After 7 months, it was great to be sailing again. We left Augustenborg at 0830, motored out of the buoyed channel and by 0915 we had the engine off, the sails up and on to a run. We goosewinged the sails using our new whisker pole. (Or Grace’s Christmas present!)
Grace “goosewinged” and flying!
It was not long before we had passed Dyvig and were flying up the Little Belt at 7 knots. It’s amazing what a clean weed free bottom does for your speed! (Yet another of Grace’s Christmas presents!) By 1400 we were already off Aro, a small island at the bottom of the Little Belt. After a quick circular tour of the harbour, dodging the ferry and the lifeboat it became apparent the place was full. All the Danes were out sailing for their bank holiday weekend!
Grace keeping pace in the Als Sund
A short hop across the Sund to AroSund and we were into the marina opposite, moored up and engine off all by 1500! We clearly had not lost the old magic! Our early arrival meant that I had time to search out the local delicacy – the AroSund Waffle, about a kilogram of mint chocolate and liquorice ice cream, in a cone, covered with pink marshmallow with the Danish equivalent of a Tunnock’s Teacake plonked on top! All in all a thoroughly stomach churning experience which I vowed never to repeat! (The Danes really do love liquorice, I’m eating liquorice covered dates as I write this!)
The old magic is back! Moored up by 1500! Fee paid!
The brisk easterly winds meant that our progress north up the Little Belt has been quite swift. The next day we set off for the unfortunately sounding Middelfart and the Ny Havn marina which lies just before the Little Belt Bridge. The strong current and my rather optimistic course plotting took us on a route between Faeno and the smaller island (almost a rock really) of Faeno Kalv. The channel curved round rapidly into the wind, the depth was also falling rapidly and we had to drop the sails quickly and get the engine on to get us through. The everyone else was staying to port in the nice wide and well marked, although slightly longer route! Clearly an example of going with the flow was the right thing to do!
Cutting the corner was really not a good idea! The black route was the one to take!
As we passed under the railway bridge and rounded the channel towards the Little Belt bridge, the strength of the current in the approach to Ny Havn was an unpleasant 3 to 4 knots across the mouth of the marina so going under the bridge we went to our alternative base at Frederica. Although in the shadow of the oil terminal it was a very welcome place to stop for the night after 28 miles of good sailing.
Sailing under the Little Belt Bridge
We were much less certain about where our next destination was going to be. We were about to enter the Kattegat for the start of our long leg across the Great Belt and into the Oresund. However the wind was now determinedly from the east, the direction we needed to go. Not ideal in a sailing boat! Over the next few weeks we were going to have to do some serious tacking to work our way to towards Sweden! We set off for the Island of Endeleve but after 6 hours sailing and some 27 miles later we were actually in Juelsminde, a large marina and very busy sailing club, just 10 miles in a direct line from Frederica and well short of our original target of Endeleve! Tacking to clear the cardinal buoy marking the end southern end of Bjornskunde reef and with the wind shifting to the north east we realised that we would not make Endeleve today!
Entering Juelsminde with a strong breeze blowing on the bows that my finely honed kamikaze berthing techniques came back to me – ideally if you see an empty box mooring between two other boats then go for it! Wedge yourself between then and keep shoving forward until you are in and making full use of Grace’s other Christmas present, her new blue Bumperline (yes they are really called that! They are thick blue woven ropes that run along the side of the boat allowing you to rub gently along things like posts and boats without harm) that now adorn Grace’s sides and make her look very ‘Baltic’! Alternatively find a berth with a boat to leeward and in you go nice and tight and the Bumperline taking the strain! Which is exactly what we did! There is nothing you can do to the gelcoat which a bit of polish won’t sort out at the end of the season!
Safely in Juelsminde
Juelsminde’s only claim to fame is that it has a museum with the largest collection of Massey Ferguson tractors in Denmark? Europe? The World? And of course the Juelsminde Waffle……which seems very familiar to the AroSund waffle being about a kilogram of mint chocolate and liquorice ice cream, in a cone, covered with pink marshmallow and with the Danish equivalent of a Tunnock’s Teacake plonked on top!
Home of the Juelsminde waffle!
It is now Friday 25th May and we have our biggest run planned so far, from Juelsminde on South Jutland across to Samso Island. The days are now staying light until 9.30 pm means that we could just keep going late into the evening if we had to! Casting off at 0930 with the log reading 4832 nm we are soon into the bucht, with our sails up and on a course of 135 degrees towards Aebelo island. Our aim was to reach the wind farm on the bottom of Samso before deciding whether to head for Kolby Kas on the western side of the island or carry on to Ballen on the east coast and our preferred choice. We had a strong incentive to go to Ballen as apparently it produced the best potatoes Denmark and this weekend it was going to be the ‘Best Potato Open Sandwich Competition’ so clearly an event not to be missed!
Around 1240 as we finally passed Endeleve we found ourselves in company with some friendly dolphins who swam around and under the boat. We occasionally caught a glimpse of their dorsal fins breaking out of the inky darkness of the sea. You are first alerted to their presence by what sounds like air leaking from a pipe, or if you are down wind, a whiff of terrible fishy breath! Endearing creatures they may be but they really do smell…but I’m sure they say the same about us!
10 Giant Windmils that make Samso self sufficient in electricity
By 1440 we were at 55 43.6 N and 10 31.5 E and tacking away from the 10 giant turbines to take the inshore route to Ballen. We figured that staying inshore would keep us clear of the large container ships and ferries on their way to Arhus. We guessed wrong of course and soon found ourselves dancing around several large ships going our way!
So many ships going our way!
By 1725 we were safely moored up, Kamikaze berthing technique applied, having sailed 31 miles, the longest daily distance of the cruise so far and with just 30 minutes on the motor!
Snug in Samso