Hano is a small and very pretty island on route from Solvesborg towards Karlshahmn, Ronneby or even Karlskrona if you have a favourable wind! All the pilot books warn that even out of season it will always be full! So expect to raft up to other boats 4 deep!
Leaving Solvesborg we made a brisk crossing ahead of a nasty looking weather front, deciding to make for nearby Hano rather than Karlshamn or Ronneby and risk getting caught out. What had started out a gentle F3 to F4 westerly was now a vigorous F4 to F5 and we flew across the Hano Sund. By 1400 we had entered the harbour and found a berth (after a bit of rope pulling to find what I thought was the perfect slot!) alongside the well fended wall. Within an hour, two other British boats who clearly had the same idea were moored up nearby. We have never come across so many in all our Baltic wandering and we actually outnumbered the Germans!
Storm clouds over the Hano Sund
Hano is one of the few places with an active harbourmaster, most are just a ticket machines now that take your credit card and print you a sticker for the bows! So as a consequence everything in Hano is well ordered, painted and in working order…….especially the toilets which must be the best in the Baltic Sea with flower, pictures, magazines, soap and toilet paper!
A joy to behold…..and use!
The island was once a base for the Royal Navy and there is a small and rather bleak cemetery on the far side where some sailors from HMS Victory are buried from when the ship visited in 1810. Then even further away, and perhaps even bleaker and certainly sadder is a cholera cemetery for the locals who caught the disease after the Navy’s visit!
The English cemetery with burials from HMS Victory
The other claim to fame is that Hano boasts the lighthouse that can be seen at the furthest distance in the Baltic – up to 40 nm. It is not a particularly tall lighthouse, but it is on the very top of the island.
The most visible lighthouse in the Baltic!
On leaving the next morning we did discover that although quite sheltered, Hano is not an ideal port in strong westerlies and my careful ‘adjustments’ of the previous day probably made things worse! Without bow thrusters and the strong breeze blowing straight through the harbour mouth meant we were held firmly against the wall. However the arrival of the bin ‘boat’ cleared the boats around us and with the help of some willing quayside loafers to give us a good shove us off, we were soon on our way to Karlskrona.
‘The bin boat!’