Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Goodbye North Sea

After numerous anxious recalculations of the Elbe tides, we left Cuxhaven around 1pm, having filled up with diesel. The calculations paid off, and the south-easterly wind backed south, and then west, allowing us to sail most of the way to Brunsbüttel at eight knots over the ground or more. We rapidly decided that it was easier to follow the north side of the channel, as the red buoys are continuous but there are fewer green ones.

Waiting for the Kiel Canal lock was a less pleasant experience, as you have to hang about in the river, motoring into nearly three knots of tide, up to 15 knots of wind, and a delightful thunder shower which picked just that moment to arrive. It wasn't clear what we were supposed to do, but fortunately there were numerous other knots to follow.

Still, our experience was probably a delight compared to the yacht who called in on the VHF (in fractured English) to say that their engine had failed, and were told they would have to arrange their own tow. I hope they're ok.

We're now in the Jachthafen at Brunsbüttel rafted three deep* - a 28-footer on the inside, then us, then a vast wooden Polish yacht. We're in a great place for shipwatching as the big lock is about 50 metres away. I don't think it will be a quiet night here, but it will be an experience. I'm so shattered I may just sleep anyway.

* now four deep. And the entire Polish crew is walking over my head.

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