The Baltic–Fit the 4th

Grömitz
14/6 Thu Checked the internet and found a sailmaker in town, looked up all sorts of useful phrases on Google and phoned the number. 3 Hours later all done: new batten & new cloth. But no sailing.
Grömitz
15/6 Fri Fairly simple downwind trip to Warnemünde (entry to Rostok), except for the lack of wind. Big Ferry terminal, all competing for the loudest horn signal. Given a card for the facilities: find out after the office is shut that it doesn’t work. There’s a mink hiding in the rocks on the breakwater: friendly little chap, pops up and says hallo to everyone.
Warnemünde
16/6 Sat Local Vopo returned my facilities card deposit. No other comment, just barked “Name”, and wrote it down. No apology. This is a long trip: close reach for the 1st part, then motoring dead to windward, and finally motoring in various directions (mostly up-wind) through crazily narrow and windy channels to Stralsund. The main internal channel is registered as heading 142.1°. Don’t forget the .1° otherwise you might be a boat length out of position after 3 miles. Now further East than I’ve been before and Poland is in sight (sort of).
Stralsund
17/6 Sun Stayed in, and toured the excitements of the town. It’s an old Hanseatic League town built on an island about a mile across. The Gorsch Fock is moored in the harbour as a museum ship: it’s even marked on the town plan–I don’t think it’s going to go to sea again in the near (or remote) future. Splendid facade to the RatHaus (where they keep the ‘Rats’–list of officers available on request) but nothing behind it. Town bird seems to be the jackdaw–no pigeons, few seagulls, but you have to shoo sparrows out of the way when you stand up or sit down.
Stralsund
18/6 Mon Light W wind. Passed the bridge and drifted to Lauterbach. There’s a narrow-gauge steam railway but I didn’t see the train, only the track and the timetable. Restaurant showed part of England against the Dustbins, until the Germans got bored and switched it off.
Lauterbach
19/6 Tue Another day of variable SW winds, overcast. Another easy sail, main only, into the Peenestrom channel. This leads eventually from the Stettiner Haff which has 3 entrances/exits. This, in Germany, has 2 bridges, each opening morning & noon. Stop in Wolgast, just before the 1st bridge.
Wolgast
20/6 Wed Early start for the 1st bridge, then a slow troll to the next bridge: 16nm in 5 hr. Finally into the Kleines Haff under sail passing the only English boat I’ve seen so far, going the other way. Picked up a fishing net line (not pots according to the Local Notice seen afterwards). This didn’t quite stop me but both the net float & the anchor float disappeared while I stretched the anchor buoy out for about 150m when suddenly both popped clear. And so into the last (almost the most Easterly) German Marina: Ückermünde (or Ueckermünde).
Ückermünde
21/6 Thu Re-fuelled and continued in search of Poland. Forecast 4 gusting 6 and anyone’s guess as to direction. My speed with bare poles was boosted at 1 point from 5kt to 6kt by the tail wind. Turned into the River Oder (you remember the Oder-Niesse Line from history lessons?) Rain now added to the wind so not much visibility or comfort. Finally arrived at Marina Gocław, as planned 5 months ago. (I hadn’t planned on the rain–it all looked quite sunny in the picture!)
Szczecin Gocław
22/6 Fri Visited Szczecin central, by tram. Not greatly impressed.
Szczecin Gocław
23/6 Sat Wind NW fresh. Hard motor out to Stepnica. Hoped for further but the wind wasn’t co-operating. Marina (small) but poor shelter–what you get whan you chicken out of banging further miles up-wind in an untidy sea. Village smart and OK.
Stepnica
24/6 Sun

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