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Construction of Carlsten Fortress began in 1658 to protect the town of Marstrand, an important ice-free Swedish shipping port. Denmark besieged and overpowered the fortress twice, in 1677 and 1719, but both times it was returned to Sweden following negotiations and treaties. The fort was also used as a prison and eventually was decommissioned in 1882, but was controlled by the military until the 1990s. Dominating the skyline at Marstrand, it now is open to the public.

From Donso, we travelled north along the Swedish west coast, stopping for a couple of nights near the island of Kanso before continuing north to pass through the dramatic and narrow Albrektssundskanal to reach Marstrand.

Below are trip highlights from September 3rd through 5th, 2019. 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

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The winds were blowing in the high 20kts when we raised anchor this morning. By the time we’d sprayed the thick, sticky mud off the chain the foredeck was covered in wind-blown mud. Unfortunately the wind dried it on and spraying wouldn’t remove it—we had to wash it off.
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Fast Assault Boat
The Swedish forces CB90 is a Fast Assault boat powered by 2 Scania V8s each powering KaMeWa waterjets and can do up to 40 kts and, at least in our experience, they can’t go any slower :-). When one of these boats pass you in an anchorage, it’s far from stealthy. But, we don’t mind. We actually enjoy watching them and they don’t seem to operate at night.
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This fisherman drops fish traps in the shallows near islands marked with a single buoy, gives them a day to soak, and then returns the next day to lift them and harvest the fish catch. The nets appear to be a sequence of compartments where fish can force their way in but larger fish can’t get back out.
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The island of Kanso was once a quarantine station and the lookout tower was built to watch for incoming ships. The island is now a military training station and the source of the Fast Assault boats that pass by several times a day.
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The tanker Marinus at anchor with the lights of Port of Gothenburg visible in the distance.
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The islands just northwest of Gothenburg must be filled with residents who commute into the city. We saw no less than seven ferries underway in the small area as we passed around 6:30 this morning.
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Line cabin lit up in the morning sun.
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A striking scene with sun and dark clouds outlining the hills in the distance.
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About to pass through the dramatic and narrow Albrektssundskanal to Marstrand. The canal was originally completed in 1844, then expanded in 1860 and again in 1909. The chart says there’s room for Dirona, but it doesn’t look like there will be that much to spare.
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Carlstens Fortress
17th-century Carlstens Fortress dominates the skyline as we enter the harbour at Marstrand.
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Toilet Not Flushing
Tecma heads are absolutely amazing. The only fault we have ever seen in 10 years of live-aboard use is easy to fix, but can be confusing if you haven’t seen the problem before. The symptom is the head will stop reliably flushing. Sometimes you’ll need to flush 3 times to evacuate and sometimes it’ll work fine.

What’s happening is that by design the toilets fully evacuate the bowl and pump/macerator assembly. Having this system fully evacuated ensures no smells and no spills in even very rough water. But, on the next use pump/macerator will be dry and, since this is not a self priming pump, it won’t do anything until there is water in the pump housing. Since the heads bring the liquid to near the top of the bowl and then down to the pump/macerator, the pump assembly will remain dry until the bowl is full. This will make the toilet appear to be plugged in that the bowl will just keep filling until very near the top at which point, the water flows below and the toilet appears to unplug. In fact, it’s not plugged at all and as soon as the pump/macerator has water it works fine.

The normal operation of this head has a small hose running between the bowl level and pump/macerator. As soon as fluid is in the head, the pump is primed and works great. This small plastic hose pictured above is what makes the system work and every 5 years or so, it’ll plug and the head will seem unreliable. Clean and/or replace the hose and the system is back to flushing like new with the usual never-plug reliability of Tecma. It’s not that easy to work back there on our installation, so it’s a bit of a hassle to get the major hose pictured out but, once that is done, replacing the plastic drain hose is quick and easy.

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Marstrand Gasthamn
Our tender tied off at Marstrand Gasthamn for a visit to the fortress.
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South Wall
The south wall of Carlsten Fortress looks difficult to conquer.
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View From Fort
A great view across Carlsten Fortress to Marstrand harbor with Dirona visible at anchor in the distance on the left (click image for a larger view).
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Restaurang Storm
A refreshing drink at the bar in Restaurang Storm after touring Carlsten Fortress.
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Marstrand has some wonderful trails around the island, some right along the outer coast.
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


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