The ships diary

Ingrid by the boat outside the Papenburg lock on June 1st.


At 19:00 o'clock on June 1st "all" the pleasureboats of Papenburg, and one big barge, passed the lock to get into the harbour.

We left Delfzijl at noon to catch the flood and get help by the current to get upstreams river Ems. And it was a good help.
After a couple of hours we reached Papenburg and decided to stay. But found out that the lock would only open for pleasureboats at 19:00 o'clock. We would like to get into the old town Papenburg, but decided to stay outside the canal as we plan to leave fairly early the next morning.


The lock at Herbrum.
On June 2nd we went upstreams river Ems to Dörpen and turned into the Küstenkanal.
This Küstenkanal is a good way to get away from the winds of the North Sea, but it's also rather boring. It's very green and nice, but not for five hours! No good harbours were you want them.
So we were almost forced to take the whole canal in one step, and finally landed in the old town Oldenburg.


Cäcilienbrücke in Oldenburg, which makes it possible for pedestrians to pass the bridge even when it's open for the ships. Amazing construction!
After that long day we decided to take it easy on June 3rd and stay in Oldenburg to explore the town.
We had a wonderful day in this old town. Walking around, having a beer. Shopping. Sightseeing. And it was hot!
The city hall of Oldenburg.


On June 4th we continued the trip. First down river Hunte and out into river Weser, where we finally arrived in Bremerhaven. Here we wanted fuel and had to get through a lock and into the fishingharbour. At last we found fuel in the Northsee Yachting harbour, which is the first - and oldest - private yachting harbour in Germany. And the girl who helped us with the fuel, she was speaking Swedish!
Finally we got into river Geeste and thus started our trip on the Elbe-Weser Schiffartsweg. This kanal is another way of sailing from The Netherlands to the Baltic Sea without beeing disturb by the North Sea. It's narrow, and not for big ships, but good enough for tiny Bibbi II.
A couple of kilometers upstreams river Geeste and a few hundred meters from the tidal barriar and lock, we found a good place to spend the night.


We got on route fairly early on June 5th. The speed limit is 8 km/h and the whole canal is 60 km so it's a long way to go . . .
Anyway it's a canal with nice views. Much smaller than the others we've been on. Not som much traffic. Lot's of nice views. Only three locks altogether.

During the day we met one barge. Fortunately at a place with a meetingplace!
We stopped half way in Bederkesa to buy food, and then continued. In the afternoon we arrived at the lock of Otterndorf to get out to river Elbe, but the lock was closed for the day, so we had to wait until Saturday morning to get any further. Immediately after we moored it started to rain and continued all evening.


The locks at Brunsbüttel.
June 6th we got up earlier than usual. The night before the lockmaster offered to let us pass through at 7:30 and so we had to wake up more than an hour earlier than usual!
But we managed, and 7:30 we went into the lock and soon we were out on river Elbe heading upstreams towards Brunsbüttel and the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal. At Brunsbüttel we were lucky and did not have to wait long to get inte the lock.
In the canal we tried to keep the same speed as a big containership, but did not succeed. She was a bit faster than us, but we were faster than all the sailingboats and after seven hours we were at the other end of the canal and went through the lock into the Baltic Sea.
In the lock the waterpolice fined all eight pleasureboats for having passed an unvisible line by a ferry while waiting to come into the lock. 20 DM from all the boats was an easy catch, and the policemen were all smiles :-)
Well, we didn't mind. We had a good day at the canal, and in the lock the sun started to warm us. The afternoon and evening were very warm. And we found a good place to moor, just around the corner from the lock.
Bibbi at the bridge in Kiel/Holtenau.


Early in the morning of Sunday the 7th this parade passed on the street beside us.

Sunday the 7th started with clouds and continued with sun. We had a lazy morning and after dinner we took a taxi into the Kiel center and I waved goodbye to my wife Ingrid as she boarded the ferry back home to Gothenburg.
As she boarded the ferry a heavy rain started, and I took a taxi back to Bibbi. When I came back I saw more than 15 big Dutch sailingships in the harbour.
In the evening I followed Ingrid to the Gothenburg ferry in Kiel, and saw her walk onboard.


Bibbi in the harbour of Marstal. There's a lot of free places for guesting boats!

The guys in the sailingboat next to me left just before 7 in the morning, but the other boat, outside them stayed, and it was a terrible noice when the two sailingboats changed places. I woke up and could not get back to sleep.
But this way I could do all my preparations in a relaxed tempo. But I missed the weatherforecast with a few minutes - my watch was a bit slow!
So I had my breakfast, checked oil and filters in the engine, cycled to leave the key to the toilet, went up to the bank to get some more money, packed the bicycles in the fore cabin and so on, and 10:30 the sailingboat outside me moved to another place and I could leave.
First of all to get some diesel, and after that to the bunkerstation for taxfree beer and so on. A few minutes passed 11 everything was finished and I left Kiel.
I had two possible harbours for today: Maasholm in Germany and Marstal in Denmark. I had almost decided to go to Maasholm, but when I came out on the Eckernförde Bucht I got the sea midships and that was not so nice. It would have been like that for an hour. If I turned to Marstal instead I'd get the waves from behind for two hours - and that's much nicer!
So the decision was easy. I turned to Marstal.
And Marstal still is the nice harbour I remember from our last visit more than 20 years ago. Nice harbour, and a nice little town to stroll around in. I really enjoy it.


A view of the harbour of Marstal.
Tuesday, June 9th, was far to windy for me to leave Marstal. More than 10 ms, which is not pleasant in a small boat like Bibbi II. So I stayed and had a lazy day.
But I washed the deck, and I washed my underwears, and fixed a lot of other small details, so the day passed in a pleasant way.


The big castle Valdermarsslot, on the island Tåsinge, is now a museum. I passed it on June 10th.
On June 10th it rained a little in the morning, but the wind was not as strong as yesterday, so many boats left Marstal this morning. I had a nice trip in the archipelago south of Funen. I passed Langeland, with the town Rudköbing, Tåsinge with Valdemarsslot, Svendborg on Funen and finally stopped for the night in Faaborg on Funen.
I had a walk in town and bought some smoked - still hot - fish for dinner.
There was a light rainshower when I got back to the boat, but after that the sun started to shine.


Bibbi II in the Faaborg yacht harbour.
June 11th was one of those days to remember. Sunshine all day. No wind. 25C.
I spent the day in Faaborg. Cleaning fenders and shirts. Strolling in the town. Watching the people in the habour. Enjoying life!


Bibbi II in the guestharbour in central Flensburg.
The weather was not so good on June 12th. But I had decided to leave. The question was - where to?
I had read in the Danish newspapers that the new bridge over Stora Bält was to be opened with a big royal party on Sunday. If I turned eastwards I could be there.
But the weatherforecast have promised fairly strong winds from north or west for the weekend. And if that turns true I'd be better off in shelter of Jutland.
So Jutland!
And I turned southwards. From Faaborg I sailed to Flensburg. Germany once again. I have some German money I got to get rid of! No, but there seems to be a sheltered way from Flensburg, Sönderborg and up through Lilla Bält. So that's the way it will be.


Nice sign on the bridge in Flensburg: "Tax free orders in the harbour office"! But I got my share of tax free shopping in Kiel, so . . .
I spent Saturday June 13th strolling in Flensburg. Very nice town, with a well preserved historical centre. During the day a lot of Danish boats came into the harbour, so it seems this is a popular harbour for neighbouring Danes.


Sönderborg seen from the north, with the bridge open so that all the sailingboats can pass.
I had a good days sailing on Saturday June 14th. The wind was about 8 ms and the waves rather short so there was quite a lot of water splashing up on deck, but not unpleasant.
During the day I passed the town Sönderborg and sailed through Als Sund. I have strong memories of Sönderborg from more than 20 years ago, when we were there with Bibbi II. I remember a huge bridge over the sound, and steep hills to get up to town. That's not the impression I get of the town when I pass it today!
I ended up in a small harbour, Dyvig Kro Bro, in a well sheltered creek on the north west part of the island Als. There is this bridge, an inn, a little shop and that's just about all! A little village a kilometer from the harbour, and the only thing going on there is that the local people are building i viking-boat. But the wharf was not open on Sundays, so I'll miss that.


A nice view of Halk Hoved.
Monday the 15th started with quite a lot of wind, but during the day the wind turned from southeast to northeast and died totally inbetween, so I had a nice trip up through Lilla Bält. The sun was shining all day.
I ended up in Middelfart, an old ferrytown - now with no feries, only two big bridges. The yachtharbour is on the south side of the cape and the actual town on the north side. I walked into town - only a few kilometers, and strolled along the small streets for a couple of hours. Finally I had dinner at Holms - an inn with traditions since 1584 - and the house almost seems to be from those old times!
Holms Inn


The old brigde over Lilla Bält with the new bridge at back.
It was fairliy good weather in the morning of June 16th, but the weather forecast promised very strong winds in the afternoon and evening. I suspect that these strong winds will last for a day or two, so I decided to sail up to Fredricia. Only about an hours sailing, buit it will make it possible for me to reach Århus in one day.
I have planned to meet my wife Ingrid in Århus on Friday.
This is the most narrow part of Lilla Bält, but I noticed that the strong winds had started.
When I got to Fredricia, I walked to the town centre, which is fairly nice and made some shopping. After a couple of hours walking there I took a bus back to the boat.
In the evening I cold hear the wind singing in all the masts.


Parts of the yachtharbour in Fredricia.
On Wednesday the 17th it was windy, at times up to 20 ms, so I stayed in Fredricia and had a lazy day - well I washed the whole interior of the boat! And fixed a few this on board. So I was really busy all day.


I found out yesterday that I could not charge my batteries with electricity from land. This have been working perfectly well for many years, and I used it in Flensburg. But now the fuses at shore seems to blow every time I put the plug in.
During the morning of June 18th I tested every possible way to get this to work and finally I went to a shop in the neighbourhood and bought a new charger and now it works. But this is a simple car-charger, so I have to go through everything once more when I get back home.
Also - one of the reading-lamps in the forecabin, has not been working properly the last weeks. After "hours" of searching I found out that the cable had been squeezed and damaged at one place, so I fixed a new cable. Took me three hours of blood, sweat and tears! Yeah, the sun was shining, and I had to demount almost everything in the toilet to get it all right!
Well, as you have guessed. The wind was so strong today, that I could not leave Fredricia.
I had planned to go to Aarhus to meet Ingrid there tomorrow, but she has to come to Fredricia instead. Late in the afternoon the wind slackened a bit, and the weatherforcast promises soft winds for next five days, so Ingrid and I can sail along in the area in a nice and easy way.


Ingrid is back on board, and when I had treated her to a traditional Swedish midsummereve's dinner, she "gladly" made the dishes.
Midsummer's Eve, June 19th, there was no wind at all in the morning, but a light rain for several hours. Several guestboats left Fredricia early. They were eager to get away now when there was no wind. But I had to stay and wait for Ingrid.
So by noon I went into the town centre to buy food for the weekend and meet her at the station. When I walked to the station the rain stopped and it became very hot. When we finally got back to the harbour it was 25C and sunshine.
I wanted to leave Fredricia, but Ingrid wanted to stay - so we stayed and had a lazy afternoon and evening.


Bibbi II in the Ballen harbour at Samsö eastcoast.
It was warm and no wind in the morning of June 20th. So we left Fredricia and sailed over to Samsö, a rather big island where the Great Belt ends in Kattegat. It was a smoth and easy trip with no waves at all.
In the morning it was a bit misty, but in the afternoon the mist disappeared and it became very hot. After dinner we had a walk in the small village by the harbour.


Tranebjerg church.
We had a wonderful weather on June 21st. We biked around the southern half the island, which was very nice - but hot!
When we got back to the harbour there were not many boats there. We had been at least a hundred boats during the last night, now there were only twenty boats.
But in the evening there were a hundred boats again. Ballen is - for good reasons - a very popular harbour.
At Kolby we saw this windmill in action.


Odense canal looks very much like the big German and Dutch canals.
June 22nd started with rain and fairly strong winds from southeast. When the rain stopped the wind changed to west and all the boats in Ballen left harbour - and so did we.
We headed towards Odense on Fyn. When we came out on the open sea half way between Samsö and Fyn the waves were rather big and came exactly from the side. But quite soon we reached Enebaerodde and steered into sheltered waters.
But that was only half the way to Odense. Now first Odense fjord and then Odense Canal. The canal was much like the canals we've seen in Germany and The Netherlands. Calm waters and nice views. And finally we moored in the harbour of Odense Motorbaadsklub.


The witch ready to be burnt at the stake.
It was fairly windy in the morning of June 23rd, and some clouds too. Ingrid and I biked to the Odense city centre, and walked around there the whole day. We looked at "everything", from the H. C. Andersen house to the Odense royal castle. And we found some interesting things to buy in the many shops along the pedestrian streets too.
In the evening we enjoyed fresh Danish shrimps (from Skagen) and bread with good smelling Danish cheese in the boat, while the people of the Yacht club celebrated Saint Hans Evening with a grillparty by the clubhouse. At dusk they burnt the witch at the stake, like we in Sweden do at Walpurgis night, or at Easter.


The Vesborg lighthouse on the southern cape of Samsö.
June 24th offered beautiful weather. Sun and practically no wind. We had a wonderful trip through Odense canal and up to Samsö and Tunö.
First we went to Tunö and sailed into the harbour there, but it was crowded with boats. We were adviced not to moor too close to the bridges if we did not want to stay all four days of the festival! And we did not find any really good place for one night in the harbour, so we continued to Mårup on Samsö only a few miles away.
In Mårup there was plenty of room for us, and it seems to be a harbour for people like us - who don't seek all kinds of activities but like the beautiful views of an unspoiled nature.


The belltower of Nordby still used every day.
Mårup is such a nice place that we decided to stay on June 25th. It was very nice weather all day so we biked around the northern part of Samsö. First we went to the old village Nordby with the fascinating old villagehouses and the belltower of Nordby church is situated in the middle of the village, while the church is two kilometers away!
You can still see clear remnants of the Kanhave Canal, built by the Vikings in the 7th century.
Then we cycled south to Kanhave. Here Samsö is only 800 meters wide and here the Vikings, back in the 7th century, built a canal across the island. There is evidence that the Vikings used Langör harbour on the east side of Samsö, and they wanted a fast and easy way to th west, so they built this canal. The archeologists have found that the canal was built around 730 AD.
Langör church.
From Kanhave we could see Langör harbour, so we went there. It's supposed to one of few Danish harbours which are natural in the way that it's not dredged. You can imagine why the Vikings liked it!
Well, we found a nice harbour, with a lot of boats and a cosy atmosphere. The nature around this harbour is very genuine.
In the afternoon, back in Mårup harbour, we found out that they were shooting episodes for the TV-series "Strissen på Samsö" (The police at Samsö), at the beach. Hundreds of people were involved in these shootings, and in the evening they burnt a witch at the stake. I wonder what the police found in the ashes from that fire . . .
In the evening the wind increased, there was some rain and the little harbour was filled with boats.


Bibbi II in Ebeltoft Skudehavn.
The weather was beautiful when we woke up on June 26th. So we left Mårup and sailed off to Ebeltoft, a small and picturesque town, only 20 nautical miles from Mårup, but we are in no hurry.
We spent the afternoon walking in town and shopping food for the weekend.


Bibbi in Grenå yacht harbour.
The weatherforecast was good, so we left Ebeltoft as soon as the rain stopped. But when we sailed out of the sheltered waters into Kattegat we got the wind and waves from aside, so it was not such a pleasant tour that we had in mind!
We stopped in Grenå, that is a good and big harbour, and saw douzins of boats coming in after us. We made a short walk in the harbour, but were too lazy to walk into the town. Guess we'll be staying here for a couple of days, so there will be plenty of time to see the town later.


Children feeding geeze by Grenåen.
It was rainy and windy on Sunday the 28th, so we stayed in Grenå and we were very lazy. We walked up to Kattegat-center, by the harbour, but there were too many people queuing to get in. So we walked around in the harbour a while and then back to the boat for a lazy day.


We passed Fornaes lighthouse today.
June 29th offered quick changes between rain and sun. The rain came with thunder and lightning and the sun with light winds and warmth.
Between a couple of those rainshowers we left Grenå and sailed first north and later west into Randers Fjord. We figure that we still have plenty of time to get home in due time, so we make no hurry.
Randers fjord is about 15 nautical miles deep, with the town of Randers at the end. We went all the way to Randers, and had a short walk in town in the evening.
A few kilometers of Randers Fjord is digged canal.