Nice? It’s the ONLY thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING–absolute nothing–half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: `messing–about–in–boats; messing—-‘ From WInd in the Willows
I have never been and don’t claim to be a boater. However, it does seem to be the thing to do on a sunny weekend in the Swedish archipelago. I don’t go boating often, but I do know how to read a chart and am pretty good with directions. So with my brother’s limited boating experience, we decided to rent a boat for four hours out of Vaxholm harbor and have a cruise around.
The waterways were full of both power and sailboats, and large cruise ships as well. We putted around a bit sightseeing, and then found ourselves in the main channel into Stockholm harbor. We saw a large cruise ship coming towards us, and idled over to the side to watch it pass (passengers waving from their balconies).
We saw many beautiful houses with docks, people gathering for parties, jumping into the water to swim. We also saw a lot of swans.
The man who rented us the boat pointed on the map to a small island where he said he had heard there was a restaurant but hadn’t been there himself. We went to check it out, and did indeed find a restaurant. The dock was small and packed with boats, pretty dicey for parking, but we got it done. The tie down job would have made any sailor cringe, but it did the trick.
The restaurant was a casual, outdoor spot on a hill with great views and picnic tables. The meal turned out to be one of the best fish dishes I have ever had. My brother had a cheeseburger. Lunch was as much as the boat rental, but was worth it.
We made it back to Vaxholm without any trouble. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon and do some sightseeing.