Across the Great Belt and eastwards

After a week of sailing south of Fyn, we had been hiding from the wind and rain in Svendborg for two days, and were ready to move on through the beautiful Svendborg Sound. While in Svendborg, we ran into Finn, the former owner of Chip-Chip, who asked if we had gotten around to using the wind vane yet. And no, we hadn’t. I guess we first needed to get used to the basics of the boat – but now Esben was inspired, and while I steered northwards between Fyn and Langeland, he messed about with the wind vane. He pretty quickly got the servo rudder in the water, got the vane somewhat adjusted and was ready to check if it worked. Which it did, no fuss at all, and honestly, it’s pretty awesome. Now I could read Harry Potter for Runa while Esben cooked.

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No hands!

We continued across the Great Belt, where we were running with the wind in rather large waves. Again. It wasn’t great sailing, but we made it to the island of Agersø where we were small enough to squeeze in to one of the small berths right next to the play ground. In Agersø, the locals were busy preparing a local festival, so we bought burgers and fries from a stand by the playground, got some champagne from the boat and enjoyed the evening while the kids were playing.

After the first week of sailing we had figured out that the kids preferred to do a longer sail one day if it meant that we would stay ashore the next. So we stayed for an extra night in Agersø, just enjoying our time.

Chip-Chip came with a (actually two) optimus petrol stoves, which are known to be a bit difficult if you’re not used to them. So we had cooked we had cooked our meals on a small trangia so far. But now Esben got the optimus out and practiced turning the stove on. We had some high flames and a lot of petrol fumes in the cockpit, but in the end we could cook dinner on it. Downstairs. So that was a definite success. Though I must admit that I’m not a big fan of having to pump the pressure up before turning it on.

We had agreed with Esben’s brother Sune that we would meet him, his wife and son in the city of Vordingborg. So we were off the next day. We hoisted the spinnaker for the first time, sailed 8 knots with it, and then had to hurry to get it down because dark clouds were approaching. But it was great to try one more thing on board. The entrance to Vordingborg is rather shallow, even with our draught of only 1.5 meters – and when we went the wrong way around a buoy we touched the bottom briefly. In the harbour itself there was very little wiggle room combined with heavy winds and many boats. And in the end we found an improvised spot that ended up working fine. While Mattis and I went grocery shopping, Runa and Esben hoisted our pink pirate flag so Sune could find us. Our boat is not very big when 7 people are on board, but we had a lovely evening nevertheless, and learned that we need more cutlery so we can invite guests on board.

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Fun with the spinnaker

In Vordingborg they have Denmarks castle centre, which we visited the next day. There, we could rent iPads with earphones for everybody, and then have an interactive walk on the site. We learned about former kings and invasions, and Mattis had the scare of his life when we entered the last standing tower of the castle (Gåsetårnet), where a film made it look like we were being bombarded and the tower was falling. We have since talked about scary towers a lot…

After a quick stop in Masnedø Marine Centre, where we got new and longer mooring lines, a rain jacket for me and various other things, we continued eastwards between Møn and Sjælland. It was beautiful sailing without many boats, probably because the wind was rather strong. But we did fine with just the jib, and soon we were out on the other side where we anchored east of Møn, hoping to sail towards Germany and Rügen the next day. And on the way to the Anchorage we again logged 8 knots!

The next day we discussed what we wanted to do for the rest of the holiday; the winds continued to be westerly and relatively strong, so we decided against Rügen, and instead sailed northwards. That would probably save us going too much against the wind later in the holiday when we had to go back to Årøsund. So after passing Stevns Klint, we arrived in Kastrup Marina in the afternoon. This was close to Sune’s home, and he brought us dinner and a visit from Esben’s dad.

Since we didn’t make it to Germany, we now wanted to visit Sweden so we had least had been in a different country. So we made our way to Helsingborg, where Esben and the kids had huge ice cream on the harbour. We lived in Sweden for three years, so it’s always lovely to be back. Ideally we would have liked to sail north to the Swedish archipelago, but we thought it would have been too long stretches of sailing for the kids, so instead we aimed for the island Anholt for our next leg.

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