An island in the middle of nowhere with ice cream and a cup of coffee to remember
Utklippan (N55’57.3; E015’42.2) is the first island you come across if you sail northeast from Bornholm, Denmark. It is a tiny island with a guest harbour, a café/restaurant and a lighthouse outside of Karlskrona, Sweden. We sailed to Utklippan from Hammerhavne, Bornholm on the 4th of July 2014. The leg of 58 nautical miles took 10h 30 minutes. After being at the open sea for hours, you can barely see the lighthouse in the horizon less then an hour before you arrive. The feeling an hour before arriving was strange: you knew you are almost there (we are there, right…?) but still you could not see your destination. (Image: www.webbkameror.se)
Be careful when approaching the island! There’s shallow water and rocks in all directions. You can enter the harbour either from the west or the east side but note that the first basin is not deep enough for a sailboat to cross and you have to motor through the guest harbour basin to get to the other side. I wondered for a while why everyone motored through the small basin but luckily the captain had his eyes open… We arrived from the west and left safely from the east entrance the next day. (Image:www.segel-filme.de)
Since the island is so conveniently located for those who plan to sail north along the Swedish coastline, the guest harbour can be quite crowded during the peak summer season. When we arrived at 9.10pm, there were 28 boats in the harbour – which is not considered crowded. Someone later told us that in some accession the guest harbour basin had been so crowded that you could cross the basin by jumping from one boat to another. We were welcomed by the harbourmaster in his motorboat right when we arrived and chose to side-parked to a Swedish boat at the end of the basin. The harbour fee for a night was 160 SEK (17 EUR) and included no water, no electricity, nothing.
Sailors are early birds! When we woke up after 9am the next day, the guest harbour was nearly empty. There were only 3 other boats left and we heard no one leave! Luckily, we had chosen by accident to side-park to the only boat in the basin that did not plan to leave that day. Saku floated us to a new position along the basin first thing in the morning. In early afternoon new boats that had sailed overnight started to arrive.
Utklippan actually is 3 separate islands. Luckily the guest harbour had dinghies to borrow because we didn’t have one at this stage. If you don’t have a dinghy of your own, choose carefully your location in the basin because the smallest island (south corner of the basin) did not have dinghies available.
The café was a really nice surprise with ice cream for Anton (ice cream is a scarce resource at sea!) and good selection of sea maps for Saku and myself to browse. The view from a window was like a painting. (The image does not do justice to the view. You have to go and see it yourself.)
The coffee was table served from beautiful, old porselain which felt very luxurious considering the isolation and organic nature of the island. For a moment, sitting in the old house that reminded us of our own home, it felt like time was standing still. I’ll remember this cup of coffee for a long time.
How does is look in Utklippan right now? See yourself from a webcam.