Launch of Jimmy Cornell’s latest book at the Marstrand boat show

The Swedish island of Marstrand, with a permanent population of just over 1,000 inhabitants, was invaded this weekend by an estimated 20,000 visitors attracted to a new in-water show aimed at sailors from Sweden itself but also neighbouring Norway and Denmark.

During its colourful history, and thanks primarily to its strategic location, this tiny island and its intrepid people have tried their hands at everything from being hotbed of smugglers in medieval times, to becoming a thriving duty-free emporium in the 18th century, a fashionable resort in the 19th, and now an active yachting centre.

Although separated by a narrow strip of water barely 50 metres wide, the locals have refused to allow the building of a bridge, the link to the mainland being provided by a frequent ferry service.

As I stepped off the ferry, my eye was caught by a board advertising my forthcoming seminar. Sweboats, the organisers of the boat show, had invited me to hold a seminar on long-distance cruising, which was attended by several sailors, most of them couples, planning a longer voyage.

This was also a perfect opportunity for the launch of my latest book, 200,000 Miles, that had been printed in France earlier this month.

Naukaä, a Garcia Exploration 45 and sistership of Aventura IV, was one of the main attractions of the show, to the delight of Bo Lennström of Lange Maritime, the Garcia representative in Scandinavia.

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