We left Rendsberg at a respectable 0900, completing the last 19 miles of the Kiel canal with ease. The wind had died down to a reasonable F2 and Suzanne held the wheel for a couple of hours through the flat German countryside.
We expertly docked alongside the pay machine, left the engine running and paid our 35 Euros canal dues. There was a lock just opening up so we gunned the engine, raced across the canal and took our place in the queue of boats. Yet again the wind pushed us firmly into the lock and Andrew brought us to a respectable halt for Suzanne to climb down the ladder and secure the ropes. Minimal fuss.
The Danish boat behind had less luck. The lady crew was doing her impression of a waterskier; but on dry land. Attempting to stop ten tons of boat using a few tens of kilos of lady crew as a walking anchor is never going to end well. And to cap it all off she had the bowline, the front rope, so the boat was attempting to swap ends, and heading rapidly in the direction of Crystelle Venture with the lady crew trotting along like she was holding the headrope of a headstrong Grand National hopeful.
Andrew suggested to the gentleman helmsman that a stern line may be a good idea, his face lit up like a new thing had been invented and scrambled around for rope. After Andrew secured the bowline and the boat started swinging wildly around the gentleman helm suggested he’d go round again, at which point lady crew jumped back aboard and they reversed away from the quay ready to mount another viking style raid on the stark and unforgiving triumph of 19th Century German Engineering.
Exit the canal
Exit from the canal was a lot less stressful. We headed out to sea and raised the sails. It was a squally rolly downhill sail to Heiligenhafen with a maximum speed of 9.7 Knots (no tide to assist either) where we stowed the sails, headed up into the now Force 6 wind and looked for a berth.
oh no not more box berthing
There was a perfect one, so we dillied, dallied and got our ropes ready, lined it up perfectly until the German boat next door cried out whatever the German is for “stop you fool, it’s a closed berth!” and we performed an admirable controlled abort, reversing out, spinning on a sixpence and heading further into the Marina.
The next berthing experience is best glossed over. We didn’t enter straight, as we had 30 Knots of wind pushing us into the berth but we avoided chopping the pontoon in half and got some ropes on (Suzanne got some ropes on….perfectly). I’m sure we had a 4.0m wide boat in a 3.75m slot – and we arrived.
Heiligenhafen is a lovely place, a nice town square, great Italian restaurant and loads of good shops and supermarkets, including a reasonable chandlery. The 1000 berth marina has great facilities – although they seem to like giving out the wrong access code for them – and we spent a good part of the next day catching up on our laundry. And getting a hair cut.
If you can fit under the Fehmarn bridge (as you’re wedged into a bit of a corner behind the island) it’s a great place to stop either heading east into the Baltic or West back out.
Our daily stats
We took just under 10 hours to make 58 nautical miles, sailing for 5 and motor sailing for 4. We used 3 gallons of fuel. The barometer stuck around the 1021 mark all day.