The Baltic–Fit the 6th

04/7 Wed The timing having worked out just right, the next target is Marstal (Denmark) en route to Sønderborg and the Tournament. Wind light, nose–what else?
05/7 Thu Curses! Foiled again! Wind W 4-5 (nose) and increasing 5-6 & maybe more towards the week-end. So out with the old (Plan #A) and in with the new (Plan #B)–”Always have a Plan #B” and so SSW to Kiel (Laboe) instead. (All mod cons plus fuel which is never a given round here.)
06/7 Fri Fresh W. Crossed to Holtenau and got my canal ticket. Called “Kiel Canal 4″ & was told go to waiting area. On way was told to enter the Southern lock: 2 coasters and 3 yachts. Struggled against the wind down the canal & decided to call it enough at Rendsburg: OberEiderSee. Rendsburg appears to have major ship building capacity, much of which is situated in the See. 3 Marinas: the 1st basin appeared to have the best wind shelter especially at the Eider Marina Rendsburg. This was about all it had: 8 boxes, a small grass patch, a (garden) summer house and a locked loo 100 yards away down a locked path in a locked compound: no access to anything except the locks.
07/7 Sat Forecast wind W 5-6 continued, so stayed in, & set out to explore Rendsburg but failed to find it. 3 Supermarkets(!), 2 chemists(!), 1 railway station, 1 cafe and 1 (closed) restaurant and that’s it.
08/7 Sun Started early to get not just through the canal, (another 64 km) but also 17 nm to Cux. With the still fresh W, the Elbe was ebbing nicely and giving a good wind-against-tide chop. Nice to be back in civilisation again.
09/7 Mon Weather forecast still NW 5-6, so reading Reed’s (p 672 left-hand column, pen-ult para), it was an easy decision to stay in and wait for the weather to change. (Scheduled for Tue.)
10/7 Tue Wind finally swung round, so wait till midday for the ebb tide, then run to Helgoland. Instructed to berth at the furthest possible point. No Water (except at HM), no electricity (unless 100m cable), no wifi (except at HM), No HM (except after walking all round harbour. There are loos but you have to pay so hardly an added value.
11/7 Wed Took the straight-line course which crosses the shipping lanes at a naughty angle. The problem was the Weser in-bound lane which was quite empty until I wanted to cross it (it’s 5 nm across) and then 7 shippings all came along abreast/in sequence. Several miles apart, but watching on the AIS receiver you would prefer to find a gap rather than play dodgems on a right angle course. (Not that that actually helps to avoid a collision, it just makes it legal.) Saw a gap and managed to get across. Wind light N so no problem getting into Norderney via the Dove Tief, even at low water. Previously, Norderney was empty, not this time: 3rd out on the hammerhead at the end of the longest pontoon. Get back from the restaurant to be told the inside boat is leaving at 4 o’clock.
12/7 Thu 04:00 turns into 04:30 but he did get away. At a somewhat more human hour I left via the other channel. This was the Schluchter, at high water. The Schluchter is supposedly a little shallower than the Dove Tief but had been seriously rough on the previous entry: pussy-cat now. Round the outside to Borkum Burkana Hafen. Other boats took the Memmert Wattfahrwasser & the Oster Ems and seemed to arrive at exactly the same time. Burkana was almost full on the main berths: another English boat just pipped me to the best but I squeezed into the only remaining space: took out all the regular fenders & used only the half-deflated ones.
13/7 Fri Timed the flood just right to arrive at Delfzijl at high water. Some sailing in light Nly but mostly motor. Filled the cupboards at Albert Heijn.
14/7 Sat

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