Sweden – Denmark 20. July 2005
Last time we wrote we had arrived in Læsø after a rough passage from Sweden. The passage to Granå was very different. Calm seas and motoring most of the way. Grenå was a nice stop for us. We visited the Kategat Centre which is an aquarium containing mostly fish and sea life from this area. Apart from sorting out the boat we explored the beaches and sampled the local cuisine, which was pizza!
On our way down to Grenå we discovered that the back stay had taken a beating and needed to be changed. The sail maker in Grenå sorted us out and we left sporting a shiny new backstay. We left together with Noravind and another Norwegian boat, Satin doll, and headed for Kiel.
Sailing along the Swedich coast Showing Colin how to plot a course
Filling fuel at Fiskebeck Kil Motoring through Soten Kanal, Sweden
Sailing through the Swedish archipelago
Colin at Kattegat aquarium
Kiel Kanal - Germany 23. July 2005
The Kiel Canal is a canal linking the Baltic and the North Sea. It stretches for 55 nm right through some beautiful German countryside. It has a lock at each end to control the tidal streams caused by the 4 meter change in water level on the North Sea side. We sailed here from Grenå in Denmark on the 21.July. We had some fantastic sailing down through the Danish islands. West-north westerly winds and flat water made ideal conditions for Coconut all the way down Store Belt. And she surprised us all by being very quick indeed. To our great joy we outpaced a 39ft Cat under what must have been ideal conditions for us. Everything was absolutely perfect until we early in the morning hit the Kiel Fjord and a force 5 -6on the nose. The kids woke up one after the other having being tossed around in their beds in the steep seas.
Entering the Canal we all felt rather tired and on our last legs. Lesley and I had not slept and the kids where also in grave need of a couple of hours. So as we motored up the canal the kids had a sleep while Les and I battled to stay awake. Finally we decided to make a stop half way to rest before continuing the journey the next day. The 55 nm takes about 9 hours. We found this beautiful part of the canal where we could stop. It was very peaceful and very green, birds singing in the trees and cows grazing in the fields. Quite a contrast to foaming water.
At last we feel like we have really left our home territory. Arriving in Germany the language and food etc is different. Not just a funny Norwegian dialect (sorry Danes no offence and Yes I do remember the History lessons from school). Also the chances of running into your neighbor are lowered dramatically. At least until we reach southern Europe and start running into everyone on a charter flight to the sun.
We stopped in a small German town called Brunsbuttel. It lies at the end of the Kiel Canal on the North Sea side. A few restaurants and shops, but mainly the large lock and canal with lots of ships going through it. Quite charming though. Being inside the canal and very well protected Brunsbuttle is the kind of place where people hang out to watch the weather before leaving into the North Sea. Everyone discusses the weather prognosis and currents that can run quite strongly in these parts reaching 4 – 6 knots in places. With westerly winds against the tide the waves can get quite uncomfortable, or even dangerous. So the talk goes and all sort of “experts” offer their advice. Once outside the canal you enter the river Elbe with Hamburg in one end, and the North Sea with Helgoland in the other.
Sunday is Fish Market day. Not much fish to be seen but a lot of everything else. Quite fun to have a look around and you know you are in Germany when the Hot Dogs are 50 cm long! Delicious as well.
Entering Kiel Kanal Being passed by ships from all parts of the world
“Noravind” coming up the river German garden statues at the market in Brunsputtel.
Kiel Kanal– Cuxhaven 24. – 26 July 2005
We left Brunsbuttel and motored to Cuxhaven. Going through the locks was a bit more exciting this time as there was a spring tide. We were lifted 3 – 4 meters before being let out into the river. Just as we where preparing to enter the locks, a Norwegian boat came in and queued up with the rest of us. It turned out to be a friend,Bjørn , on his way to Spain, and maybe further a field, in his 30 ft sailboat. He is a keen sailor and a computer expert. He has helped me out with my computer a couple of times teaching me to master the navigation software onboard.
Going out the river was made exciting by both Nordavind and us hitting something in the water as we passed an area of turbulent currents. Most likely only a piece of driftwood but it did make a rather disturbing sound when it hit. Nordavind had some vibration and noise from one of the engines after. Stein is thinking about diving down to have a look, but has managed to get away from it so far. The water is cold here and very ,very dirty.
Cuxhaven has a three star rating /worth going out of your way to see) in Reeds Nautical Almanac. It is hard to see why. But the docks are fine and the facilities good. Took the kids to see a four- masted full rigger. It was a Russian sail training ship. Camilla and Colin were very impressed. The sheer size of the boat and the rigging could take anyone’s breath away. Some of the cadets onboard were selling off hats and shirts to get some extra pocket money.
Lesley, Camilla and the kids off Noravind went out on a cycle trip to explore the town. The yacht club has bicycles one can borrow and return. Great way of getting around .Colin and I went to shop the necessary ships stores. A necessary trip it turned out as Noravind and Josefine folks ended up in our boat for a drink and a chat. Tall stories where being told and tactics for the trip further south touched upon. We are waiting for the right weather conditions to move on and we plan to go towards the Fresian islands in Holland
Onboard the Russian Square rigger Trond and Colin off to do shopping
Coconut News Letter
This site was last updated 10/23/05