Just go for it!

10th September 2017

The morning started fine and dry. On checking Windfinder, our meteorological app, the forecast storm was coming in faster than expected. We had a window of 36 hours before the bad weather began, peaking with 54 knot winds on Wednesday/ Thursday morning before blowing itself out on Friday. The hurricanes in the Caribbean were making themselves felt even in Denmark!

With a brisk Force 4 wind blowing from the East it promised to be a long day, with a 38 nm sail to Svendborg but we had to just go for it, otherwise risk being trapped on Omo for the next 5 days with little prospect of escape except by the ferry.

Svendborg was our preferred destination as it put us a day’s sailing closer to Augustenborg and Grace’s winter berth.

Sailing out of Omo

We sailed out of Omo, reaching on a bearing of 325 for 2.5 nm and into the main channel. Omo has a broad, if slightly shallow sweep to the North West which makes access easy into the Great Belt. We then went close hauled onto a bearing of 270 for 8.5 nm, passing the Agerso Flak beacon to starboard until we reached, the Kobberdyh, a 1 nm wide passage through the sandbanks that separate Langland from Fyn and marked by a port and starboard cardinal.

In company with another yacht as we enter the Kobberdyh

As the wind had started to sift towards the South, together with the strong Northerly tidal stream we could barely make 280 and needed to tack over the Vengeance Grund to make it through the Kobberdyh channel and into the Svendborg Sund. All across the Great Belt the wind had picked up and Grace was soon ploughing her way through in an unpleasant short sea.

Once in the Svendborg Sund we were able to tack down south past the Elshove Light, seeking as much shelter as possible from Langeland. However we were barely making 1.5 knots in speed over the ground. It had taken several hours to work our way less than 2 nm down the Sund so as we neared the South Cardinal off Thuro we started the engine and took in the sails to ease the pounding on the rig as Grace fought her way through the short steep waves that are so very characteristic of the Baltic! We had been well reefed so that Grace was sailing comfortably in the strengthening Force 5, but that had brought her speed down so much that we were barely moving against the tidal stream and the motor’s help was essential!

On rounding Thuro point and passing Valdemar’s castle it became very sheltered and we soon had the genoa out, running before the wind towards Svendborg. Once there, we checked out the new marina which is perfectly round but after getting stuck between two mooring posts we concluded that the city marina was a better bet and less crowded with yachts seeking shelter.

In the calm of the Svendborg Sund

Once in we moored up very carefully with double lines all round and eight fenders. Several other yachts had the same idea and over the next few hours as darkness fell we were joined by a number of yachts and motorboats as well as a Danish Navy patrol boat.

Grace well secured and rendered alongside in Svendborg

We had a plan! Anne and I did not fancy staying on board for 3 or 4 days in the torrential rain and gales so we decided to ship out and go and stay in Copenhagen for two nights and enjoy the luxury of a proper bed and a bath!

Developing a plan with the aid of Danish apple cake!

1 thought on “Just go for it!”

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