Sunday, August 14, 2011

Omø

As planned, today we headed west from Kalvehave with what was supposed to be a gentle easterly behind us. To start with (at 7am when we left) we even had sun, and we could see why people enthuse about Smålands Farvandet - it really is pretty. We had to wiggle along the channel and under a couple of bridges, then head out of the channel across a bank to bypass an opening bridge and go under a higher bridge instead. At this point we had a helpful current giving us up to 2 knots extra speed.

Bridges done, there was a bit more wind from right behind us and we managed to get the cruising chute up for a couple of hours. But as we sped out into the wider end of the channel the waves started to build behind us, the wind strengthened, and we had to drop the chute, which was an interesting challenge. We experimented with combinations of sails and ended up running with just the mainsail. We can do this thanks to our expensive new toy, the GybeEasy, which acts as a preventer and stops the boom smashing violently over. It's expensive for what it is (a metal pretzel and a bit of high-class rope) but good value for what it supplies (peace of mind when running, and less banging of the boom when motorsailing).

We arrived at the island harbour on Omø at around 2pm, just as it started raining, and it hasn't stopped since. We are alongside an inner wall, as the boxes here are very wide (posts miles apart) but with very little turning space between the rows. When we came in it was pretty empty, but there is now an entire German sailing club in here, including a Halberg Rassy rafted to us :-( And the weather is unspeakably horrible: bucketing rain, wind still up to 16 knots or more, an uneasy motion made worse by having a heavy Halberg hanging on to us, endless banging from bits of rigging, yuck yuck. It's the sort of night when you leave clothes handy in case of a 3am crisis.

The annoying thing is that in nice weather this must be a lovely island. Camilla explored a bit, and there are little beaches, small cliffs, a lighthouse, and nice Danish houses with pretty gardens. We found a fish smokery where Sam, at 5.30pm, was the first customer they had had all day. The season is definitely ending. There's a little restaurant where we had several beers with Jonty from Lady Cressida (yes, they are here too) and then a meal for two of us, all for 390 kronor, about £43. Not haute cuisine, but hot, tasty and served in a nice warm room which is not rocking around at all.

From here it's only about 75 miles through the channels to Augustenborg, and we have around two weeks to get there. There are numerous options to explore en route or the whole of the Lille Bælt. But if it keeps on raining, it will be hard to work up enthusiasm.

Miles today: 42.

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