Friday, July 05, 2013

Keeping it flat

We're now in Marina Minde, halfway up the Flensburg Fjord, and for the first time for a week we have decent internet access, so I can type properly on my laptop instead of picking out words on my phone.

It's a perfect sailing day - blue sky, sun, little fluffy white clouds, and just a tad too much wind - currently (at 4pm) a fairly steady 15-18 knots from the north-west. We left Sønderborg just before 11am with around 6-8 knots of wind. Our route has taken us in a big loop to the south of Sønderborg and initially we were ghosting along with just the jib at around 4 knots, which was very delightful, and Sam was able to helm for a bit.

Once we turned up into the Flensburg Fjord, however, our planned route took us straight into the wind which was initially too light to tack into, and then it started to strengthen. With a full crew we could have had a nice beat, heeling well over and splashing through the waves (about 30cm high to be honest). But I don't know at this stage how much heeling Sam can cope with before he slides gracefully out of the cockpit and into the sea. Also I wanted to ensure that we kept our journey time fairly short. So we motorsailed for about 40 minutes. I don't know why this makes me feel guilty, it was clearly the right thing to do under the circumstances. I suppose I would rather have been sailing. Anyway as our course continued to loop round to the north-east we were able to sail the last mile up to the marina, by which time (about 2pm) I was realising that the marina wasn't going to be quite as sheltered as I hoped.

The berth we found had the wind dead aft, which is not ideal. In fact in a box mooring it's much less of a problem than with finger pontoons, as once you have lassoed the posts you can control your speed, although not necessarily your direction. Actually we came in with not much difficulty, but a lot of shouting and rather a lot of going sideways, as there was no-one in the berths on either side. I think Ben has now forgiven me.

The marina is nice, family-friendly with a little beach on either side, combined with holiday cottages as is common around here, and with pleasant picnic and barbecue areas. We will snooze, go for a walk (well I will), do some washing, chat on Facebook etc., and maybe sail down to Flensburg itself on Sunday.

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