Continued from part 2
Into the lock at Brunsbuttel . . . The Nord Ostsee Canal
Saturday, 12 June 2021
I will stay two nights in the side channel at Gieselau. There are good jetties here. No facilities, of course. When you moor here for the night, make sure you have good springs, because if one of those sea castles passes by, it sucks a whole tray of water out of the canal and then pours it back with the same force.
The Gieselau lock gives access to the Eider river, an original meandering river that winds its way NW. From the Kiel Canal, the Eider River is controlled by three locks. After passing the last lock, it is again a tidal river with high and low water. The river comes out at Tonning, the last nice fishing place before the North Sea. A further stepping stone is via the EiderSperrwerke to e.g. Helgoland.
For more detailed information about this nice route see my blog 2015 Part 6 Denmark
On Monday 14 June I leave Gieselau at 09.00 for the remaining 60 km of the channel, destination Flemhudersee anchor in at 13.55 for a quiet afternoon in the sun. There are mooring posts in the water there which nobody understands how they are meant to be used, only small narrow boats fit between them.
At 08.00 the next morning, I sailed the last few kilometres to the lock. You still don’t have to pay for the lock. Take precautions when mooring at the floating jetties, which only protrude a few centimetres above the waterline, for example by hanging a few ropes between the boat and the shore. Because your fenders will pop out and then you will be lying with the paint against such a beam. See youtube film 2021 nr. 7 on this site.
After the lock I sailed into the Baltic Sea, with Heiligerhafen as my destination, to drop anchor there. But before I get there, when I have just left the KielerFjord, it turns out that the military are having another game day, so I have to make a detour. The area at Totenkopf (Death’s Head) is a military area for shooting exercises and submarines. This joke takes me almost three hours of detouring. I dropped anchor in the bay at 6 p.m., just in time to see the Dutch Lionesses play football in a friendly match against Norway. A football nation that won the Olympics and from which the ladies once lost. But now the cards are different, the Lionesses take revenge and win the match 7-0!
Occasionally I look on marine traffic or marine vessel for boats I know and where they are. So I look on “Willow” the boat of a German couple, Claus and Birgit, once met in July 2013 on Helgoland. (See my blog Rondje Denemarken 2013) I see that they are in Gedser with their boat and send an email to ask what their plans are. I get an email back yes he knows who I am that Peter with cat on board. He has another 3 1/2 weeks holiday and wants to go to Bornholm, an island in the middle of the Baltic. When I tell him about my plans we agree to keep an eye on each other and who knows we might drink a beer together.
Wednesday 16 June, anchor at 08.15 to Rostock, DE. When I come to big water in the Meckelenburg Bight, the wind from the front is hardly there. Halfway across to the point where I have to enter the channel, the violence increases quadratically and the higher the waves. I have to add power to get any speed left. In the meantime, at full power I am running at 6.5 knots through the water and only 4.5 knots over ground; this would take at least another 4 hours until the point I mentioned earlier. In order to avoid breaking something with this increasing violence, I decide to deviate.
There is a harbour called Kuhlingsborn to which I can go before or with a good wind and waves. I prepare myself to sail this new course and put the route in the plotter. First I reduce the power to a normal 1200 rpm, then I crawl out with the remote control to turn the boat in the new direction and at the same time reef the sail. In steps of 10 degrees at a time, I shift my course and extend the Genoa. When I have turned 90 degrees to the new course, I put the automatic system back on track to follow this new course. The violence has suddenly disappeared, although the boat is still rolling quite a bit, but now we are drifting along the ground at 6 knots and the Asmara is surfing with rising waves. As we get closer to our destination, the waves decrease a little due to the land shelters and sailing becomes enjoyable again. At 19.38 I sailed into the harbour of Kuhlingborn and moored at a floating jetty. It is a modern marina with many facilities.
Early the next morning at 08.30, I went to the harbour office. I actually wanted to stay for two nights, but the harbourmaster said that I would then have to go to another place that was also a lot more expensive. When I ask for figures, the last night 27, – euro, the second night 35, – euro. She would call me around 11 o’clock to see if that was possible. When I walk back, I think to myself what should I do here, I need some fresh groceries and I need to fill up my water. So I go for a walk to take care of all this. It is sunny and warm and crowded, a beach next to the harbour with lots of bathers. At the supermarket, it turns out that I do not have a coin for a trolley. I still had a 5 note somewhere and tried to change it, but everywhere I got no response. Only the man at the cash register is willing to help in the end. So I score the necessary fruit and vegetables and walk the km back to the harbour. Filling up with water, tidying up the shopping and getting ready to leave. I have missed a phone call, possibly from the harbour master. When I call the harbour master I mention that I am leaving in an hour, it is now 11.00. Officially, you have to leave before 12.00. At 11.45 I sail out of the harbour.
I sail back to the original route, which I am going to change, it’s not going to be Rostock. The first part is an industrial harbour with an approach channel and many large boats. Of course, Rostock does ring a musical bell and it seems to be a beautiful city, but no that side is too big a deviation from the route. The new route takes me north around a land point called “Barrs” towards Rugen. To reach that approach channel, it would be too late again. Add to that the fact that the Netherlands is playing against Austria at 21.00 and as I only have 3G in this area, I have to see how I can see that. The wind along this coast is offshore and will remain so until tomorrow. Until just before the coast there is enough water to anchor in the lee of the land. So I set a waypoint on my plotter where I want to turn to the coast and place my anchor waypoint just before the beach. At 18.28, I drop my anchor in 3 metres of water just before the beach. It is a deserted nature reserve, I see say, a family walking on the beach, nicely dressed in their Adam’s suits. I take a drink, have a bite to eat and prepare for the match.
Despite the 3G, I can receive NPO1 well, I hope it stays that way. De Boer’s men won 2-0, well done!
Friday 18-6-21 At 06.00 I am awake, probably because of the heat. The weather is still beautiful with an offshore wind force 2-3. After breakfast I lift the anchor at 06.30, set the Genoa and continue around the cape in the direction of Rugen/Stralsund. I rounded the cape at 08:00. When I go to the toilet, it doesn’t flush, I try the tap of the washbasin, no water either. What to do now? I take the hose from outside and flush my toilet with seawater. Tightly but firmly when I am lying down.
Around midday, I walk into the gully in the direction of Stralsund. A concrete channel that continues through large inland lakes once I’m back inside. It is important to keep well between the buoys because there is often only 10-50 cm of water next to them. So there was no chance of anchoring. After an hour, I came to a right-angled bend in the channel and saw a place called Barhoft. In this bend there is also a marked fairway with 3 metres of water, as there are not many anchorages further on, I decide to anchor here and at 13.45 I am anchored. Claus from the Willow is now on Bornholm. When I go and look at the cause of my drinking water, I find that the spinn-on filter is torn, causing the valves in the filter to close. I replaced this filter in October 2020 and do that once a year in the winter. So I don’t have a spare filter on board. I still have a few bottles of drinking water on board, which I use to fill the coffee machine and to change Simba’s drinking water. I now have 1 bottle of water 1/4 litre, I keep that for Simba, I can’t give the animal beer anyway. I will drink an extra beer. In Stralsund I hope to score a new filter.
On Saturday 19 June, I anchored at 10.25 am. Destination harbour Stralsund where I moored at 12.38. It is again a very hot day. I pack my backpack with some stuff and go into Stralsund. A beautiful city and very busy, you wouldn’t say there is a Corona, except when you go into a shop, then you have to wear a mouth cap. I use my phone to try and find a water sports shop, but that doesn’t really work. I ask around at locals if they know anything. One of them sends me to a sail-maker who would have some articles, but alas. The lady at the shop refers me to a sports boat shop near the harbour, which I must have missed. When I get there, they do indeed have some water sports articles, but as this lady also says, unfortunately not that filter and ordering it could take more than a week. I ask her that if I find the filter somewhere on the internet that I can get quickly, I can have it sent to her shop. That’s no problem she says and gives me a card. Walking back to the harbour, wet and sweaty, I pass a terrace and sit down in the shade. When the waitress comes I ask for a half litre of white beer and if I can pay by bank card, no problem she says.
I will now continue my search on my phone. I decide to call Dekker watersport. It is now the end of Saturday afternoon and I realise that I can’t get anything sent to me now anyway. Dekker has the filter in stock but reports the same. They advise me to call them on Monday morning to arrange something. When I have finished my beer and cooled down a bit, I walk back to the boat, thinking. It makes no sense to stay in this expensive harbour, so my decision is quickly made. I sail out of the harbour and drop my anchor outside the harbour, so done.
The plan is to make a by-pass around the filter to exclude it. If I succeed in doing that, I will still have normal drinking water with a coarse filter in it. The hose connector of the filter is a different size than the one it is currently connected to, so I will replace these connections so that it is quickly done and works again. If I still end up in Gdansk I have decided to order two filters there and at the same time a number of 5 litre jugs of motor oil, I did that there in 2015 too and it made a considerable difference in price compared to the Netherlands. If that doesn’t work, the journey continues without a filter. Now that I have water again and am still lying quietly, I am going to change my bedding, run a wash and get rid of three days’ worth of dishes.
Monday 21 June 2021 Stralsund – Rugen
At Stralsund I have to pass through a bascule bridge to continue my journey. This bridge runs at fixed times. 0520-0820-1220-1520etc.
I dropped anchor at 0700. It was not far to the bridge but I did not want to be late. Yesterday evening I already noticed some changes in the sky, so I decided to take down my sun tent and tidy up. It was a good plan because now, this morning, I see many dark skies in the direction of the bridge. The Norwegian rain radar indicates thunderstorm activity. When I reach the bridge at 07.30, the sky turns black and all hell breaks loose. I manage to turn the Asmara just outside the channel with 3 metres of water, nose into the wind, and drop my anchor, so at least I am anchored with the nose into the wind. When I look at this violence I am glad that I put away my sun tent last night, because it would not have survived this. Simba disappears at the first thunder into a dark hole somewhere, when a discharge comes straight over the city I have never seen such a thick lightning bolt, where it struck there must surely have been damage or some fire. I normally check the Norwegian rain radar and see that the core of the storm passed right over me. At 08.00 most of the violence is gone and at 08.15 I am anchored to sail through the bridge with 3 other boats. That’s that.
I continued between the landscapes in meandering concrete waterways, my route now leading to the concrete entrance at Peenemunde, but first around 10.15 I got another stretch of open water. The same story as with the diversion to Khulingsborn. The wind increased to 6 and was actually too strong for the Asmara, Genoa fully set. Gradually the same story unfolds and I see that I do not want to continue like this for another three hours. I looked at the options and quickly made the decision to turn 90 degrees starboard, adjust the Genoa and surf, large rollers sliding under the Asmara. I was heading for a bay with a connection to a harbour near Greifswold “Wieck”, which I would not enter, but intended to anchor in this dead-end bay. At 12.48 pm I lifted the anchor and violently disappeared. Now I first want to bake some bread and at 18.00 watch Holland-North Macedonia. I have weighed the ingredients and start the Generator. It starts bubbling and then shuts down with the message “Exhaust overheated”. I start it again hoping it was a bent volt, but no the same message again. In any case, I am glad that I have not wet-mixed my flour yet. I can clean up the whole thing again because running an oven on just the battery is not sensible, then I will have a loaf of bread and empty batteries. At least I have enough power to watch the football.
The problem with the generator is that there is no cooling water to cool the exhaust. This can have two causes. There is a weed pot which can be clogged. Or the impeller (plastic wheel) is broken. This was last replaced in 2015, and the generator also needs a service (new engine oil). According to my records, I should have a spare impeller on board, but where it should be, it is not there.
Impeller found in the meantime. Opened up the generator and replaced the impeller, which should have been replaced a long time ago according to the maintenance. Oil must also be changed, unfortunately no 15W40 on board, must wait. In the meantime it is 15.00 on 22-6-21, I am going to take a drink and bake my bread.
Wednesday 23-6-21 we anchor at 08.30 for the trip to Peenemunde. The weather is calm, wind west 3-4 knots. We hoisted the genoa and with a low engine speed of 800 RPM we had a quiet trip to Peenemunde. Decided to moor at Peenemunde at 13.20. The first entrance was shabby, a rickety jetty with halfway an emergency repair where it looked like a ship had tried to sail through the jetty and almost succeeded. There are a few emergency pallets lying about. The power supply seems to be from the 45s.
When I go looking for a hafenmeister I follow the signs to a couple of dilapidated sheds with a gauntlet around them. Two men are sitting with a table in the shed opening. I ask whether one of you is the harbourmaster, which is confirmed. He walks to a cupboard, takes out a money box and takes it to an old bar. As I am already starting to get an inkling, I ask, just to be on the safe side, can I pay by bank card? No, he answers, only cash. Then tell me where I can withdraw money, well he explains and I find it. It turns out that there is no such thing as an ATM on the island, everything is still done in cash. A beer and a herring sandwich at the ibis (snack bar) in cash. Later, in the evening, I have a bite to eat at the Italian’s, you guessed it, in cash.
So at the checkout, I ask the waiter “and what do you do then, a whole family, husband, wife and numerous children come to eat. The man pulls out his credit card and says “please pay”? Then he says “I send him to the ATM across the street”. To which I say “that’s out of this world” and add “when I ran out of roubles in St.Petersburg on my departure day in 2015, I asked on a terrace if I could have a cappuccino and pay with my bank card, no problem sir was the answer”. Everything here in Peenemunde shows that time has stood still for 50 years. They don’t have a supermarket, a grocery shop, a bakery or a butcher. And that while I have seen many villages that were smaller but equipped with everything and with all means of payment. Soon I will leave here.
On the morning of my departure, I am still curious how a Russian submarine with tactical weapons from the 70s looks on the inside. So I decide to buy a ticket for 8.50 to crawl into that thing. The thing is packed with equipment, and when I crawl through the various compartments, because you can’t stand up everywhere, I realise what a spartan life this is for the crew on board. And then to think that they are underway for 90 days. I have made a photo reportage of the inside to give you a rough impression of life on board. See the slide show for more details. At 13:10 I cast off and followed the route meandering through the landscape in the direction of Swinemunde (Swinouscie) Poland. In the evening at 19:12 I tie up in the Marina of Swinemunde. The weather was grey, cloudy, no rain, no wind and 21 degrees. I decided to stay an extra day to stock up on fresh food, as there is a LIDL in walking distance.
To be continued with part 4