We are now in Germany 🇩🇪
We departed Lauwersoog at midday arriving outside the Kiel Canal (western lock) about 2pm the following day. We then had to wait until after 15:30 to enter the Canal and finally tied up at Brusbuttel around 4pm.
Good sail overall, we had to motor out north for the first 3 hours from Lauwersoog (as we were expecting) against the last of the incoming tide, but once we passed the islands and turned to the east and cut the motor, winds were light to start with and we had the gennaker up going along comfortably when all of a sudden under a dark cloud the wind went from a light 8 knots to a whipping 28 knots – way too much for the light gennaker and as we were furling it in, the wind caught it flapping and tore it – doh!! We will not know the extent of the damage until we get somewhere were we have the room to unroll it on shore and inspect, but we expect it’s too big for a home hand sewing repair and will need to go to a sailmakers.
Anyway the wind settled again to a comfortable 20 knots and we sailed well through the night and the next day. It was a little rolly as we were going across the swell not into it, but a pleasure to be under sail rather than motoring. First time in a long time that we have done a night sail without the stress of crossing shipping lanes, some other small craft (mainly yachts) all travelling along parallel to the coast. We didn’t see them sneak up on us as it was dark and all, but overnight Cyclone of Langstone stealthily overtook us and got through the lock into Brusnbuttel well ahead of us – the joys of a lighter faster boat. (They were happily waving to us as we entered the marina that afternoon, all tied up and already showered sipping on a wine!)
We started the motor again once in the Elbe past Cuxhaven and joined the procession of yachts down to the Keil Canal lock, waiting for an hour and half (just treading water, no where to tie up) with 16 other yachts to enter the lock. Plenty of room in the lock for us to all fit as these locks are made for the commercial ships transiting the canal, really huge ships and they can usually fit more than one ship in at a time.
Went through the usual rigmarole once arrived where I (Maree) am not allowed off the boat until cleared by customs (me being an alien and all – not holding an EU passport), so ‘captain fantastic’ went to the Polizei to see the customs gents and get me cleared. Again lovely people whom didn’t see me as a threat, having our own accomodation, full travel insurance, not working, and realistically only spending money in their country welcomed me and didn’t issue an entry stamp as they didn’t want to restrict my time in the Schengen zone. Then we finally cracked a beer, had a shower, and fell into bed quite early after being awake in shifts all the previous night during the sail.
The marina here is right at the locks and you can hear, feel and see the huge ships coming in and out of the canal. First thing is this deep noise that comes through the water, the noise being their screws turning and slowing them down or powering them up, its incredible how you can hear these from inside Red Roo through the water, but not hear them outside. Next clue is the large shadow pass over as they block the sun as they pass the boat, each one seemingly larger than the last. Certainly puts our size into perspective.
Brunsbuttel was obviously our first look at Germany, and it looked fine. Being a Sunday it was very quiet, and nice that all the shops were shut without exception, great that there are still places in the world that are not driven by commercialism. Not a huge change in colours, landscape or architecture from the Netherlands, but that isn’t a real surprise them being neighbours and all.