The last leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the Swedish Archipelago and the Gulf of Bothnia Sampling Transect

The morning of June 25th we left Stockholm and followed the Volvo race boats into the Baltic to watch the start of the last leg of the race to St. Petersburg. Once again there were hundreds of boats on the water to watch the start of the race. As the race began we saw someone waving to Dr. Venter and Dr. Norrby from another boat. It turned out to be King Carl XVI Gustaf! (Note: our friends on PUMA achieved second place in the final standing of the race. Congratulations!)

After we watched the boats sail into the Baltic, we started making our way through the Swedish Archipelago. These waters are very difficult to navigate so it was a relief to have Dr. Norrby onboard to help Captain Charlie and Dr. Venter maneuver in these rocky, shallow waters. Dr. Norrby has years of experience sailing in the Archipelago as well as extensive knowledge of the Swedish coastlines. During the last two days, Dr. Venter, Dr. Norrby, Captain Charlie, and the Sorcerer II crew had many meetings to plan and plot our course for the north/south sampling transect of the Gulf of Bothnia. This is going to be one of the most intense sampling legs on Sorcerer II to date, but we all agree that the samples collected on this transect will be some of the most unique we have seen.

With a busy two weeks of sampling coming and Dr. Venter and others returning to the States, we decided to celebrate the 4th of July on June 29th. With Sorcerer II docked in front of Dr. Norrby’s summer house, we celebrated with a special dinner and launched a few expired flares for some fireworks to mark the occasion.

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