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the Degree Confluence Project
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Sweden

37.0 km (23.0 miles) WNW of Marstrand, Västra Götaland, Sweden
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 58°S 169°W

Accuracy: 2 m (6 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Haflway out from Måseskär #3: South view #4: North View #5: Danish trawler passing near the point #6: Ferry leaving Denmark #7: Another ferry, probably headed towards Norway #8: The old Skagen lighthouse #9: Satellite image with track log

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  58°N 11°E (secondary) 

#1: Sweden barely visible in the distance

(visited by Terje Mathisen, Fredrik Norløff-Mathisen, Cathinka Norløff-Mathisen, Tone Norløff and Halvor Norløff)

30-Jun-2006 -- A lot of offshore confluences around the world have been added to the Confluence Project database, the key criteria being that at least some land must be visible from the point. In Scandinavia, where I am the project coordinator, Captain Peter seems to have visited nearly all of them!

This point however, situated almost halfway between Sweden and Denmark in the Skagerak part of the North Sea did not have an entry in the confluence index, but it still seemed like it would be valid. I have sailed along the Swedish coast nearly every year, but never found a good enough reason to venture so far offshore, until this year, when we decided to take advantage of a huge high pressure covering all of southern Scandinavia: This gave us very nice weather with relatively calm winds and little wave action, so we sailed to Käringön in the Swedish archipelago on the 29th and planned a crossing of Skagerak to Skagen, the northernmost point in Denmark. In Käringön we had a very nice evening, for supper we had several kinds of seafood, including the famous crawfish that you can buy directly out of the cooking pot outside the fishmonger!

The direct line from Käringön to Skagen in Denmark passes a few nautical miles south of the confluence, but the detour would only add about 10 minutes to our travel time, so I entered the point as an intermediate waypoint in the GPS route and told the autopilot to go there.

As we got closer I followed the XTE (Cross Track Error) numbers very carefully, they indicate how closely the autopilot managed to follow the ideal line, and I was glad to see that they mostly stayed within a few feet.

During the last 200 m I steered the boat manually, trying to hit the bulls eye in my one and only attempt, before downloading the track log to verify how close I'd actually gotten. To get the maximum possible precision for this I first exported the track log as a .GPX file, with 6-decimal latitude/longtude values, then wrote a little program to calculate how close a straight line between the track points had gotten: The answer was about 51 cm, or less than 2 feet away! With the EGNOS/ESTB differential corrections, the GPS indicated less than 2 m estimated position error, so this is probably as close to the point as it is possible to come without using very expensive surveying gear and a much bigger boat to provide a stable platform.

Directly after we passed the point we set the new course for Skagen, believing that the guest harbour would be relatively empty so early in the season (before the start of the normal Scandinavian holiday season), but we were badly mistaken:

The 'Skagen Festival' took place on the same weekend, so the harbour was jam packed! We finally found a spot where we were allowed to tie up alongside another boat, made fast and tried to go ashore. That's when we noticed that there were 7 more boats on the inside, i.e. we were the 9th boat in a huge raft, with similar stacks both in front and behind us!

The weather fortunately stayed totally calm all night, so we didn't have problems with the huge rafts of boats colliding, but we still left early the next morning, setting a course SE towards the Danish island of Læsø.


 All pictures
#1: Sweden barely visible in the distance
#2: Haflway out from Måseskär
#3: South view
#4: North View
#5: Danish trawler passing near the point
#6: Ferry leaving Denmark
#7: Another ferry, probably headed towards Norway
#8: The old Skagen lighthouse
#9: Satellite image with track log
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
In the Skagerrak, but with a view of land.