August 11 Staveren – Naarden

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 09:17 am
Onrust presented on a larger map
After some morning rain, we had perfect conditions: sun and clouds and a northwest 4 to 5. The Onrust rushed with 6 knots back to her home harbour. We originally planned to stop in Edam, but we were there quite early and with rain forecasted for the next day, we decided to sail on to Naarden, where the Onrust will have her home for the coming years again. We arrived at 5pm and here ended our long journey. We have a few days to organise ourselves in Utrecht again and Monday we both start working again!

Passing the lighthouse of Marken (Het Paard) on our way to naarden

August 10 Texel – Staveren

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 09:15 am One of those days that the wind forecast is completely wrong: we expected a northwest 3 to take us easily on the tide back to Kornwerderzand to enter the sluices to the IJsselmeer. However, we got opposition from a southeasterly wind and therefore changed our plans and made for the sluices in Den Oever. The first hour we had to go to the west on the engine against the 2 knots tide and after that we tagged lazily against the wind, while the upcoming tide transported us to the sluices. An hour before high water, the wind stopped completely and we had to turn on the engine again to be in Den Oever before the tide would turn against us.

The afternoon on the IJsselmeer brought much more wind, but still from the southeast. We tagged till Staveren and entered the harbour at 5pm.

Marnix and Bruin

August 9 Harlingen – Texel

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 08:48 am Bruin called that he would like to join us for a few days more. We appointed in Oude Schild on Texel today. We left Harlingen just before the gate would be closed again and with the current to Kornwerderzand with loads of yachts. It is nice to see how many yachts (and also more small ones) are sailing in Holland. It seems that here you see more smaller boats and families enjoying sailing. In Germany, but also Sweden and Finland the yachts are on average bigger and the average age of the crew higher (majority pensionados). We had a nice trip together with 10 other yachts and made a race. We did not do badly and finished in the middle with all boats being longer than we are. Bruin was already waiting on the quay, without a big suitcase today.

August 8 Terschelling – Harlingen

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 08:48 am Today we did a relaxing small trip to Harlingen with the upcoming tide. When we arrived at Harlingen the floodgate appeared closed. It is spring tide and around high tide they close to gate to prevent the quays from flooding. We waited with many boats till 1 hour after high tide and then entered altogether. We found a nice place in between to other small boats. That evening we had a great dinner in one of our favourite restaurants the Gastronoom.

Entering Harlingen with many yachts after the flood gates opened again

August 7 Ameland – Terschelling

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 08:40 am We did a familiar trip from Ameland to Terschelling over the Wad, along the Blauwe Balg and the Oosterom. This time we had no problems with grounding. It appeared that the boys were in the Oosterom were moved to the north to follow the new gully. 2.1 meter was the minimum depth we measured.

As ever there were many seals at the Blauwe Balg.

Seals on the Blauwe Balg


We arrived early in Terschelling and had no difficulty in finding a good place. There were many boats, but it was surely not full. We learned that when the Brandaris announces that terschelling is full, they mean the municipal harbour. When the marina is full this would be separately announced, nice to know!

August 6 Ameland

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 08:40 am We stayed one day more on Ameland to relax and to bike and hike on the island. That evening we had spaghetti on board with the whole family.

Dinner for six on the Onrusst


Jesse, Mara and Ana on the Onrust

August 5 Ameland

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 08:38 am We called Annet at the camping of Ameland and the family came over to greet us. Nice to have Annet, Jesse and Mara as a welcome committee. We went to the beach and had a nice swim in the sea, where we last night sailed by. Anna (friend of Mara) arrived later and we had a nice Barbeque with mackerel caught by the boss of the fish shop that morning.

August 4-5, Cuxhaven – Ameland (140 miles!!)

Wednesday 12 August 2009 at 08:37 am We indeed managed to leave Cuxhafen in the middle of the night (2.45 am) in full darkness. When we left the harbour entrance we found two big vessels just passing by. In complete darkness this is quite a frightening experience. The first part we have to use our engine. The wind is against us, although still quite strong (4 Beaufort). There is a saying in German: ‘Mit 5 bis 5’. This means as much that with wind force 5 and more from westerly directions you can make it till the green Elbe boy number 5, but not beyond. At that point the Elbe mouth is still narrow. At Elbe boy number 1 the mouth widens quickly and with that the current reduces considerably and the wave heights reduce as well. We arrive at boy 5 in clear morning light. The wind has reduced to wind force 3 and indeed at that point the waves are highest (about 1 meter). At boy 1 the waves were gone, the current suddenly disappeared. We had safely crossed the German Bight in very good conditions!

The wind reduced further and unfortunately we had to use our engine further. Finally only when we were north of Wangerooge (the first German Wadden Island) we could start sailing. With a nice southeasterly 3 we had a relaxed trip to Norderney. At 4.30 pm we were at the Dovetief to enter Norderney. The wind was really perfect, nice weather and the temptation started to continue further west (to Ameland even?? Where we would meet Annet and children??). We made calculations and it appeared that indeed we would nicely arrive at low tide at Ameland’s outer boy at 6 am the next morning. This was the moment to get more experience in sailing through the night. Nice weather and good timing with currents and tide. We decided indeed to continue and left Norderney on our port.

We had a beautiful evening. When we crossed the Ems at Borkum the sky turned dark, although not really massif, also the wind increased to force 5. It looked somewhat threatening and we considered entering Borkum. The entrance between the islands of Borkum and Rottermerplaat (the mouth of the River Eems) was against the wind and later the current would also turn against us. We calculated we would arrive in Borkum at midnight. Not very tempting to enter in the darkness. We reviewed the clouds in a small book we have with sky patterns and expected weather conditions. We considered that these clouds just showed the warm humid air, which could bring some rain, but the weather would not change. Meteorological predictions without any knowledge… We decided to continue. We took away the main sail and only on the genua we had a comfortable speed of 5 knots we sailed into the night.

The full moon came and with all boys lightened we progressed quickly into the Netherlands. We passed some other yachts, just only top lights were visible. There were many fishing boats busy and it is difficult to manoeuvre between them. The lighthouse of Schiermonnikoog came into sight quickly. Also we could receive Shiermonnikoog traffic again and later also the Brandaris (light house at Terschelling). At about 4 am in the morning the Brandaris announced that the harbours of Ameland, Terschelling and Vlieland were full. Man, ‘welcome back to Holland!’ We considered even continuing to Harlingen, but we both felt we would need some sleep. If Ameland would be full we would anchor in the neighbourhood, although there are not really good anchor spots there. Actually we slept little, both maybe 2 hours altogether and that is not enough. We arrived at the outer boy of Ameland too early. It was still dark and the boys of the entrance into the West Gat are without lights. We waited for one hour to have good light to see the boys. When we had a network connection with the mobile phone we called the harbour master of Ameland. Indeed he was full now, but at our ETA of 10 am he would most probably have some room for us. When we mentioned we came from the sea, he was convinced: ‘Please come over!’. At 10 am indeed we moored in a full marina of Ameland. Back home again! And well in time! Just making this one long leg gives us the opportunity to do the last miles of this trip in a relaxing way.

August 3, Brunsbüttel – Cuxhafen

Monday 10 August 2009 at 08:34 am In the afternoon we left Brunsbüttel to go through the sluice. Unfortunately there is not a good signalisation system on when the sluice will take yachts. It means that we were turning in circles before the sluice with 30 other boats for half an hour before it opened for us with all kind of undesired meetings with large vessels, dredging boats and ferries. It must be possible to set a signal in the yachts harbour, so everybody can leave at the same time and immediately enter the sluice basin.

We left the Kieler Kanal and entered the mouth of the Elbe River, part of the famous German Bight. The German Bight is famous for its high currents and fierce winds and very often a situation with currents against the wind and thus high (braking waves). We entered the Elbe at high tide and together with the flow of the Elbe River this causes a current of 4 knots maximum. The wind was west 5, so we had to tack against the wind but with the current. The waves were not high. Together with 3 other yachts (the other 20 used their engines) we sailed towards Cuxhafen tacking amongst the sea vessels, interesting experience. Our maximum speed over the ground was 9.8 knots, with 6 through the water. A record! Just in front of Cuxhafen we were forced to take the other side of the River due to two large vessels that crossed our course. This caused us to miss the harbour entrance!! With 4 knots current we were washed towards the sea and that was not what we wanted (yet)! We turned around after the vessels passed and with the wind in the back and against the current we fought our way back inside. The entrance of Cuxhafen is known for its strong side current, so you should enter with your maximum speed not to be thrown on the harbour pier. With full sail and full engine (and full nerves!!) we entered the harbour safely. Tsjew.. we never felt so relieved after entering the harbour safely.

Cuxhafen is a marina, where all yachts gather to wait for a good moment to cross the German Bight and we joined that community. Actually already the next day looked good with a wind starting ‘changing 3-4, shifting to SE. Perfect. We made our calculations for entering Norderney the next day in the afternoon with incoming tide, which meant leaving at 3 am (in full darkness). The times of High and Low Tide were not very fortunate, so we had no other choice than to start in the dark on the Elbe. Hopefully with little wind and than later having a very good wind to do this long distance. We had a good dinner in the local yacht club (always surprising to see the low prices in restaurants in Germany) and went to bed early.

August 2, Flemruder See – Brunsbüttel (Kieler Kanal)

Monday 03 August 2009 at 11:01 am While cleaning the boat from the outside and inside we motored through the Kieler Kanal. A German neighbour told us that they call the Kieler Kanal the ‘Holländische Rennbahn’. Indeed he was right. There are mainly Dutch yachts, doing the Kanal with high speed to be soon on the Baltic or soon back home. We were part of this ‘Rennbahn’ today, but the slowest competitor, with our 5 hp engine.

The yacht harbour of Brunsbüttel is really a place to spend a night. It is situated next to the sluice and the big vessels are literally passing your yacht at a few metres. A great spot to have a beer and dinner watching the vessels moor in the sluice.

Onrust in the yacht harbour of Brunsbuttel next to the western end of the Kiler Kanal

August 1, Burgstaaken – Flemruder See (Kieler Kanal)

Monday 03 August 2009 at 11:00 am With a nice southeasterly wind 2-4 we could easily sail to Kiel. Kiel is really the sailing centre of Germany. Great to be among (and do a little match with) all these sailing boats, from classical 15 meter long yachts to 5 meter speeding catamarans. And again (!!) we saw a schweinswal(D), morzeswin (PL), tuimelaar ?(NL). He (she?) announced himself behind the boat with three coughs as to draw our attention and then dived under the boat. The water is really clear here, so we could follow him/her under our boat.

When we approached Kiel-Holtenau at the entrance of the Kieler Kanal the sluice was temptingly open and we decided not to stop in Holtenau, but immediately enter the sluice and do the first leg of the Kanal. Yachts are not allowed to be motoring on the Kanal after 8pm (later we saw some announcement it was 9pm??). We stopped at the first occasion along the Kanal at the Flemruder See, where you can anchor. We were of course not the only one: 6 other yachts were there, half German, half Dutch.

Bridge over the Fehmarnsund


A butterfly joining our journey


Onrust in the sluice to the Kieler Knal in Holtenau

July 31, Kühlungsborn-Burgstaaken

Monday 03 August 2009 at 10:57 am The wind has somewhat decreased and the wind warning for 7 to 8 are cancelled. We leave Kühlungsborn with two riffs and our genua II (actually the front sail we have used the most these months). We set out for Orth on the western side of Fehnmarn, as we have not been there two months ago on our way eastward. However the wind turned more west and in the Fehnmarn sund a strong westerly current developed. We decided to enter Burgstaaken again, where we already spent two days on our way east. Two months ago the harbour was more or less desolated. Now it was crowded and hard to find a place. Nice to see the lively atmosphere.

July 30, Kühlungsborn

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:26 pm No foul weather this night, but the predictions still include a warning for 8 Beaufort during thunder storms, so we stay today in Kühkungsborn to rest, wash, bunker, read, eat and make some small repairs and improvements to the Onrust.

July 29, Rügen Vitte – Kühlungsborn

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:25 pm A good weather forecast of southeast 4 -5 Beaufort made us start very early: 5am, a record for us and we think we were the first ones leaving the harbour. We hoped again to reach Kiel the next day, but the wind performed much less than promised. Furthermore, new forecasts predicted thunder storms with stormy winds in the night, so we decide to go to Kühlungsborn on the south coast. After motoring for a few ours, the wind turned northeast 16 knots and brought us with the main sail and the genaker with record speeds of continuously 7 knots to the harbour.

View of Vitte at 5am with geese on the dry flats in front

July 28, Rügen Lohme – Rügen Vitte

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:24 pm The wind again turned to the west and with 22 knots exceeded the forecast widely. Therefore, we made a short leg tagging against the wind to Vitte. We visited this harbour before in May on our way to the east. Now in high season, all boxes in the harbour were taken, and we moored at the poles behind other boats. This seems to be the only harbour, where this way of mooring is allowed. We planned to leave early next day anyway, so we were not in the way of anybody.

Cape Arkona on noirth Ruegen

July 27, Bornholm Svaneke – Rügen Lohme

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:19 pm A good weather forecast made us hope to be able to sail through the night and maybe even reach Kiel in 36 hours from Bornholm. However, the night promised too much wind, so we decided to stop in Rügen, in the small harbour of Lohme at the foot of a cliff. This made for a relaxed day sailing on the southern wind of 4 Beaufort.

Marnix steering to Ruegen


Northeast cape of Ruegen


The harbour of Lohme on Ruegen

July 26, Bornholm Svaneke

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:17 pm No sailing today, since only a very early start could have brought us anywhere from Bornholm and the strong westerly made this quite unattractive. We visited Hammerhus (the largest medieval fort in Scandinavia) and two of the famous round fortified churches.

Onrust in Svaneke on Bornholm

July 25, Karlskrona – Bornholm Svaneke

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:15 pm Finally a good weather forecast for the long (60 miles) sea crossing to Bornholm: a Danish island north of Poland. We started out very early (5.30am) on the southerly 5 Beaufort. Halfway, the wind changed more to the west and increased to 24 knots (6 Beaufort), causing a bumpy ride for us. We had aimed at Hammerhavn, the small harbour on the northwest of Bornhom under the shadow of the ruins of Hammerhus, However, the strong southwesterly caused us to go more east, in the direction of Christiansøø, two small fortified islands and the most eastern outpost of the Danish Kingdom. We decided to pass these islands and continued to Svaneke on the southeastern edge of Bronholm: a small picturesque harbour in a touristy town with enough fine restaurants after this long day on the sea.

July 24, Kristianopel – Karlskrona

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:14 pm Again a hard soutwesterly against our course. Our plan was to continue to Utklipan: two tiny islets close to each other some 12 miles south of the coast embracing a small harbour. However, in the afternoon the wind increased to 25 knots with large waves, so we decided to go west into the protected water of the Karlskrona Archipelago. Again beautiful sailing between the islands. With two reefs in the main sail we reached the old naval town of Karlskrona, where we sailed between the impressive fortifications to the big guest harbour.

July 23, Kalmar – Kristianopel

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:13 pm The morning was slightly foggy, but enough wind to sail, so we set out quite early again. Unfortunately, the wind was again against us, so we crossed the Kalmarsund south. The sund broadens to the south, so our legs became wider and wider and the speed increased with the wind. We reached our target, the picturesque village of Kristianopel quite early. Here the swell coming in from the east on the southeastern wind south of Öland got bigger and made quite impressive breakers on the rocks in front of the little harbour. These rocks protected us quite nicely and in the harbour it was quiet.

July 22, Oskarshamn – Kalmar

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:12 pm We had a long and wonderful day of sailing. We left Oskarshamn at 8.30 am with a half wind course. At the beautiful lighthouse Dämma (no a luxurious hotel… interesting) we had to turn more against the southwestern wind and again it was tacking to come closer to home… In a gust the wind increased to 28 knots and we decreased our sail and continued easily. Later we went back too our original sail size ( full main sail and second genua). The forecast was that the wind would shift to southeast. Finally it did, when we actually already decided to stop at Stora Rör on Öland at 6.30 pm. With the shift suddenly the narrow opening of the Karlsund bridge was in reach and we decided to continue to Kalmar. We had some beautiful sailing hours and took berth in Kalmar at 8.30 pm. It is interesting to see that we were nearly alone at sea these last hours. Of course the weather was not really nice ( a little drizzle), but good wind and the middle of the holiday season… Anyway, we are surprised hw little the Swedish are really sailing. The tacking through the Kalmarsund we did maybe with 5 yachts, the rest (20?) did it by engine.

July 21, Figeholm – Oskarshamn

Thursday 30 July 2009 at 7:11 pm The wind forecast was quite strong with West 10-14 meters/second (wind force 6). However we would sail under the coast and with maybe only a fock this would be OK. Indeed the start was OK, but after we passed Furö island the wind increased to windforce 8 (35 knots) in gusts and that is just a bit too much! We were in front of Oskarshamn and made the decision not to continue, but to enter that harbour. Of course that was not so easy against the wind. Even under the protection of the shore the wind force was 7 to 8 and we were glad to enter the Badholmen guest harbour.

July 20, Figeholm

Sunday 26 July 2009 at 10:29 am We awoke with a nice sunshine! We had breakfast with eggs and bacon all together (7 people) on board. The self discharge of water from the rear comes in in stead of that it is going out. Luckily everybody is used to this phenomenon. We did a small sailing trip to a small nature harbour close by (Tväggesholmen). Actually there was only one good possibility for mooring at the rock. Wiesje and Marnix wanted to swing anchor. Ems and Margriet wanted to try to moor at the rock. Thanks to our great guidebook, we found the only rock suitable for mooring with a depth of 1.5 meter, perfect! Great place, with sheep on the island and even a flat grassy area for the tent of the family…. We had a wonderful day together, with swimming (despite the little scary jellyfishes), paddling in the rubber boat of the kids and hiking on the island. At the picture with the Onrust you can clearly see our cleaning work, when she was in the slings at Oxelösund (the stripes underneath the slings are still yellowish). Only two small rain showers forced us to go inside the cabin for a moment (cosy with 7 people!). At about 4 pm a tick black cloud was coming with some thunder in it. We left our nice place and were just back in time in Figeholm gast hamn. Luikje and Ruurd and kids went up more North to Blankeholm to stay there for some days. We decided to stay in Figeholm for another night.

Luik, Ruurd and family on board


Luik, Ruurd and family on board


Bouwe on board


Onrust at a rock in Tvaggesholmen, near Figeholm


Margriet on a rock (by Ems)

July 19, Idö – Figeholm

Sunday 26 July 2009 at 10:23 am In the morning there was no wind and a thick fog. We decided to wait for the wind to come and the fog to disappear. Indeed at about 11 am suddenly our view increased and the wind increased to force 4 from the west. We had a fast trip to Figeholm, unfortunately the last two hours in the rain. On our way we called to Luikje and Ruurd and the kids. They are having their holiday with car and tent in Sweden and in Figeholm our routes crossed each other. 15minutes after we berthed, they also arrived. We had dinner together in the local pizzeria. The harbour master came to say that it was OK that the family Buitenhuis put up their tent on the grass in the gast hamn. Still in the rain we put up their tent. Camping with this weather is no fun! Then actually a cabin of a boat is better as your home.

July 18, Kattilö-Lotsudden – Idö

Sunday 26 July 2009 at 10:21 am We set out for a long trip today and indeed we did a lot of miles today. However at about 4 pm the sky turned black and a thunderstorm developed. We took shelter in the little harbour of Idö. Very nice island with a good restaurant and good shelter. Indeed the thunder storm came over us and brought also a lot of wind and buckets of rain.

July 17, Oxelösund – Kattilö-Lotsudden

Sunday 26 July 2009 at 10:18 am After one night sleep in a real stable bed, we put the Onrust back into the water. And she was really completely dry. We also think that she is much faster now without the rotating old log at the keel. We had a wonderful trip to again another nature harbour. The weather was great, only still this southwesterly wind, which makes us tacking all the time. This time we had a little competition with our sister, the marieholm IF and we won (because of the dismantlement of the log?). The nature harbour was beautiful with a very steep rock, where we could lay in the lea.

Onrust on the big rock in Kattilo


Onrust on the big rock at Kattilo

July 16, Oxelösund

Thursday 16 July 2009 at 4:51 pm Menno left already at 6.45 to catch a bus to Nykoping and from there a train to Arlando Airport. It appeared a good connection and he reached his plane to NL well in time. We went to the crane of the shipyard, where at 8.30 the Onrust was already set on-land. They know here our type of boat and also the way how to lift it. We took the opportunity to clean the underwater part of the boat. Actually there was not so much growing there. Also we cleaned the board with a special (natural?) cleaning liquid to remove the yellowish dirt. It worked perfectly! We put the board in the wax and she looks like new! The shipyard sealed the whole with plaster and polyester mats. It needs to dry for a night. We could sleep on-board. However we did not think it comfortable and we rented a little cabin at the harbor for a night.

Onrust on shore for reparation

July 15, Ringsö – Oxelösund

Thursday 16 July 2009 at 4:50 pm After the beautiful nature harbor we had to go back to the main land to give Menno a reasonable route back to the airport of Stockholm. It becomes boring…. Again a beautiful sailing day. We went a bit more out on sea and went passed the island of Hävringe, an old pilot station and now a bird and seal reserve. With a good wind we arrived quite early in the guest harbor of the fiskehamn (ishing harbour). Very friendly staff and a good sailor restaurant. We also checked the local ship yard (Oxelosund Batvarv). Excellent service and quality. They could make some time the next day to make a permanent closure of the hole in the hull where the cable of the log goes through. They would dismantle the old log and close the hole with plaster. It was already the last evening for Menno on-board.

Harbour on a small skar


Menno and Marnix sailing in front of a small skar

July 14, Nynashamn-Ringsö

Thursday 16 July 2009 at 4:48 pm Menno is very lucky. Again a great sailing day, although rain was in the forecast. There was some threat of thunder, but it never reached us. However, we decided to take the inner route further to the south (still against the wind). In Stockholm we bought a new guide for the (nature) harbors of Sweden. It describes in detail all places where you can berth from the most luxurious marina to a good rock at a remote island. A great book, but hard to make a decision where to spend the night. We went for Ringsö, a bay with many rock anchoring opportunities. We had a steep rock, where we could easily get on land, with still 1.8 meter depth in the lea of a high rock. It was that warm that we all went for a swim. Also we cleaned the Onrust from the water plants that got attached to her…is that why everybody goes faster than we do?? Menno did not succeed to catch a meal for us, so it was pasta with pesto and thuna fish for dinner.

Onrust on a rock


Onrust at Ringso

July 13, Ägnö – Nynashamn

Thursday 16 July 2009 at 4:43 pm Again a beautiful sailing day with good wind (although against our direction, resulting in a lot of tacking) and a lot of sun. We had originally the idea to go to Trosa, but that appeared too far. At Nynashamn we stopped. It has a good marina and we could do some shopping, showering and had a good dinner (‘steckplanck’) at the harbor. Also we had time to check our ‘leak’. It appeared to be the cable of our old log (speed metre). Clearly the cable was damaged, because it had been hanging against the propeller axe, but why is water coming out of there? We are not using this log anymore, so we now had a problem from out-of-use equipment… frustrating. Margriet hang the cable higher above the motor, but that could not prevent it from leaking. She sealed it with ‘duck tape’ with the result that only small drops would come out. For the moment it was repaired. We decided to find a permanent solution later. Pumping was not necessary anymore.

Margriet in Sweden

July 12, Stockholm – Ägnö (Napoleonviken)

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:49 am Today Menno came on board and we finally left Stockholm. Before departure, Margriet checked the bilge (the lower part of the boat) and found a considerable amount of water there. We attributed this to the rough sea on our way from Finland to Sweden and pumped it overboard, when we were in open waters. It appeared to fill up quite quickly, so we pumped it overboard before we entered our next destination.

We left Stockholm the same way we came in a few days before with Bruin. It was very nice weather and we had a beautiful trip through the narrow straits of outer Stockholm with colorful wooden (holiday?) houses, rocks and forests. There were many sailing and motor boats doing the same as we did and many small ferries, which serve the small islands. We stopped at Ägnö, where we, for the second time, practiced anchoring on the rocks. This time we ended at a more shallow part and could not really reach the rock with dry feet. Also it appeared that during the evening, when the wind decreased the water level decreased as well, which made it even more difficult to reach dry land with dry feet. Here Menno caught a small perch! Finally somebody from the Onrust caught a fish! It was too small to have for dinner, but still.

Menno steering

Thursday July 9 till Saturday July 11 – Stockholm

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:48 am We had time to explore Stockholm. One day completely in the rain, making us spending much time in cafes and internet locations. The next day we rented city bikes. There is a good system with bikes located at many spots in town and with a card you can take one and leave it at another location. You can use one bike for 3 hours and then you need to change. Also near the harbour there is a spot, so really perfect. This way we could also explore the outskirts. On Saturday Bruin left us. We will miss his enthusiasm for changing the sails many times a day!

Wednesday July 8, Furusund – Stockholm

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:48 am The weather forecast for Thursday and Friday was really poor with a lot of rain and wind force up to 8. We decided to use the nice weather to get to Stockholm and arrive there a day earlier than planned. We used mainly the genaker to sail among the outskirt islands of Stockholm. The density of the island increases while approaching the centre of Stockholm. There are beautiful houses situated on the island and it seems that people go to their work by boat. There are further many small ferries between the islands and you need to be careful to be out of their way. Closer to the centre it becomes more industrialised. We finally arrived late in the Wasahamn near the old town. We were extremely lucky that just before we arrive one boat left and we could take her place. The hamn was really packed. It started also raining just after we arrived and it would not stop for another 36 hours.

Tuesday July 7, Rödhamm (FIN) – Furusund (SWE)

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:47 am In the night the wind increased to wind force 6 SE. For our SW course it would be a quick crossing. We started with only the small genua and finally did not use the big sail until the wind decreased when we were in between the islands of Sweden. Bruin steared the first part of the trip and that appears to be the best way to prevent sea sickness. He wondered if he felt something coming up, but finally survived very well. The wind increased to force 7 in gusts and the waves were up to 3 meter (good estimation?). It was cold with quite some rain and sea water splashing to us. At one moment we got a small breaking wave in the back of the boat, leaving us knee high in the water. The self discharging system worked perfectly. This was actually the first time we experienced this. In between the islands of Sweden the Finnish guest flag was changed for the Swedish one. The wind decreased and we put the big sail. We entered a long narrow fjard in the direction of Stockholm. Many ferry boats passed us. And Sweden is packed with sailing boats. Really nice to be part of this flottilje. We berthed in Furusund an d had a good dinner in the hotel there. The gasthamn of Furusund has good facilities and a very helpful harbour master.

Bruin sails the Onrust overthe Baltic

Monday July 6, Kökar (Helsö) – Rödhamn

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:46 am This was the last lag in Finland. The landscape starts to be more open with less islands and more sea. Rödhamn is the place where many yachts cross over to Sweden. Here we found many Swedes and also another Dutch yacht that indeed crossed together with us. We talked to the Swedes to get an advice on where to go.

Sailing through the Aland Archipelago

Sunday July 5, Utö- Kökar (Helsö)

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:45 am We did a long lag to Kökar (pronounce Stsjokeur). It seems that towards the west the landscape becomes a bit less wild. The island contain more forest and are more round in their appearance. Halsö is situated at a narrow fjard. This is again a nice place. There is a little shop, where you can buy fresh meat. The restaurant was closed, because they had trouble with their alcohol permit (strange relation the Fins have with alcohol: purchase of alcohol is very much restricted, it is extremely expensive and still they drink a lot).

Saturday July 4, Yxskar-Utö

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:45 am We left our beautiful berthing place and went to Utö, which was recommended by several people. It appeared that at the entrance of the natural harbour a new bridge was built near a hotel. We decided to berth there. Unfortunately the hotel was not so nice, the facilities not so good and the restaurant had only a buffet, which is not our favourite. Later it appeared that besides the 25 euro for berthing there was a steep 5 euro for a shower asked. We complained and finally Bruin did not have to pay for his shower. The village of Utö consists of some fisherman’s houses and some holiday houses and we were a bit disappointed.

Friday July 3, Hanko-Yxskar

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:44 am Still lucky with the wind directions and nice sunny weather we continued further west. At about 7 pm the wind disappeared. We were just in front of Yxskar. This is just an island with a beautiful bay, where you can berth at a rock. The guidebook of Finnish berthing places provides a schematic map. You just have to try. We have seen several Fins get grounded on a rock and they do not seem to care. This is the time for us to try (no wind at all and there were already two small masts we could see in the bay). The way of berthing is with an anchor at your rear and then slowly approaching to the rock where you climb the rocks and tie your line to a tree or there might be a ring installed. The two small boats already there were really small and we thought it might not be deep enough. A local showed us the way and when berthed it appeared we still had 3.5 meters of water! Wow, this is really enjoying! This is the best berthing place ever had!!

Onrust berthed at a rock on Yxskar

Thursday July 2, Rödjan-Hanko

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:36 am There was little wind, so we did not make many miles today. In Helsinki we were already warned that in Hanko there would be a four day regatta starting this Thursday and there would be no berth available for ships that did not participate. When we were approaching Hanko we called and it appeared no problem. We just arrived at the time the boats were finishing in front of the harbour. Beautiful to see the folkboats and scherenkruisers in big numbers. They sailed their boats into the harbour as they all had left there engines in the harbour to save on weight. Indeed the marina was packed and we were going around as the ‘ugly duck’ to find a place and to avoid collisions with all these beautiful yachts. Finally we decided to berth next to a German yacht, which clearly did not participate in the regatta either. Again on heck boys. This is actually a very flexible system and much better (and cheaper) than our system with poles. The length and width of the boats can vary and you can berth with more yachts on one boy if required. Our small width is an advantage: we can always squeeze in between. The other boats have to move a bit and then we will fit. Today it appeared that as we look quite small in between the big yachts they all think they can come next to us. We were very popular and finally we were completely built in from all sides. We enjoyed the crowds, watched the ships, had a good beer. Great experience.

It was crowded in Hanko.

Wednesday July 1, Jakob Ramsjö – Rödjan

Sunday 12 July 2009 at 11:34 am We sailed further in westerly directions with north-easterly winds through the wonderful archipelago of Finland. This is the most beautiful sailing area we have ever seen. We are already thinking of coming back here (maybe renting a yacht next time.?). Rödjan again is a very small berthing place with heck boys. A local fisherman sold smoked flounder and we set on the rocks and enjoyed the view. Actually Bruin appears to be a very good front decker and we enjoy the extra crew member as an extra hand and a nice companion. Bruin got used to the boat’s movements very quickly. Unfortunately he bought a big suitcase (which we tie up on the bench preventing it from stumbling around in the cabin.

Bruin sleeping

Tuesday June 30, Helsinki – Jakob Ramsjö

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:30 pm Still the wind was from the east, but now we could benefit from it, now we turned in western directions. Finland has a great coastline for sailing. They are billions of islands and there are three routes along the coast; one more inland route for small boats with a draught of max 1.2 meter, then a middle route with 2.4 depth and an outer route with 9 meter depth. You can change among the routes at certain locations and depending on the wind strength and direction you chose your routing. Really wonderful. Also the weather helped: sunny and wind force 4. It is interesting to see how many classic yachts are sailing in Finland. The modern ‘white plastic containers’ as we see them in NL are rare here. In stead you see ‘scheerenkruisers’ and narrow low yachts(like ours). In a short time we did 40 miles and entered the small berthing place of Jakob Ramsjö: 30 yachts can berth, there is a small restaurant, showers and electricity in a beautiful natural surrounding. This is the way the Finnish people enjoy there (short) summer season.

Beautiful traditional Finnish ships (scherenkruisers)

Monday June 29, Helsinki

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:30 pm We stayed the day in Helsinki for some shopping and sightseeing. Bruin has brought us a solar panel to charge our battery and we installed it and it works! Green energy!

Internet cafe Onrust

Sunday June 28, Tallinn-Helsinki

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:29 pm We started the crossing to Helsinki on the engine, as there was very little wind and from the north (against us). Mid day the wind changed to SW and with the genaker we entered Helsinki with a speed of 6 knots. The entrance of Helsinki is quite complicated as there are many islands and rocks. Also there are many (fast) ferries entering and leaving Helsinki. We changed the genaker for a normal fock to reduce our speed. At the moment we entered the last narrow part before our destination Bruin called that he had arrived at the airport of Helsinki. We were just berthed for half an hour when Bruin arrived in the harbour as well. Well planned! Helsinki has many marinas and we chose to stay in the oldest yacht harbour of Finland on a little island in the centre of town. A small ferry brings you to the main land. Really a very special place to stay. We had dinner in town. We noticed that indeed our drunken Fins from Tallinn were right. Alcohol is extremely expensive. 10 euro for a glass of wine is a bit steep. Actually Helsinki is our most northern and eastern point in our trip. From Helsinki we actually start the way back to NL.

Approaching Helsinki

Saturday June 27, Lohusalu-Tallinn

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:29 pm We left early again for Tallinn. Still against the wind. In the Baltic Sea there is nearly no tidal current. However wind can induce quite some current, especially in narrow streets. It means you will have to sail against the wind ánd the current, which means you loose in two ways. It took us quite long to get to Tallinn. Near Tallinn the wind increased till wind force 7 and we entered the bay of Tallinn with a high speed. Tallinn is a very nice city. We visited it before and did not enter town this time. The yacht harbour of Tallinn was constructed for the Olympic Games of 1980 in Moscow, when the sailing matches were held here. Now the harbour is filled with pleasure yachts from Estonia and many visiting yachts from Finland. We learned from our Finnish neighbours that the Fins come to Tallinn to stock up on alcohol. In Finland prices of alcohol are double of those in Estonia and yachts come just across from Helsinki for alcohol shopping. On the harbour there is already the first shop, The shops transport the alcohol to your boat. The yachts set off back to Helsinki with a draught of 10 cm deeper than they came. Actually our neighbours were already drunk when they arrived to Tallinn from the alcohol they bought last visit. Interesting that these price differences are still possible in a common Europe.

Tallinn

Friday June 26, Dirhami-Lohusalu

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:28 pm Still against the wind further to the east to Lohusalu. This is also a very nice harbour in a natural scenery. Lohusalu is the oldest yacht harbour in Estonia. Also here the harbour master is there to show you where to berth and catch your line.

A cape in Estonia with a lighthouse nearly falling off.

Thursday June 25, Haapsalu-Dirhami

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:27 pm Marielle left us in the morning by bus to Tallinn. She would visit Tallinn and then return to Riga and from there fly back to NL. It was really nice to have her on-board. Marnix and Margriet left in the afternoon for Dirhami, again against the wind (we are still not lucky in wind directions). Dirhami is situated in a small bay in a forested coastline. We could not see the small harbour at all until we entered the bay completely. We were indeed berthed near the beach in the forest, really nice. The harbour master is very friendly.

Onrust in Dirhami

Wednesday June 24, Virtsu-Haapsalu

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:27 pm Again a day against the North-eastern winds and a long sailing day. Haapsalu is a nice small town with again a castle (partly in ruins). Haapsalu has two competing marinas. If they would cooperate they could really develop something nice. The marina (the first one from the east) we chose you do not pay for your berth, but only 5 euro for the use of shower and toilet. It seems they do not have a licence for the berthing. Haapsalu is the first place where we met the Finnish yachts in large numbers. In Haapsalu there were about 40 yachts, with two Dutch, one German and one Danish.

Tuesday June 23, Kuressaare-Virtsu

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:26 pm We left early for Virtsu. With a wind from northern directions we had to tack towards our destination. We had a long day to reach Virtsu. We sailed among the beautifully forested islands of Estonia. Some are deserted and other have a light house and a few sheds. This part of the coast of Estonia has only a few harbours, where yachts can berth. Virtsu is actually a ferry terminal, where they constructed a small berth for yachts. Indeed the berth is next to the ferries and quite basic. Facilities are minimal, while you pay the same as in Kuressaare. Hopefully soon Virtsu will be developed into a nice yacht harbour.

Marnix got wet

Monday June 22, Kuressaare

Thursday 09 July 2009 at 1:25 pm We stayed one day in Kuressaare to visit the castle (really nice) and do some necessary shopping. One of the items hard to get in this region appears to be ‘spiritus’ (the alcohol we use to cook on). We tried every shop and finally succeeded in a service station shop which sells it at a high price as fluid for brakes. This year the longest day (mid summer night) is celebrated in Estonia on June 22. In the evening we joined the crowd at a huge bone fire. With a choir singing German ‘slagers’ we enjoyed an Estonian beer and watched the local ‘market to find a wedding partner’.

June 21, Ventspils - Kuressaare

Sunday 21 June 2009 at 8:36 pm An early start for a long day trip of more than 60 miles. We left Ventspils 6am and quickly changed to larger sails, because there was not much wind outrside the harbour. Finally we went nicely on the spinaker with a speed of 4.5 knots on a wind of 8 knots. Once through the Street of Irbes and further inside the Gulf of Riga, the wind left us and we had to continue on the engine. 9pm we arrived at the nice and welcoming harbour of Kuressaare, where the harbour master directed us to the buoy next to Vrijdheid, a dutch/german yacht we are meeting regularly since entering Poland. The shipper of the Paddington IV, an english yacht we are seeing since Liepaja (or was it already Stralsund) was so friendly to take some pictures of us entering the harbour.

Kuressaare is again a harbour with free internet, so this should be our record in uploading on the blog after arrival.

Marielle steering


Entering Kuressaare Sadam


Entering Kuressaare Sadam


Crossing the traffic lane in the Street of Irbes

Saturday 20 Ventspils

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 2:29 pm Ventspils is a historic town with a long history (Livonian Order, Hanse, Russian and now part of independed Latvia within the EU). We decided to stay a day and explore the city.

Ventspils is relatively rich, due to its trading port. A lot of buildings have been restored and nice public green areas have been created. Furthermore, 23 artifical cows give the city some diversion as art objects. However, between the coble stoned streets and restored houses, there are still a lot of drab building blocks, ruins and empty places. This makes a strange mix and provides a somewhat unnatural atmosphere.

Friday June 19, Pavilosta - Ventspils

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 2:26 pm Again a lot of wind, today from southwest, and even larger waves. With the wind from behind we made quick progress, but the Onrust was riding bobling over the waves, which made it quite uncomfortable. We werre glad to enter Ventspils harbour: a huge oil and coal hub, with a wide and deep entrance, making it easy to sail safely inside. In the evening we found a nice, crowded restaurant under the Pils (=castle).

Thursday June 18, Liepaja - Pavilosta

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 2:11 pm We left Liepaja in the expectation to pick up Marielle (who joins us for a week) in Ventspils in the evening. We made quick progress on 20 knots wind from behind and large waves of up to 2 metre. However, halfway, Rescue Radio Riga interupted this with a gale warning, and we were lucky to be close to the small harbour of Pavilosta. The wind increased to 28 knots when we entered this small fishing harbour, but due to the southerly wind direction we had no problem with waves in the harbour entrance.

Marielle caught the once daily bus from Riga to Pavilosta. So for the coming week, we are the three of us on the Onrust.

Tuesday June 16, Hel - Liepaja

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 1:45 pm Tuesday June 16, Hel - Liepaja
So far, our longest day trips have been up to 60 nautical miles, taking us some 12 - 14 hours. Going east from Poland we had to make a much longer trip, since we decided not to go to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, the former peusian city Konigsberg. We could have entered the area, if we would have obtained a visum, requiring an invitation lettre from the yachtsclub. But we did not want to get involved in all the paper work and fixing our schedule to a certain time of entry into Russia.

As a consequence, we now had to avoid interting the Russian 12 mile zone, which left is as shortest possibility the 100 mile trip to Klaipeda in Lithuenia. This would take us around 24 hour, so we decided to use the next day and try to get to Pavilosta in Latvia in one trip of 160 miles.

We started early, 5am, and had to on the engine for the first 5 hours, due to lack of wind. The hours after 10am, the wind continually increased, making it possible to change toi smaller sails and still running wel over 5 knots. We passed through the Russian Exclusive Economic Zone at some 20 miles from the land and had no encounters with any other ships here. Around 10pm we entered the Lithuanian EEZ and raised the Lithuanian guest flag, because this would probably be the only occasion to use it. Around 11pm it got dark, but still with some light in the northern sky, which began to grow again around 3am, when we entered Latvia. We had decided not to sleep in the dark hours, but we had slept one after the other for a few hours in the first daylight. Unfortunately, the wind stopped around 2am, and we had to continue by engine, which made us decide around 10am to enter the first Latvian port: Liepaja.

In the afternoon, when we returned from the market with Latvian delicacies, a fishing boat had moored next to us and sold fresh fish to locals. The people waiting there in the hours before and the long queue reminded us of the enormous changes that occured here in the past decades.

Tired and satisfied that we had made 135 miles in one trip, we slept very early!

Onrust in Liepaja

Monday June 15 - Gdansk- Hel

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 12:56 pm We did the small trip to Hel (!) together with Piotr. Hel is situated at the end of Hel peninsula. It used to be a navy base, but is now completely open for anyone. It is a fishermen's port. We had a very nice dinner with Piotr in Maszoperu.

Piotr on board of the Onrust

Friday, June 12 till Monday June 15 - Gdansk

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 12:51 pm It was great to be in Gdansk and to meet all friends again. We sat in Gdynia in our favourate bar Ciganeria II at the beach with Piotr and Reina. We visited Jola in her new house (with a new boy friend) and had a 'grilla' in her garden for her name day. We had (on the same day...) another grilla in Gdansk Pruszcz with Artur and Anja, where we also met Artur and Ella. We bought a new computer as our old one broke down (too much moisture in the boat?). All these days there was a lot of wind (with a forecast of wind force 10 (which we did not really get)). It was really nice to be back and this time ' nad waszym kielem' (on your own keel, op eigen kiel).

Onrust in Gdansk Marina


The Pitlasz fdamily visits us on the Onrust


Celebrating Jola's nameday

Thursday, June 11, Wladislawlowo - Gdansk (!)

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 12:48 pm Today we made it all the way to Gdansk. This time we used more our engine to overcome the period without wind. The last leg from Hel to gdanks we sailed together with 2 Swedish yachts. With the genaker we crossed the Bay of Gdansk fairly quickly. We passed Sopot, but did not have much time to have a closer look. The sky became very dark again with another thunderstorm. We just passed the harbour entrance of Gdansk when the storm started. Again good that we left early. The sky was black above the harbour equipment of (among others) the Gdansk shipyard. At Westerplatte we fulfilled the flag ceremony for foreign ships, which pass the monument. At Westerplatte the Second Wolrd War started and to remember all Polish people that suffered from this war you should lower your flag for a while. Soaked we arrived in the marina of Gdansk, which is situated in the old town next to the old ware houses. Great! This was our real destination and we made it! That afternoon Artur and Anja with their three children came on board. We sat with all of us inside as it was still raining.

A huge thunderstorm welcomes us in Gdansk


Thunderstorm when entering Gdansk


Entering Gdansk with the old city in the background

Wednesday, June 10, Leba- Wladislawlowo

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 12:47 pm Again we left early, this time with destination Hel and again... we stopped one harbour earlier than planned. Again because of heavy thunder (and this time it really came). Wladislaslowo is a big fishermen's port, where they constructed berths for yachts, very well done. There are less fishermen here than we remembered from 15 years ago. Also here limitations in catch are introduced and with money from the EU many fishermen decided to start another life.

Tuesday, June 9, Leba - biking trip

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 12:45 pm We decided to stay a day in Leba and explore by bike the Slowinski National Park. Not so much the dunes, but more the inner part with small lakes, villages, forest and agricultural land. A bike route was on the map and it started great. The route was wonderful, however the road was at parts not paved at all. We went through sand, mud, peatland and streams, which made it more a mountain bike trip than we had expected. In Smodzino (at the farrest end of the trip) we were tired and hungry. We found a restaurant with great Polish food: Smalec (pork fat with bacon), Bigos (sauerkraut with mushrooms), Kielbasa (sausage) and Pierogi (ravioli). We enjoyed and gained strength for the way back.

A view of Lake Leba from Ibizna

Monday, June 8, Ustka - Leba

Saturday 20 June 2009 at 12:43 pm We left Ustka early morning with the idea to sail to Wladislawlowo (nice Polish tongue twister). Wind from the righyt direction and strength. We sailed along the high dunes of the Slowinski national park. These dunes are continuously moves by the wind and the near forst, but also a village are swollowed by the 'Sahara sands'. We have visited this place several times, when we lived in Poland. Near Leba the wind disappeared and large thunder clouds were building up. We decided to enter Leba and forget about Wladislawlowo for that day. Leba has a nice marina, where they invested to attract yachts from all around the Baltic. Unfortunately the basin is constructed in such a way that a small river discharges a high load of sediments in the basin and dredging isd required every year. Also now they were working on that, before the real season starts. Here we met several Polish yachts and it was nice to talk with them and learn from their experiences. The thunder storm did not really come down that afternoon.

Sunday, June 7, Darłowo - Ustka

Sunday 07 June 2009 at 7:31 pm Again a lot of wind, northeast 5 to 6 in gusts 7, but no big waves in the entrance to the harbour of Darłowo. So we left early, 5am, hoping to make it to Łeba. However, against the wind and waves, we had to make nearly twice the normal 22 miles. So we ended in Ustka, encountering in the small ‘yacht harbour’ two German yachts, we are sailing along with since Świnowiście. During the day, in the waves of up to 3m, Marnix got seriously seasick, green and nearly vomiting, which he finally controlled by continuously eating dry biscuits.

The forecasts are promising less wind (3-5) and from a better direction, so we will try to be early again tomorrow, to get closer to Gdansk.

Saturday, June 6, Margriet’s birthday

Saturday 06 June 2009 at 7:09 pm Finally, the wind calmed down today, but we had no intention to motor 12 hours around the military exercise area between Darłowo and Ustka. So we stayed in Darłowo another day and celebrated Margriet’s 43rd birthday here with freshly caught tarbot and a bottle of Sancerre!

Margriet's birthday in Darlowo

Thursday, June 4, Darłowo- stay

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:39 pm Even more wind than Wednesday, although the forecast was a bit better. We had a look at the harbour entrance, where the breaking waves entered the front basin of the harbour. It was clear, it would be another day here in Darłowo. Today we were joined by another 4 yachts, 2 German and 2 Swedish. They had a hard time on sea, but more in coming safe through the breakers at the entrance of the port. We saw them surfing inside, all arrived safely. But all yachts are much bigger than we (between 34 and 38 feet and at least 5 times more weight) an we would be even more a game for the waves than they are. We are patient and wait till the good wind. Today we walked around in the centre of Darłowo, which is situated more in-land with a nice market square, a castle and enough shops to stock more food and drink onboard. Also we got the right card for an internet connection via the mobile telephone. Hopefully, within Poland we do not have to depend on wireless hotspots anymore, since we have not found one yet.

Breakers in the harbour entrance of Darlowo

Wednesday, June 3, Darłowo – stay

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:22 pm The wind forecast for today was 6 to 7 in gusts to 8. Mmm, a little too much. We visited the ‘Bosman’ of the harbour and he confirmed the weather forecast. Further he could tell us more about the military exercises in the area. Normally they seem to stop their shooting at about 2 pm, so then you can already pass. He would keep us informed. Very nice and helpful. Of course, it helps that we speak Polish, however his German was good also. We got somewhat lost in what language to speak with him. Next to the basin there was a little shop which said ‘sailing shop’. We went in and indeed he had all kind of sailing gear. It was a shop of maybe 20 m2, but it had everything. The owner was very glad with our visits (we went three times in total).

Onrust in Darlowo fishing harbour


Fishing boats in Darlowo harbour

Tuesday, June 2, Kołobrzeg - Darłowo

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:20 pm With little wind we headed with 4 other boats to Darłowo (2 German and 2 Dutch sailing yachts). It feels always more comfortable to be together with other boats. We sailed (with halfwinder partly) till the wind was really gone. The other boats did not have that patience and quickly set their engines. We used our engine the last 3 hours unfortunately in a completely flat Baltic Sea. The weather forecasts are a bit contradicting. The Germans gave wind 3-4. The Polish even 3-5, possibly 6 and we have 0. We can follow the Polish weather forecast by radio and normally the local people know their weather the best. However, they seem to be careful in their predictions. Further east along the coast there are huge areas restricted and used as shooting exercise areas. We called the navy to get more information. Starting of in English and then changing to Polish and back to English again, Marnix got the information that indeed the coming days there will be exercises. This means that we either pass in the night (between 2 and 5 am, when apparently the military take their sleep) or we make a detour of 35 miles (7 hours for us). With strong winds coming up tonight (7 (careful again?), we do not feel like doing the nightly trip tonight. We arrived as the last one of our convoy in Darłowo. The other 3 yachts (one German apparently went further east) berthed already in the fishery basin and we joined them. Darłowo is a nice little fishery village with some beach tourism. It seemed that not really much changed compared to the time that we lived in Poland (15 years ago). The comparison is not really fair, as we lived in Gdańsk, a big city, and we are now in villages in a more backward region of Poland. The shops look the same, have the same products (more of course of western brands), the restaurants are the same, although a Pizzeria was added to the normal choice.

Onrust entering the harbour of Darlowo

Monday, June 1, Świnowiście – Kołobrzeg

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:19 pm A wonderful day to do such a long track (58 miles). We are lucky, with a wind 4-5, first against us, but later we could sail in a straight line to our goal. This is the longest track we ever did. We started at 5 am (already in daylight) and arrived at 7 pm. There were nearly no other boats in sight and that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. We both slept in turns for half an hour. The coastline here is completely forested with some small villages now and then. Kołobrzeg. Here we met again 2 Dutch yachts, we had seen before. It seems we will see them more often as they also plan to go further east. This is also a nice marina with good facilities. Unfortunately the bars next to the port, were (already?) closed and we went into town and had dinner next to the Pier on the Bulvard.

Sunday May 31, Üeckermünde – Świnowiście (PL)

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:18 pm Today was a better day and we sailed happily into Poland. In the middle of the Zalew Wielki (Grosser Bodden) is a line of boys, which marks the border. Previously you needed to notify border control by radio of your crossing of the border. Now you only need to cross at a certain boy and of course to lower the German guest flag and raise the Polish one. It is special to sail into Poland this way. When we were living in Poland we have been strolling in the harbours and thinking how nice it would be to come here with our own yacht. Now we did it! We passed through the harbours of Świnowiście and berthed in the marina, near to the coast. The main nationality is German in the marina. Further there is a small number of Polish boats (mainly rental) and 4 Dutch boats. We recognize the boats from earlier in our trip. There is a nice atmosphere and the facilities are good, with harbour master present 24 hours (!). It was nice to try our Polish again and it still works. We had dinner on board and slept early as we had a long track planned for the next day.

Saturday, May 30, Üeckermünde - stay

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:18 pm After our successful exchange of the diesel filter we noticed that some diesel was leaking into the bilge. It was not much, but needed attention. We diagnosed that one of the air releases was leaking and a new rubber ring was needed. The local shipyard was very kind to help us. They had a big box with rings in all sizes, we could choose ours and left happily. Again Marnix could play as if he is a real man and he repaired the engine again. The only thing is that after this successful repair the engine starts to use oil (very little). Something to take care of later… In the afternoon we decided to continue to Poland (only 12 miles to the border). However there was even more wind than the day before (up to 30 knots, Beaufort 7). While setting the sails Marnix fell and hurt his knee. Not really serious, but he could also have fallen overboard. It did not really feel well anymore and we decided to go back to Üeckermünde. Sailing should be fun and other wise stop if you can.

Friday, May 29, Lauterbach – Üeckermünde

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:17 pm The wind was still 6 to 7, however we left for the Peenestrom. These are lakes behind the island Üsedom protected from the coast. Starting with only the jib, but later also with the main sail we did a long track all the way to Üeckermünde, where we arrived at 8.30 pm (in total 55 miles). We passed two bridges. It is interesting to notice that in Germany bridges have very limited opening hours (only like 4 times a day for 20 minutes). It is understandable in a way as the opening and closing procedure takes ages…! With wind and current from the back it is an interesting exercise to stay away from the bridge while waiting. Here we met the first Polish yachts. In Karnin there is a relict of the Second World War. Only the lifted part of a train bridge is still standing. The other parts have been destroyed by the Allied Forces. Remnants of the pillars are still there under water, a narrow gully is marked for the ships to pass. With a high speed of 6 to 7 knots we entered Ueckermünde.

Ruin of Karnin railway bridge

Thursday, May 28, Departure Jet and windforce 7 to 8, stay in Lauterbach

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:15 pm Jet left in the morning by train, back to her car in Warnemünde and then back home. It was really nice to have her on board. We hesitated to continue to Freest or Wolgast on the Peenemünde or even to Świnowiście (the first Polish port). Finally we decided to stay another day in Lauterbach to do some shopping, filling up diesel (from the fishermen), spiritus, money, food and drink. Of course in Poland you can buy anything you like these days. However, the villages on the coastline are rather small and may not have everything, plus the distances are huge and we maybe not be on land during shopping hours. In the afternoon the wind increased to 8 even in the harbour, so we were glad we waited a day.

Wednesday, May 27, Hiking trip on Rügen

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:13 pm Today we decided to stay on Rügen a day more. We did a nice walk through the forests, fields and along the coast. We did part of the trip by steam train (the ‘Rasende Roland’). Always nice to see those steam driven engines. Maybe we enjoyed more than the children on board. We had dinner on board of the Onrust with smoked mackerel warmed in white wine, very good and simple dish!

A lake on Ruegen


Jet & Margriet waling on Ruegen


An old road on Ruegen


Jet & Margriet on the Rasende Roland


Clouds over Lauterbach Marina

Tuesday, May 26, Lauterbach (bike trip on eastern part of Rügen)

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:09 pm We explored the eastern part of Rügen by bike. It is a hilly area (with interesting climbs and downhill tracks) with forest, rape seed and grain fields and some grazing areas. We passed by Putbus. This was the seat of the King of Rügen. The village consists of renaissance buildings and street patterns (a circular park). We visited Binz, a sea resort from the old times with a pier, kurhaus and nice small hotels in wooden buildings. It was really crowded here with people even swimming. It seems that the micro climate is really favourable here for bathing. It was 25 degrees. Via a nice coastal route we went back to Lauterbach. A holiday on Rügen can be recommended!

Onrust in Lauterbach

Monday, May 25, Stralsund-Lauterbach

Thursday 04 June 2009 at 8:06 pm The railway bridge in Stralsund only opens for 20 minutes 5 times a day. I guess we were on this Monday afternoon outside the season already with 10 yachts. In the weekends in summer this must be very crowded. We met several yachts again here which we met recently along the way. It is a concentration point in time and region apparently. After the bridge (again) only the small boats (3) put their sails and slowly went further south. The rest appear to be more motor boats. We had the wind from behind and Jet and Margriet put the spinnaker. We do not use it too much and the system with rings and lines to keep the sail together is always a surprise, but it always worked. When we entered the Greifswalder Bodden, the wind turned 180 degrees. They say that around capes (clifs) of the island, the wind can make these shifts. We sailed against the wind (force 5 at the end) to Lauterbach on Rügen. The Greifswalder Bodden are less shallow and you can sail freely here, only try to miss the numerous fishing nets.

Sunday, May 24, Vitte – Stralsund

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:55 pm With very little wind and mostly from southern directions (where our destination is situated), we did the small leg to Stralsund over the Bodden Gewasser. The area is really nice and reminds a bit of Friesland. Unfortunately the majority of the lakes are very shallow and you need to keep the indicated routes.

Stralsund is a nice town (Unesco world heritage) with an interesting skyline. Among the old warehouses along the harbour, the Oceanium was constructed with large aquaria and exhibitions. Jet visited the Oceanium the next day and learned that the animals we met in the Baltic Sea were actually not dolphins (tuimelaars), but ‘schweinwal’ (varkenswalvis?). They are normally rarely spotted. I am still surprised that we were lucky to see them already 3 times.

We walked around town where a lot of the houses are renovated, although there are a lot in ruins as well. It brings an interesting mix in architecture.

Skyline of Stralsund

Saturday, May 23, Vitte

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:52 pm We stayed in Vitte for a day and did the obligatory (and very nice!) walk to the light house though a beautiful landscape, where cows, sheep and horse and chart were put in the coulisses for the nice pictures. There is motorized traffic on the island. Because of Hemelvaart there were quite some visitors. Also the harbour was quite filled with boats from other holiday makers. It is remarkable to see the jollenkreuzer (small wooden sailing boats from the fifties), mainly owned by locals (former DDR) compared to the big white ‘containers’ from the visiting western owners.
From fisherman Willi we bought fresh fish (schol) with some ice to keep the fish fresh, and also cool the white wine (brought by Jet). That brought us a nice dinner.

Lighthouse Dornbusch at Hiddensee


Vew on lighthouse Dornbusch and the island Hiddensee


Vew on the island Hiddensee and the Vitter Bodden

Friday, May 22, Warnemünde – Vitte

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:40 pm Today we did a very long track (50 miles). Jet did not get time to get used to living on board really. With quite a strong wind (West 4-6), we sailed further north east to the Bodden Gewasser. We passed the Darsser Ort. This is a nature reserve. It used to be a DDR navy base. Officially the harbour is closed for all ships, only for emergency reasons you are allowed to enter (and they say that also incoming darkness is an emergency..). There seems to be a dispute between WWF and water sporters. The harbour is not maintained and is being silted up. There are stories that the harbour will be opened again. In Warnemünde they told us that with our draught of 1.25 meter we would just be able to berth.. or not. We decided not to try this.. Again we met a group of dolphins, this time really close to the boat. We continued to Vitte on the island of Hiddensee. The last part on the Bodden Gewasser was still exiting with many narrow marked routes crossing each other and making it kind of impossible to indicate with boy is next and on what side to pass it. Luckily we finally got a local boat in front of us, so we could follow. Do not try to do this in the dark! Hiddensee is a very nice island with a high cliff on the northern side with a light house on top. We arrived at 8 pm in Vitte. The harbour master raised the Dutch flag the next morning.

Margriet and Jet


Marnix and Jet


Lighthouse Dornbusch at Hiddensee

Thursday, May 21, Kühlungsbron – Warnemünde

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:38 pm Today we really should reach Warnemünde, as Jet will board here and join us for a week. With a nice wind we reached Warnemünde easily. The coast line is really beautiful, hilly with forest (very different from the flat grazing areas in the Netherlands. At 1 pm we berthed in the ‘Alte Strom’ in the centre of town. Warnmünde is a nice little town with fihermen selling their fish from the boat. It appeared that today (Hemelvaart) is also ‘Herren Tag’ (men’s day). The idea is that men in groups get walk around with a carriage of beer and sing their songs. Interesting festivity (some left-over from the DDR period?).

At 5 pm Jet arrived. She will join us for a week. Great to have new companionship on board. While we had dinner in a Czech restaurant there was a big storm with thunder. This was very well forecasted by the German Wetterdienst. Big branches were torn from the trees. Good we were safe in the harbour.

The Onrust on the Alter Strom in Warnemunde

Wednesday, May 20, Timmendorf – Kühlungsborn

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:36 pm Again a day with very little wind. Again our target was Warnemünde and again we did not make it. It was even a hot day and sun protection by means of a hat was needed. Marnix used his Russian woolen hat again as he missed his baseball cap. Of course by means of the engine we would have reached it easily, but we do not like to make long distances by motor, so we stopped in Kühlungsborn. This is one of the Baltic Sea German (former DDR) sea resorts that is now completely renovated and shows a lot of new hotels and also a new marina. In between the new buildings the old guest houses can be identified. For us this place also looks a lot like Sopot, where we lived in Poland. Sopot is kind of our destination for this sailing trip. It felt as if we were already there.

The sea front of Kuhlungsbron

Tuesday, May 19, Burg am Fehmarn-Timmendorf

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:35 pm We started the day with good wind and were heading for Warnemünde, but as forecasted the wind decreased considerable and exactly from our desired destination. We changed plans and went to the cozy small port of Timmendorf. Here they installed poles for yachts. However, they put them quite well apart. Our neighbour suggested sharing one place and together we could get well connected to the poles. Also our neighbour told us that in this area (we entered the coast line of former DDR) only people with connections to the Party could go sailing. Others were not allowed as an escape to the West by boat might be tempting.

The little harbour of Timmendorf

Monday, May 18, Burg am Fehmarn, work on board

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:33 pm No wind and we decided to do some jobs on board and to continue tomorrow. We exchanged one of the two the diesel filters, which was forgotten by our motor technician. We are very proud we did the job without filling the bilge with diesel! After the exchange of the filter you need to get the air out of the engine. Marnix pumped the fuel pump till blisters till we realized we closed the fuel valve to the motor…stupid! After we opened the valve again it was an easy job.
The proper disposal of the old filter (chemical waste) appeared a problem. The harbour master did not want to have it. Finally the watersport’s shop took it (after some discussion). Of course this creates the temptation to throw this with the normal waste, which you do not want.

Further Margriet checked all automatic life vests. We were always quite relaxed with these. The day before we got quite wet, including our life vests, and then you actually need to check them. It appeared that the little gas bottle of our newest life vest (just bought in Kiel) missed a small part to prevent it from blowing up undesired. The vest was a promotion, be careful! In Burg we could buy all missing and spare parts, so we are complete again.

Sunday, May 17, Heiligerhafen – Burg am Fehmarn

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:33 pm Heiligerhafen is such a huge marina (800 places) with not much atmosphere. And all places seem to be 12 meter long and we need long lines to be able to berth. We also found out that we need to bunker diesel in time in this region. There is only a small number of facilities around and then they have limited opening hours. In this huge marina on Sunday the bunker opens at 2 pm! We have enough spare diesel, so we decided not to wait for that.

There was wind 5-6 from NE, exactly from the direction we needed to do under the bridge between the mainland and Fehmarn. We were more or less the only sailing boat, which did the ‘crossing against the wind’. It is interesting to see that the bigger the sailing boats are, the less time they actually sail. We were with three small sailing boats fighting against the wind. And also against the current! Although the Baltic Sea does not have tidal currents, wind can induce a current in narrow waters and this was exactly happening under the bridge (current about 1.5 knots?). After the bridge we came in more open water and waves came in with a height of 2 meter maximum (always difficult to estimate). Onrust did great and we entered Burg am Fehmarn with a speed of 6.5 knots.

We experienced it is difficult to find an available place in the harbours. Green and red signs should indicate if the place is available or not. The interesting thing is that the majority of the places are red, just because the owner of the place wants to keep it open for the moment he comes back (which might be in a week time….). Green signs are hard to find. Actually you see the same in the Netherlands. Everybody wants to keep their own place available for when he comes back. However, he also complaints when he can not find a place as a guest in another harbour.

Burg am Fehmarn is a big island (like Texel) and quite touristic. We had a very good dinner in town (Zur Traube) and after that a good beer in a bar with a real marine atmosphere (including a bar lady in sexy clothes). She brought new beers without asking in a good tempo. Except of Margriet there were 2 other women in the bar…

Saturday, May 16, Kiel Laboe – Heiligerhafen

Sunday 24 May 2009 at 5:31 pm We left the harbour of Laboe with good wind, but in the course of the day it became less and less. After changing our front sails 3 times (including our biggest sail the ‘halfwinder’, we finally gave up. We entered Heiligerhafen (close to the island Fehmarn) just before dark. Another reason to stop not too late with sailing is that after about 5 pm it is really getting cold (hat and gloves required). Marnix prepared already dinner before we berthed, so we could immediately start eating.

Today we saw the first Baltic dolphins (tuimelaars) playing next to the boat. Great!

Friday, May 15, Kiel Schwentine – Kiel Laboe

Friday 15 May 2009 at 6:06 pm After a day of necessary shopping (among others maps of Estonia, Sweden and Finland, that we could not get in the Netherlands), the wind is still too strong to head for the Baltic proper: east 6-7. But with a double reef in the main sail, we sailed smoothly north to the last harbour on the western shore of the Kieler Fjord, where we will have to wait for a bit less wind. Saturday or anyway Sunday, we can leave here and start our tour of the Baltic.

Wednesday, May 13, Rendsburg – Kiel Schwentine

Friday 15 May 2009 at 6:02 pm The last 30km on the Kieler Kanal brought us to the sluices at Holtenau and the Kieler Fjord. We were once directed to stop our progress on the Kanal (3 red lights) and we berthed on a huge pole (dukdalf) and indeed there a huge cruise ship came around the corner. After three weeks and a day, we have reached the Baltic Sea! Sailing (finally again) we went south to the city of Kiel.

Huge cruise ship coming to us


Ships passing by on the Kieler Kanal

Tuesday, May 12, Bargen – Rendsbrug

Friday 15 May 2009 at 6:01 pm Again a beautiful day with a lot of wind, but the Easterly direction of the wind and the trees around the Eider prevented us from sailing. On the engine, we went again through a number of bridges and sluices. It is amazing how slow, sluices operate here. You really sense that life is much more relaxed here, than in the Netherlands, where you cause a traffic jam with every open bridge.

After the Gieselau sluice, we reached the Kieler Kanal, connecting the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. It is impressive to encounter huge sea going vessels, slowly passing by, since the maximum speed on the canal is around 15 km. Around 7pm we reached Rendsburg, where we had to stop for the night, since pleasure craft is only allowed on the canal during daylight hours, which are defined to end at 8pm this time of the year. Just before Rendsburg there is an interesting bridge with ferry underneath. The ferry is actually hanging under the bridge and is moved by cables from one side to the other side of the river. You wonder why it is still called a ferry, it is not even touching the water…

Hanging ferry under the bridge in Rendsburg


Hanging ferry under the bridge in Rendsburg

Monday, May 11, Tönning – Bargen

Friday 15 May 2009 at 5:59 pm A late departure, since we could only leave 3 hours before high tide to be able to get out of the harbour and to have the current with us further up the Eider. 16.30 HW at Tönning, so we left at 13.30. No problem, partly because we had observed during low tide that the water depth at the threshold at the entrance of the harbour was much higher on the starboard side of the canal, which helped us now to leave the harbour again.

A few hours of motoring and a few bridges further brought us to the sluice at the end of the tidal part of the Eider. For each bridge and sluice, Margriet had to blew her lungs out of her body on the horn to get the attention of the bridge and sluice personnel. Once noticed, they immediately opened the bridge to let us through.

On the tidal part of the Eider the wind was hard (6 Beaufort) and mostly against us, so we only used the engine. On the Inner Eider (after Nordfeld), it was more quiet and we sailed through the beautiful landscape, till late in the evening, ending in the little harbour of Bargen, a small village on the Eider. The sign board of the harbour directed us to the Fährhause (Ferry House), where we entered the bar, which looked more the living room of (indeed) the old Fährmann. We had a beer with him and he gave us the key to the toilets. The next morning the harbour master arrived. She was very friendly and took Margriet with her car to the next village to fill up our jerry cans with diesel. She enjoyed having guests and gave us all support she good give.

Sunday, 10 May, Helgoland-Tönning

Monday 11 May 2009 at 12:10 pm The alarm went off at 4.45 am.... After some discussion on ‘shall we or not?’... we left Helgoland at 5.20 and that appeared a very good decision!! We had a great day of sailing with 3-4 windforce from NW to N. The perfect weather to enter the Eider River east from Helgoland, only possible in calm weather due to the sandbanks in front of the entrance. Indeed we had no waves at the entrance. It is a very narrow gully, which we entered with upcoming tide and a speed of 7-8 knots over the ground. Great! At 1.30 pm we were through the ‘Eidersperrwerk’, a kind of ‘Oosterscheldekering’. After that still with upcoming tide to Tönning, where we arrived just at high tide. Just before the harbour we grounded quite heavily. After the real sea, you get a bit too relaxed when you think you are inside. However behind this sperrwerk it is still a tidal basin with sandbars and narrow gullies…Oeps! We could get loose after some trick with the great sail against the wind.

The little picturesque harbour of Tönning falls dry with low water and we were quite well stuck in the mud and fall a little over even, but no problems at all. We bought half a kilo of local shrimps and used the evening to peal and eat them.

Onrust in Tonning with high water


Onrust in Tonning with low water, coming some 30cm out of the water resting on her keel


Marnix searching for a book in our ship library

Saturday, May 9, Spiekeroog-Helgoland

Monday 11 May 2009 at 12:03 pm The saying ‘A patient skipper will always have good wind’ was kind of relevant to us. We waited for 5 days on the Island for a good wind to Helgoland. Helgoland is situated in the middle of the German Bight at about 25 miles from the German Coast, so we wanted to have a nice day. We spent our time by walking in the dunes and on the beach, reading and doing some small repairs and improvements on the boat.

Margriet prepared a ‘joon’, mostly from leftover material that was on board. This is a long pole with a flag that should float vertically in the water. It is used as a marker when a person would fall overboard and should be visible in the waves. We had already bought a flashing light for the same purpose at night. We bought a small orange flag on a long flexible pole that is normally used on children’s bikes to make them more visible in the traffic. Then we had an old floating light, that was not working anymore, which was connected to the orange bike flag. This together would fall over in the waves, so a more heavy part was needed at the bottom to keep it upright. The long tube radar reflector was cut in pieces and filled with mud from the Wad and connected to the floating light (tube radar reflectors do not seem to work anyway, so we replaced it with a tri-lense reflector). And the ‘joon’ works! We tried it in the harbour and it stays upright. I am afraid that in really heavy wind it will still fall over, but it will do. Of course we trust that we will not need it. We use our life-vests and life-lines daily while sailing on current and with the cold water, as it is still now.

Margriet with her self prepared joon


Today the weather forecast did not mention wind force 6 with 7 or 8 in showers and a chance of thunderstorm. Today the forecast was SW 5, later decreasing. Finally! We said goodbye to our neighbours, a very friendly elderly German couple and left at about midday with outgoing tide. Indeed the wind was good in the beginning. With wind from behind and still a 2 meter swell from the days before, we both started to feel a bit seasick. A pill ‘primatur’ worked perfectly. With the help of our AIS (Automatic Identification System) we could perfectly identify the right timing to pass the shipping lanes of Bremerhafen, Wilhelmshafen and Hamburg. An AIS signal is transmitted by all vessels above 300 tons and also smaller vessels like pilots and coast guard. We can receive these signals and they are shown as little boats on our chart plotter. You can see their name, size, speed, direction and other interesting information. It gives a save means of passing these traffic lanes. Also the radar reflector makes us visible. We still want to ask a ship with radar, how they see us.

After the lanes the wind decreased to nearly nothing. With still a swell of about 2 meter, the sails were swept from one side to the other and made it a very uncomfortable trip. We decided to use the engine. Finally we arrived at 8.30 pm on Helgoland. Helgoland is a strange island of sandstone in the middle of the sea. It is a tax-free resort with many day-visitors. Marnix had expected still a charming old fishermen’s village. That was a bit of a disappointment. We had dinner in the only nice place in town: the ‘Bunte Kuh’.

Helgoland

Sunday, May 3, Langeoog - Spiekeroog

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:37 pm Until today our trip was without any problems and we got used to that. This day we encountered for the first time heavy weather. We planned our trip in the morning as in the afternoon the wind would increase to force 6. In the morning we had good weather. We did some rescue on a little bird. It came on board and joined us for some hour. It was quite a long way from land, so the bird must have been exhausted. After 1 hour it apparently thought it had gained strength enough and left us again. I am afraid it did not survive the heavy weather of the afternoon.

The plan was to enter from the sea side Wangeroog via the Harle rif. There was one item that we missed in our planning and that was the limited depth of threshold at the outside of the gap between the islands of Spiekeroog and Wangeroog at low tide. We arrived there about 1 hour after low tide. Luckily our depth meter warned us about the limited depth and we hastily returned to sea. With the upcoming heavy wind, we decided to go back to Spiekeroog and to take the Otzumer Balje, which is a lot deeper than the Harle Rif. This time we did not miss the heavy wind. We decreased our sails and went back against the wind to Spiekeroog. When we entered the Otzumer Balje the wind had a force of 6 to 7. We entered with a speed of 7.5 knots through high waves. Boats and crew did very well. We berthed in Spiekeroog at about 6.30 pm safely. This day brought us a lesson. We need to look into every detail in the planning of a trip.

We are forced to stay longer in Spiekeroog. The weather is rough. Wind speeds of 6 to 7 and in showers to 8 and 9. We stay in the little port. Spiekeroog is the greenest island of the German islands and we enjoy hiking. We meet again our friends from the Windbreker here. They are on there way back to the Netherlands. We hope to leave again on Thursday or Friday.

Little bird resting on board


The harbour of Spiekeroog


A rainy and windy day on Spiekeroog


Tram rails near the old ferry port of Spiekeroog

Saturday, May 2, Norderney – Langeoog

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:35 pm Actually this is the first day we are on ‘new waters’. Until Norderney we had done 2 years ago, so actually only now the adventure starts.

We decided to do the next lag over sea again. By mariphone we heard there was quite some poor visibility in the German Bight and we decided to enter Langeoog to prevent us from entering that area as well. Langeoog, again, has a huge old navy port, with a small area dedicated for yachts. Nice atmosphere in the harbour, with many people from Langeoog present.

Friday, May 1, Borkum – Norderney

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:33 pm After consultation with the harbour master we decided not to take the ‘Wattfahrwasser of Borkum’ as with 40 cm decrease in water levels due to the wind direction this would be too shallow. We took the Oosterems more to the south to pass to the direction of Juist (the next island). We were together with a couple of yachts and passed easily. After Juist we entered the next Wattfahrwasser. This is really a narrow passage and you have to follow carefully the sticks that are stick in the gully. At the shallowest point we encountered the ferry to Juist!! Thank a lot!! We could luckily, without grounding, pass. We arrived at about 8 pm in Norderney. There we met again our fellow ships from Lauwersoog, the Pollux and the Windbreker.

Passing the ferry to Juist

Thursday, April 30, Lauwersoog – Borkum

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:32 pm We left Lauwersoog in dense fog at 7 am. Luckily we had a local small motor boat in front of us, who could give us directions to the sluice. On the sea side of the sluice the fog was completely gone. It was extremely cold, although there was no wind. We headed withy three sailing boats on engine in the direction of Borkum. Our engine is not the strongest and soon we were in last position. Soon they were out of sight and I am afraid they did the whole trip (about 30 miles) by engine. We were lucky that in the afternoon the wind came and from a perfect direction. With also the tide in our favour we had a wonderful sailing trip and arrived at about 3 pm in Borkum. In the Burkana harbour is a harbour master from the Netherlands and he told us about the attack on the Royal Family in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. It is strange to hear this news from the German Television.

The facilities for water sport in Borkum are actually quite limited and it is striking to see the difference when you pass the border between the Netherlands and Germany. In Borkum there are two locations, where yachts can berth. This time we stayed in the Burkana harbour. This is a huge basin, which used to be a navy basis of the German Army. There are three (also huge) floating concrete platforms, where we can berth. The toilets and showers of the old basis serve now for the yachts. It all works, but compared to the facilities in the Netherlands this all is quite poor. Apparently the authorities of Borkum are not interested to invest for this target group.

Onrust in Burkana Hafen, Borkum

Wednesday, April 29, Ameland – Lauwersoog

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:31 pm A wonderful sunny day with good winds to take another ‘wantij’ (high area on the Wad) towards Lauwersoog on the mainland of Groningen. We can’t reach the next island of Schiermonikoog, as the harbour is shallow and can only be reached around high tide.

This time the ‘wantij Zuider Spruit’ gave us quite a difficult time. It seemed shallower than expected from our calculations. Also other yachts had trouble to pass and we all got nicely stuck in the mud. With upcoming tide we all could pass eventually. Even fishing vessels had trouble and with their considerable number of horse power they just drag their vessels through the mud, giving us an opportunity to follow them in their trace. Apparently thanks to the fishermen we are still able to pass these shallow areas. You wonder how much this disturbs the natural conditions of the seabed, but they also help us to be there in the first place.

After the Zuider Spruit you can go more up north to a sandbar crowded with seals. Also they are playing in the water near the bar. It seems they play always in pairs. The population of seals in the Wadden Sea is in good condition at the moment, although not the tens of thousands anymore as there used to be in the past.

At 6 pm we passed the sluice in Lauwersoog and stayed overnight in the marine just inland of the sluice. Then we realized that next day 30 April is a holiday (Queen’s Brithday) in the Netherlands and suspected that the sluice would not operate in the early hours. We wanted to leave early (on the outward tide) for a trip over sea to Borkum (the first German Island) and felt we locked ourselves in. Later we overheard on the mariphone a talk of a local fisherman and the radio centre of the are about the operating hours of the sluice. He called the sluice master (his friend) and operating hours would be as normal. Apparently they are not so Queen-minded in that area of the Netherlands.

Current on a buoy in Zuiderspruit

Tuesday, April 28, Ameland

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:31 pm We stayed a day over in Ameland. There was rain the whole day. We are already spoiled with nice weather, so we waited for the next nice day.

Marnix blogt

Monday, April 27, Terschelling – Ameland

Wednesday 06 May 2009 at 7:29 pm The trip from Terschelling to Ameland over the Wadden through the Oosterom close to Terschelling used to be a nice and easy trip, which we have already done several times with the Onrust. We always used to choose this route, because of the passage through the ‘Blauwe Balg’ where you always meet many seals. However, this year the sand banks seem to have gained height (as shown by the List of Depths of the Hydrographic Office), making it too shallow for us to pass. The southern passage close to the mainland through the Vingegat, shows 30 cm more depth and seems easier now.

We had no problem passing the highest points, so our tide calculations proved right. When turning into the Molengat under Ameland, a dark cloud overtook us and from nothing (and no notice in the forecast) thunder and lightning started and the wind speed in creased from 15 to 25 knots (from 4 to 6 Beaufort). Margriet installed two battery cables at the rigs into the water as kind of lightning deviator. We are still wondering if this is really useful. With full main sail and Genua II, we had a little too much sail, but the Onrust managed without a problem. In the Ameland harbour our neighbours had measured 40 knots (8 Beaufort) with huge hailstones coming down, so we were glad to have missed that part of the cloud.

Sunday, April 26, Terschelling

Sunday 26 April 2009 at 1:23 pm April in the Netherlands cannot always bring nice weather. Today it’s grey and drizzling without wind. We decided to stay in Terschelling and make a hike in the dunes.

Saturday, April 25, Makkum – Terschelling

Sunday 26 April 2009 at 1:16 pm The first day we could leave early: 9pm, in order to catch the high tide at Harlingen around 11pm. A sluice full of yachts (it’s the starting weekend of the spring holiday) brought us to prefect weather on the Wadden Sea: warm, sunny and around 15 knots wind (4 Beaufort). 3.30 pm we arrived in West-Terschelling, just in time to buy some local lamb for dinner.

Marnix for the coast of Terschelling

Friday, April 24, Stavoren – Makkum

Sunday 26 April 2009 at 1:14 pm This morning we dedicated to buying lines for the reef system (to decrease the area of the main sail to accommodate more wind) and to installing them. When we left the harbour of Stavoren around 1pm the weather seemed fine, but outside on the IJsselmeer the wind speed increased to 20 knots (5 Beaufort). Going with the southereastern wind we reached a speed of 7 knots, but the main sail was hard to control. Perfect conditions to test the reef. We used both the first and second reef, leaving the third for rougher conditions. At 3pm we reached the sea lock at Kornwerderzand doubting to stay inside in Makkum or continue to Harlingen. The sluice master made the decision for us when he announced on the radio that due to a technical problem, we had to wait at least 2 hours to pass, so we stayed in the beautiful harbour of Makkum.

In Makkum we always choose to stay in the municipal harbour, just in front of the old sea lock, where we lay together with the historic sailing charters of the ‘brown fleet’. While we were having dinner on board, a noise and smell from our big neighbour drew our attention. He was pumping away over board the ‘black and grey waste water’ of one day toilet and shower use of his 20 passengers. Of course, after we asked, he stopped to let us have our dinner in peace, but he had to continue later, to prevent his tanks from overflowing inside. While there is a lot to do about the recent prohibition for yachts to discharge their waste water in the surface water, it is disappointing to see that the charters still do this, which causes a much more concentrated pollution. The skipper of the vessel was also right in pointing out, that there are no facilities in Makkum to pump his waste water into the municipal sewage system. To improve the water quality, the government seems to have her priorities wrong: they should focus first on charters and invest in pumping installations in the harbours, before focusing on small yachts.

Thursday, April 23, Enkhuizen – Staveren

Friday 24 April 2009 at 08:37 am In the morning there was no wind at all. We took the opportunity to rig the mast (‘trimmen van de mast door middel van de stagspanning’). This time we followed carefully the instructions from the Association of Marieholm sailors (www.marieholmvereniging.nl) and with success. I really feel the mast stands more firm and we can sail higher to the wind. (more)

Wednesday, April 22, Muiden – Enkhuizen

Thursday 23 April 2009 at 10:45 am Our first day sailing! In beautiful weather with a lot of wind. But first we had to go to Amsterdam to buy as much maps for our planned itinerary as possible. (more)
 

About

This the weblog of Margriet Hartman and Marnix van der Vat. Since March 1, 2008, we have lived in Bangkok. We are back in the Netherlands sinds March 2009 and we will be leaving for a four months sailing journey to the Baltic in April 2009. We will try to keep readers of these pages informed of our whereabouts and adventures with stories and pictures. We have chosen to write in english, in order for non ducth speakers to be able to follow us as well. We welcome your reactions and comments.

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If you want to receive an email notification when we have posted a new entry, you have to register as a user. You can do this by selecting any of the entries and clicking on 'Rgeister as a user' at the bottom of the page (on the same line as the 'Post comment' button). On the next screen click 'Register a new username' and fill in the required information and select 'Yes' to receive email notifications for new entries.

You can also use RSS or Atom feed to receive an alert when we have posted a new entry. Therefore, you need to install an RSS reader, a small programme such as Snarfer, on your computer. Then you can copy the RSS feed to the RSS reader, and it will allways check whether we have posted a new entry. Of course, you have to run the RSS reader for this. So, if this is the only weblog or newspage you are intrested in, you can better register as a user.