Sunday, July 14, 2013

Into the Schlei

Saturday dawned rather grey and cool, with poor visibility and a force 3 from the north-west. Conditions were perfect for a run down to the Schlei but the greyness induced a small attack of nerves on my part, with Sam saying "come on, come on, let's go". We left exactly as planned at 9am with me cruelly not allowing Sam into the cockpit until we were out in the Sønderborg bay and I was sure it was safe, and then insisting that he wore a lifejacket, which he was less than impressed by. I wore one too, just to be equally safe. If I drown we are in big trouble (well, Ben is).

Anyway the day gradually brightened and warmed up, and with the wind almost dead aft we sailed with just the genoa up most of the way - not very fast (around 4.5 knots or so), but very controllable and safe. We eventually came out into the sea proper, but although we had the full fetch of the Flensburg fjord behind us, we were in the lee of most of Denmark, so the waves reached a whopping 50cm or so. We got the main up for the last hour or so before turning into the Schlei and Maasholm marina.

This is the one place we've visited so far (apart from Augustenborg itself) where we have been before - we were here almost exactly two years ago, on 9 July 2011, and also on a Saturday. I note that last time I wrote in the blog: "Sam said the marina check-in was very casual - you just fill in a log entry with the name and length of your boat, and its berth number, and pay (€13)." Nothing has changed, including the price, except that it was me doing the paying. We had several goes at getting into a berth: I got blown off the first one, the second one - which we moored in briefly - had no marker either red or green which made us uneasy, the one next to it was due to be occupied from lunchtime today (Sunday) and eventually we ended up in a berth which should be clear until Wednesday.

I'd forgotten how huge this marina is, although I knew it was a long walk from these berths to the harbourmaster's office. However, it's quite good to be out on the edge of the marina, as Maasholm has a harbour weekend with some event involving a shouty German, massively amplified, as we came in (about 2pm), a disco last night, and something else today. Our berth is a nice safe one given the force 6 howling overhead, with no slappy water on the stern which pleases Ben. Last night I felt I should get an additional line onto the upwind stern post, tied a bowline in the end of the mooring line, and got it over the post first time. This makes me feel not entirely incompetent. Fortunately I didn't understand the comments from the crew of the German yacht who watched us drift off the first berth, otherwise I might lose confidence entirely.

I'd also forgotten how very German things are here. The Danes are used to lots of German sailors and indeed other visitors, and therefore many signs are in at least two languages and (with luck) English as well. Flensburg being right on the border is also fairly flexible. But here we are down into oompah-oompah country (sorry to invoke crude stereotypes, but the Germans really do listen to this stuff) and it's Deutsch or possibly the local dialect, Schleswiger Plattdeutsch (hello is "moin-moin"), or nothing.

Tomorrow also looks a bit windy, though not as bad as today - fine for sailing, but getting in and out of berths short-handed when it's gusting force 5 can be a bit tricky. We might spend the next few days exploring the Schlei rather than heading over to the Danish islands. Watch this space.

Distance covered yesterday: 20.1 miles.

No comments: