First sailing weekend of 2016

We have really been looking forward to going sailing, but because of my arm we had to put it off for a bit. But last weekend we finally decided to head out. We packed everything in the car, and after lots of traffic around Hamburg, we made it to Årøsund at about ten in the evening. We had planned to start out bedding the v-berth so the kids could go directly to bed and continue sleeping. But when they realized where we were they became fully awake and stayed up until midnight.

The next morning my dad came down to see us and give Esben a hand with the sails, which still needed to be put on the boat. And after a couple of tries everything went up smoothly.
We decided to put a double reef in the main sail as the wind was predicted to be 8 to 10 knots and we thought it would be a better experience for the kids with less healing. It turned out to be a good decision. With only the jib and reefed main sail we sailed with a speed of 5-6 knots for the next couple of hours.
We headed north with a westerly wind, and very soon Mattis got very tired. Esben quickly put him to bed, hoping that he would fall asleep before realizing that he was seasick. And Mattis basically slept for the rest of the trip. Runa was not so lucky and threw up, but handled it like a pro as always. And Esben was the doting dad, who showed Runa that adults also throw up sometimes…

But after a couple of windy and wavy hours we entered the sunny Fænø Sound where we sailed a bit for motor and got some lunch in the calm waters. Fænø Sound has a beautiful anchorage where we have often been with Jensine, but since we only have 10 meters of anchor chain at the moment we decided to pass on the anchoring for now.
In Fænø Sound we also think that we saw another dark green Great Dane, but our lunch-speed was not fast enough to keep up with them and we didn’t get a good look.

We had originally planed to spend the night in the old Middelfart Harbour between the two bridges in the Little Belt, but because the wind blew directly into the harbour we moved on to a marina in Fredericia. A pretty boring place, but with a free space for us where we could spend the night.

Chip-Chip has a petroleum stove, but since they are known to be a bit unpredictable we have decided to wait using it inside the boat until we have practiced a bit outside. So for now we are cooking using our trangia. Which is actually fine.

We are still working on replacing our fresh water system, and in Fredericia we had the time to do some rinses of the tank. We have no idea what it looks like inside, but hopefully some rinsing and a good filter will make it possible to use the tank for drinking water.

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Pumping and pumping

And important tradition for Runa is for our family to watch a movie together on Saturday nights when we have time for it. But the kids had already used up the battery on the iPad, so Esben quickly connected a usb charger to our 12 volt system. We clearly need to get a couple of these properly installed.

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The adults passed on our Saturday film for once

The next morning we wanted to get going as early as possible because the wind was supposed to pick up in the afternoon. We opted to go for the jib only, but still cruised southwards with 5 to 6 knots and arrived in Årøsund at 13.00, just in time for the kids to make cake with my mom while Esben and I cleaned up the boat a bit. Now we are just looking forward to some nicer weather for when we go on our summer holidays in a couple of weeks.

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Home alone

One of the reasons that it is possible for us to live in Germany is that Esben usually travels for his job. The way it works is that he is out two weeks at the time, currently mainly in France or the UK, and then he works from home for two weeks. The consequence is of course that I am alone with two kids in a foreign country for two weeks at a time while also having a full time job. But it’s okay. Because when Esben is at home, he is truly at home, being able to pick up the kids a bit earlier and occasionally coming in to join me for lunch. Also, we have arranged our life so that it’s logistically possible to be alone with the kids; we live right next to Mattis’ kindergarten, which is located right next to Runa’s school. So mornings are easy. And my job is a 20 minute drive away.

And then I broke my arm. Of course the weakness of our everyday life is that it works best when everybody is well and no unforeseen circumstances occur. Which they do, of course. Usually it’s Mattis who’s ill – for some strange reason that tends to occur when I’m alone with the kids – and it’s just difficult to manage everything when you have absolutely nobody to rely on. It’s getting easier of course, because we’re beginning to have a better network of people around us here. But having family nearby would just be wonderful.

When I broke my arm we were so very lucky that’s Esben’s employer was understanding and let him stay at home longer. In fact he only just left this morning, 6 weeks after the accident. And I think we will be fine. I am back at work – a bit awkward that it appears that I can do my work with my left arm only… We won’t starve, as I made a meal plan that consisted of easy food such as bred with eggs and spaghetti with tomato sauce. The kids are fed a proper meal in school and kindergarten, so I’m not too worried about making proper dinner. In fact, Mattis asked for oat meal with milk when I picked him up, which is fine.

My other survival strategy is that we all get enough sleep. Very basic, but it makes a huge difference. So I will be off to bed now.