Kiel Canal

Budelsdorfer – Lake Obereider

Following a day of rest (a free night in the marina always helps to keep us there) we set off on the Kiel Canal transit to bring us out into the Baltic Sea (and cut off many many miles rather than having to go up and around Denmark).

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Kiel Canal
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Pilot boarding a ship in the Kiel Canal
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Pilot boarding a ship in the Kiel Canal

It is possible to get through the canal in a day with the total distance from one lock to the other being 98km, but you are not allowed to sail due to the big ships so you have to motor and we always motor very conservatively (no need to flog the engine, and conserving fuel by just going at around 1800 revs) which is a long winded way of saying when we motor we motor slowly.  Therefore we pulled up at Lake Obereider (the 66 km mark) for the night.  It had felt like a longer day than it actually was as we were motoring into the wind, quite a strong head wind at times gusting to 30 knots right on the nose and the wind was also bitterly cold despite it being a bright clear day.  In fact it was so cold we both put thermals on for the second day.

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Red Roo Kiel Canal (photo credit Cyclone of Langstone)
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Rob & Jo The Cyclone’s pass us … again

We motored the remaining 30km the next day with the Cyclones passing us about 1/2 hour from the end, they had stopped elsewhere along the canal overnight but caught up to us.  We pulled up together at the waiting pontoon at the Eastern Lock and ended up with a 4 hour wait to get into the lock, lots of tea and biscuits.  The lock cycled twice while we waited, filled each time with large commercial ships.  We were finally called to enter on the third cycle out but first they put two ships in (large ships but definitely not the biggest we had seen) one on each side of the lock, then told us yachts (4 of us) to go in around to the front of the port side ship into the gap at the front of the lock.  We did this and Red Roo was last to enter, securing to the pontoon in the lock right in front of Vera Rambow, making an impressive picture.  Around half an hour later we were out the other side into the Kieler Forde.  The wind hadn’t eased and we were met with choppy water and strong winds still on the nose from the east when the lock gate opened, but we pushed on into the now fading evening sky across the forde to Laboe to tie up in the shelter of the hills for a couple of days while the weather got worse before getting better allowing us to say on.

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Entering the lock past the ship (Cyclone in front of us)
Kiel Canal
Red Roo in front of Vera Rambow in the lock
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Out of the lock heading to Laboe – photo credit The Cyclone’s

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