Return to Smogen

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On our final day in Sweden, we returned to Smogen, this time anchoring off the east shore. With the North Sea directly to our west, and after watching the waves crashing into the shore there during the big westerly winds a couple of weeks earlier, it felt a little crazy to be anchored there. But in the day’s easterly winds, the anchorage was sheltered and calm.

When we visited Smogen previously, conditions were too rough to visit the light station on the island of Hallo. So we took the opportunity in calmer conditions to tour Hallo then had a delicious ultra-fresh seafood platter at Gostas for our last supper in Sweden before heading to Denmark the following morning.

Below are trip highlights from September 25th, 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 town of Havstenssund twinkling in the dawn light.
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Approaching the narrow section at the south end of the waterway Havstenssund. A nice boardwalk runs along the left shore to the light and beyond.
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Lobster Fishing
Lobster season is well underway and we’re seeing lots of fishers out tending their traps.
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Lobster Traps
Lobster traps, typically with small orange or white floats, are everywhere and we often have to divert course to avoid them (click image for a larger view).
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Beautiful orange sunrise just south of the Tjurpannans Nature Preserve.
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Fish Boat
Early-morning fishers returning, likely to Havstenssund, with the Stangeskar light in the background.
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Ester-Marie, the fish boat with all the lights that we saw a week or so ago from the Smogen Bridge, passing our anchorage of the west side of Smogen.
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Generator J-box
Northern Lights generators have a grey wire that is ground to shutdown. On Dirona, this wire is grounded by the Sea-Fire system to shut the engine down. When I started to test the Sea-Fire system I noticed the generator grey wire was always grounded. Here I’m verifying that the wiring “north” of the generator is fine and the grey wire has a ground problem on the generator.

As I dug into the “problem” I learned what I could have just read off the wiring diagram. The grey wire that when grounded shuts down the fuel to stop the engine supports manual shut down and Sea-Fire mandated shutdown but I had forgotten that low oil pressure will also ground this wire and shut down the motor. Unfortunately, all my testing was done with the generator shut down with zero oil pressure so, naturally, the grey wire was grounded. The good news is I now know this circuit well, but the bad news is I just spent 2 hours investigating when, in fact, there was nothing wrong.

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Sea-Fire Override
The Sea-Fire system shuts down all engines, fans, and the LPG system if the engine room fire control system is triggered. Without this system, the discharge of the fire control system won’t be effective since the fans and operating engines all turn, causing constant and rapid changes of the air in the engine room. Effectively, the fire control chemicals will rapidly be ejected from the engine room and replaced with fresh air which will sustain the fire. So the Sea-Fire system needs to shutdown the engines and fans when the fire bottle is released.

The system works wonderfully, but there is always a risk that a boat might be left without engines when there is nothing wrong. During a docking operation this could lead to considerable damage. There are two schools of thought on this one. The first is that the Sea-Fire system already has an override and it is highly unlikely that the engine will be incorrectly shutdown and the Sea-Fire override system will also fail. But, anytime you have an integrated system, there is a chance that it could fail in a way that breaks the override. The alternative is the second school of thought that recommends there be a separate relay switch that drives a relay that disables the entire Sea-Fire system.

I generally don’t trust integrated systems, but I also know that adding more and more systems on the systems doesn’t always make for a more reliable composite result. Where I ended up is adding a set of labels to the Sea-Fire system where I identify the pair of wires that make up each circuit and label then as closed or open when triggered. If closed when triggered, the emergency enable is to cut a wire. If open when triggered, the emergency enable is to jump the two wires.

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Dirona at anchor off the west side of Smogen, with the pilot lookout visible in the background. The North Sea is directly to our west and after watching the waves crashing into the shore here during the big westerly winds a couple of weeks back, it felt a little crazy to be anchored here. But in today’s easterly winds, the anchorage is sheltered and calm.
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Secret Channel
We found a “secret” channel into the town of Smogen.
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The tender tied off at the island of Hallo to walk ashore. We didn’t visit when we were in Smogen because the seas were too rough in the big westerly winds.
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Walking a boardwalk towards the lighthouse on Hallo.
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The chapel at Hallo is a popular wedding site.
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Hallo Lighthouse
The Hallo Lighthouse, built in 1842, is the oldest lighthouse still in use on the Swedish side of the Kattegat and Skagerrak.
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Dirona at anchor off the west side of Smogen, looking north from the island of Hallo.
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A hare scampering across Hallo.
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Small Boat Channel
We ran the tender, just barely, through this small boat channel along the east side of Hallo.
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Lighthouse from Tender
The Hallo Lighthouse viewed from the tender off the southwest shore.
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Several Steps Up
The last time we were in Smogen, the storm surge had increased the water level several feet and we could just step out of the tender onto the dock. The water level is back to normal now, and so it’s two steps up from the tender to reach the dock.
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High-Speed RIB
Smogen is really quiet now compared to the busyness of the light festival. Most of the restaurants are either closed for the season or are running limited off-season hours. But you can still book a ride in a high-speed RIB.
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Last Supper
A delicious ultra-fresh seafood platter at Gostas for our last supper in Sweden. Tomorrow we head to Denmark.
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2 comments on “Return to Smogen
  1. John S. says:

    Your anchorage off the west side of Smogen looked so open to big seas. I’m sure you checked every weather forecast possible to insure no unpleasant/dangerous wind shifts in the middle of the night. But I would have had trouble sleeping soundly there!

    • It was a particularily interesting anchorage since we had seen it only a week or so early where the waves were just pounding in. Check this out: The top picture is of the islands we were anchored in. But, while we are anchored there the winds are from the other side and it’s not even rough. Nonetheless, it definitely can get rough there.

      In this case, we have a lot of rode out and our securely anchored and have tested the set so, we’ll sleep soundly.

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