Pilgrim sail ”Following the Franciscans” from
Norrtelje/Arholma to Kökar the 26th June to the 5th July 2009                                                 Swedish version                  

Drawing by Björn Ring from the Pilgrim Sail 2007

From about 1450 until the Swedish reformation in the sixteenth century a Franciscan priory was situated on Hamnö in Kökar. Its patron was S:ta Anna. In those days, the main sailing route between Sweden and Finland (king Valdemars sailing route) passed Kökar. Each year a "Franciscan feast" is arranged on Kökar the first weekend of July, in 2008 on the 4t, 5th and 6th of July.  We have now established a tradition of ecotourism, combined with spritiual and historic experiences through a yearly sail trip from Norrtelje in Sweden to the Fransiscus feast.

On the 27th of June a new sail started, this time from Norrtelje harbour.  We sailed with stops at Vätö, Arholma, Nyhamn, Björkör and Skottskär to Kökar, where we arrived Thursday the 3rd of July.  We had favourable winds, but with some rain in the beginning. This year, the photographer Olle Strömberg from Kastelholm came along to make a documentary film, intended to appear on TV in 2009.  On the image below is Olle outside Arholma church.

This year, the three basic objectives were well satisfied: 

A historic experience

Especially those who sailed the Viksboat (replica from the year 1050) got a historic experience through sailing through the Åland archipelago under medieval conditions.  Further:

An experience of nature

The archipelagos we sailed through present a unique nature with birds, seals and very few people.  For most of the time we had good weather and we experienced a substantial stillness.  On the image below, the Viksboat is moored at Skottskär, south of Föglö.

A spiritual experience

Each morning and evening the participating priests held a gathering with singing and reading.  Among other things, we heard about Paulus´experience of shipwreck on Malta.  Having arrived at Kökar, we took part in the Fransiscus feast with several priests and a bishop.

The pilgrim sail was a good experience and we sill meet during the coming winter to plan for a new sail 2009, preliminary with start from Norrtelje on the 26th of June in the evening.  This website will be updated to give information.

Contact  ingmar_ogren{a t}etanet.se