We left Dihrami as a three boat convoy, slipping lines at 0900 ish and motoring out into the bright Estonian sunshine. The journey was to be straightforward, with no shallow bits, no rocks to hit and no fog. Unfortunately no wind either.
Mains were raised, motoring cones hoisted and onwards we chugged. Another Rally yacht proposed a lunch spot, but on investigating the water was algae ridden and foul, and there were a disturbing number of wrecks on the shoreline and in the hidden depths. A nice idea but the Baltic seems to be full of algal bloom this year.
A little later, and within a few hours of Tallinn the wind filled in, and sails billowed out as we tried to get at least a few hours of sailing in; but it was not to be. It veered and with such a header all we could do was fire up the iron topsail i.e the engine and motor once more.
The entry into Top Marina, host for the sailing events of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, is easy, even with a plump gentleman falling off a paddleboard right in front of us, plenty of room to take evasive action and slide into the Marina.
Another stern mooring buoy. But this time we were prepared. Suzanne hooked it like a pro, walked it to the back as Andrew took in the stern line then walked casually to the front and handed the bowline to Rally control who hooked us on. Fantastic. If Carlsberg made berthings they’d make them like this. A slight rejig of the stern line to straighten the boat up and we were in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city!
Time to stock up in the fantastic supermarket, carry out some much-needed maintenance, enjoy a crew dinner in the town centre, and visit the seaplane museum!
Our daily stats
We managed a measily one hour of sailing, one of motoring and 5 and half motor sailing, using 5 gallons of fuel. We were underway for 7 and half hours, making 45 nautical miles, averaging over 6 knots. At least the sun was shining!
You can hear about this sail and more in Episode 23 of our podcast ‘2 in a boat’
We left Heiligenhafen after a delicious, but odd, veggie breakfast. Two still warm bread rolls each, Irish butter and slices of brie, mozzarella, pesto, tomatoes and assorted dips in a waterside bakery next to the marina. Hearty fare worthy of the epic to come.
It was a gusty F4 – 5 as we slipped out of our box berth and pointed the stem towards open sea again. Except this time it’s not that open. We were nestled just north of the Fehmarn bridge, a 22m high span that we had to negotiate through with our 17.5m mast.
There should be loads of clearance, but in a moment of false jeopardy worthy of a TV documentary Andrew still couldn’t watch and steered through looking at the floor and crossing his fingers. Of course we were fine. We didn’t come to a crashing halt or cause irreparable damage to the historic monument.
After the bridge the sea calmed down and with the yankee on one side and staysail on the other we made good progress for a couple of hours – this couldn’t last.
The sea became as confused and uncomfortable as a pensioner’s driving. The rain came pouring down and Suzanne disappeared below; there’s no point in two pissed wet through travellers. Andrew started the engine because he’s impatient and was fed up of wallowing around downwind and a couple of hours later we arrived in Rostock.
Suzanne bossed the box berth, getting the ropes on first time and berthing in record time. Andrew got it in the berth nearly straight and only donated a small amount of gelcoat to the glorious German nation.
We’re here, at the start of the Rally, and we’ve a few make and mend days before we set off on Tuesday. Time to service the engine, wash the boat and polish out the scratches… (think we might need more than a few days to get those scratches out…)
Our daily stats
7 hours for 44 Nautical miles, which averages over 6 knots. Nearly our shortest trip but fastest speed.
2 in a boat is our podcast that brings you the sailing and travel world of Suzanne and Andrew on their aged yacht Crystelle Venture.
You’ll join us along the way as we prepare for our longest sail yet, from Dartmouth, UK to St Petersburg, Russia. Our route takes us across the North Sea and around the Baltic this summer, a round trip of about 3000 nautical miles.
With a fab intro music written by our talented nephew, Joseph Turner, and artwork by our equally talented daughter, Jessica Caballero – it’s something of a family affair.
Warts and all live recording of our time sailing across Lyme Bay to Portland. Ever wondered what goes on during those long hours in a small cockpit on a yacht? Now’s your chance to eavesdrop and find out what Andrew and Suzanne get up to!
Just where have our 2 in a boat washed up now? They’ve spotted submarines, been boarded by the Dutch authorities, and now want to buy concrete sheep. Listen in to find out what on earth/on sea, has been going on.
At last our 2 intrepid sailors have made their way to the gateway to the river Elbe and the prospect of the Kiel canal looms. But what are our 2 in a boat talking about? Borkum, bikes and boys! Listen in to hear about their journey from Borkum to Cuxhaven, and all manner of other discussions.
Today is the day our 2 in a boat face one of their biggest fears, and most anticipated parts of their journey to the Baltic – going into the Keil canal (NOK). Find out how they got on in today’s episode.
Today we find our 2 in a boat preparing for the first official leg in their Baltic rally – from Warnemunde, Germany to Bornholm, Denmark. What have they done in the past few days and what are their thoughts on the rally? Join them on Crystelle Venture to catch up with our 2 in a boat.
It’s now only a few days away. And there’s so much to do before we leave our tranquil mooring on the River Dart, deep in beautiful Devon.
First up, we need to finish packing! What do you take when you are going to be away for around 3 months? I guess, being British, we pack clothes for all possible weather – rain, hail, snow, sun, more rain – probably in that order too. Sailing clothes, obviously, but how smart will we need to be for rally dinners in yacht clubs? And will there be fancy dress?
Charting our route
Andrew is in charge of the charts and everything to do with the boat itself. Our Baltic Rally handbook, supplied by the World Cruising Club, has been a great source of information, not only for the charts and books we’ll need, but also safety equipment, information on our route, and even how to apply for our Russian visas.
Sailing on our stomachs
And have we got enough food? An army marches on its stomach, and sailors sail on theirs. Our fridge is small, and our cupboard space restricted, plus it’s going to be difficult to get the right gas bottles for our cooker when we reach the Baltic. So quick, tasty and easy recipes. I’ve been through the Able and Cole recipes we get with our food boxes each week, and picked out some that hopefully will fit the bill. I’ve put in a big food order this week to stock up our larder. We’ll let you know which work.
We’ve been so busy getting Crystelle Venture in good order for the trip, and the weather having been so poor so far this year, we haven’t actually had chance to take her out for a proper shake down sail. So when we set off this coming Sunday, to make our way to the Baltic – that will be our first time out with our new sails!