Monday, August 08, 2011

Just the two of us

It's been a quiet and (for Sam and Camilla) rather sad day. Ben's flight home took off around 5.15pm. He has spent exactly a month with us and generally was extremely pleased to be going. But the boat is very quiet and empty without him grumbling in the aft cabin.

For the first time on this trip we have dug out the folding bike. We need another Camping Gaz bottle, and the chandlery which might have sold us some is yet another victim of the flash floods from the weekend we spent in Wulkow. With the aid of the bike, Sam has identified a filling station a mile down the road which stocks the correct cylinders.

The other use for the bike has been a quick whizz around to the harbourmaster's office to top up The Card. Smart cards, on which you pay a deposit and/or a preloaded amount of cash, have been featured in many of the marinas we've visited from Cuxhaven onwards. Depending on the location and the technical complexity of the installation, cards may be used for access to the marina (rarely) and to the toilet block (almost always), to pay for showers (which can be measured by the microsecond), electricity, water and even parking your car. In here you can even check in to the marina and pay automatically, without seeing a harbourmaster. Of course there are a few snags: losing a card (which we haven't done yet) could be expensive, and you have to remember to return your card before you go. It would be interesting to find out how it works for a permanent berth-holder.

Currently it's drizzling quietly but the strong winds, due to arrive some time overnight, are not yet in evidence. Camilla is cheered by the prospect of wandering around some of Copenhagen's wonderful shops on her own tomorrow. Sam may sneak off and visit the Carlsberg brewery.

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