Saturday, July 20, 2013

On our way Maasholm

We are booked on a ferry home from the Hoek v Holland on Wednesday. So it's time to head back to Augustenborg, tidy up and pack. We definitely plan to bring Kalessin home, so she will only be in Denmark while we get a delivery crew together to take her back to the UK. 

Friday dawned quite calm, and I thought perhaps we should abandon our noisy berth in Schleswig and head seawards. If we had a crew of three or four capable people, we might have had a great sail - the wind finally arrived about 9am. The problem was that it was very gusty, going from 6 or 8 knots right up to 16 or 18 with little warning. It's really not ideal for us, so we decided to stay put, and since I'm the only crew member who actually cared about seeing the middle of Schleswig, I took the bike into the city. 

Schleswig is quite small, so it's an odd assemblage of huge Dom (cathedral), historic Altstadt, modern shopping centre and medieval fishing village (Holm), rather loosely held together by a mixture of new and beautifully restored houses. I climbed the Dom tower and got a great view of the Schlei, where almost no boats were moving, so we probably made the right decision. I also took a look at the Stadt hafen, which is very nice, being modernised further, away from the road, and when I popped by at noon on a Friday had plenty of spaces. However, it is 2km from the Schloss Gottorf, whereas the Wiking hafen is less than 10 mins walk, so I think for us we probably made the right decision. The cycle ride into town was very easy but it would have been a struggle to push the wheelchair. 

Anyway today has been a complete contrast - we woke at 7am to no wind at all and a stunningly beautiful morning. I managed to dig Ben out of bed and we motored off down the Schlei about 0830. The river and its lakes looked wondeful, and for the first couple of hours we had it almost all to ourselves. We timed it just right for the Lindenau bridge at 1045, but the Kappeln bridge also opens at quarter to the hour, and is 6.5 miles further on - so most yachts can't do it in one hour and instead dawdle and take two. We even sailed for a little while but the wind was so light and flukey we eventually lost steerage way - not ideal when it was rapidly becoming a very busy Saturday on the river. So it was back to motoring the rest of the way. 

And here we are in Maasholm again, on possibly the most beautiful evening of the year - now properly dark at 2330, but still very warm, with a wonderful full moon. The river is full of anchored yachts, which I don't think we've seen here before, and there seems to be someone on board almost every yacht in the marina. We are once more on the outer wall, and this afternoon with our canopy providing cool shade, a gentle breeze and a wonderful view of the Schlei, I felt we were probably in one of the best spots in northern Europe. 

Miles today: 22.

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