Monday, July 18, 2011

Kühlungsborn

Sunday in Wismar proved quiet and rather wet. We popped out between showers to visit the Nikolaikirche, the only medieval church in the Alte Stadt which was neither bombed by the RAF nor demolished by the DDR. Like the Marienkirche in Lübeck it is an immensely high brick church, stuffed full of astonishing 15th century altarpieces and 14th century fonts. The route to the church took us through even more of historic Wismar, including Europe's first landscaped urban canal. It really is a memorably beautiful city.

In the evening we treated ourselves to dinner at the Alte Schwede (Old Swede), a rather smart restaurant housed in one of the oldest buildings in Wismar. The food was ok, perhaps a bit overpriced, but the setting was lovely and it was delightful to be in such civilised surroundings. Our waitress even spoke excellent English.

This morning we headed out at around 8.30 with a forecast of SSW force 4, increasing slightly. Despite the complex dogleg to get out of the Wismar Bucht, our course was almost all northerly or north-easterly, i.e. with the wind behind us. We sailed all but the half-mile at each end, using just the jib, at speeds between 5 and 7 knots. At one point we started to see winds over 20 knots but fortunately they abated a bit before we got to Kühlungsborn.

The marina here is new, part of a massive beach-side development, and said by some to be half-empty. Evidently that is no longer the case. Getting in at 1345 we were quite lucky to find a free berth, and a number of yachts are now rafted up along the outer wall.

We visited the pretty beach east of the marina for a paddle, and the very overcrowded supermarket for supplies. The older part of town is further west, with a promenade nearly 5km long, but we didn't get that far.

From here we have a problem. The next stop is Warnemünde, only 15 miles further east. Then there's a run of almost 60 miles without a break to Rügen, which is said to be lovely. But the wind is due to go easterly tomorrow afternoon (against us), stay that way on Wednesday, followed by two or even three days of strong north-westerlies - right direction, but the possibility of an unpleasant sea, a lee shore and no harbours of refuge. We could be in Warnemünde for a while.

Today's run: 29 miles, of which 28 were sailed.

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