Monday, August 15, 2011

Omø in sunshine

As expected, we had an overnight crisis, although we didn't have to wait until 3am. The wind was due to go from east to west as a depression passed over. Unfairly, it did this by going northerly at 10pm, and at the same time dumping even larger quantities of water out of the sky. In this harbour, a northerly blows straight into the entrance. The Halberg alongside us was tied to us with two bits of washing line and had no lines ashore, so promptly drifted forward and hit Lady Cressida. Jonty was in his element waking sleeping sailors, advising them on rigging shorelines, springs, and extra fenders. We are currently tied to the mole with 6 or 7 lines, and we all got very wet indeed. The wind never got much above a 5, although it felt like a full gale in the dark and soaking rain, and the swell coming in was quite manageable. We all went back to our rather uncomfortable beds, and by 2am the wind went westerly anyway. By 7.30am there were clear signs of blue sky and sunshine.

This is a pretty civilised island, with among other benefits a free wifi hotspot for the harbour. With its aid we were able to determine that Monday looked like being a nice day to stay on Omø: westerly up to force 5 (ie on the nose for the next passage, so not very attractive for sailing), but with sunshine and improving visibility. Also, Tuesday looks quieter, although we haven't seen many properly quiet days recently.

So we stayed, and have been rewarded with a lovely day on this beautiful island. There's so much to do here:-) The ferry runs every two hours (as I type, the 8pm ferry has just whizzed out and I'm back in the sun again), and is often greeted by a small dog who trots on board to say hello, and narrowly misses being run over by the cars coming off. The restaurant also has a little shop selling basic foods. We bought two seriously fresh plaice straight from the fisherman when he came in.

And best of all, as you can see from the picture in the previous post, Camilla bought a scarf from the tiny handicrafts shop at the end of the toilet block. It's knitted by a lady called Lili, who normally makes socks, so it's double thickness. How wonderful it will be to wear a warm scarf this winter and know it came from a lady who spends her winters knitting on a tiny island in the Store Bælt.

This afternoon we dug out the folding bike, and separately went for rides around the island. As the visibility improved the views got better and better. You can see Sjaelland, the other little island of Agersø and the fabulous Store Bælt bridge to the north, Langeland and Fyn to the west, and from the other side of the island back east along the Smålands Farvandet. (South is mainly Germany, which is too far to see). But the island itself is pretty too, with thatched houses and tiny farms. Almost 200 people live here all year round and it's been a real delight to get a glimpse of their lives. This is what we hoped the Baltic would be like.

Tomorrow, if we can cope with plugging into the wind and if we can find a berth, we plan to go to Svendborg.

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