IN the summer of ‘86 I was without my favourite toy, a yacht, and had no intention of purchasing a vessel. I had just returned from a winter cruise about the Spanish Main and through the West Indies, and any voyage more extensive than a boating expedition on the upper Thames was quite out of my mind, when I by chance came across a boat lying at Hammersmith— of all unlikely places— which appeared to me to be singularly adapted for the realization of one of my earliest yachting dreams. For many years I had talked of visiting the Baltic in a small yacht, and I had often taken up the charts and pilot-books of that tideless sea and planned pleasant cruises among the deep, winding fiords and narrow sounds of the Danish islands; and now I saw before me the very boat for the purpose. “The smaller the yacht the better the sport,” is a maxim which, in my opinion, holds good in most waters, but especially so when a cruise on the Baltic is in question. For on all the shores of that sea, even where the map indicates long, straight stretches of ironbound coast, there are innumerable small artificial havens which have been constructed by the herring fishermen for the accommodation of their shallow craft; and again, on many of the islands, the only harbours are those affording shelter to the ferry-boats which ply to the mainland harbours, as a rule, having no more than three feet of water. Therefore small yachts only can visit these out-of-the-way spots. A cruise among the islands affords some of the fascination of a voyage of discovery; at many of them sea-going vessels never call; and as all the English yachts that enter the Baltic are of considerable tonnage, the English yachtsman knows but little of the charms of the best cruising-ground in Europe.