Container ships, cargo ships, pilot boats, lifeboats, ferries and of course yachts were all trying to get through the same narrow gap as we approached Kiel, it was mental!! I tried to get a photograph but unfortunately was slightly too late at the narrows.
We arrived in Kiel early on Saturday afternoon knowing that it would be more difficult to find an alongside berth for Velvet Lady as all the marinas use bows to moorings with posts.. We meandered in and out of potentials, and eventually found ourselves a lovely little place up the River Schwentine, 3 miles or a 10 minute bus ride from city centre Kiel. We are moored at the PTSK sailing club, a small club with very friendly members who are in awe as we are definitely the biggest boat that has ever visited. We are moored alongside to the short hammerhead on the end of their jetty with lines out fore and aft to posts. The little town of Westendorf is 5 minutes walk away with all the facilities that we need.
We arrived here following another great 10 night trip as we made our way from Arhus to Kiel. Linda described the scenery as very Hans Christian Anderson and expected the little matchstick girl to appear at any moment. Richard said he knew we had arrived in Germany because there was a hill on the way to the supermarket!!
We sailed 240 miles in the 9 days, even after spending one day storm bound. As well as good sailing we found that there were some unplanned treats in store for us ashore. Our second night in Denmark we arrived in Kerteminde not knowing that they were having their own special August weekend celebration. We could hear the marching bands as we approached the harbour, and the evening of live music was rounded off with a fantastic firework display. We were so close to the fireworks that the following morning we found lots of debris on Velvet Lady’s deck.
Later on in the week we arrived in Svendborg, again in Denmark to find it was their classic wooden boat regatta and there were plenty of interesting boats to look at in the harbour. We spent 8 nights in Denmark and the last 2 nights in Germany. When we arrived in Strande, our first port in Germany, the harbour was having an open day, with live bands, beer tents, fairground rides and even candy floss. There was a real carnival atmosphere and we were happy to join in.
We managed to keep up with the Olympics using the Blackberry, good on team GB for their tally of medals, especially the sailing ones.
Summer seems to have passed quickly this year, and we leave on Friday to head through the Kiel canal back to UK to be in Ipswich by August bank holiday weekend. Then, the big gap in our Schedule in September is for us to fit a new engine and generator before we are back in operation on the 3 October for our annual crossing of the Bay of Biscay.