August 31, 2008
After a marathon 3 day sail from Cuxhaven leaving at 10.30am on Thursday 28th we returned all the way back to Gosport arriving at 09.00 on Sunday morning. A trip of 446 miles completed in 70 hrs with three nights at sea. In five months we have visited 12 countries and covered about 3500 miles. An amazing adventure.
The first part of the journey was very unpleasant bashing into a 20kt westerley wind all the way from Cuxhaven to the top corner of Holland for 24 hours. However as forecast as we turned south along the Dutch coast towards Den Helder the wind eased and went round to the NW giving a good sail. Near Den Helder we turned SW to head towards Ramsgate. An interesting night passage crossing the very busy shipping lanes off North Holland with Di and I doing 3 hour watches.
The wind as forecast kindly went to the East and we had a wonderful sail across the North sea during the day on Friday including a BBQ on deck. Landfall near Ramsgate at the top of the Goodwin sands late afternoon was uneventful but we could not see land as the visibility was only 1 mile. We quickly sailed down the inside Goowin passage on the tide and slipped past Dover ready for the final night passage along the south coast to home.
An easy an uneventful night passage motor sailing as the wind had dropped with three hour watches we had to keep the engine revs down to conserve fuel. At surise we were making the final approach to Portsmouth harbour slipping through the Looe Channel at Selsey bill just bas the tide was turning against us.
Finally we arrived at 09.00 at the Royal Clarence Marine displaying the 12 courtesy falgs of the countries that we visited France (terretorial waters only), Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Arland Islands (part of Finland but independant State with own flag), Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. A wonderful trip seeing some remarkable places,
Throughout Hollie has been amazing coping so well with the long sailing passages she has grown up a lot increased even more in confidence and I hope has hugely benefited from the experience. Di has been fantastic looking after us and making sure we got to see most of the sights and places en route. As always she has been a source of inspiration and support – love her to bits.
Finally our friends as always been great. Jim and Rona after returning to Bembridge in the Isle of Wight in their boat on Saturday night sailed back over to Gosport to welcome us back and together with Chris and Chris we had a Chinese take away on Sunday evening aboard Rebel.
We have a few earlier bits of blog to fill in a and some final pictures to post. We will do one final entry with a quick summary and then sign off. Thanks to all those who have followed our exploits.
August 27, 2008
Slipped through the lock out into the River Elbe, the first tidal waters for 4 months. A short hop on the tide to Cuxhaven Marina to wait for the right weather window for our trip home. The weather has delayed us a bit and if we are all to get back home together in time for Hollie’s first day at school we are planning to do the 450 miles home in one hop. We prepare the boat watch the weather forecasts and wait.
August 26, 2008
Said goodbye to our sailing pals Suzie Too this morning who planned to stay another day or so in Rendsburg before heading back to the UK via the Dutch, Belgian and French coast. We however are now on a mission to get Hollie back for the start of the school term…September 4th….ouch!
Motored along the canal and arrived in the drizzle (again) into Brunsbuttel marina right outside the lock gates of the other end of the canal. Had a quick wander into town, in the drizzle before dinner and planning time for the journey home…its looking like a stop at Helgoland before hacking it back to Ramsgate all in one go starting on Friday midday….300m or more arriving Ramsgate Sunday morning………..??!!! Might be sunny though!
August 25, 2008
So after a rainy day in Keil we headed off at 8am towards the Kiel canal and our exit from The Baltic…….we were still waiting to get out at 10.30am as the lock was mega busy! It was a real every man…well boat for himself when we got the white light and after 2 huge Dutch boats went in first.There was then a brand new Oyster 65ft boat (British ensign) hovering at the bows of the Dutch boat and so with Suzie Too on the starboard bow of the dutch boat and Kaikoura on the port we made a Great Britain 1,2,3 into the lock getting pole positions for getting out…..Lewis Hamilton would have been proud of us! The lock was crammed!
We paid our 18 euros for the canal journey and then motored the 17 miles up to Rendsburg and familiar territory again………had dinner in the yacht club…..very nice!
August 23, 2008
Arrived at the Keil yacht club in the pouring rain….it has bascially pissed down since 9pm last night…all through our night sail where Suzanne and I got particularly wet when trying to cross the shipping lanes near Gesder and then Rodby….even in the middle of the night there were 4 ferries crossed all the time between Germany and Denmark (why???) as well as a shed load of tankers etc!!
Dossed all day on the boat…watched King Kong….an epic after an epic journey! and then got ready for dinner at the yacht club with Suzie Too to celebrate our round the Batlic trip.
We had all prepared our top ten memories and also top 10 places to share at dinner. Hollie had also drawn some of hers out as well which was fantastic.
So the places that got 5 votes each were Parnu, Estonia and Anholt, Denmark………sun sea and sand!
Stockholm, Sweden received 3 votes along with Utklippan, Sweden; Harstena, Sweden; Tallinn, Estonia; Hogsgara, Finland and Mariehamn, Aland Islands.
Ebeltoft, Denmark scored 2 votes as did Pavilosta, Latvia; Riga, Latvia; Sandhamn, Sweden and the Curonian Spit, Lithuania.
1 vote then went to Veere, Holland
We had a great night talking about all our memories too……….!! A very special evening had by all……….
August 20, 2008
Left Kolobrzeg at 0800 and headed for Germany!! The German chap, Rainer who we hadmet in Ustka had suggested an island off the coast of Peenemunde and so we had a 65m sail and motor sail along the POlish coast….almost saw some hills too!??
Arrived in Ruden at just after 5pm before the black clouds came over head! and moored alongside the quayside which was very much like Uklippan, with quays on 3 sides. The island is a nature reserve and so we had a quick wander around the shooreline before the rain and then the most amazing rainbows….full ones right across the bay. The island was also the viewing platform for the V1 and V2 rocket developments by Germany during WWII which were developed in Peenemunde….our next stop tomorrow is to visit the museum there………will be very interesting!
August 19, 2008
Left Ustka at 0800 and sailed most of the 54m to Kolobrzeg, again in Poland. Got a stern buoy morring in the Port Jachtowy and then went for a drink to the club.
The weather was at last warm and so we decided to have a BBQ on the back of the boat…can’t remember the last time we did this! Then wandered back to the yacht club and a live band…..had a boggie wih Hollie and then to bed!