Although not apparent from the blog – we actually did make it back to Copenhagen at the beginning of October (last year) after our Frederikshavn encounter. It took us 50 hours and a few more challenges, but with the indispensible help from Brandon, who crewed for us on our summer journey two years ago and who thinks that doing 1 knot in the middle of the night close to the windmills outside of Anholt in Kattegat when the motor once again played hard to get to cooperate is great sailing, we got our baby back to town 🙂
Since then, most of our spare time has been devoted to the fat lady. After two intense working weeks on land at Jakob Jensen’s boat wharf in snowy April, her looks have changed to be prepared for warmer weather, a new diesel tank has been installed (as my Dad commented, the interior of Ella does no more smell of diesel!), a new electronic system has been set up, and, and, and… Every time we were asked if we were about to be ready, we could not really tell when we would be… The to-do-list did not seem to shrink?!? We had to settle with Piet Hein’s three T’s:
When you feel how depressingly
slowly you climb,
it’s well to remember that
Things Take Time.
A considerable amount of our friends’ and families’ spare time has likewise been devoted to the fat lady: huge thanks for all the help without which the true adventure could not have started yet. Which it finally did on July 5th, when we waived an emotional “so long” to friends who had showed up on the quay in Kalkbrænderihavnen.
Some call it a holiday, some call it a honeymoon – we call it a project (in the good sense of the word), which includes planning (and re-planning!) of the voyage according to weather conditions, communication with port authorities and future crew members, establishing a good atmosphere on board with current crew members, victualling, and last but not least maintenance and repairs of the ship to keep her fit for sailing. And then of course exploring the places to which we have transported ourselves 🙂 We are slowly realizing that we have sold our appartments and quit our jobs, and appreciating that Ella now is our home!
Within the first week of long-distance cruising (which so far has not been that long-distance given that we are still in Danish waters 😉 ), we have already experienced that plans must be changed if the weather tells us to. Both on the first day when we sought shelter in Hundested after some wavy hours in Kattegat, and when we decided to head back eastwards and southwards after reaching Aalborg, primarily due to too harsh westerly winds in the North Sea and secondarily because our lovely crew (Mikkel, Maimuna, Nina and Morten) had to get back to their jobs… Scotland will have to wait, but we are now looking forward to cruising through the Kiel Canal!