlby in the Kokar Islands.
Click for larger image
Brudhall Hotel
The guest harbour at the Brudhall Hotel in Karlby can accommodate 60 boats. They also have a nice-looking restaurant with a harbour view, but it isn’t open until May 30th. We’ve been in the Baltic for nearly two months now and are edging ever closer to the start of the tourist season here. :)
5/9/2019
Click for larger image
Permethrin
Re-applying Permethrin to our outdoor gear. In Amsterdam we were vaccinated for TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). But Lyme disease also in prevalent in Sweden, Finland and eastern Europe and no vaccination is available. An addition to other precautions, we’re applying Permethrin to our hiking boots and clothes to hopefully ward off any ticks while we are out hiking.
Click for larger image
Ferries
Both of the large ferries that serve Kokar, Skiftet and Ejdern, were in port at the same time.
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.

 
 


If your comment doesn't show up right away, send us email and we'll dredge it out of the spam filter.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.