lauantai 25. toukokuuta 2013

May 18th 2013

To the Baltic Sea

It turned out that it was only the split pin in the forestay toggle that had broken and as a result, the proper pin had come off (and disappeared, if I have understood it correctly). Luckily, Pekka managed to fix it himself. Pekka has gone up the mast so often frequently that this time, I didn't bother to take any photos.

The Brunsbüttel marina is an interesting place because it is located literally right next to the lock, and the big container ships passing by block the view completely. This time, the marina was absolutely packed because of the Helgoland Regatta that started the following day. Sarema was along a floating pontoon with two Swans alongside her. This meant an early morning for us as, before leaving, the crews of both Swans, about ten of them, walked across our deck to and fro between the bathrooms and the boats. But it was just as well as we wanted to get to Holtenau and the Baltic Sea before nightfall.

It was a beautiful day with warm sunshine, by far the warmest day since Lagos, and very little wind which was perfect for motoring through the Canal. We enjoyed the lush greenery of the Canal banks and listening to birds singing in the nearby trees.

There were an amazing number of waterfowl in the Canal which we tried to identify with the help of our Field Guide to the Birds of Europe: Mallards, Cormorants, Oystercatchers, Great Blue Herons, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, Tufted Ducks, Common Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers etc. and to our great surprise, birds that bore a remarkable resemblance to Egyptian Geese?!

We went through the Holtenau lock around eight in the evening and spent the night in a marina close to the locks. There was clearly another kind of Regatta taking place here with beautiful old sailing ships from around Europe.

Again, we awoke earlier than we had intended as a member of the marina personnel came to collect the overnight fee around seven in the morning. After unhurried breakfast, we cast off, motored to a fuel station and with our tanks full, headed for the open sea.

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