Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and has about 562,379 inhabitants (2013). The most famous is of course Lille Havfrue (the mermaid on the rock). In reality she is very small and does not look at the sea but at the tourists. ……
Not to mention the famous city centre with its sights, museums and shopping streets. I was in Christianshavn by boat. The old harbour is the Nijhavn, but that’s only for old classic ships, you come in anyway you pay the main price. Where I was lying I was actually on the other side of the water within walking distance. Christianshavn is the old hippie stronghold Christiania with music cafes, shops and restaurants. I walked there in the evening and drank a few beers.
Tuesday 12 July Copenhagen – Mosede
Leave Copenhagen at 1 p.m. and head towards southern Shaelland the Smalands route. I want to enter this nature reserve via the Bögeström. Last year I wanted this too but then there was a strong east wind so I blew it off at the last minute, (is described in the story, Baltic 2015 part 6) it is a very shallow area for ships up to 2 mtr draught. Now with the prevailing westerly winds this should work out, I come in a very nice nature reserve with nice little harbours, described by Rene Vleut of the Ugly Duck.
The wind is southwest 4-5, could have been better, now I have to sail pretty sharp, but maybe the wind still turns to the west, which is better. Once outside the shelter of the island of Amager, the waves soon increase again, so it is quite a bay I have to cross. When things start to get uncomfortable, I look for an alternative. The Bögeström I will not be able to reach today in terms of distance. At 2 p.m., when the wind is already 5-6, I decide to go to Mosede, a harbour on the east coast of this bay, to get there I have to go between two marked fishing areas and I don’t feel like a fishing net in my propeller. I set the automatic to windvane gear, which means so much that the boat then holds the set angle between wind and sail, sail no longer needs to be adjusted, but the wind then turns the course of the boat along with it. Normally the smallest angle for the Asmara is 35-40 degrees, I set it to 35 to stay clear of fishing areas. This goes well for a while, until the wind clears a little more to West and that becomes less fine with this new course to Mosede, I reduce the angle to 29 degrees to try to stay clear of the fishing areas. But in the end I graze the buoys at 10 meters distance and I can divert my course between the areas. In the end I still have to make a turn of a quarter of a mile to get good. As I approach the harbour and thus the leeward side of the land, the waves become less and in the end I can remove sails to call at the harbour, arriving 19.15. I would also like to mention that since I left I have always been followed by my friend Theo Danel, a sailor and pub mate, until today (more people have done that by the way) and whether or not I have had advice or a heartbeat, via whatsapp, every day around bubbling time or earlier. Thank you Theo, I have experienced that as very pleasant.
Wednesday 13 July Mosede – Taero anchor
I wake up at 05.00 and decide to leave at 06.00 to cross the rest of the bay before the wind makes the weather uncomfortable. Yesterday evening, I did not see the harbour master, nor this morning, of course, did I find any information about harbour dues, so I decide to put an envelope in front of his door with DK 150 a normal overnight rate for ports of this kind. Once out at sea, the wind and waves are still calm. Wind 2-3, waves not worth mentioning, but I know how quickly it can change. I pick up my planned route to the Bögeström again and expect to be at the corner of the bay, the Köge bugt, in 2 1/2 hours. It is a cloudless sky with a low sun in the East. In the bay the current follows the curve of the bay, so I expect to get some more current later on, at the moment 0.5 Kts.
In the end it remains a calm breeze and ergo calm sea all day long, fortunately because yesterday I saw again how quickly that can change. While sailing I sit comfortably in my helm seat and read, so I can relax and at the same time keep an eye on the instruments.
When I reach the Bögeström buoy, I put my book away, my attention now goes to sailing in a concrete trench, this will take another couple of hours. It is a beautiful area where I pass through, with at first high cliffs and chalk cliffs that remind you of Dover, then the landscape changes into beautiful undulating green/yellow hills. I have picked an island where a mooring buoy would lie and I want to stay there for two days. yesterday’s handwash is still in the bathtub and needs to be hung up. The water outside the channels is very shallow, sometimes only 50 or 60 cm. When I pass under the first bridge with a span of 25 meters I am almost there. I consult my computer charts against the charts in my plotter and the paper charts, because the back of the island is very shallow water and one thing I don’t want to do is walk on the ground. I have to leave the channel and go into unknown water, my plotter only shows depths, as far as you can build on that, the computer map is more detailed and also gives a line of buoys of three, will I or will I not. There is no one to give me advice. I decide to give it a try. As long as I still have a few metres under the keel, I just keep going at speed, but if the depth drops to less than a metre under the keel, I take the throttle back and go down the three red barrels, which I keep to starboard in a snail’s pace. Quite exciting actually, my hand is on the throttle and when I sometimes see the depth drop to 10 cm below the keel, I soon get the urge to close the throttle and wait for the boom. But that doesn’t happen, the depth rises to 40 cm again, that’s how it goes all the time, in the meantime I try to find the deepest spots on three charts in comparison, and so I continue slowly.
Maybe a laughingstock for someone who lives here, but I am not familiar with this place and safety first. So I arrive at the mooring buoy and I see that there is already a boat, yes that is possible too. I am not alone in this world. With my binoculars I study the situation, the boat is at the front anchor and not at a mooring buoy. Now I also see the mooring buoy and understand why, the thing is far too close to the shore, with a number of fishing poles also close by. So I decide to anchor at a private distance, hoping that there is no eelgrass here. But no, the anchor keeps at 1.80 metres of water all at once. Later, when I look over the edge, I don’t see any eelgrass either, but a sandy bottom, fine with 10 mtr of chain. Simba already knows when I turn off the engine and want to go outside immediately, But I admonish her and say no, first fill in the logbook, messages to the home front, hang the queen overboard and then you can go outside. Once outside she first checks if she can get off somewhere, she walks along the gangways, checks with her head through the holes of the mooring lines, but when she finally comes to the conclusion that she can’t get off she starts to get boisterous, runs around, climbs into the boom, tries to get into the mast, and so on. After a while she becomes calm and resigned to the new situation.
I’m going to take the laundry out of the bathtub and hang it up, pour a nice whisky, make some toast and sit outside in the sunshine. In any case, I will stay here for another day tomorrow, there are two more islands on the programme where I want to visit the harbours/town or villages. After that we’ll see again. The only disadvantage I found out is that I don’t have any range on my phone and therefore no internet on my dongle, well then the world has to do without me for one day, my position report has been passed on to family and friends, that goes by satellite. Grab my guitar again and sit down and play.
Thursday 14 July Taero anchor
Decided to stay the night despite the inconvenience of no internet and telephone. After coffee a nice ciabatta sandwich baked.
Friday 15 July Taero anchor – Dybvig, Fejo
The sky is completely covered and grey and dense, wind 4-5 west, drizzle, temp 16 degrees. When I get up I turn on the stove, uncomfortably chilly here on board. What a summer! At 0913 I leave for the island of Fejo, Dybvig harbour. A very small harbour which can be quite busy during the season and is twice as crowded as usual. As soon as I drop anchor I follow my planned route along all shallows. The wind is strong 5 from the west.
As we get further into the morning, the wind soon picks up to 7 and falls right on top of it too. I have to cross two big bridges underneath, each 25 metres high, so that is no problem. I have to change course or make a few strokes to still get help from the sails because of the shallows I have to pass. This whole nature reserve is actually a large puddle of water with islands, the water is generally no deeper than 1 metre, with a few exceptions. So you have to constantly follow the channels that are not concrete, to stay in fairly deep water. Without a sail and against wind and waves of this strength, my speed sometimes drops to 2 knots, which often means that it takes twice as long.
When my route finally bends south and continues to do so for a while, I immediately turn off my Genoa, which means sharp sailing again, but the speed I lost is starting to catch up again and the boat is calmer in the waves. So I muddle on, until I get close to the island and have to shift the course north again, the Genoa has to be taken off again. The last part is again right against the wind, but now the island again gives some shelter against wave building, but then the wind thinks we can do something about it and pulls up to force 8. Without any cracks I walk into the narrow channel to the harbour to come to the conclusion that this is indeed a popular harbour and it is already so small. A bowl where the boats are all double, so I am also next to a Dane and a German. Tomorrow I will go again, weather or no weather at all. I want to go home now.
Saturday 16 July Dybvig – Spodsbjerg
I left this morning at 0920, I was already built in between a couple of ships and, with a little help, squeezed myself out. Once I got out of the trench and cleaned up the mess outside, I set course for the next destination, Bagekop, on the southern tip of the island of Langeland. At departure the wind is SW 6, between the islands it is still calm sailing, but that will undoubtedly change again when we have to cross the Langeland Belt to the leeward side of the island. Wind and current are all against me again. I set the autopilot to vane with 30 degrees angle between wind and sail. The waves increase again and the wind stays between 6 and 7 ZW. In two hours I can be on the other side of the island and I hope to have quieter water.
The speed through the water is about 4.3 over ground 4. If I look at my planning I would not arrive until midnight, but maybe there are parts where I can gain some speed again. In any case, when I am on the other side, I have to make a decision, because there is only one port I can walk into this afternoon, then I have to go on to Bagekop. And with this weather, it will be quite ghostly on that southern tip of the island and you don’t want to be there at midnight.
Well, the violence only increased again, even after I sailed less than 100 metres along the beach. I think everything has taken its place again, which normally doesn’t happen, reason to move to Spodsbjerg (Rudkobing), the only harbour I mentioned before. At 1600 I can have a drink.
Sunday 17 juli Spodsbjerg – Kiel
The gentleman’s day, got up in time, my neighbour left at six o’clock, I finally unhook at 0620, 9 a.m. until Kiel. Large crossing into the Kiel bend. The wind is barely there yet, but will undoubtedly rise soon. It takes another two hours before I reach the southern tip of Langeland, then about 5 hours over big water. What is it going to bring today? At least it’s a blue sky (for the first time in a long time) and a light cloud cover. Temperature 14.9. There is already quite a swell.
The wind will gradually increase and is west 2, so I will have the wind half to starboard again. I have no more swerve for the next 6 hours, just open water. Apparently the wind also had a Sunday rest, so I arrived without further problems at 1520 in Holtenau at the old lock to moor, tomorrow I will continue again. I walked i
Monday 18 July Holtenau – Gieselau
Detach at 0730 and lie down in front of the lock. Yesterday yachts had to wait 3 hours before entering the lock. Professional comes first. Luckily things are going better today, I went through the lock at 0815 and there is no need to pay because they are renovating the locks, again €18,- is saved.
Next stop Gieselau Canal towards Eider river. Still 56 km. At 15.11 I moor at the Gieselau lock. Continue tomorrow. I will get some information from the lock keeper, the river is 78 km from this point to the North Sea. So I have to do that in two stretches.
The sun has actually started to shine and when I look at the weather forecast there is a small high that affects this area until the weekend. And just now I don’t feel very well. In Gothenburg I almost fell between the jetty and the ship, I slipped on the fore-point, just barely managed to grab the concrete quay wall, and clambered up with a lot of force instead of thundering 1 1/2 down into the water. Both my legs were quite scraped, my elbow and my other arm. The next day I could barely move my neck and there was a lot of muscle pain in my legs and arms. That was on the 5th of July, until today I still have pain in my neck. This afternoon I felt pretty lethargic and rickety, I went to bed and that while the weather is beautiful now. I also don’t feel like eating and feel glowing, when I take my temp I have a slight increase of 38,2.
I am going to drink a lot tonight, and I do not mean alcohol, and I am going to go back to bed and watch TV at 2100.
Tuesday 19 July Gieselau Nordfelt hafen
Had a restless night, got out at 0730, 78 km of winding river has to be conquered. It is cloudy and I suspect about 22 degrees, inside it is 24.8 and I am still shivering, at 1200 I take my temp again, 39.1. When the weather starts to get nice and warm, I suspect I have some kind of flu.
When I arrive at 15.19 in this very small harbour Nordsfelt, I immediately take two paracetamol and go to bed, I fall asleep and wake up at 1800. Temp again, 38.1. I also feel a little better. I only swallow a few more tonight, there is nothing as annoying as sailing and you feel like a dishcloth.
As usual, lie nose in again, with a very low floating jetty, so you can’t get off the boat.
Wednesday 20 July. Nordfelt Hafen Tonning
I got out of bed last night, but as well as 38.2. Hang all the bedding outside to dry in the sun, make up a clean bed on another bed, because the mattress is also soaking wet.
Through the Nordfelt lock I get the last part of the Eider, but now as a tidal river. My departure is planned in such a way that I have to enter the port of Tonning with HW, which can be done up to two hours before and two hours after, after that (or before that) the port is too shallow. It does mean, however, that I will have to go through an increasingly strong counter-current and a bridge, a railway track and another bridge. I have to call the bridges by phone, they don’t call the radio here. I have to wait twenty minutes at the railway bridge. If the current runs as fast as the stationary windscreen, you are in fact stationary with respect to the ground, but through the water you walk 1 1/2 knot, turn on the autopilot and the boat will remain stationary at 50 metres in front of the bridge.
The last bridge opens quickly and soon I walk into the harbour mouth of Tonning on HW, mind if you ever come in there with a boat to sit close to the starboard bank when entering and vice versa when leaving. Due to currents, the other bank is heavily silted up and shallow ergo, especially if you walk in a few hours before or after HW.
There is no more room along the floating jetty, so I moor next to a nice wooden two-masted botter. When the tide is low I just lie back in the mud.
I still feel like a wimp, fever doesn’t want to go away either. It’s very hot today, no wind and in the boat the temperature rises to about 30.5 degrees, even though everything is open against each other. I’m going to lie down on my bed, where it’s coolest and watch some TV. In the end I scrape up all my courage and go out for a bite to eat, as I walk along the quay past all the restaurants the idea of eating starts to bother me again, even just a beer I don’t feel like it, I stroll back to the boat and lie down on the bed again, fever 39.1.
Thursday 21 July Tonning Heligoland
As I have to go anyway, the planning for today is the Eidersperrwerk (just like storm surge barrier Neeltje Jans) out and through the gullies over the mudflats to Helgoland. It’s 1504 Hw on the Eidersperwerk so from there the current will flow out through the gullies.
But before that time I also have to wait two hours for high tide to get out of Tonning. That will be around 1445.
But before that time I decide to go and see a doctor. Of course I have to be registered with the doctor and that takes half an hour. When I’m sitting in front of the doctor, asking some questions and touching some glands, she doesn’t know either, it could be a stomach flu or intestinal infection. In the end she prescribes me a 5 day antibiotic treatment. Then I pick up the medicine at the pharmacy and get some fresh fruit and yoghurt from the supermarket next door and stroll back to the boat.
At 1445 I unloaded and left the port, now 1 1/2 hours through concrete gullies, then into the lock, where the lock just in front of it flows gigantic. Together with another Dutch sailing boat, we are gunned down and fifteen minutes later we are back at sea on the other side. Lines and fenders are cleared and the buoys follow, after a while the current does indeed start to flow. 5 through the water 7.5 across the ground. After about three hours we reach the Eider Uiterton and we can set a direct course to Helgoland. It is easy to sail, so the Genoa is going out, the wind is now 4-5 from the west. I sit down on the couch and fall nodding in short sleep, the Asmara glides on. At 2045 I glide into the harbour of Helgoland, where it is muddy. I tie up alongside a Dutchman and then I am in 7th place in a package. Again I haven’t eaten anything, it’s been 5 days now, I take a pill and crawl into my basket. The result of so much loudness in the body is that I wake up at 0200 ready and float out of bed again, what did I do to deserve all this.
Friday 22 July rest day Helgoland
I’m just going to lie down under a clean sheet and take a nap until I get out at 0800. Measure my temperature and yes!, 37,5 would be the turning point. Make a yoghurt and fruit breakfast which always goes well and decide to stay another day, it’s closed from the fog this morning and maybe I can recover a bit and if it’s ok then maybe eat something somewhere.
First I stop by the harbour office and pay for two nights, then get some sandwiches and toppings from the supermarket. Then I sit down on a terrace and order a beer and a fish soup. The fish soup with the sandwich was delicious, I am starting to feel human again. Now on the way back I pass by the duty free liquor shop that I gave my order in an e-mail on 17 July and that I would pick up around 22 July. When I enter the shop one look says enough, the man recognizes me and shows me the boxes with my reservation. After I have paid, the parcel service will bring it on board later.
Later that day another German comes lying to me, with a nice sharp motorsailor of about 15 mtr. I tell him that I want to leave tomorrow at 0700, no problem according to his answer.
Saturday 23 July Heligoland – Norderney
When I wake up at 0600 and look outside, the fog is sealed, it will not leave at 0700. At 0900 I finally leave for the petrol station. All in all that refuelling takes an hour, add two hours to reach the traffic lanes I have to cross, I am hopeful that by that time the fog will have cleared so that I can see the big boys visually. 736 lt. refuelled at 82 ct per litre, average consumption 3.9 lt./hour.
Once on the route, visibility is still limited to about 100 mtr. The wind is NO 2, the swell annoying and oblique from behind. I registered with German Bight Traffic on VHF 80. My radar is on and my AIS as always, so we are going to experience what the visibility will be in 1 1/2 hours.
Arriving at the crossing point the visibility has improved a bit but is still marginal. The crossing takes 45 minutes and is going well, it is not crowded. On to the next crossing the Weser. Arriving there in three hours, we now have power against.
A moment ago, a butterfly landed on my boat and rested for a while before continuing. It must have been sent by my late mother Sophia to see if everything is still going well.
So I say to the butterfly, “Tell Sophia that I am fine and that she gets a big hug from me” and the butterfly flew away again. After half an hour the butterfly suddenly sat on the railing again, I walk outside and say “you did that quickly, was it okay? Do you have a clue for me?” The butterfly kept resting for at least fifteen minutes, it’s not such a bad trip. Then she flew back into the wide world or heaven, mission accomplished she must have thought. This is not fiction, but today it is happening on the high seas.
Visibility is getting worse again and the sea is more turbulent, another 3 hours to Norderney. The barrels for take-off have been moved again, you can still have a new map at this kind of coast you are always behind the times. So when visibility is poor so you can’t see the barrels, I use the radar in buoy mode, signal extra amplified and find the new locations of the barrels. So I sail away from the barrel in question on an echo signal, and jubilantly if your theory is then 100% correct. So I sail into the approach to Norderney and more next to a Dutchman, lying 7 fat again. Harbour mud is full, no water filling up, and that is really becoming necessary now, but also paying nothing, or the harbour master will have to come and get it, but by 2130 he will already be at Mother the Woman.
Sunday 24 July Norderney – Lauwersoog
Released early, at 0515, if you want to go out through the west channel you have to do so no later than 2 hours after high tide and HW was 0313. Visibility is bad again, we search the buoys on the trench again with the radar, this goes fine again and so we come safely on deeper water again. The wind is WNW 3. Expected arrival time Lauwersoog 1530. As the weather is calm I decide to catch some mackerel, I have turned on the second freezer. Within half an hour I catch two and play two, but we have the whole day.
Eventually I catch about 6, then the party is over. I retrieve the lot and increase the speed, we have lost some time because now the current is running against us and the ground speed is dropping, to such an extent that we are now at Lauwersoog lock at 1900. And then I want to continue on to Oostmahorn, which is on the route, because I need water and have to wash a lot of bedding.
If that’s too late, I’ll anchor inside somewhere and do so tomorrow, what time is it anyway? The weather has become nice, but visibility is limited to about 5 miles. At 1933 I enter the port of Oostmahorn.
End of a nice trip but with unfortunately too bad and too cold weather. Total distance to here 1160 Nm, 265 engine hours, 1033 lt. diesel.