Friday, July 26, 2013

Home from the sea

Well here we are back in the UK. Actually we got home about 8am yesterday, but what with one thing and another I didn't get around to posting until now.

From Maasholm we motored up to Sønderborg on Sunday in almost no wind - leaving fairly early so we didn't get too hot, and arriving at lunchtime. I was quite keen to carry on a bit and anchor in the Augustenborg Fjord, but Ben felt that Sam needed to get off the boat and get some exercise, so we went for an alongside mooring on the town quay. We nipped very neatly (though I says it as shouldn't) into the only available space which was exactly the right size for us. The afternoon was the hottest so far, so poor Sam was melting on board while I was able to go for a swim from the beach, but in the evening we all went out for a very good steak (at whopping Danish prices, but it was our last celebratory meal) and a stroll along the promenade.

Monday was another hot and almost windless day. With only 10 miles from Sønderborg to Augustenborg we took it pretty gently, and spent a while drifting down the fjord towards Augustenborg with the genoa out, sailing at roughly 0.65 knots while Ben and I took turns to swim behind to see if we could get the speed up.

We spent Tuesday sorting, tidying and packing. With only three of us travelling home, and some equipment left on the boat, we had a surprising amount of space in the car and were able to bring home the inflatable kayak, which should provide a bit more room for anyone using the aft cabin on the delivery trip home. It was galling that there was a really nice sailing breeze for most of the day, but at least it did make all the work a bit more bearable.

By 10am on Wednesday we were all ready to go. I must say I did shed a few tears as I walked down the jetty for the last time. It has been such a wonderful month, really it couldn't have gone better. If only we could have Ben with us all the time, Guy on call, perfect weather, a few more British sailors and suppliers around, and a really cheap ferry to Denmark, we could leave Kalessin there. But the reality is that none of that is very likely and the UK is probably a better place for her to be.

The drive to the Hoek van Holland was long (730km/450 miles) and relatively uneventful. We took it gently, stopping three times, so boat-to-boat time was about nine hours. We had time for chips and kibbeling from the fish shop by the station before boarding the Stena ferry. I have written to Stena to tell them what I think of the ridiculous automatically opening bathroom door in the disabled cabin - probably designed to reduce the number of disabled people in the world by knocking them over or trapping them in their wheelchairs. otherwise all went well and we got home yesterday morning.

So here we are with a distinct sense of anti-climax but quite a lot of pride in what we have achieved. I haven't done full statistics but we covered 156 miles altogether, maybe around half under sail. We visited eight harbours in two countries, several of them more than once. We lived on the boat for 28 days and got Sam on and off around 15 times. It's undoubtedly the gentlest sailing we've ever done but many, perhaps most people wouldn't have tried it at all.

The next challenge is to get the boat home. Guy can get a crew together but some may not be available until really too late in the season, so we are looking for volunteers. If you fancy a sail home from Denmark, please do get in touch. I'll continue to update the blog with progress.


H ouleux said...

Hi Camilla and Sam. I've been following your blog and am glad that things have gone well. A great example of what can be achieved with courage and determination. Good for you! Cheers. Rob (Cyclone)

Camilla Herrmann said...

Thanks Rob, and thank you again for the chance to try your Storm and especially your suggestion for how to get Sam off over the bow - it worked really well and would have taken us much longer to work out for ourselves!