17th August – Maasholm to Sonderborg
Well this is quite a momentous day, we are popping over into Denmark but also I have finished Grace's first logbook! By 1100 we are out of the marina and engine off and all sails out. It is F3 or F4 with a bit of a lumpy swell. At 1150 we get closely looked at by a large German Polizi boat. Perhaps it was a good thing that we did not change our German courtesy flag for the Danish one before we left!
I fit our gybe preventer and we sail easily up the Flensburger Fjord, gybing at the Kalkgund Lighthouse to avoid a shallow bank of rocks that runs 2 nm into the Fjord. At 1255 we cross into Denmark but then almost immediately into German again and again out into Denmark. This continues over the next 2 hours until we are directly off Sonderborg and make our turn for the Als Sund and the marina at its mouth.
The marina has two entrances which are narrow slots in the stone wave breaker followed by a sharp right angled turn into the fairway, all a bit difficult to see until you are virtually in! We pick the western entrance as it looks a bit easier. We can see there are lots of yachts moving about inside and up and down the lanes, this is not a good sign and the wind has started to blow up a bit. Also not great news for manoeuvring into tight spaces! The yacht in front of us has a look up a few lanes and then gives up and leaves. We are not going out again! We are here. We will tie up to a tree if needs be! A kind person waves to us and points out a free berth right at the bottom of a pontoon. It is a bit of a tight squeeze and we do our usual controlled crash of a landing! What this teaches us is that you really have to go and look and not just give up when it gets a bit tight! Five weeks of close quarters boat handling practice on the Dutch canals means we are all a bit more relaxed about Grace's gelcoat and we will shortly know a man in Denmark who can polish out the scrapes! It is 1625 and we are all secure in Denmark after a 6 hour journey of just over 20 nm. The Good Samaritan who showed us the space and helped with our lines looked at our flag halyard and said pointing to the German flag, "you better get that changed"! The Danish flag was flying in minutes!
Flying the Danish courtesy flag
I want to go for a swim but am rapidly discouraged by the number of jelly fish.
Time to use the facilities! We all traipse over to the shower block. On the wall there was 4 meter boxes to put 10 kronor in to buy a shower. Money inserted, I open the door to be greeted by a room full of naked men……ugh a communal shower!
The weather continues to deteriorate with torrential rain and winds gusting 25knots.
Raining cats and dogs!
We must have timed our arrival in Sonderborg perfectly! There is nothing to be done but to eat Danish Pasties, pump more water out of the bilge and learn about 1864!
Eating Danish Pastries!