Friday, July 29, 2011

Rocket powered

Today's weather has probably been the worst we've experienced on the boat on this trip. Of course, we were in the fortunate position of being ashore in a nice warm house last weekend - we've discovered that many people who were on board their yachts then didn't get off the boat at all for three days, so by comparison, this is modest.

Still, it has rained pretty much without a break all day, with north-westerlies 5-6, and currently gusting up to 7. Yuck. We looked at the pictures we took in brilliant sunshine in Stralsund just a couple of days ago, and they seemed to be from another world.

Still, we never planned to sail today, and we enjoyed our visit to the Peenemünde museum, home of the V2 rocket. It is interesting to realise that the V2 would never have been developed without the passionate support of a small number of Nazis, including of course Wernher von Braun. What's more every rocket built subsequently, up to and including Saturn V, the Arianes, and the Soviet N-1, is a direct descendant of the V2. It's likely that more people died in developing and building the V2s than were ever killed in their raids, so from a military point of view it made no sense at all. But technically, it couldn't have been more influential.

The museum is housed in an old power station which is only a tiny part of the huge 1940s development site, which covered most of the northern tip of the island of Usedom. From our point of view, however, it was dry inside and relatively warm, with most exhibits labelled in English and German (and some in Polish - we're only 30 miles from the border) so was a great way to spend a few hours. It was very busy today - I should think if you are on a beach holiday in Usedom, or even worse a camping holiday, the museum must be even more welcome than it was to us.

The little ferry brought us back to Kröslin where we managed to stock up on a few basics in the bakery and tiny grocery, before heading back to the boat. We've only been out again for excellent hot showers, but got almost as wet walking back to the boat as we did in the shower.

If it's like this tomorrow morning I shall go on strike and refuse to sail anywhere. The German forecast just says NW5, locally 6, decreasing a little by noon, which is not encouraging. We are in a sheltered marina off a sheltered channel, leading from what is effectively a lake, so whatever the forecast says we ought to get a bit less than that, but we'll see.

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