10 nights sailing in the Danish Archipelago

Arhus is the second largest city in Denmark and another place new to us in our summer of exploring the Danish Archipelago.  We arrived here on Monday afternoon at the end of our first 10 night adventure to give the guests time to explore ashore before early flights on Tuesday morning.

We have had great sailing in mainly flat seas amongst the islands.  The landscape is very pretty, lush green with colourful houses.  We have had a real variety of different mooring places.  Tiny fishing harbours, historic old ports and idyllic bays. There are, as we expected, plenty of cultural and historic places to visit ashore or simply old towns to walk around.  The weather has been warmer than we expected, we still need a fleece whilst sailing but most days we wonder ashore in shorts and t shirts.

The water is very shallow although well buoyed and we have been gently weaving and nosing our way into the harbours.  There is not much tide, but the charts are all in mean sea level so the depth of water goes down as well as up!  Sea level is also affected by the barometer and wind direction so there are plenty of sums to do at the beginning of each day!

We like it and are looking forward to seeing even more over the next few weeks.  If you want to join us there are still 4 spaces left on the Arhus to Kiel trip and 3 places on the milebuilding from Kiel to UK but that is all!

We started this 10 day trip in the centre of Copenhagen on Mid-Summers day.  Tradition in Denmark is to light a bonfire in your garden, and the local sailors took this a bit further and lit a bonfire on a barge in the centre of the canal.  Although we did not understand it, there was some form of formal service and hymns before the lighting of the bonfire at dusk.

After studying the weather forecast we decided to sail north to Helsingor, a great afternoons sail and again we moored by Hamlets Castle – see last weeks blog for a great photo!!

Although the Baltic does not get many gales, this week was to be the exception and it was a good choice to be gale bound in Helsingor as there was plenty to do ashore.  The cold front came and went as predicted leaving us with bright sunny skies and a westerly wind for our next sail.

We continued anticlockwise around the island of Zealand stopping in Nykobing, Holbaek and Odden before sailing across to Ebeltoft on the Jutland coast.  Ebeltoft is home to the Frigate Jylland, a historic old warship that was later used as a Royal Yacht, and we spent an interesting morning looking around this old boat and waiting for the cannon to fire at 1200 before we left.  Langor on the island of Samso was our next stop, right in the middle of a bird sanctuary and nature reserve.  There were lots of bicycles to rent to go off exploring if we wanted, but for us walking and identifying the birds was enough.

In all of the harbours we have visited, most of the boats are moored bows to the quay and between posts.  We have mostly been the largest boat and have always managed to find a chunky quay that we can go alongside – mainly because with nearly 5 metres in the beam Velvet Lady is too wide for the gaps between the posts.

For our penultimate night we anchored in the tiny bay called Knebel Vig, very lush and green but with a very narrow approach which needed great care.  We thought about swimming but were amazed at the sea of jelly fish surrounding us.  Cocktails and nibbles in the cockpit seemed like a far better idea.

Here in Arhus we are moored on the jetties belonging to Arhus sailing club and are lucky in being able to use the sailing club facilities.  We are not very far from the city ,either a short walk to the train station and 2 stops on the local train or a 30 minute walk. Yesterday Richard and I took the train into town, and then walked back along the dockside after visiting the cathedral and modern art museum.

We have been here 5 nights now and it has been really lovely every evening sitting in the cockpit and watching people ‘using’ their boats.  Most of the sailing club moorings are filled with smaller day sailors or match racing style boats, and every evening there is a steady stream of boats setting out at about 5pm and returning about 9.  Its still daylight until 10, and most of these boats sail right into the harbour before getting ready to go between their posts.

We will be back here in Arhus at the end of July getting ready for our last trip from Arhus to Kiel. If you wish to join us you will find that travel to Arhus is easy.  Either take a direct flight from Stansted, or fly to Copenhagen and take the very popular intercity train.  Hope to see you onboard.