The ships diary

This picture was shot at April 1st in Langeliniehamnen in Copenhagen.


In the afternoon it started to snow!

The sea was completely calm on the morning of April 1st, so we decided to sail over to Copenhagen. It was a little misty, but we could see Denmark across the Sound.
We walked into the city and did some shopping, and when we came back to Bibbi II it started to snow! And it was cold outside the boat and cold on board. Our heaters are not good enough for winter! In fact - the heater we use when in harbour broke down during the night between Wednesday and Thursday. It started again on Thursday morning, but when we came back from the shopping it was dead. No way it would start again.
Friday morning we found a mechanic for the heater, but he could not come until Saturday. - And all Friday it was snowing and the wind was close to 20 metres per second. We bought a spare outdoor kitchen using butane gas to heat the boat - it helped us survive but it was not good enough to heat the cabins onboard.
On Saturday morning the mechanic arrived and after four hours work he managed to get our heater to work again - at a good price! So now we're warm and happy again.

Sunday morning we left Copenhagen in rain. It was a bit misty too but it was not worse than we could sail across the Köge bugt and go to Rödvig. The wind was decreasing all day, and in the afternoon the sun began to shine. We had a beautiful afternoon.
But for some reason the mist horn was blowing for half an hour in the harbour!


In Stubbeköbing Brith bought a new jacket and poses in the sun.

April 6th was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and there was no wind at all. We had a fine tour from Rödvig on Själland to Stubbeköbing on Falster.


On April 9th we sailed from Stubbeköbing in Denmark to Barhöft in Germany. It was a wet and tough trip over six hours all in all. Barhöft was the first harbour we could find in the area, and it seems to be a very small town - or village. From the harbour we can see a small shop, the customs office - with no officers - and a rather big seaside hotel.

Brith finds a lot of her favorite spring flowers in the village.

On Easter Friday we take a walk in the big national park by Barhöft. It's a nice park and a nice day, By the end of the day there's another three guestboats in the harbour.


At right - the house for the harbourmaster and the pilots in Stralsund harbour. We can see it from the boat, but it took us a day to find out that the harbourmaster has his office here!

On Saturday the 11th we sailed down to Stralsund. It didn't take more than en hour so we were there early, knowing that the shops would close early.
But that did not help! We tried to find the harbourmaster and were told by the police to look for a yellow container at one end of the harbour. There was no yellow container! Other people told us to look here and other to look there! No harbourmaster.
Finally we decided to stay were we had landed, by the Klappbrücke in the Querkanal, and went into the Altstadt to find some fresh food for the holidays. Of course - here in the city, Die Altstadt, there are no shops for food! When we asked at the touristoffice they pointed out the only one and told us to hurry! We went into the shop five minutes before they closed and all the nice fresh food was already packed aside for the holiday! But anyway - we got what we needed.
And we walked around and saw also those fantastic buildings from many centuries ago. The Altstadt has in fact been saved thanks to the lack of developement since World War II!
After lunch we made yet another trip through the town center. This time making a trip on a tourist-train, with a guide telling us all about it in German. We did not understand much, but it was good anyway.
Exactly when we were back on the boat in the early afternoon, it started to rain, so the were not many visitors to the fairgrounds close to us in the harbour.


Bibbi II in Wolgast Yachthafen. There were two other boats in the water in this harbour, both of them from town.

On Easter Monday we left Stralsund.
There was no wind as we sailed down Strelasund. And there was not the slightest breeze when we crossed Greifswalder Bodden. I guess this water can be rather nasty when there's wind from east, as it's open to the southern Baltic. And we had a fine trip down Peenestrom to Wolgast.
Of course, on Easter Monday, we could not find the harbourmaster, but we had a walk through the old town. Not much to see really. The old Rathaus of course, and the church, but this town is nothing compared to Stralsund! - Sorry!
But we had a nice sunset - and fresh water on the bridge.


The sailingschool by the north entry to the harbour of Trzebiez. This entry was closed when we came. There was some work going on.

We had a nice and calm trip from Wolgast to the German - Polish border in the Stettiner Haff. We crossed the border at 15:00 o'clock exactly and five minutes later we stopped by the Polish patrolboat that was stationed by the border to give our ships name and tell them what harbour we were going to.
It took us another hour and a half to come to Trzebiez. And there we where welcomed by a young boy that in fact was the harbourmaster. He showed us to the customs. The whole procedure, customs, passportcontrol and a visit at the harbourmaster's office took us a whole hour, and after that we had to move the boats twice to satisfy the harbourmaster. But then again - he treated us to free electricity!
We were hungry and quite tired after this, so we did not walk around in the village in the evening.


Bibbi II in the Interster yachtharbour in the northern part of Szczecin. At the top of the hill is the Goclaw historical monument.
We started Wednesday the 15th with a walk through the little village and also managed to find the postoffice so that we could change and get some Polish money. In a shop we bought some bread and food.
Then we left Trzebiez and sailed down to Interster Yachharbour in the northern outskirts of Szczecin. Not a long trip, but this harbour seems to be good and friendly. In the afternoon we took a walk ashore, and used the showers.


A section of the West-Oder we passed today. Poland on the left side and Germany on the right. Who can see the difference?
We left Szczecin on April the 17th and went south on the West-Oder.
First of all we stopped by in the Szczecin centre to change all the zlotys to Deutsche Mark and then we continued southwards. After an hour and a half we came to the Polish - German border and stopped at the Polish side and was cleared out. But at the German side there was no place to stop! And we remembered how unwilling they were to see us when we came from Denmark, so we went on. Five minutes later we saw the German patrolboat coming up at back so we stopped and turned to meet them.
At first they seemed a bit annoyed - but soon they melted and greeted us welcome to Germany, pointing out the difference in coming from a country within the EU and coming from a country outside the EU.
After this we had a nice trip down to Schwedt, most of the time with Poland on the left side of the river and Germany on the right side. We could in fact have stopped anywhere and walked ashore on Polish soil after passing the border!
There was not much stream in West-Oder this day. Most of the time we had the same speed over ground as through the water - about 10 knots. At some places we lost a knot or even two, but that was only for short periods.
Well, we stopped for the night i Schwedt. It was not quite what I had expected. It's been a town since 1265, and even though I knew it hade been totally destroyed during World War II I didn't expect to find a town like this. There was a huge street for parades, doubble rows of trees and big appartment houses on both sides. A big theatre at one end and the other end we never saw.
We walked a couple of blocks on this rather dull street, and then turned left and found some quite nice blocks of smaller houses, some of them apparently rebuilt after the war. We even found some open shops and could buy some food for the weekend.
The promenade along the canal is beautiful!
When we came back to the boat after this walk, we found that our heater was broke down again! See what we can do about that tomorrow.


Brith and Bibbi II in the first lock of this trip - the Hohensaaten West.
The people in Schwedt told us to go down to Hohensaaten for fuel, so we left fairly early on the18th. There was a light drizzle in the air almost all day.
The trip down to Hohensaaten took two hours and was very nice. Many birds to watch and a nice view all the time. And we were very lucky when we came to our first lock for this trip - it was open and waiting for us! So it only took a couple of minutes to get through.
But where to find the fuel? It was not in the spot it should be according to the chart. So we sailed around quite a while before we found it. And of course it was closed! Until 7 am Monday morning!
Back to the village. It was not easy to find a suitable place for mooring. At last we landed at small bridge in the middle of the village, and I went ashore to ask for help. The first man I found was very kind and helped us to get in touch with the man selling fuel. That man was not at home, but after a couple of hours he came to us and we got our fuel and could continue our trip.
While waiting for the fuel we first spotted a birds nest at the top of a chimney. First time in my life I saw a real stork-nest, and we saw the bird leaving the nest. However it did not come back while we were there.


It was truly exciting to have the boat - and ourselves - lifted by the Schiffshebewerk in Niederfinow!
The weather was better this Sunday, April 19. A bit cold in the morning, and cloudy. I started the day by repairing the heater, and was successfull.
Then we started our tour towards Berlin.Soon we came to the famous Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow. This enormous technical device was ready for use in 1934 after seven years of building and 27.5 million Deutche Mark in costs. It lifts - or sinks the boats 36 metres and thus makes the job of four old locks. Really fantastic and well worth visiting!
We continued the trip eastwards to Marienwerder and enjoyed a nice meal at the old Gaststätte "Zur Glocke".
When we went out on the canal we saw one barge ahead of us and another one behind us. I figured it was no idea to overtake the one ahead, but it was hard to keep exactly his velocity, so soon we were fairly close to him and it was rather hard to steer. Soon a man on the barge made sign to us to overtake, and so we did. This was a fascinating experience. When we were halfway beside him we made the same speed through the water as before but lost speed over ground so I had to increase our speed quite a lot to get ahead of him.
All in all we overtook six barges and we only had to wait for the last one in the next lock.
We had planned stay upstreams the lock of Lehnitz. But there was no place to stay! And we missunderstood the guys at the locks and thought we had to wait for three hours to get through. So we put the coffee on the stove and prepaired for a light meal, when we suddenly saw the green light and could go into the lock.
On the other side of the lock, in Oranienburg, we found several harbours for pleasureboats, and decided to stay in a small one in a side canal.


Our first stop in Berlin was at the harbour of the Motor Yacht Club Tegel.
Early in the morning of April 20th my younger son Robert and his girlfriend Silva came to us. I meet them at the railwaystation and we all had breakfast together.
We had a rather lazy morning in the warm sun and after dinner we decided to go to Berlin. It was a nice and easy trip and there was many pleasureboats out on the small lakes in Berlin. We asked for advice at a bunkerstation what harbour to choose and the man adviced us to go to Motor Yacht Club Tegel.
We found a free place just by the clubhouse. A friendly man welcomed us. This place is very well in order. A treat to the soul in the midst of the big city!


The "whole" crew of Bibbi II. In the front Brith, Ingrid and Silva and in the back Robert, Linda and Anders. Here on a public parkingplace for pleasureboats in the midst of the city. In the background the "Bodemuseum" at the Island of Museums, and the Fernsehturm at Alexanderplats.
We started early in the morning of April 23rd with a bottle of strawberry sparkling wine, and a little later, when my wife Ingrid and my oldest son Anders and his girlfriend Linda had arrived we had another bottle.
Then we checked the "kids" into a hotel and went for some sightseeing. Some oysters with champagne at KaDeWe of course.
In the eveningen we all went to a small restaurant in Alt Tegel and had a delicious dinner.

On April 24th we left the MYCT-harbour and made a tour on the canals in the city of Berlin. Finally we found a place on the Spreeufer to tie the boat to and had dinner at a restaurant nearby.
In the evening we went to Staatsoper to see Die Zauberflöte by Mozart and finished the evening with a beer.
April 25th - again a day for sightseeing and shopping. Late - very late - in the evening Brith, Robert and Silva started their journey home and there was only four of us left on board.


Between Spandau and Potsdam river Havel broadens at several places and on sunday April 26th we saw thousands of boats there.
Sunday was a hot day. We left the Berlin city and went Spree and Havel east and southwards and finally arrived in Potsdam. In the evening we went to a Gaststätte to have dinner and then it started to rain a little.

Bibbi II in the harbour of MBC Havelbucht in Potsdam. It's a fairly small harbour and the railway is very close, with trains to and from Berlin passing every second minute.


In Ketzin we found a place in the Seesportclub Ketzin harbour.
We started Monday the 27th with a tour in Potsdam. We walked to the Sans Souci castle - which is very beautiful - and into the towncentre. The Sans Souci castle is well worth a trip by itself.
After this we continued our trip on the Potsdam Havel. This is were the Havel broadens and looks much like small lakes connected to each others. Today there were not many boats sailing so had the whole area for ourselves. - Well close to!
It was very warm the whole day. More than 25C! And between 13 and 14C in the water. I know it's foolish - but I had to take a bath! So we stopped the boat and just jumped into the water. Anders and Linda followed me into the water. It was very refreshing. Didn't feel cold at all.
In the evening we stopped at Ketzin.


The Steintor and Steintorbrücke in Brandenburg.
Let's say that Ketzin is not our favourite town in Germany. We left after breakfast and showers and continued our trip eastwards on the Untere Havel and later the Elbe-Havel-Kanal.
We passed through the old town Brandenburg and passed under the Sterntorbrücke which is only 2.75 metres above the water.
In the afternoon we were rather ancious to get some food so we stopped by in Genthin to buy some, and planned to go on for a while after that. But it was so late that we decided to stay in a small harbour in a side-canal and went into the Altenplathower Altkanal, where the chart showed a guestharbour. This canal is only about 1 metre deep and is quite narrow, and when we got to the guestharbour it was closed with wires across the entry. There was no way to turn so we had to go through the whole canal.
Finally we got back to Genthin and stayed there over night.


This shows the hard current in Elbe.
We left Genthin early on the 29th and sailed along the canal. It was a very warm day so all of us got the shorts on for the first time during this trip. But we had miscalculated the length of the trip to Magdeburg. We thought it would take about three hours, but it took five. One hour because we missunderstood the charts and another hour because of the hard current of the river Elbe.
When we had been there for a couple of hours Heidi and Eckerhard Lausecker came to us and joined us for a cup of coffee. It was the first time we met them, but Heidi is the penpal af one of our friends in Gothenburg - so we just had to meet them . . .
They brought half a dousin bottles sparkling wine and also beer from the area. We went to a nice Gaststätte and had something to eat and later we went to their new house for some coffee, beer and wine. Very late they helped us "home" to Bibbi again. - Very nice people to met!

There was only a part of the porch left - but they used it well when they bought the new house close to the cathedral in Magdeburg.

Thursday we spent in Magdeburg. Ingrid and Linda went shopping and Anders and I stayed onboard to fix a lot of things and in the afternoon we met in the city to have lunch together. We also walked to the old cathedral and some other historic buildings in that area.