A Travellerspoint blog

The End of Our Holiday

August 5th – Hot and Sunny. To Travemünde Anchorage

We timed the bridge opening perfectly and sailed through without any delay. We then pulled out the jib and sailed gently down the river to our chosen anchorage for the night. It was Sunday, and the end of holidays for many. There was an endless procession of boats coming towards us, up the river.

Happily, the anchorage wasn't too crowded, and we found a nice spot.

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We spent the afternoon swimming and reading.

August 6th. Hot and Sunny.

Actually it was quite cool this morning. Heavenly! - But it didn’t last. We sailed again, gently down to the mouth of the Trave river, passing 4 enormous ferries along the way. These transport lorry containers to various ports in Scandinavia. As we approached, one hooted and departed, then a little while later another came up behind us. The behemoth passed alarmingly close to us, but all was well. The wind was very fickle, not enough to sail any distance, so we found an anchorage off the beach, for lunch, and waited to see if there would be a decent sea breeze. Nothing much materialised, so we decided to spend the night there.

August 7th. Tuesday. Hot and Sunny. To Bergstaaken, Fehmarn.

It was an unquiet night; there must have been a lot of ships coming and going all night long, every now and again there would be a big swell to rock and roll us.

We set the cruising chute when we left, and for an hour or so we sailed along beautifully. However, when it was my turn to take the helm, the wind died away and the sail collapsed, so we took it down and motored for a couple of hours.

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I used my new umbrella to give some shade in the relentless sun. It actually made steering very pleasurable.

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Janey preferred to put the self steering on and sit on deck in the shade of the mast. After a while the wind got up again, but not far enough behind us to continue with the cruising chute. So we packed it away, got the mainsail up and pulled out the jib, and had a lovely sail into Bergstaaken. We are now just 10 miles from Heiligenhafen, where we will sail tomorrow, if the wind isn’t too strong.

August 8th. Hot and Sunny. To Heiligenhafen

First stop before breakfast, was the fuel dock. The wind was already pinning us to the pontoon, and was forecast to get stronger. With a clever manoeuvre involving a spring on slip, we managed to get away very neatly. Taking on fuel was painless, then we motored to the other side of the harbour, tied up and had breakfast. I went and did a little shopping, and then we set off for Heiligenhafen. As the wind was gusting up to Force 5 we decided to put in a reef. I messed this up, by actually trying to put in a double reef! So down with the mainsail and start again. It took quite a while to sort this out, and we were getting into very shallow water, so I pulled the sail down again. Then, in deeper water I pulled it up again. By now I was bushed, and the wind had died away to a gentle breeze. On the nose. So now we needed to take the reef out! This time it was Janey's turn. We tacked up the Fehmarn Sound; the first tacking we have had to do all summer. The wind gently died, it was awful hot and getting late for lunch, so we put the engine on and motored the last half hour into harbour.

We found a nice berth, and felt we were home again. A very late lunch, then I went up to the supermarket to get something for supper, while Janey made friends with our neighbours. She was trying to remove a piece of kit which I had almost broken my toe on earlier this morning. It was very stubborn, and Bernhardt offered various things to help, he was obviously itching to actually do the job for Janey! Once removed, there was a bit of staining, so he offered some rubbing paste to clean it up. Later in the afternoon, he presented us with a little packet of Friesian tea.

As a thank you for all this kindness we invited Bernhardt and Sabine on board for a glass of wine before supper. We had forgotten that the Germans eat supper around 6, so they came having eaten, and stayed quite a while; well past our normal supper time. Luckily we had had a late lunch! We spent a lovely evening chatting about sailing things, and life in East Germany before Unification. Bernhardt escaped in 1978.

August 9th. Hot and Sunny till 4pm, then windy and cool.

Before the wind got up we took down the sails and folded them up. Then started on the washing. There are 2 washing machines in the marina and just one dryer. A 40° wash takes an incredible 90 minutes and only spins to 1400 revolutions. The dryer takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the amount of stuff in it. If several people want to wash at the same time, it can get very stressful. Anyway, today thankfully, we were alone.
By tea-time the wind was howling, gales are forecast for the next couple of days, it is blissfully cool. Supper in the cockpit, under the tent, and Janey needed the light on for cooking!

After supper we had the most spectacular thunderstorm. Sheet lightening began to the east; mild flashes followed by gentle rumbles of thunder. Then all at once the rain started, great big drops, and soon we had a tropical downpour. The lightening intensified, at times long flashes of daylight and claps of thunder right above us. Then the storm passed over us, the rain stopped and the lightening could be seen less and less. It was quite an experience!

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August 10th to 13th

Spent these mornings cleaning and getting the boat ready for winter storage. The afternoons reading. It rained for a while pretty much every day.

August 14th

Cycled into Heiligenhafen this morning. It was a lovely ride in the woods, along the side of the lagoon. Parked our bikes and walked out on the pier, stopping on the way for a blueberry ice cream.

We then visited all the clothes shops, (about 20). I found a nice blouse, in a rather chic shop; in fact, it looked so expensive, we nearly didn't bother to go in! To our surprise, the things were quite affordable.

August 15th. Fairly sunny with a few showers.

After tea, Urs and Dirk came aboard and started to prepare the boat. Once all was done we cycled to Luise's Sport Hotel. It was very, very uphill, but we made it finally. It is a very nice, modern hotel, but sadly has no restaurant. So after a ½ -bottle of Sekt in a Strandkorb in the garden (to celebrate the successful end of our holiday) we walked a km into town for supper at the Seestern Hotel. We had a lovely meal, but ate far too much. Followed by a schnapps, on the house. We couldn't face the hill again, so took a taxi back to the hotel.

August 16th hot and sunny

We were up before 7 this morning, and at 7.15 waiting outside the dining room for breakfast. We had a super breakfast, and by ten to eight we were pedalling down hill to the yard. When we arrived, Urs was already working on the boat getting her ready to be craned out of the water.

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We then settled the mooring bill with Axel, Frau Fleed ordered a taxi, and then we were off to the station in Oldenburg in Holstein – not to be confused with Oldenburg somewhere else!

It was quite an experience being driven at something over 160 kph (100mph) along the Autobahn. After top speeds of 6 mph for 3 months, it felt rather alarming! We had a bit of a wait in the sun for The train, the temperature climbed to 30° in the shade!

Once in Hamburg we found somewhere to leave our luggage and bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus which offered a 90 minute tour of Hamburg. The first 30 minutes were spent driving round the Alster, a large lake almost in the centre of Hamburg. This is where the seriously wealthy live. Then down the Reeperbahn, (the famous red light street).

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Then on into the harbour – after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the 3rd largest container port in Europe. Here we decided to take a harbour tour. Our bus driver sold us tickets at a reduced price, and we fought our way along the floating dock to find the right tour company.

We had half an hour to wait, and then an ancient captain led us on a long walk to an equally ancient boat. There was little shade, most of the windows were fixed shut, and in no time at all we felt we were in a sauna.

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Sadly the commentary was only in German, and the loud speakers were so loud and distorted, I found it hard to understand half of what he said.
My last harbour tour was in the 80's, and since then there has been a big change. Most of the lovely old warehouses have been pulled down and replaced with unattractive buildings, a few have been converted.

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And very few are really attractive, especially the new Philharmonic Hall. This was started in 2007, estimated cost €200 million, completed last year, actual cost €800 million. The acoustics are apparently, the best in the world. Unfortunately we cannot confirm this!

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We spent 90 minutes on the water, and then, back on the bus. Through the newly built harbour city – similar in concept to Canary Warf, but, to our mind, lacking in imagination. Canary Warf is far superior.

By now we were pretty tired, and happy to catch the S-Bahn to our hotel near the airport. Tomorrow we fly to Gatwick.

The End of a wonderful holiday.

Posted by AnnieBusch 09:42 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

And then to Lübeck

July 30th. Hot and Sunny. To Timmendorf anchorage

We made 3 trips to the supermarket this morning. First to get wine and beer. The “Getränke” shop, which mainly sells booze, and where I hoped to get a couple of wine boxes, was one huge warehouse selling bottles of beer (almost no cans). As a side-line they had a few bottles of wine, spirits and water. I asked about wine boxes, the cashier had never heard of such a thing!
So, to Netto across the way. Also no wine boxes, but at least they had tetra paks of dry French wine. They had a few cans of beer, but after the hot weekend, the shelves were pretty bare. No bottled aqua con gas left at all. So, on our next run, back to the “Getränke” shop for some water. Then, lastly, food for 3 days at anchor. Luckily Netto is quite close to the marina. All this in blazing sunshine and temperatures around 30°. Janey was tempted to “borrow” a shopping trolley, but a sign, in German, said removing a trolley from the car park would be regarded as theft. And we are in former East Germany, where rules are still strictly enforced and adhered to. So we didn't!
We were pretty exhausted after all that, but the coolth of an anchorage called, so, we paid our harbour dues and set off. We needed diesel, so first stop at the bunker station. That was dealt with quickly and efficiently, though they didn't accept credit cards!
Then we pulled up the sails and headed to the Timmendorf anchorage. There was hardly a breath of wind, and at 2 knots, it would have taken 6 hours to get there. So, on with the engine. We found a nice spot to anchor, and in spite of the weedy bottom, the anchor held nicely. Then in for a swim before lunch at 3. As we were having a little siesta, 2 policemen arrived alongside and told us off for not having set our anchor ball. One of them spoke excellent English, and said they would have to fine us. We protested and said couldn't they just warn us? “No, that wasn't an option. How does €35 sound to you?” he asked. Janey said she didn't think it sounded at all good, and wasn't even sure that we had that much money on board! Which, amazingly, he accepted, and said that after all he would just warn us. But, if he ever saw us again without our anchor ball, there would be “dire consequences“. The ball was immediately hoisted. Luckily we had one!

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However, we don't have a cone. This is to be hoisted when motor-sailing. So, until we get one at the next chandlers, we will have to pull the sails down when we motor, which is a pain. Or keep a good watch out for police board.

Apart from that, we had a peaceful night at anchor.

July 31st. Extremely hot and sunny. To Rerick Anchorage

We had a brisk sail to the entrance of Rerick Bay, then as we had the wind pretty much on the nose and had to motor, we pulled down the main and rolled in the jib. It was a narrow, winding channel through extremely shallow water, until it opened out into a lovely lake. The temperature in the shade was 34° (but there wasn't any shade to sit in) the thermometer read 50.3° in the sun! We were cooking. As soon as we had the anchor down we were in for a swim. Then Janey remembered that we had forgotten to put up the anchor ball, so we dealt with that quickly and got back in the water. It was heavenly.
Thunder clouds gathered in the late afternoon, and around 5 the heavens opened and we had loads of rain. I stood out in it and washed off the salt from my swims. The rain didn't last long, and soon after the sun came out again.

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August 1st. Hot and Sunny. To Rerik Harbour.

It was cool during the night, and we had some more rain. But we were back in shorts for breakfast.

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Then we up-anchored and motored the mile or so into Rerik Harbour. There was plenty of space, and the harbour master was there to greet us and give us the code for the sanitary node. We had a little walk around the village, and bought a couple of rolls for lunch. It is a lovely, low key holiday resort on a narrow neck of land between the sea and the bay where we anchored.
When it had cooled down a bit, we walked the kilometre to the supermarket and bought more water and a few other things we needed.
After a beer at 7 we went ashore for supper in a nice little restaurant which we had spotted earlier. We had a lovely meal, a whole plaice for Janey and a couple of cod fillets for me, both came with a mountain of fried potatoes and a large portion of salad. Needless to say we couldn't finish it all.

August 2nd. Cool in the morning, but hot and sunny after lunch. To Travemünde Anchorage.

We left at 7, very quietly so as not to wake our neighbour. There was absolutely no wind, so our plan to sail with the cruising chute came to naught. We motored all the way, stopping for a while for a swim. As we approached Travemünde, the wind picked up! It would have been a lovely run, but, the clouds had disappeared, and it was very, very hot, so just as well we left early. We decided to anchor for lunch in front of a sandy bay just outside the entrance to the harbour. The wind was by now, pretty strong and it wasn't very comfortable bouncing about. But we had a swim, then lunch and the up-anchored and headed into the River Trave. The mooring possibilities in Travemünde didn't look very appealing so we went deeper into the River and found a lovely anchorage, just off a beach which was full of sheep. They were very noisy, but their baa-ing was rather nice. More swimming, it was very hot, and the water temperature was perfect. An additional bonus was a little group of Widgeon swimming by the beach. In th morning they ware all lined up where the sheep had been.

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August 3rd Very Hot and Sunny. To Lübeck.

Although we know it will be unpleasantly hot in the centre of the city, we still set off up the river. 9 miles to the swing bridge. The river was very pretty; woodland on both sides, little beaches, and several pleasant spots to anchor along the way. Then we came to the harbour, a large bulge in the river, about 4 miles north of Lübeck. Several ships moored, taking on cargo, or offloading. Lots of container trucks. Busy, busy.
Once through the bridge, we found a space to moor, sadly between two high-sided motor boats, and one, we have just discovered has a noisy family on board.

It is far too hot to explore, we hope that around 5 things will cool down a bit, so that we can go and see the sights.

It was indeed a little cooler at 5, so we set off to explore. Our first port of call was to a chandlers across the water in order to buy the ‘cone'. It seems to have shut up shop, there was a notice on the door to DHL with delivery instructions, it seemed to have been there a while. So then we walked into the centre of town, stopping along the way at an art gallery to look at paintings. Janey had promised to buy me a watercolour for my 70th birthday, but so far I hadn't seen anything I liked. This gallery was very hopeful, and indeed there were several paintings which I loved. I chose one, and we promised to collect it tomorrow. Then we went on a shopping spree, Janey was looking for a new polo shirt, and I just like looking. We found some nice polos in Karstadt - Germany's el Corte Ingles. Then downstairs to look for a couple of new flannels. One of our solutions to the heat is to soak a flannel in cold water (a bottle of water is kept in the fridge for this purpose) and then wipe it over our face and neck. If there is a little breeze, this is delightfully cooling.

This is what the Lonely Planet has to say about Lübeck.

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And indeed there are some lovely buildings:

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Germany's first hospital

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The Town Hall

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The Other Side of the Town Hall

Lübeck's speciality is marzipan, so I had to buy a little to sample in a shop dedicated to selling marzipan.

On our way back to the marina we stopped to reserve a table at the most popular restaurant overlooking the river. This was an Italian restaurant. We had an excellent meal there. The pizzas were the biggest I have ever seen – so we shared one, and even then we were hard pressed to finish it.
We walked home through a music / beer festival. The music had kept us entertained through supper, and we wondered what else was going on. In a word, drinking! It was heaving with people, enjoying a Friday night drink and chatting in groups. There were also plenty of food stalls, but as we had eaten already, and had had enough beer for the evening, we pushed through the crowd without stopping.

August 4th. A bit cooler, at last.

Shopping was our first priority this morning. We needed water. In this heat we get through several bottles a day. So we walked 20 minutes to a large supermarket, and filled a shopping trolley with water and food for the next 3 days. Then we tried to call a taxi. As they are all free phone numbers, my Spanish phone wouldn't dial either of the 2 numbers we had. So we asked the cashier if they could call a taxi for us. This seemed to be an insurmountable problem, even though the young cashier lass had offered to call using her private mobile phone. While nothing much seemed to be happening, a taxi drew up outside the supermarket, so Janey raced after it and we had our taxi.

After a brief rest, into town to pick up my painting, (Interestingly, the artist lives in Heiligenhafen, perhaps we will find her gallery there?) then, choose a couple of shirts for Janey, buy a sun umbrella, and pay another trip to a Waitrose-type supermarket for things we hadn't been able to find earlier.

In the aftrnoon I went to visit the Buddenbrook House, home at some point, to Thomas Mann. I read Buddenbrooks (for which he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929) while we were in Rostock, and thought i would enjoy seeing his house. Actually I was rather disappointed; there was an awful lot to read, in English when I stooped low enough to read it. Some interesting photos, among the hundreds, and just 2 small rooms decorated as they might have been while he lived there. The house was bombed during the war, by which time he had left Germany and gone to live in the USA. Curiously, I learnt that the original German book was apparently, ‘obviously’ set in Lübeck, although he never actually mentioned the city, while the English translation, which I read, set the story in Rostock! How strange is that? It was fascinating to see how closely the story was in fact autobiographical. It evidently upset the Lübeck-ers enormously, as they felt it showed Lübeck in a very poor light.

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The house today

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The house as it was at the end of the war!

This evening is deliciously cool. Supper in the cockpit watching the sun light up the other side of the River. How lucky we are!

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The same quay in 1898

Posted by AnnieBusch 06:22 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

To Wismar

July 23rd. Hot and Sunny. To Barhöft Anchorage.

With some regret we left Vitte this morning. As we came to the junction where the channels for the marina and the fishing harbour meet we were almost T-boned by a yacht heading at full speed for the fishing harbour. Never mind that we had right of way! At the very last moment both of us took avoiding action. Had he not seen us, or did he not know the rules of the road?
We got the mainsail up, little used this year! And had a lovely, gentle sail to an anchorage about 15 miles to the south. As we entered the roadstead we realised that the other boat anchored there was British, called Prospero. There was no one in the cockpit, so we passed her by and dropped our anchor about 300 metres away.
After lunch Janey had a swim, I spent the afternoon reading. By evening about 20 boats had joined us in the anchorage. There was plenty of room, so no excuse when a Swedish boat with several noisy kids, anchored almost on top of us. Luckily they realised they were too close and re-anchored a bit further away.

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July 24th. More hot and sunny

I was woken this morning by voices which sounded far too close. I put my head out of the hatch an saw the above mentioned Swedish boat almost alongside. They had got their anchor up and were drifting down on us. With lots of bow-thrusting and engine revs they moved away, what a crowd!
It is very pleasant here, so we decided to have another lazy day, reading and swimming. Around lunchtime the national park police came alongside in their aluminium motor boat and told us that we had to move. We should have anchored within a triangle marked by 3 buoys. We weren't alone in having to move, 3 other boats are told off as well. The place we were anchored at, when I later look at the chart, says in German, “recommended anchor place”. At least they told us before it all got too crowded.

July 25th. Hot and Sunny. To Warnemünde Anchorage

We left at 6 am for the 45 mile trip round Darsser Ort, back to Warnemünde. There was hardly a breath of wind, and until we rounded Darsser Ort, what little there was, was westerly, so we motored all the way. The sea was oily smooth, with just the occasional ripple from the light zephyrs of wind. Once around the cape we pulled the mainsail up, which added 0.2 knots to our speed. It was disappointing, as the forecast had promised north easterly wind. We saw a few dolphins along the way, but they weren't inclined to play. As it was so hot, 28° in the shade, we decided to anchor outside the harbour. There was a slight breeze and we could have a swim whenever we got too hot. I rigged our sun shade triangle and we were quite comfortable reading in the cockpit. It wasn't the quietest anchorage ever, with an almost constant swell from the big ferry boats going in and out of Warnemünde harbour, and motorboats towing waterskiers, and jet skis...
There was a lovely sunset, and after that things quieten down a little.

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July 26th Hot and Sunny. To Külungsborn

There was no rush to leave early this morning, so we left at about 10:30. We had a lovely sail, and were a bit sad that we hadn't waited a day longer before sailing to Warnemünde. Today's sail was just 21 miles. We arrived around 13.30, and had no problem finding a place. As we moored up, we realised our neighbours were having a drinks party, and were all rather noisy. Then shortly afterwards, the empty space on the other side was taken by a big charter boat with 6 on board plus very young child. We feared we'd be in for a very noisy night.

Prospero, last seen in the anchorage off Barhöft arrived was moored next door but one to us. He came over for a chat with Janey while I was having a shower.

After tea it had cooled down sufficiently for us to walk the kilometre or so to the nearest supermarket. We bought the necessities, something for supper and tomorrow's lunch, and then walked back along the promenade back to the marina. The beach was pretty solid with beach baskets, and we thought a fortnight spent sitting in the back row, looking at the back of the beach basket in front of you must not be very exciting! But plenty seem happy to do it.

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We had promised ourselves that we would go out for supper, but the restaurants lining the marina were absolutely heaving, and the menus were not particularly enticing. So we ate on board. However after supper we took a stroll ashore for an ice cream, and sat in a beach basket eating it and listening to some live music. By the time we got back on board, all our neighbours had gone to bed.

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July 27. Very Hot and Sunny. To Wismar

Another early start, for two reasons, 1) we wanted to avoid the greatest heat of the day, and 2) we wanted to be sure of a place in the marina. We urgently needed to do some shopping, we were out of just about everything! Wismar promised a supermarket just 100 metres from the marina. I had phoned the harbour master the night before to reserve a space, but he assured me that there would be plenty of free spaces.
We sailed along gently with the wind dead behind us for an hour or so, both of us debating whether or not we should hoist the cruising chute. In the end we decided to do it, and had a couple of hours with it up. The first time this season. Then our course changed and the wind strengthened, so reluctantly we put it back in its locker. Just as well we did, ‘cos not long after the wind suddenly shifted 180° and it was dead on the nose and strong!

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There was indeed plenty of space in the marina, but goodness was it hot! 32° in the shade, of which there wasn't much. We rigged our triangular sun shade, but it only shaded half the cockpit. We debated whether to go for a swim, but the brown, gloopy water was full of jellyfish. Janey assures me that these ones don’t sting, but, a bit like snakes, I don’t want them anywhere near me. In the evening the harbour master came knocking to ask if we would like to check in. Here there is yet another system for water, showers etc. We have a piece of triangular plastic which slots into a reader. This opens the door to the sanitary node, opens the hot tap of the shower, opens the water on the hose for 7 minutes and operates the washing machines. We pay €20 deposit for the key, €10 is loaded on it for showers etc, and we pay for our marina space when we leave. Very civilized.

It is the Street Theatre Festival weekend, and all afternoon we have been treated to a concert of opera. In the evening we wandered over to the old harbour to have a beer and watch the Teater Tol, performing Pedaleando Hacia el Cielo. I assume they are Spanish. They had 4 bicycles attached to a huge circular frame, which was lifted high up above us by a crane.

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On the way back to the boat we stopped to look at the longest eclipse of the moon in the 21st-century. We had not known it was due to take place, so felt particularly lucky to see it.

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July 28th. Even Hotter , Humid and Sunny.

Nicholas Hall from Prospero came calling, and invited us for a drink this evening. We accepted of course!
Then, before it got too hot we set off to explore the old town of Wismar. Another Hanseatic town, much bombed during the war, mostly by the Russians I think. Much has been rebuilt, but the atmosphere of the lovely old city remains. It was UNESCO-listed in 2002.
Janey has hurt her back, and as she was concerned that she was holding me up, we split and wandered about the town, doing our own thing. Janey was lucky enough to come across several bits of street theatre; I didn't see any.

I wandered the cobbled streets, taking photos of some of the pretty old houses.

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I looked into one of churches and sat there for a while, it was beautifully cool. Then I looked into the landmark, 13th-century church steeple, just the most enormous tower was left standing. There was an interesting exhibition showing how the medieval churches were built. The most eye-catching item was a reconstructed mouse wheel for men - a tread mill! This was used to haul the building material up to where it was needed – a sort of crane. a man walked round and round!

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Eventually I found the market square, the largest in northern Germany. It was filled with market stalls, and to one side there was an interesting well with 12-sided cover.

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By now it was lunch time so I wandered back to the boat, Janey had beaten me to it by 5 minutes. She was talking to Nicholas, who had come to invite us for supper as well as a drink on his boat.
We spent the afternoon, reading, then shopping, then showering. At 5 the sky was black and thundery, we hastily shut the hatches, put up the cockpit tent and, just as we finished it started to rain. Hopefully this will cool things down.

We had a lovely evening with Nicholas; he served us a delicious fish ragoût, and we drank an awful lot of wine. The talk flowed easily, as it mostly does when yotties get together.

July 29th Sunday. Less hot and sunny. Only 28°

It was blissfully cool when we woke, and it lasted until lunch time. We invited Nicholas for a revenge supper. The only snag was that I had only bought 2 mackerel fillets for tonight’s supper. So I set off in search of another one. I got to the old harbour and then realised I had forgotten to bring any money. As Walt used to say “those without brain have feet”. So back to the boat.... I found a fishing boat in the old harbour which was selling fish, and bought an extra fillet.

Then I wandered into the old town, hoping to find some street artists. This time I was lucky. There were some colourful guys on stilts playing music and a robotic dog which was very amusing, and clever. Janey and I couldn’t work out how it was controlled.

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Then I sat and listened to a jazz concert. The clothes shops were exceptionally open, and had super-sales, ridiculous bargains were to be had. I found myself a lovely linen top for a ‘spot-preis’.

Then back to the boat to prepare supper for our guest. Today is my turn for cooking. We had a lovely evening, sitting in the cockpit chatting easily about all sorts of things.

Posted by AnnieBusch 13:16 Archived in Germany Comments (3)

A Week on Hiddensee Island

July 18. Hiddensee Island. Hot and Sunny.

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We picked up a couple of bicycles and headed off to the only ATM on the island. Hardly anyone accepts credit cards here! If that ATM ever breaks down, the island's economy will collapse.

The Hiddensee Island is car free, which adds greatly to its appeal. The buses are horse drawn, and otherwise everyone gets around on bicycles. There are just 3 villages on the island, Kloster (without so far as I can see a convent or monastery) to the north, Vitte in the middle and Neuendorf further south. Vitte, where we are, has a big marina with 200 spaces for visiting boats, a bank with aforementioned ATM, a big supermarket and several restaurants. Every other house advertises B&B or holiday flats – most are full.

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So, having replenished our purse, we set off south, took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up going north. Janey spotted this, but I was pedalling along expecting to arrive in Neuendorf, and was amazed to find that we were in Kloster! It didn't matter at all, so we continued on to the lighthouse, a few kms further on. After a couple, we had to park our bikes and do the last 1.5 km on foot. It was all uphill and very hot, but we made it and hoped to be rewarded by wonderful views. Sadly it was very misty, and the view was nothing much.

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Back in Kloster at about 2 we were hungry for lunch, so stopped at the fishing boat restaurant for a fish roll and a beer. Our rolls were filled with the most enormous fillets of marinated mackerel, and were absolutely delicious.

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No cars, so little carts to carry the shopping

We had planned to go out for a meal in the evening, but were still pretty full, so had a ham salad on board for supper.

July 19. Hot and Sunny

This morning we set off for the South. Janey had discovered where we went wrong, and this time we found the right dyke to cycle along. We were almost alone on this path, for much of the way, which was lovely, then we dropped down and joined the ‘main’ road. This was pretty busy with cyclists in both directions.

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The houses along the way were very pretty

We reached Neuendorf and were pleased to see that we had picked the right harbour, here there was nothing at all going on.

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We cycled across the the west of the island, all of 500 metres, and walked down to the beach. The west coast of the island is one long sandy beach. There were a few beach baskets and 50 or so people enjoying a day on the beach – most of them nudists! The Germans love their FKK, Freikörperkultur! No pictures of course.

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Then, we carried on to the second lighthouse on the island, this one much less effort to reach. Took some photos and then rode back to Neuendorf for some lunch. One of the day's specials was Bärlauch Soup. Wild garlic soup. We chose this, and it was absolutely delicious. A rich, bright green soup with home baked bread.

In the evening we went out for our promised meal. We hadn't thought to book, stupidly, and the terrace was full. I must have looked so disappointed, that the waiter took pity on us and asked a single lass sitting at a table for 4 if she would mind us joining her. She didn't, and so we did. It turned out that she spoke good English, so we had a pleasant conversation with her. She was an artist from Berlin and had been holding a workshop on the island. Sadly we were too reticent to ask whether she had a website! She recommended a fish dish, the special of the day, tub gurnard. Cooked in a sauce made with another local speciality sanddorn, aka sea buckthorn. These are orange berries which they make into jelly. It is for sale all along the coast where it grows in profusion. It was wonderful.

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July 20. More hot and sunny

Today the visibility was crisp and clear, so we pedalled to the north of the island and explored the cliffs. These were not quite in the league of Dover, but sandy coloured and pretty none the less. We took a load of photos, and enjoyed watching the antics of the sand martins which nest in one part of the cliffs. The cliffs are very soft and there were signs warning of the danger of land slides. We saw the evidence everywhere.

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By now we have covered almost all of the island’s paths and our bottoms are protesting, so we went back to the boat for lunch and had a lazy afternoon.

July 21. Still hot and sunny

We caught the ferry to Scharprode, across the water on Rügen.

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There wasn't much to do there, (it is one giant car park for the Hiddensee ferry) so we had a walk, a lunch of fish soup, another walk and caught the ferry back at 4:30. A nice lazy day.

July 22nd Overcast, hot and muggy. Rain forecast.

We had intended to go today. Our next stop is some 20 miles to the south. But, the wind is southerly, so it seems a good idea to have another lazy day. A good opportunity to catch up on blogs, emails etc.

Posted by AnnieBusch 02:33 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

Back to Germany

July 13 Friday, Foggy, then sunny and warm. To Zecherin Bridge Anchorage

At 3am the first boat with an outboard motor passed by, followed by several more at irregular intervals. Who could be leaving Trzebież so early I wondered?

We got up at 5 intending to slip away before the wind got up. However, it was foggy. So we went back to bed for another hour, by which time visibility had improved. The wind was on the nose, and the dredged channel up the Penne is exceedingly narrow, so we motored all the way in the company of a large motor boat which curiously, went at exactly the same speed as us (normally they go much faster than we do).

We passed several little yellow fishing boats working their nets - these were the 3 am culprits!

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We had planned to spend the night in a marina close to the Zecherin Bridge, so that we wouldn't have too far to go to make the 8:45 opening the next morning. However, as we got closer to the bridge, we realised that if we slowed down a bit, we would arrive just in time for today's 12:45 opening. Which is what we did. Now, 2 weeks later, there were many more boats waiting to go through, but not as many as we had feared.

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There is a lovely anchorage just to the north of the bridge, and though we knew that the holding is not the best, we went and anchored there. The anchor dragged a little as we reversed to dig it in, but in the end it seemed to be holding well

By now it was lovely and warm, so after lunch Janey decided to have a swim! Not to be outdone I followed suit. The water was lovely and refreshing, although rather green.

In the night the wind got up, and at about 2:30, Janey noticed that we had dragged 280 feet. We were not yet in the channel, and the situation wasn't dangerous, but, we needed to keep an eye on things. So every half hour one of us would check the chart plotter to see what was happening. The anchor held firm for the rest of the night, for which we were grateful.

July 14th – Saturday. Overcast and windy, then sunny and windy. To Zinnowitz

After our disturbed night, we didn't get up too early! The weather forecast promised that the sun would come out at 11, and indeed suddenly all the cloud disappeared and it became a lovely day. It was blowing anything between force 3 and 6, but for long stretches we were able to sail. Yesterday's motor boat kept us company again for a while, but then we were going too slow for him and he pulled ahead.

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We had decided to go to Zinnowitz, a bathing resort to the south of Peenemunde. We came here by train on our way south, and it looked promising. At the point where we should have left the channel, to enter the bay, our path was completely blocked by fishing nets. They stretched for several miles, and, although we thought that there were probably passages between them, we were not brave enough to try. It would be too embarrassing to get tangled up in a fishing net!

So we carried on to the northern shore of the bay, where we could see lots of sailing boats entering the bay. They had just come through the Wolgast bridge. We followed them in, negotiating our way past all sorts of fishing flags, marking we knew not what exactly.

When we arrived at the marina, it appeared to be full, apart from a row of posts exactly 3.4 metres wide, we need 3.5 metres, as would most modern boats. So we turned around and went to a nearby anchorage. This time the anchor bit hard, we are fairly confident that we won't be dragging tonight.

July 15th to Karlshagen. Hot and Sunny

We had a blissfully peaceful night, and after breakfast set off to catch the 12:45 opening of the next bridge. We sailed for a while, but then we were going too slowly, so motored for a bit, then the wind picked up and we sailed a bit more, constantly monitoring our eta at the bridge. As we joined the main channel, the number of boats making for the bridge increased, until we were a procession of more than 20 boats. Our timing was perfect, and as we approached the bridge it opened and we all surged through. Our final destination was just 4 miles further north, and we hoped that most boats would want to go further. Sadly at least 4 boats ahead of us peeled off and headed for Karlshagen. It looked pretty full, but just as we were despairing of finding a free berth, a kind guy whistled at us and indicated a free space for us. He and his wife helped to tie us up and gave us the low-down on the marina. Code for the showers, location of the Harbour Master's office, nearest supermarket etc.

After tea we walked 30 minutes each way to a supermarket in order to find something for tonight's supper and for the two following ones. We found some lovely sausages which we BBQ’d on the marina BBQ. It was blissfully warm, one of the nicest evenings of the summer.

July 16th. Hot and Sunny. To Gustow

We were concerned to see so many boats going our way, and hoped they weren’t all heading for our chosen port. Much to our surprise there were heaps of free berths in Gustow, which was quite a relief. The day was very hot, and so we slipped into the water for a swim. After a bit, others thought it was a good idea as well, so there were quite a few of us swimming about. Across the way from us, there was a bully of a guy who insisted on playing his radio at full volume, so everyone had to listen to his music. No one was brave enough to ask him to turn it off!

July 17th. Muggy and drizzly. To the Hiddensee Island.

Up early to get through the Stralsund Bridge at 8:20. 17 boats going north. We are quite worried that there might not be room at Vitte Marina, although there are 200 berths there. We count 30 coming south, so feel optimistic. As we enter the narrow channel to Vitte a huge ferry bears down on us from behind, there is just enough depth of water at the side of the channel to let her pass – literally a few feet away from us. The wash is enormous. Behind her there are 4 more yachts going at full speed, all racing to get that (possibly) last space. Janey guns the engine, we don’t want to be overtaken; it is all very nerve racking, and we both wish we hadn't come! There appear to be no official berths vacant, but we spot a yacht at the end of the jetty with welcoming fenders, and ask if we can tie up alongside him. A frantic rearrangement of our ropes, Janey gunned the engine in reverse so as not to overshoot our spot, the guy behind almost runs into our stern, and then, our kind new neighbour takes our ropes and we both calm down. Have something to drink (fizzy water, though Janey was tempted to have a wee dram!), and settle down to watch other people's dramas. Somehow everyone seems to find somewhere to perch.

We walk into town to get some fresh rolls for lunch, and case the joint. When we get back we find we have new neighbours on our outer side – sadly they smoke, but otherwise are pleasant. Then another 2 come beside him. So we are quite a bunch at the end of the jetty.

We have been told by countless people that this is the jewel in the crown of this part of the world, and we have high expectations. The weather is still gloomy and drizzly, so the island is not showing itself off to its best advantage. Tomorrow we will hire bikes and explore.

Posted by AnnieBusch 23:10 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

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