Our first milestone has been reached: we have entered foreign waters! After great days of sailing in Denmark, enriched by B’s sister’s company (we look forward to welcoming you on board again!), Cherry Festival in Kerteminde featuring a personal concert with Dorthe Gerlach and cherry soft ice (what else during a Cherry Festival!!), baking of the first sour dough rye bread (thank you, Hanne!) in our new “professional” rye bread moulds (thank you, Imerco Kerteminde!) and the coming of summer in Bagenkop on Langeland, we made the crossing to Kiel in Germany. And we were definitely not alone!! We have never seen as heavy leisure boat traffic – but of course it was good sailing weather, the German holiday was fast approaching and the Kiel area is one of the hot spots for sailing Germans.
Although not far away, there are clear differences in Germany as compared to Denmark:
1. There are tobacco commercials on the bus stops instead of advertising for bigger boobs 😉
2. You cannot pay your 2 euro ice cream by credit card.
3. People are very helpful even when asked about something a little outside their own business (sorry Denmark for generalizing at this point…).
4. Germans rather sail to Denmark and Sweden than through the Kiel Canal.
As Danes, we of course sailed the Kiel Canal. A full day of total concentration given the regular passage of big ships necessitating the steering of the fat lady as close to the shore as possible – but not too close!
Onwards from Brunsbüttel at the most westerly end of the canal, we experienced why Germans prefer Denmark to the German North See coast: tidal waters entailing heavy currents (fun when you sail with the current, as we did doing 10 knots outside Cuxhaven, but every 6 hours, the current changes direction!) and shallow waters around the Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea. Resulting in a 52 hours journey all the way to Amsterdam, requiring some patience due to the wind either not being there or being directly against us – but that is one of the keys to long distance sailing: patience! And with lentil soup, liquorice and alternately using the sleeping bag installed in the port side of the cockpit – we proudly made it to the Dutch capital 🙂