Ever since we have been in Northern Germany everyone we meet has been saying 'moin moin' to us and despite our very reasonable German we were not sure what it meant but saying it back does not seem to cause offence! It actually just means 'hi' or 'hello'.
Our first stop after the canal was was only about 1 nm along the western shore of the Kieler Fjord at Stickenhorn Marina which is next to the now closed British Kiel Yacht Club. We have a pre allocated berth, the first time in the whole trip, so once tied up I visit the Hafenmeister. He greets me like a long lost friend, giving me a package for 'UK yacht Grace, Stickenhorn'. DHL are good! It is my new navigation card for the chart plotter that Navionics have sent to me. They were also very good too!
Leaving Stickenhorn Marina
16th August. It is time to put our new NV charts and Navionics card to the test!
Our first destination is Maasholm in the Schleimunde and our last stop in Germany. Maasholm is a pretty big Marina on the edge of a fishing village and a nice anchorage round the back of the headland if the marina itself is too full.
We sail up the Kieler Fjord passing the big U boat crew memorial at Laboe. It looks like a big grim and slightly ominous conning tower.
U Boat crew memorial at Laboe
To save time we cross the Stoller Grund, which is a large shallow bank of rocks to the North West of the Kiel Lightship. It feels a bit daring but we have 4 to 5 m of water under us all the way and we are near the lighthouse if we hit the rocks! The big advantage is that it keeps us out of the shipping lane and traffic separation scheme to the East.
Leaving the Kieler Fjord far behind us
Crossing the Stoller Grund
We now head slightly to the North West, Grace is sailing very well but somehow it does not feel right to be sailing west again after so long going east! Skirting the military training area on our port side we are heading for Schleimunde lighthouse at the entrance to the Schlei. This used to be a pick up point for the Kiel pilots waiting for ships going down to the Kiel canal and there was a small pilot dock and station near the lighthouse. Now they just hang around the Kiel light in big motorboats and are home for tea every night!
Sailing towards the mouth of the Schlei
The mouth of the Schlei is quite narrow with a lively current across it and although there is plenty of depth around the channel markers I followed them closely, much to the annoyance of the large German yacht that tried to beat us in (Gracie despite her big fat Germanic bottom and bulk can actually show a clean pair of heels when required!). He now wants to cut the corner off the channel and grab a berth in the marina first but can't quite bring himself to break etiquette and jump the queue! Instead he hovers about a foot off Grace's stern, so I carry on and be extra careful, which of course means slowing down! There is plenty of space for everyone, we have never been turned away yet and you can always raft up against someone else if you have to. We were 6 up in Borkum!
Safely in Maasholm Marina
It is Thursday night and the local restaurant in the main street has a fish buffet. On going in we get the usual 'have you booked?' Followed by much sucking of teeth as the waitress surveys the near empty room before offering us the fishtisch, a novelty fish shaped table. We politely decline and sit at a nice corner table instead. She palmed it off onto a Dutch couple a bit later on! We have the most wonderful fish supper ever and stagger out of the place completely stuffed!
A peaceful anchorage at Maasholm
After a nice evening we return to Grace