WARNEMUNDE (ROSTOCK) TO FEHMARN

Day 93  Monday, 2nd September 2019

We pay for last night and get a tag for the showers/toilets and laundry.  We both go for showers and I put a load in the washing machine/dryer.  Malcolm’s looking at the weather forecast  and puts a line on the blue rope from the post to the pontoon. I blog – we hope to set off at noon.   The wind increases over the next few days and we’ve booked a lift-out for Friday, so we need to get to Fehmarn, pick up our car and go home.  We make a very dignified exit – the rope trick works very well!

Circle the harbour, stowing the ropes and putting the fenders away, and putting up the main.  Outside it’s still very lumpy, with big seas.  I prepared sandwiches before we left and cup o’soups (our new insulated mugs keep them very hot) so we have them as we try to leave Warnemunde behind.  There are two cruise ships in Warnemunde – must be there to visit Rostock.

We’re forced to tack with the main (1 reef) and the genoa (1 reef) with the engine on, which adds another 10 miles to our journey.  Get drenched as the waves are much bigger outside Warnemunde.

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Warnemunde/Rostock

The wind seems to be accelerating and goes up to 24 knots, veering from SW to W, so more reefs go in.  Then the tiller collapses – Malcolm’s only tightened it up this morning, but the crashing of the waves must have loosened it.  The skipper holds the tiller – he’s kneeling on the floor – and I go down to find the hammer and spanners he needs to tighten the tiller.  They’re in the tool locker and, after a huge wave,  I crash into the table and hurt my knee and elbow.  I’m quite stunned and Malcolm tells me to take my time but I can’t leave him on the floor holding the tiller!  There’s water on the floor of the forecabin and things have been thrown everywhere, even when we’ve stowed them safely.  I hold the tiller upright while the skipper tightens up the bolts.  We’re shattered but have many more hours to go. 

Once in the lee of the island of Fehmarn, the waves reduce.   I manage to take a photo of a rainbow – treasure at the end of a rainbow!

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We’re nearing our home port at last!  It’s 8 pm and the sun’s going down as we see the three towers of the hotel.  Have to put on our navigation lights.  

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Fehmarn – at last!

Find a vacant boom mooring and Malcolm has to leap from the bow as I’m injured and attaches the bow lines.  The wind swings our stern out to the other side (the place is for two boats) and a friendly next-door sailor says we can attach a line to his boat and haul her back over.  We do this and attach the clip onto the end of the boom.  Next door asks us if we’ve been to the Gulf of Bothnia (north of Stockholm) – bit like going round Scotland, have you been to Cape Wrath and through the Pentland Firth?  No, we haven’t been to the Gulf of Bothnia!!!

After this it’s about 9pm and we have a Fray Bentos steak pie and a can of Baked Beans.  And don’t watch any films at all …..

We’ve done 1800 miles this year – all the way round the Baltic, apart from the Gulf of Bothnia!   

And I’m signing off from writing the Blog – we’re having a busy week getting the boat prepared for the lift-out on Friday  (taking all the sails down, the spray hood and the dodgers, putting the clothes, sheets and towels etc. in the car) and then winterising the boat when it’s in the shed over the weekend.

A big Thank You to all my readers – love all the comments! See you next year …..  

BARHOFT TO WARNEMUNDE (ROSTOCK) – 49 miles

Day 92  Sunday, 1st September 2019

The swallows are all over the harbour, gathering on the rails and ropes, filling themselves up with insects before they head off south.

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Swallows on the genoa lines on Lady Hamilton

We leave at 7.45 am, retracing our steps going out from Barhoft in the shallow channel marked with red and green buoys.  No short cuts here!

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Barhoft

Barhoft is in a National Park.  Last time, in May, when we went from Warnemunde we sailed directly to Stralsund not stopping off at Barhoft.  It’s on the same channel.

The wind increases to 15 knots but it’s coming from the west and we have to motorsail as it’s wind on the nose AGAIN!  Crashing through the waves hinders our progress.

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Darber Ort

The wind increases after the major headland of Darber Ort, goes up to 18 knots with gusts of 23 knots, and we switch off the engine to sail, a reef in the mainsail and a reef in the genoa.  We’re now sailing SW but it’s quite shallow, 5 metres deep, and the waves are breaking over us.  The skipper puts another reef in the genoa and we put our oilies on as it’s going to rain, judging by the black clouds ahead of us.

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Black clouds on the horizon

 

 

We arrive at 5pm and take the mainsail down in the capacious harbour (with 9 honking seals in the sea pool MSC Seal Research Centre Hohe Dune!), put the lines on ready for a box mooring and put the thick fender ropes to protect the tumblehome hull (that means it’s wider below the toe rail). We put the tied fenders on the deck as you have to get into the box mooring before you can kick them over the side.  A man comes and takes our lines but he says (in German) that the skipper needs to put a line on the starboard post.  The posts proved too far apart to achieve this in the first pass ! However, the bow line isn’t long enough and he is forced to drop it in the water, which I quickly gather on board.   Malcolm puts the line round the other post and we take up the rope from the post to the pontoon, pulling to advance us towards the pontoon.  The man then takes our bow lines again and wraps them round the cleats.  We’re safely in port after a very long day!

I fail to get to the harbour office before 6pm – we’re on September hours now!  So can’t pay or get the tag for the toilets.  

We watch the final two episodes of ‘Mad Men’ as we’re not leaving until noon tomorrow as the wind is supposed to be kinder in the afternoon. 

GLOWE TO BARHOFT (32 miles)

Day 91  Saturday, 31st August 2019

An early call by the Border Police!  The three men have come into the harbour on a rib from the much bigger Border Patrol vessel. They look at us from the pontoon, and then outside the Harbour Master’s office they ask us where we’ve come from: ‘Bornholm’, we say.  Two men come on board and have to check our passports as we’re coming from another country (Denmark).  One of them puts our passport numbers into his phone and we’re clear to leave.  We’ve only be approached 7 times by border guards:

  • Polish Border Guards escorted us to Hel and we were fined £40
  • Kaliningrad – going in and out of Baltysk
  • Klaipeda – 2 Border Guards met us on the pontoon
  • Pavilosta (Latvia) – a Border Guard met us on the pontoon
  • Helsinki – approached by a rib asking whether we had weapons, wine and cigarettes
  • And then in Glowe, Germany.  This is their big vessel.

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We phone Megan as it’s her 13th birthday today and sing Happy Birthday down the phone!

These cliffs remind us on Mons Klint, the white cliffs we saw approaching the island of Mons, Denmark, from Sweden when we were trying to get back to Fehmarn last August.  It was an extremely roly-poly day and I couldn’t stand to take the photograph!  I saw the lighthouse flashing last night when we got back to the boat from the restaurant.

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We put up the cruising chute at 11 am but have to take it down at noon as the wind is SW and is increasing between 12 – 16 knots.  The skipper pulls the genoa out but takes it down at 1.30 pm.  We have to motorsail with the main.

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These yachts are anchored off Hiddensee – it’s the weekend!  And it’s very hot – 31 degrees today.

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We have to negotiate the narrow channel down to Barhoft (we went to Stralsund in May this year down the same narrow channel) – the depth varies between 3.5 – 4.5 metres.

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 We arrive and we know there are pontoons installed very recently (from ‘Captain’s Mate’).  We have a beer in the café/shop as we feel a need for a beer as it’s so hot!  And have showers too! 

There’s a green gunge in the harbour, which must be caused by the shallow lagoons around the harbour.  My nickname used to be ‘Anna’ when I was at secondary school!

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We eat on the table in the cockpit: chicken in tomato and mushroom sauce with pasta, raspberries and orange slices to follow with crème fraiche.  And watch another episode of ‘Mad Men’!

GLOWE (RUGEN ISLAND)

Day 90  Friday, 30th August 2019

We just chilled today!   I wrote my Blog on Bornholm and we had lunch out in the popular café by the harbour as I didn’t have any fillings for sandwiches.  Went up the small tower by the harbour and took a photo of the boat.

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In the afternoon I went for my very first swim in the Baltic this year.  The water was a tad cold as the weather hasn’t been as hot as last year.

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The beach where I went for my first swim in the Baltic

Went for a walk down the promenade, had icecreams (!) and went to Netto on the way back.  And in the evening we ate outside at a very cosy Gasthaus/Pension restaurant full of people.  I had fish (cod) with roast sliced potatoes and sauce, Malcolm had a good steak with boiled potatoes and sauce.  We wanted to go to the Restaurant Ostseeperle, which was designed by an architect in 1968, but it was too far to go and they might have been closed.  Ours was much nearer the harbour.

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Restaurant Ostseeperle on the promenade

BORNHOLM (a Danish island) TO GLOWE (Rugen – a German island)  (56 miles)

Day 89  Thursday, 29th August 2019

Set off at 8 am just as a fast ferry sets off from the main harbour at Ronne.  It’s going to Ystad.

We decide to try sail to windward with the mainsail and the genoa but the wind is only 8 to 12 knots from the SW, the direction in which we’re going but our progress is too slow.  We therefore motorsail all the way and it’s quite lumpy as we crash into the swell. 

We discuss how many ports of call so far – 42 – 3 more to go and we’re then back in Fehmarn – total of 46 ports. We’ve only been to 4 ports before in 2018:  Arkosund, Byxelkrok, Kalmar and Kristianopel. 

How many countries?  Germany, Poland, Kaliningrad, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Aland, Sweden, Denmark – 10 countries.

And the highlights of the trip so far?  Riga for me, the Aland and Stockholm archipelago for Malcolm. 

And lowlights?  For Malcolm:  the Polish Border Patrol vessel turning us back from the border of Kaliningrad and escorting us back to Hel.  For me, having to get to grips with so many different showers – some communal, mostly in Finland and Sweden – and different washing machines.  Can’t wait to get back home to my own shower and my own washing machine!

Malcolm takes the Danish flag down and puts up the German one.

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We have to skirt the border of this wind farm – keeping it to our port side.

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We didn’t know that the island of Jasmund had cliffs, where Glowe is situated, part of the Rugen islands. 

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Jasmund – part of Rugen Island

Do you remember we had to get the 8.20 am bridge went we went from Stralsund to Peenamunde at the end of May?  The bridge goes to the big holiday island of Rugen. 

Arrive at 6.15 pm.   It’s a box mooring so we’ve prepared the ropes already to go over the top of the posts.  But the boat is blown against the lee post and it’s rusty metal not wood, and puts a scrape on our beautiful boat.  Two men take the bow lines and pass them back to me on the boat.  We’ve arrived safely – apart from the scrape! – after a long crossing over open sea.

I go to the harbour office but it’s only open between 8 – 9 am and 4 – 5 pm so I’ve missed the code for the toilets and showers!  I can see the beautiful beach, with little huts as we saw in Nordenay last year.  Might have a swim tomorrow!

BORNHOLM by bus

Day 88  Wednesday, 28th August 2019

We take the number 4 bus and buy a day ticket for 150 Danish Kroner each (almost £10) as it’s going through several zones on the island, the bus driver tells me!

We travel to the heights of the island, through a very forested area, ‘Almindingen’.  The trees we’ve noticed are both deciduous and evergreen – such a change from the coasts of the south Baltic where they’re all evergreen. 

A young man on the bus tells us where to get off for Osterlars Church, one of the four round churches on Bornholm.  They were built as church strongholds to serve as places of worship, and during troubled times as places of refuge and fortifications against enemy attack. 

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The uppermost storeys served as excellent storage areas for goods destined for the Baltic Sea trade. This is the Belfry in which are hung two bells.

The church is situated on a ridge more than 100 metres above sea level: the coast can be seen from the rotunda walkway, approximately 3 kms away.

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The Baltic Sea

In the church, there are fine frescoes, depicting the life of Christ, beginning with the Annunciation and ending with the Day of Judgement.  They date from around 1350 but were restored in 1960.

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The nativity
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Back to the bus stop, after an hour at the Church, and we’re heading for Gudhjem, my guide book says it ‘is the best-looking of Bornholm’s harbour towns’.  Malcolm says it must the be the Clovelly of Bornholm!  The steep hill from the bus stop down to the two harbours is dominated by a windmill, brooding over the town.

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The windmill
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The windmill by Karl Isakson

 

We eat our bread rolls and salads we bought at the Coop last night in the East harbour, watching the ferry for Christianso leave (we nearly went to the island Christianso, but didn’t have time) and the Thor coming in (Thor goes to the cliffs and the Bornholm Art Museum). 

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There are lots of smokeries here.  The painting is by Oluf Host, ‘The Red Smokehouse’.

Then we find the West harbour – if you want to rent a boat for sailing round the many harbours in Bornholm you could hire this one!

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Next we go to Oluf Host’s house which is now a museum and art gallery.  I love the paintings by Olaf Host (1884 – 1966)!  And there’s an exhibition by Karl Isakson (1878 – 1922), 6 paintings, who was an influence on Host – Nordic modernism – when they painted together in early 1920’s.

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Oluf Host
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A still life by Karl Isakson

We explore outside and I take this photo of the house, which overlooks the West harbour. 

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We wend our way back up the hill and I stop to buy some Bornholm honey while Malcolm’s gone into a café and bought a beer!  I have one too and then we leave on the 4 bus again and travel to the top of the island.  Many schoolchildren get on at Sandvig-Allinge and leave the bus at various stops, some quite isolated – might be farmers’ children,  on the way to Ronne. 

We go back to the Coop and do a big shop.  We eat pork chops tonight with new potatoes and broccoli, in the cockpit.  Setting off for Germany tomorrow so have an early night – after another episode of ‘Mad Men’.  I’m never going to get to watch the films I bought in Sainsbury’s!

 

 

RONNE, BORNHOLM

Day 87  Tuesday, 27th August 2019

It’s been a hot, humid night – and I’ve put the winter duvet on as we were quite cold and using the fleecy blankets over the summer duvet – and now we need the summer duvet again! 

I blog and make use of the free washing machine and dryer in the morning and Malcolm goes for fuel.  We have lunch in the cockpit – it’s very hot here in Bornholm – then depart to see Ronne’s delights.

We find the Tourist Office and get a bus timetable for tomorrow – the car hire is next to the Tourist Office but we’re foregoing the pleasure as it’s 600 Danish kroner (£70) for a day without the added extras. 

We go to the real harbour – there are high speed ferries already in and one just arriving – where the bigger yachts have to go.

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The lighthouse over the harbour

Skt. Nicolai Church is part of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Denmark today.  It has stood on this spot for more than 700 years, overlooking the harbour. It has witnessed war, plague and bombardment, and it has witnessed merchant vessels from the Hansa League, Swedish and Russian warships, freight ships, fishing boats, cruise ships and ferries! 

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The big model of the frigate ‘Dannebrog’ dates from 1873.  The painting over the altar was inspired by Olaf Host, painted by the artist Swen Havsteen-Mikkelson who worked in Bornholm in the 1930’s. It’s theme is ‘Jesus calming the storm at sea’ – the boat and the sea look more Nordic than Galilean!  There’s a mural of Judas Thaddaeus which was restored in 2017.

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The cottages are very pretty on cobbled streets.  The same yellow as Dragor, near Copenhagen, where we were rafted on the lifeboat and taken into the harbour last year!    I love the middle one on the left – such a tiny door and steps leading up to it.

We find a theatre which has a current production of ‘May 1945’, when Ronne was bombed by the Soviets.

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We have cake and a Coke in the main square, Storv Tort, which must have suffered from the bombing as it has no buildings of any merit.  Buy bread rolls from Jensens Bageri, on the way to the huge Coop, which is near the Norrekas marina where we are, just north of the main harbour.   Very handy!