Skælskør to Heiligenhafen
July 30th to Skælskør.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.