A Travellerspoint blog

The End of Our Holiday

Skælskør to Heiligenhafen

July 30th to Skælskør.

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We woke at 7.30 in Omø to almost fog. Visibility was less than a mile, we debated whether to go north to Skælskør, which was an easy 10 mile trip into the wind, but out of the main shipping channel, or to go west, in the direction we really wanted to go, to the island of Langeland. This was further and for 3 miles we would be in the quite busy shipping lane. I called the Harbour Master at Skælskør who assured us that there would be space for us in the marina. So Skælskør won out, and we set off. The visibility was terrible and although we had AIS, which identifies all shipping and some yachts with course and speed, it was still stressful to work out who was doing what. We sailed up the river under jib alone, and thought this river was more attractive than Mariager Fjord.

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An interesting space machine boat anchored in the river.

The yacht berths are spread out in the river, and a kind Dane waved us into a space which was ‘green'. We were all tied up by 11.30.
I went exploring after lunch. The town is very pretty with cobbled streets, long, low houses with roses growing by the front door. There was another cute little museum showing life in the town, the fire brigade and fishing was the main focus here. Lots of old photos and postcards.

A three course supper from Janey; avocado, oven baked sausages and fruit, by candle light. The nights are drawing in. At 10, it is quite dark.

I borrowed a bike from the harbour office the next day and rode to Borreby castle. Allegedly the oldest building in Denmark – though I find that hard to believe. Sadly it is not open to the public, one can just visit the gardens. It was a nice bike ride through the countryside of rolling hills, wheat fields being harvested.

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After lunch I followed the map and visited a few galleries. The first was a research centre for ceramics. On arrival I pushed open the door of the main house, only to be told that this part was private, but that if I would like, the secretary would show me the gallery. As it was starting to pour with rain, I thought that would be a good idea. The gallery had 3 large bowls on plinth in the middle of the room. They had, she told me, been made on a potter’s wheel. Wow! They were at least a metre high and diameter the same. Coated inside with gold leaf. I admired them, then she pointed out that there were 3 more bowls, miniatures just 10 cm high, also coated in gold inside. It was pouring with rain even harder now, and the secretary hovered, but it was hard to prolong the visit to the gallery further. So I donned my waterproofs and went to explore the garden/park, where there were 12 large, ceramic sculptures. Some were nice, some distinctly odd. It then started to rain really heavily, so I took shelter under a huge chestnut tree and watched the amusing antics of a couple of mother ducks and their brood of 9 and 10 chicks.

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Finally the rain eased and I set off back into the centre of town where I visited another couple of galleries – both underwhelming.

There was a slightly fraught queue for fuel this morning. Then at 9.30 we left for the island of Agersø. We motored the length of the river with the wind behind us, ie from the east, then found the wind turned south as we wanted to go south. So we gently tacked down the sound, the wind was very light, but there was enough to keep us moving along. There were quite a few boats also making for Agersø, so as we got nearer we decided to hurry up a bit. Following us into the harbour was a huge motor boat, just a couple of metres behind us. It made for a nerve wracking entrance. We found a berth, and they came in right beside us. Then a couple more motor boats came in behind us. All friends. They behaved like school kids, what a noise they made! As we finished tying up, a British couple came and said hello, and invited us over for drinks in the evening. We had a very pleasant evening with them, chatting about mutual friends, and places we had been during the summer.

The next day we borrowed bikes and cycled up to the north of the island. The northern tip of the island is a bird sanctuary, and no bicycles are allowed. So we walked along the path by the sea for an hour or so. The ground was covered with lavender and other wild flowers and was quite lovely.

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While we were having lunch, back on board, the handyman “repaired” Janey's bike - not that there had been anything wrong with it – whereas mine had no hand brake, just ineffective back-pedal brakes. Anyway, when Janey came to ride off again after lunch, the handlebars collapsed! Luckily there was another bike she could use as a replacement. We cycled to the south of the island. It was a beautiful, sunny day.

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We had a BBQ this evening. For once everything came together; we had suitable meat, suitable weather and a BBQ area close to the boat. We bought chips from the restaurant which were some of the best. Sirenuse is aground. We hope to float tomorrow morning!
Luckily we were afloat by breakfast time, so we set off southward. We motored most of the way with bits of sailing when the course and wind allowed. The anchorage we were heading for looked rather bleak, so we changed our minds and went into a nice landlocked “lake” on the island of Thurøby. We anchored behind an American yacht, a member of the same yacht club.

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In the morning we motored past the US boat and had a chat with them. Then carried on the 6 miles or so to Rudkøbing. There was hardly any wind, but we managed to keep going at about 2 knots. We are in a huge and rather soulless marina, surrounded by hundreds of identical holiday homes.

The next morning we had a nice, but very short sail over to Marstal. We were worried that there would not be much space in the marina, as this is a popular spot for Germans on their way home. We worried for nothing, there was lots of room. In the evening we walked into town for some shopping, and discovered a pretty little town, with lots of restaurants and nice shops.

We were up at 6.45 and away by 7.15 the next day. Breakfast was on the hoof. We tacked down the sound to Bagenkop, just 9 miles away, so we were tied up by 10.30. We watched dozens of boats leaving as we approached. Not surprising as it is the last reasonable forecast for a day or two, and many must have to be home by the weekend. There were lots of boats still leaving as we arrived, and we were spoilt for choice regarding spaces.

After lunch I hired a bike and pedalled out to the museum of the cold war. It was further than I had expected, and I got there rather late, but just managed to see almost everything. It was quite an interesting place. Most amazing was the last operational Danish submarine sitting in the middle of a field. And a Trabant stuck in a real piece of the Berlin wall.

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There was a concert this evening, and as we were moored close to the stage we had an excellent position to hear it all. After supper we took our glasses of wine and went and joined the crowd around the stage. It was very enjoyable, the elderly band played German smoochy music.

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We caught the bus to Lohals this morning at 11. Had a lovely ride through the countryside for 1 ½ hours. We had thought about coming here after Skælskør, but were not sure whether there would be space. We were glad we had passed it by, as the main harbour is quite small. The sky was black, so we headed to the restaurants. The Kaos looked better than the Kro, and there we had lunch; a delicious sea food salad. At last the rain finished, so we paid the bill and wandered about the village until the bus was due.

The bus arrived promptly and we returned to Bagenkop. We got back to find a huge 48ft yacht trying to squeeze in to the berth beside us. But after hitting the boat on the other side and then nearly hitting us as well, Janey told them it wouldn’t work. They are now bouncing about in the outer harbour where it is blowing hard. We feel a little bit sorry for them.

The forecast for the next 10 days is for almost uninterrupted strong winds and rain. Tomorrow is one day that looks reasonable for the trip to Heiligenhafen. We had hoped to spend the last 2 weeks of our holiday enjoying the anchorages around the island of Lolland, but it looks as if we will spend 2 weeks in Heiligenhafen.

At 5 the wind was howling, so we went back to bed until 7. It was quieter now, so a quick breakfast, and we were off by 8. Our neighbour helped us out, holding our bow rope to keep us from having to leave the harbour backwards. We pulled the reefed main up in the outer harbour, and set off. It was a little bouncy, but shortly afterwards the wind dropped so much that we had to pull out the reef.

We decided to go to the big marina in Heiligenhafen, rather than the small one where we will ultimately leave Sirenuse. There were not so very many green spaces, but we eventually found one we liked and our neighbour helped us in.

We thought it would be nice to have a car, so on Monday we caught the bus to Oldenburg and picked up an Opel Adam from Avis. About the smallest car I have ever driven, we hope there will be space for our suitcases when we leave for Hamburg Airport.

On Wednesday we set off after breakfast for Eutin Castle. It was a lovely drive through the green countryside. Pretty villages along the way. The castle was beautiful. Home to the Bishop-princes of Lübeck. They had double windows, big tile covered-ovens in every room, and even in the church, the high born were not prepared to let themselves get cold. There were special seats for the ladies so that they could put charcoal heaters under the hoops of their dresses. A neat water flushing loo had its own little room. All very advanced for the 17th century.

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Catherine the Great spent much of her childhood here, and it was here that she met her future husband Tzar Peter lll. Not surprising that she didn't think much of him!

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As we finished the tour it started to pour with rain, so we had a coffee and cake in the castle dining room, and then walked into the town centre to find ourselves a sandwich.

After a week in the big marina, we left for our final marina of the year at Ortmüle, just a couple of miles away. Here we will clean the boat and prepare her for the winter. She will be lifted out of the water on Tuesday, and we will fly back to England on Thurday. I will then spend a week in London, staying with Sue, and visiting friends, before flying back to Spain on the 2nd of September.

Posted by AnnieBusch 07:57 Comments (0)

Going South

Mariager to Omø

July 15th.
As we left the Mariager Fjord, on a cold and gloomy day, we were cheered to see 5 seals basking on a sandbank, and then, a little later a dolphin.

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We had the wind behind us all the way to Glenaa, but dark skies most of the way. There weren’t many sails coming or going. The marina looked pretty full, so we decided to anchor outside the harbour, it was a bit rolly, but we hoped it would quieten down in the night.

We set off the next morning southwards, on the run. We wanted to go to Hjelm, but the official anchorage is open to the NW, which was where the wind was forecast to come from that night. Would the anchorage to the south be OK? Did we want to spend the time checking it out? In the end we decided it was worth it, and indeed we found a lovely spot. A wee bit rolly, but not too bad. We were too lazy to pump the dinghy and go ashore.

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We motor-sailed westwards across to the bay of Aarhus, and when we turned north towards Egå we pulled the jib out and has a pleasant sail up to the marina. It was a lovely sunny day for a change, and we wondered if we would be too hot in the marina. But ‘twas not the case.

After 2 days in this very pleasant marina we set off in the rain for Tunø, a small island some 15 miles to the south. We were hoping that the miserable forecast of rain for the weekend would keep the crowds down, but planned to anchor that night anyway. We motored most of the way. There was just one yacht in the anchorage when we arrived, but by the evening there were 5 of us. We pumped up the dinghy and Janey and I took it in turns to row ashore for a look-around. The harbour was pretty full, rafting 2 deep was the order of the day. Later, as more piled in it would have been 3 and more deep. We were glad we had elected to anchor outside. The island is a big day-tripper place, and loads of people were waiting for the ferry, lots of restaurants and bars, all full. Quite a lively spot.

The wind was predicted to start blowing from the south east very early in morning, but it didn’t bother us until about 6.45, when I got up. We left at about 7.15 and had a lovely sail. For a while the wind got up to a force 5, and so, expecting it to get even stronger, we put in a reef. As soon as we turned into the Horstens Fjord, the wind died, we were on a dead run, and so took out the reef. A little while later, we wished we hadn't! We found a nice anchorage at Dysbjerg, just behind a mussel farm and picked up a buoy. During the trip Janey realised the loo wasn’t pumping out. So before lunch Janey tackled the horrible job of replacing the old loo pump. Sadly to no avail. It still won’t pump out. So it’s bucket and chuck-it until Monday.
We planned to carry on to Horsens, where we hope to find a mechanic/plumber on Monday. But the heavens opened at 7 so we stayed put. I cooked a nice Thai chicken curry for supper. We also realise that we are almost out of gas. So have decided to bite the bullet and switch to the Danish system. This will allow us to use the oven, and generally be profligate with gas.

We left before breakfast, hoping to avoid the rain. We didn't! But it was only drizzle and not too bad. There was lots of space in the marina, and we ended up next to an old motorboat with piles of rockwool on fore and aft decks. The icing on the cake was a lovely golden chandelier in the saloon! Looking through the large windows, the mess inside was hard to imagine. We decided the owner must be a dustman, and these are his ‘finds’.

It rained all day on Sunday, and we spent the day reading, and worrying about our problems.

Janey set off at 8 on Monday morning to try to find a guy to help us repair the loo. The Chandler’s mechanic is on holiday for 2 more weeks! They gave Janey an address for a boat yard where there might be a man. So after breakfast she set off again, this time with a bicycle. As she got to the deserted and locked up yard, a yacht owner was just unlocking the gate and let Janey in. Tucked away in a workshop she found our man Ivan. He arrived on board a while later, and with no fuss and bother, he soon had everything fixed. Thank goodness we have a working loo again.

Next job was the gas. Ivan had given us the address of the gas company, so we set off in the rain, on our lovely pink bikes to find it. We did, a nice lady showed us what was available, one bottle should hopefully fit. She put it aside for us, we will collect it tomorrow.

Went into town for supper. Excellent hamburgers in the widest pedestrian precinct in Denmark.

The big questions are, do we dare cut the hose pipe, if we do, will the Danish regulator fit the hose pipe and what will we do with the old Calor gas bottle? We still have a little gas left, and would much prefer a professional Man to do the job.

Our Gas lady gave us the address of a Naval plumber. We called, no reply, we cycled to his workshop, no one there. Although we left several messages, we never heard from him.

In the end, someone else gave us the number of a boat yard in Kerteminde, 140 miles to the south. We phoned, and yes, Henryk will be happy to help us on Friday.

So, the next day we set off to Endelave. We motored all the way, whatever course we were on, the wind was on the nose! We hardly saw any any sails today. Luckily the wind wasn’t strong, so we made good progress. We joined a dozen boats at anchor outside Endelave harbour. It was so hot we went for a swim! Rather choppy water, so not for long.

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Then we had a brisk sail, tacking, down to Korshavn anchorage. We put a reef in when the wind got up to 18 knots, then took it out again when it died, then put it back in again when the wind increased, then put in reef nr. 2 when the wind reached 20+, and a couple of rolls in the jib. We sailed along at a nice 5 knots. The anchorage is a huge inland lagoon, there were already a good number of boats at anchor. We dropped behind one and promptly dragged. Pulled the anchor up and found it encased in a huge ball of kelp. Tried again and this time it held, just as well, as it blew quite hard all afternoon. There were two identical, large, blue motorboats behind us, one anchored and the other held in place by magic! A gyro system perhaps?

On Friday we had another day of motoring, the sea was like a mirror until just half an hour before we reached Kerteminde. Then it blew a good force 4 and we would have had a nice sail! However, there weren’t too many free spaces in the marina, and we were glad we arrived early in the afternoon. We called Henryk who said he would be with us later on. At 5 he phoned to say he would be coming tomorrow.

Henryk arrived about 10, on Saturday morning, worked out what had to be done, then disappeared with our old bottle , promising to return with hose and a full Danish bottle. An hour or so later he came back with a full bottle and tools. The deed was quickly done and the gas flowed.
The rest of the day we read. It was a lovely sunny day for a pleasant change.

We stirred ourselves after breakfast and visited the Johannes Larsson Museum. He and his wife were very prolific artists, and their old house and his studio have been preserved exactly as they were when he died in 1962. The walls of the house are absolutely covered with paintings. Some by the Larsons and many by their friends.

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His studio

In the grounds a new exhibition house has been built. The main exhibition was of work by Peter Hansen, who is still alive. While the Larsons painted pleasant pictures, Hansen’s work was very dark. Not to my taste at all.

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After lunch I visited the family mill just across the road from the house. It has been beautifully restored and one can clamber about inside.

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Next on the itinerary was the Kik Gallery. This was just 2 rooms, of vibrant pictures and some ceramics. Best of all was a jug of water at the entrance with glasses. I had forgotten to bring any water with me and it was very hot, so that was very welcome. The pedestrian area was full of shops and it was very lively. Lots of tourists eating ice creams. I found another museum showing life in the city in the “olden days”. These little museums are always free of charge and quite a delight to visit. This one had a large section devoted to the gaol. A dummy prisoner and guard, and forms of “correction”, what had the poor woman done to deserve her punishment? The guy “dressed” in the Spanish Barrel, was being led through the town to his court hearing.

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Today there was no wind at all, we motored all the way to the pretty island of Omø. Hot sun. We anchored on the south side and we were nicely protected from the northerly wind. Had a lovely swim. By the evening we had been joined by another 6 or 7 boats.
We pumped up the dinghy and walked across the island to have a look at the little harbour there. We were very glad we had chosen to anchor, it was absolutely packed full, and very noisy. Definitely a place for families. Once back on board we enjoyed a lovely sunset.

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More to follow....

Posted by AnnieBusch 13:20 Comments (3)

Aarhus to Mariager

Part 3

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25th June to Aarhus. Hot (30+), no rain.
We had a mixed sail to Aarhus. The first hour was a brisk reach, then the wind completely died away, so we motored, then it came back again and we had another nice sail. A bit before Aarhus it died again, so we pulled down the main, furled the jib and motored the last half hour into Marseliborg Marina, just to the south of Aarhus.

There were not many free spaces in the marina, but we did find one which was wide enough for our 3.3m beam. It was very, very hot so we rigged the sun awning and read for most of the afternoon. At around 6 we decided it was time to go shopping. A half an hour walk brought us to the nearest supermarket, I bought a duck breast to cook for supper, but by the time we were finished it was almost 8, and still very hot, so, when we spotted a takeaway pizzeria, we stopped and ordered one, together with a Greek salad. Supper then, was quick and easy.

The next day it was 32° in the shade, much more in the sun! By the afternoon it was just 16 °C
We spent the morning worrying about the winter berth. The manager of Heiligenhafen is not sympathetic to our desire to move to Augustenborg for the coming winter. We should have given notice by 31st April, not mid June! So now we will go back to Heiligenhafen for this winter, but Anders, from Augustenborg has promised that he will have space for us next year.

After lunch we caught the bus into Aarhus. First We walked to the art gallery, but it is so big that we decided against going around it. The famous rainbow walk around the roof didn’t appeal either. So we wandered along the cobbled main street looking at the shops, before catching the bus back to the marina.

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The next day, we decided we should look around Aarhus again – we failed to find the Latin Quarter yesterday, and several art galleries looked interesting. The bus took us right to the edge of the quarter, driving first through the very modern docks, and past the Royal Yacht. The Royal Family are in residence in a nearby palace.

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Our first gallery was full of large modern paintings (all from one artist), which looked as if he had dementia. Depictions of chaos in his brain? We couldn’t find the next on our list, but the third was big and represented several artists.

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Many, ie more than 20, pictures from one artist were of the backside of a lifesize, naked, running man.

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The colours chosen were psychedelic. They were horrible. Do these guys expect to sell their pictures? Among the hundreds of pictures we looked at, I could have lived with just a couple! It surprises me how uncommercial the modern artists are. We looked into one more gallery and chatted to the artist. He had huge and horrible paintings displayed in a lovely little house, otherwise beautifully decorated. In between he had some small landscapes which had potential, but were curiously flat and boring – and very expensive.

We had lunch at a pavement café run by a Frenchman. We had moules frites, and felt as if we were in Paris! The Latin Quarter is the old part of Aarhus, narrow, cobbled streets, pretty old houses with courtyards behind. We liked it enormously.

We walked back to a big supermarket, bought a large trolley full of food, water and beer and then called for a taxi to take us back to the boat.

It was time to move on, so at 8 the next morning we set sail for Langør on Samsø.
There was hardly a breath of wind when we set off, but first to the fuel dock for €40 of diesel. Our first fuel this year.
We motored all the way, 20 miles. We wanted to get to the little harbour early, in case it was busy. In fact, there was plenty of room. The weather forecast is for strong winds for the next 10 days, so we think we will be here for a while. There is a bus service covering the whole island, we can rent bicycles, and we have loads to read.

We spent a week on the island. Some days it poured with rain, and we did nothing but read. On one day, when it didn’t rain we rented bicycles and cycled up north. Early on the gears jammed in 7th on my bike, which meant climbing hills was tedious. In a nearby village we found the cycle HQ, and the gears were quickly mended. Janey's gears jammed on the way back! We had lunch in Norby, a very nice chicken salad, and Brexit beer! The beer didn't taste too good, I hope Brexit tastes better.

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On another day, when the forecast looked good, we took the bus to the Ballen, a harbour in the south of the island, which was absolute bedlam when we visited a couple of years ago. We spent an hour looking around the harbour, which was much, much quieter this time. In between showers the children fished for crabs and then held crab races in specially designed race tracks.

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We then caught the bus on to Kolby Kas. What a desolate place. A one time ferry port, there was one visiting yacht. Then the heavens looked about to open, so we headed for the hotel, a very nice place, with a friendly owner who made us a huge cafetiere of coffee for almost €10. It was far more than we could drink, and was one of the most expensive coffees ever!

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At last it was time to catch the bus back to Ballen, we just managed to get on before the next heavy shower. Then it was lunch time, it had just finished raining and the sun came out, so we sat at an outside table wrapped in rugs and had fish fricadellas. The next shower we survived in an art gallery. There weren't many pictures to look at, and we didn't like any of them. We chatted to the artist, a young lass who was working on a big canvas, at least 1 metre square - the painting seemed to depict an upside down jam jar! Then we spent quite a bit of time in the local supermarket, waiting out the next shower, and then it was almost time to catch the bus back to Langør, but before we did, we bought fish with a curious name from a mobile fish shop.

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5th July Friday to Ebletoft

After 7 days of unrelenting wind and quite a lot of rain, we finally had a day of force 4 and sun. So we (and about 15 others) set off this morning. Amazingly, the sea had calmed down completely, it was still blowing a good F6 at 8 am, but by the time we left was calming down to a 5 and then 4 and we had a lovely sail of about 20 miles to Ebeltoft. A town with some character. More gales are forecast over the weekend, so it will be nice to have new things to do ashore.

The old town has cobbled streets and pretty half timbered houses.

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We visited an interesting museum of Siamese artefacts, brought home by a collector in 1940. Another part of the museum was showing the old skills of the town. Saddelry, boot and clog making, beer brewing, aquavit distillery, etc.

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Next stop was the old dye works, now a museum, showing how cloth was dyed back in the day. Interestingly, individual households did their own weaving and brought their bales of cloth to be dyed.

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Ebeltoft is famous for its glass, and though I had done enough museums, I thought I really should go and visit the glass museum. So walked, over arriving at 5. The museum shut at 6, and I debated whether I would have time to justify the 110 DKr entrance fee about 16€. I paid and wandered around the very disappointing museum. The first exhibition was of life size people e.g.. Osama bin Laden dead in a shopping trolley.

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The next was an exhibition of glass bead work. A Kitchen Maid and a toaster made of beads, among other oddities.

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A room dedicated to flowers made of beads, was quite nice.

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Upstairs some more odd things, some quite nice modern glass, and a room showing the history of glass. But it was so badly lit one could hardly see the exhibits, and many were at floor level – OK for small children, but not for me! There was an interesting film showing the history and the science of glass. I then went across the garden to the place where glass making is demonstrated, but they had finished for the day. Last stop was the shop, were there were some nice pieces of modern glass So, after 40 minutes I left and walked over to look at the longest wooden warship in the world. Took some photos and then walked back into the centre of town for a last look around.

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There was a general exodus the next morning. We had a lovely sail to Grenaa; amazingly we were able to sail all the way. We expected the wind to be on the nose, but in fact it was a broad reach most of the way. There was lots of room in the marina and we found a berth beside a nice Norwegian couple. It was a bus ride into town, but we were too lazy to bother.

We swithered, the next day, should we go or not? In the end we decided to go to Bønnerup. It was lovely sailing for an hour or so, then we turned the corner, and the sea became quite rough, though the wind wasn’t especially strong. We put a reef in the main, and a couple of turns in the jib and sailed as high as we could, which still took us way off our course. After a couple of hours, it was time to tack, and shortly afterwards the wind died away completely. So rather than bounce up and down, we put the motor on and motored the rest of the way into the harbour. From miles off we could see the 7 enormous wind turbines which are on the outer harbour walls.

The harbour master greeted us as we arrived and assigned us a berth, along side the end of a pontoon, which was very welcome. The harbour has a nice higgeldy piggldy feel to it. The weather was right for a bbq, and we had the right food for a change. So we chose a table, of which there were many, and started a fire in one of the “public” grills. A kind Dane and his wife offered us to use his, which they had just finished using, but Janey said no. So, an hour or so later our coals were just about hot enough to grill the meat, and the sweet corn, which had been cooking since the beginning.

While we were preparing our supper, a accordion band arrived to entertain us, and they brought bladders of beer as well. All free and laid on, it seems every Tuesday. We couldn’t resist a glass of free beer, although we had already had more than our usual amount of wine!

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For once the wind wasn't howling in the rigging when we went to bed!

We spent the next day in Bønnerup. It was a day for chores. Laundry in the morning and shopping in the afternoon. We wore shorts for the second day running during the day, but the evenings are still chilly. Fish from the famous fish shop for supper.

Although the forecast was for a very light southerly, in fact, we had a westerly, which was ideal for our NNW course to Mariager Fjord. We romped along, and the sun shone most of the way. However as we approached the entrance to the fjord, black thunder clouds were gathering over the area we were heading for. The rain radar showed that the band of rain was moving quite fast and would be really heavy. So, as we weren’t sailing particularly fast, we decided to switch the engine on, and motor to our chosen anchorage. The river was much wider than we had expected, and the first anchorage we were thinking about, in the mouth of river – not our idea of a fjord at all - looked very bleak and exposed. So we carried on. It gradually dawned on us, that the green on the chart was all covered with water, as it was half tide. It was like being on a huge lake.

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After about an hour we found a nice spot, beside a bird sanctuary on a small island, and there was a convenient mooring buoy which we made use of. The threatened thunderstorm moved off to the south, and we thankfully had no rain at all. It was a lovely spot, and with the binoculars we could watch the seagulls with their fluffy chicks and the Eider ducks, shags and cormorants.

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After a peaceful night we motored up the river to the bridge at Hadsund According to our guide book the bridge opens every half hour, and we timed our arrival perfectly. The only snag was, that 11.30 came and went, the bridge stayed firmly shut. I phoned the bridge keeper, who cheerily told me that the next opening would be 12.00. So we stooged about for half an hour. Once through the bridge we pulled out the jib and sailed along peacefully for about an hour. Then the wind died away completely, so on with the motor again.

Mariager marina is a pretty spot, probably constructed in the old port of a factory, which has long since ceased to work. There are lots of elderly boats, which look rather abandoned, but most wonderful of all is a large supermarket 2 minutes away.

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In fact, we learn, that the harbour was built for a salt works, and there is a museum where one can watch the process, and even bathe in the salt pool which simulates the Dead Sea. Janey and I didn’t try it out.

It is a long way further up the river to Hobro, and as there was an interesting day trip to Hobro, then Handest, a town inland and back to Mariager, we decided to do that. So we caught a paddle steamer to Hobro. The river is very pretty, wooded banks and big farm houses, some quite palatial. Danish farmers clearly don’t do too badly. It was nice to let someone else do the navigation for a change. We had 3 hours to spend in Hobro before a bus would take us to Handest.

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First we stopped at the nearest café for a cup of coffee, then we walked to the maritime museum where we admired a couple of beautifully restored old-timers. We couldn’t find the door into the museum house, so walked along the river's edge to what we thought would be a former brewery turned in to art gallery. In fact it was the wrong brewery, and by the time we had walked to the right one, it was time to go for lunch.
We went back to the same café for lunch, and had one of the best lunches ever. I had warm paté and herring with rye bread and all sorts of salad. Janey had avocado and goat's cheese salad, which also looked delicious.

Although it was sunny the wind was cool, so after lunch we sat in the sun and waited for the bus to arrive. This took us cross-country to the head of the railway line, where we were supposed to catch a steam train back to Mariager. The station’s waiting room had been turned into a museum, and in the old café the station master sold ice creams, surrounded by ancient railway paraphernalia.

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Much to everyone's disappointment, when it arrived, our train was an ancient 3 carriage affair (?diesel locomotive? – I don’t know much about these things!) without the steam engine. But once inside it didn’t make much difference. The seats were supremely uncomfortable, and the carriage very hot as the sun shone in and the windows wouldn’t open. Nevertheless we enjoyed the day enormously.

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The harbour master had invited everyone to a bbq evening at 6 pm. We weren't very hungry at 6, it was cold and threatened to rain. We swithered – it was cosy in the cockpit, under the tent. In the end we pushed ourselves, and at 7 went and joined the crowd. We hadn’t realised that there were tables upstairs in the club house, and it was beautifully warm. We sat with a young Danish couple and had a very enjoyable evening chatting to them until almost midnight!

July 14th Sunday. To the mouth of the Mariager Fjord.
After shopping and showering, we set off down river. There wasn't much wind, but plenty of tide to take us along at 2 knots, sometimes 3. We arrived at the bridge in time for the 3pm opening, then sailed onto the mouth of the Fjord, where we picked up a buoy at about 6pm. Just before the tide turned. Perfect timing! However, wind against tide produced a bobbly sea, and we bumped against the buoy for a couple of hours in the evening and again at 8am in the morning.

From here we will start our journey back down south to Heiligenhafen.

Posted by AnnieBusch 11:17 Comments (3)

The Second Installment

Schleswig to Endelave

Tuesday 11th June.
I finished my last ‘post’ in Schleswig on a wet and gloomy day. The next day was no better, but we decided to leave anyway, and headed for Arnis Marina about 20 miles back down The Schlei. This had been recommended to us by our neighbours in Schleswig. They promised it was very pretty.
We motored all the way, sometimes in the rain, sometimes just in damp and found a spot in the marina with no problem. In the evening we went for a walk into Arnis. It is not as pretty as Holm. Back on board just before heavy rain.

We were up early the next morning to get electric bikes from the HM. 25€ for 2 for the day. We rode to Kappeln for some urgent stores, as to our disappointment, Arnis didn’t have a shop. I could get quite used to an electric bike, it is very nice riding along with help especially when it goes uphill. Kappeln had pretty cobbled streets and a couple of big supermarkets, we were sorry we hadn't come here instead of Arnis. The bikes had a range of about 100km, depending on the mode; eco, sport or touring. After lunch did the same again for wine boxes and beer from Aldi. It poured again in the evening.

Thursday 13th June to Hørup bay. Anchorage.

We left at 9.15 in time to make the 9.45 bridge at Kappeln. As the wind was behind us, we just pulled out the jib and sailed gently downstream. Once through the bridge, we pulled the main up and had a lovely run up the coast. The wind picked up around midday to force 6, so we quickly reefed the mainsail and jib. It was very hard work, our arm muscles are not yet used to all this! We anchored in pretty bay. And were all alone for the night. There was another lovely sunset. - Then more rain.

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The calm before the storm

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After the Storm

The next day we had a wonderful, gentle sail up the Fjord to Flensburg. We were on the run most of the way. Shortly before Flensburg city we got caught up in a classic 12 metre race. What a sight! They really looked lovely. One of the boats was Flicker, a boat which we often watched as children, racing in the Solent. They rounded the mark just in front of us, and pulled up their spinnakers.

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We got to the marina around 4pm, and found a berth with a green marker, but when we got closer, it said that it was only free until tomorrow midday. That wasn't long enough for us, so we walked down the pontoon and found a space on the other side of the pontoon which was good until Sunday 3pm. That would do nicely, so we nipped out and round the other side. A smaller boat which had been looking for a berth slipped into our old spot, and then helped us moor up in our new berth.

By now it was too late to go shopping for supper, so we went out for a meal. There were students everywhere, many of them with white sailors' caps on. We discovered later that they were Danish “Abi” graduates (A-level equivalents). We found a nice restaurant in the old town and sat for a long time people watching. The waitress took an age to come for our order, and the beer took another age to come. The Germans have very frothy beer, and it takes a very long time to pour a glass!

We both had grilled turkey fillet with an enormous baked potatoes slathered in quark and herbs and a beautiful salad, topped with blackcurrants. It was delicious, but rather too much.

We took a walk along the cobbled, main shopping street before heading back to the boat.

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This part of Germany used to be Danish until Prussia and Austria conquered it in 1864. It is for this reason that there is a large Danish speaking community here. In 1920 a plebiscite was held, and a significant part of Schleswig Holstein voted to become Danish again. Our German neighbours told us that all their children had gone to Danish schools in Germany.

It rained all day the next day, so we did nothing until 5 when it finally stopped. Then we headed off to town to do some urgently needed shopping.

It was Sunday, a fairly sunny day, but a bit chilly when the sun went in. We set off back down the Fjord to our planned anchorage. We saw the classic 12 metres again. This time they were well in front of us, with colourful spinnakers flying. We were not looking forward to the bit when they came tacking back towards us, apart from the photo opportunities! In fact, we saw later, that they sailed off over the horizon to their next event, not to be seen again that day.

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We had perfect sailing to an anchorage just across from Sønderborg. A quiet spot just off some pretty cliffs.

Monday 17th June. Augustenborg.

It was hard to decide when the bridge at Søndeborg would open. The internet said 11.38, but the pilot books, both said “on the hour”. So, we left at 10.30, in time to make the 11.38 bridge opening. As we approached, we met head on, a phalanx of classic wooden boats setting off for a day's racing. It was rather nerve racking to thread our way through all of them, but we tucked in behind a large German yacht which was going our way, and all went well.

The bridge opened on queue, and about 30 boats charged north. One lone, German boat was waiting to come south, as soon as we were all through, the bridge started closing, and the poor German was left cursing his bad luck.

Along the way we passed fields red with poppies, grown for the poppy seed found on the top of bread and rolls here. Pretty farms lined the water's edge.

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We arrived at Augustenborg having phoned the HM to check that there were free spaces, it would be a long way up the Fjord if we then had to turn around and go again.

Once moored, Janey went to pay our dues and got the key to the laundry room. We spent the afternoon doing the washing (me) and the shopping (Janey).

Before leaving the next day, we both went shopping, it was about one km each way to a good Co-op. We then swapped some books, and spoke to the HM about spending next winter there – if the price is right, it looks very nice.

We planned to go further, but as we drew level with Dyvig the sky became black, and we decided to go into this pretty anchorage before we got wet.

Once in, we saw the classic 12 metres were moored up in the marina. We thought we would pump up the dinghy and go and have at look at them. But shortly after, they left one by one. Towed out in various fashions through the very narrow and, for them rather shallow channel.
It rained heavily in the evening, then cleared up, but it was very warm. Janey was tempted to have a swim and even put her swimsuit on, but a carpet of jelly fish and lots of floating seaweed put her off, so she just hung her feet in the water and let the jellyfish tickle her feet. This type of jelly fish don’t sting – so they say.

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We had a super sail, to Assens; a broad reach all the way, for a while the wind got up to force 6, so we reefed main and jib and were still racing along at well over 6 knots.

Assens lies behind a huge sandbank around which we sailed, and into the large and rather industrial harbour. It was still blowing hard across the beam as we tried to get into our chosen “box”. Our first attempt went pear shaped, the windward, aft line got caught around a cleat on the post and swung us around so that we were pinned to the posts.

A big German boat came in behind us, so we waited until they were sorted and then we had another go. In fact they were also pinned to the posts, something had gone wrong for them as well. Our second attempt was also a failure, we had chosen a berth that was a bit too wide, and I couldn’t reach the up wind post to get the stern rope round it. Third time lucky, we managed fine and were soon snug. The Germans took forever to get themselves sorted, and then, with some help from me! Several other boats had similar problems; it is a very tricky procedure when there is lots of cross wind.

Later a rain squall went through, we had force 7 winds, and were mighty relieved to be tied up in harbour.

We decided to spend the day in Assens - a lazy day. We borrowed bikes from the harbour master's office and visited the nearby Co-op. A well stocked supermarket, where for supper we bought a rack of lamb. It rained much of the morning but by teatime it had cleared up, so we went for a walk into town. On seeing some of the buildings, lovely old timber houses and the post office particularly, I had a real sense of deja vue!

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We had planned to bbq the lamb for supper – there was a lovely bbq area with wood and charcoal provided, but it was too cold and windy, so I turned the rack of lamb into lamb chops, and cooked them on board. They tasted excellent.

I took a bike and did some last minute shopping before we set off the next morning. We realised this morning that we had been here before and completely didn’t remember it!

We spent the next night at anchor near Middlefart, and then sailed on to another at Æbelø Island just north of Borgense. There wasn’t a breath of wind so we motored all the way, arriving just after lunch. We pumped up the dinghy, (the first time for 2 years) and went ashore one by one.

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We were anchored a good distance from shore and we didn’t want to leave the boat un manned as we were not convinced that the anchor was well dug in. The ground was very rocky.

I had a lovely walk around the island, up to the light house in the north, and down to a sandy spit in the south, about 4 miles in all along a path recently moan by a tractor. I spotted a good few deer, but they were very shy, and lots of butterflies which never stopped still long enough to photograph.

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Today is the start of the Danish and German summer holidays, but it is still surprisingly quiet, there are just 16 boats at anchor in this enormous anchorage.

June 23rd Sunday. To Endeleve Island

We left quite early as we wanted to be sure of a berth in the tiny Endeleve harbour. We had another lovely sail, wind abeam, and doing 6+ knots most of the way. We were sorry we didn’t have further to go! The ferry arrived as we were preparing to go into the harbour, so we let her pass, and then followed her into the harbour. The entrance was almost completely blocked by a huge Dutch botter, but with our hearts in our mouths we carried on to where we supposed the entrance should be. And indeed it was! The harbour was nowhere near full, and we found a space easily. We were a trifle confused by the new system of just one post per boat – normally there are 2. A kind Dane helped us moor up, and all went without a hitch.

After a cup of coffee we walked into the village to find a shop, as we were seriously short of food by now. But the shop shut at 12 on Sundays, and opens only at 4pm on Monday. This means we will have to go out for supper - no hardship!

We booked a table at the hotel, they insisted we were there at 7 earlier than we usually eat, but hey... We had the most delicious meal there; fried fish and steamed fish on a large piece of bread, shrimps, crayfish, salad sauce and lots of salad. Washed down with seaweed beer – a local speciality - which was surprisingly good.

It is St Hans’ night which means the witch will be burnt on the bonfire . The waiter told us we should go, and then our neighbour came and told us about it. So we dressed warmly and set off at 8, clutching a bottle of red wine and glasses. We found a table and sat and waited, and sipped our wine, for an hour while the locals stood around chatting. Obviously a big social event for the village. At last a man got up on a stage and recited a poem about the witch, before the bonfire was set alight. As the fire died down song sheets were passed around and the traditional midsummer songs were sung. An interesting evening!

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June 24th. Monday

We were at the bicycle hire café before 10, and collected our previously ordered rolls and 2 red bikes. The morning was spent cycling the length of the island, and the breadth we did in the afternoon. It was perfect cycling weather, sunny but not too warm. The Island is very peaceful, all day we saw just 2 cars! There were an awful lot of houses for sale, some looking every dilapidated, others quite spruce. We learned later, that the school on the island has just closed, so some families are moving away to the mainland or bigger islands. I suspect also, that old folk are not being replaced by the younger generation. There is a lot of farming on the island, fields and fields of wheat (and corn flowers), a Christmas tree plantation, some herds of cows, and sheep wandering about in the north. We stopped often to take photos of pretty farm houses, flowers and the seashore. Our bikes had only three gears, and at times it was hard work going up the tiny hills.

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We sat on the grass looking out over the sea to the south and ate the sandwiches Janey had made before we left. And then tackled the rest of the island. We stopped at the cafe for a fruit juice, and I wandered round the herb garden, while Janey chatted to the student waitress and learnt about life on the island.

A visit to the shop provided us with shrimps and some vegetables for supper. Then Free showers in the evening.

We will leave early in the morning for Århus

Posted by AnnieBusch 01:55 Comments (6)

The Start of our Holiday

Heiligenhafen to Schleswig

Janey and I are on our sailing travels again. Several friends have asked me to do a blog again. So, here is the first entry. If you are fed up with my blogs, please feel free to unsubscribe, or declare it as spam. I won't even know!

We boarded Sirenuse almost 2 weeks ago, and spent the first week in Heiligenhafen, getting the boat ready for the summer. There were one or two little jobs which needed to be done by the yard, before we could leave. Of course, May 30th on Thursday, was a holiday - Ascension Day, and the yard was also officially closed on Friday for "Motivation Day"! However, Dirk, the chief engineer agreed to come and work for us in the morning.

On Saturday, German friends arrived in their yacht, and we spent a pleasant evening with them catching up on all our news, we had last seen them in Tallin, 2 years ago, so there was plenty to talk about. They took off northwards on Sunday, and we drove our hire car back to Hamburg. Inadvertently, for the trip back, we bought our train tickets in the ticket machine, and then got on an Intercity train. The ticket inspector was quite sympathetic, but said we could either buy a new Intercity ticket, or get off at Lübeck and catch the next normal train, which we did. We were pleasantly surprised in Oldenburg to find the Heiligenhafen bus waiting for us (according to the internet they don't run on Sundays), and we were back on board by the middle of the afternoon.

On Monday the wind was westerly and strong, so we did some more shopping, and got ready to leave early on Tuesday morning. It was a lovely morning as we slipped out of the harbour and headed west towards the entrance to the Kiel Canal. After an hour or so of sailing a naval frigate steamed directly towards us and stopped right beside us. What had we done wrong, we wondered? With megaphone we were asked to switch to channel 11 on the VHF. They informed us, in perfect English, that the area we wanted to sail through was being used for shooting practice that day, and that we should head north and go round a series of buoys which they named for us. So we replotted our course, and headed off to the first buoy, grumbling a little about our luck!

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Later on, the wind died, and we motored the last half of the trip. From time to time we heard the crump crump of heavy guns shooting, and were glad we weren't too close. We arrived at Wendtorf marina and found a space without any difficulty. It is a huge, rather soulless marina, and there was hardly anyone about. We paid our harbour dues at a machine, the only sign of life was a kiosk selling fish and chips, with two hardy customers sheltering from the wind, which was by now blowing quite strongly. We walked along the sea front and were intrigued to see a very curious sculpture.

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It turned out to be the propeller of a British B-17F bomber which had sunk after dropping bombs on Kiel in 1943. The plane was attacked by 3 German fighter planes, lost its rear end and burst into flames. 8 of the 13 man crew evacuated with parachutes, and landed in the water, but only 2 survived.

Janey cooked supper, and I went to the kiosk and bought a portion of chips to go with. 1 portion was more than enough for the two of us!

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We were not tempted to linger, and the next morning we crossed the shipping lanes leading into the Kiel Canal and headed north to the entrance of the Schlei river. The sailing was perfect. Just the right amount of wind (F3 to 4) in just the right direction (westerly), and a flat calm sea. We sped along at 5 or 6 knots.

Maasholm marina lies just inside the entrance to the Schlei (rhymes with sly), and here we spent a couple of nights. It is a very pretty village, with a useful little supermarket, baker and fish shop. The first afternoon was so hot and sunny that we needed to rig the new sun awning which I had made during the winter. It worked splendidly, much better than Mark 1. The next day we had breakfast in shorts , but by lunchtime it had grown cold and was raining hard. We had no desire to leave.

Friday was once again a lovely day, and the wind was easterly, just what we wanted for our trip to Schleswig. We pulled out the jib and ghosted along at 2 knots, arriving at the bridge in Kappeln just as it opened.

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Then we anchored for lunch before sailing the last 12 miles to Schleswig. The countryside was lovely - so green!

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We called the harbour master who assured us that there were spaces free in the town marina, and there we tied up.

Saturday was spent shopping and looking around the town. On Sundays the shops are shut, and Monday is Whitsun, so they are all shut as well. This meant that we had quite a big shop to do, and the nearest supermarket is a fair walk away. It rained all afternoon.

On Sunday we caught the 11 o'clock ferry across the Schlei to Hadeby, an ancient Viking settlement. We walked half an hour or so to the Viking houses. A reconstruction of one of the major Viking settlements in the Baltic region. It was pretty busy, a shame we had to visit on a bank holiday Sunday!

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There were several staff dressed as Vikings doing vikingly things, such as forging bits of metal into jewellery, needles, hooks etc. Interesting to see what could be done with quite a modest little fire.

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The houses, (originally from around 800 AD) were better built than some we saw in Ethiopia from today!
After that we walked back to the museum and looked at that for an hour or so. There was a vast collection of things found at the site where the houses are. Beads, jewellery, knives and swords – plenty of them, and in good condition considering their age. There was also a Viking ship, or parts thereof, found in the water nearby.

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A large section of the middle part of the boat survived and has been preserved in whatever they use for boats like that. The bow part has been reconstructed and the other missing parts cleverly replaced with a skeleton of thin metal to show its dimensions.

One of the particularly fascinating things we learnt was the distance these guys went. From the east coast of the USA to deep inside Russia and on to Samarkand! Added to which, to get to the North Sea, they dragged their boats across the land between the River Schlei and the River Eider, some 60 kms of marshy land.
It was lunch time, so we walked back to the water's edge and found a table in the sun at the restaurant. A salmon, baguette sandwich with salad and quark dressing was €13.90, so we decided to share one. Just as well we did, as the sandwich was enormous!

We caught the 3 pm ferry back, and decided we were too tired to go sailing this evening, as we had half planned to do. We chatted with our nice neighbours for an hour or so while we drank our pre supper beers.

Monday 10th June. Whit-Monday. 16°
Woke to pouring rain, so no sailing today. It has rained all day - what bad luck for a bank holiday!

Posted by AnnieBusch 07:07 Comments (3)

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