As time passed on Bornholm, I became more and more aware of the departure date that was looming in the distance; we had planned our return date so I would be able to catch a plane from Hamburg to Tromsø, to join the Polarstern on a Fram Strait expedition. And the south-westerly winds, which had been such great help in getting us to Bornholm, were still there – and now they didn’t seem so appealing.
So after some debating we decided to leave Gudhjem in the evening, sail down the east coast of Bornholm and get the kids to bed before we were out of lee of the island. It turned out that it was a fairly good plan. The first couple of hours of sailing were lovely and fast, we could have dinner while the water was still calm, and the kids got in bed without too much trouble.
But then we decided that I should take the first part of the night shift because the winds were pretty strong and we were having difficulty going in the direction we wanted because the wind was just a bit more from the front than we had hoped. And soon I was cold and tired – and ended up throwing up. After a few hours I asked Esben to take over because I was so miserable, and he was nice enough to come up, even though he hadn’t slept much at all. But it was after all just one night, and when Esben was too tired to continue, I took over. Together, we decided that it was time to take down the sails and once again rely on our 1970 Volvo Penta. The wind had a taken us a bit far east during the night, and we spent a few hours motoring towards the landfall mooring eastwards of Rügen. The closer we came to land, the calmer it became, and we ended up motoring through the shallow channels in the most beautiful weather of the whole trip. If we had had more time, we would have loved to anchor in lee of Rügen, but instead we continued on the whole day, reaching the city of Stralsund in the evening. And once again we were happy to have a small boat – we managed to squeezed in to the very last free space in the marine, right next to the harbour master’s office.
Instead of going jogging in the morning, Runa and I took a walk to see the city. Stralsund is UNESCO world heritage and is filled with old and beautifully preserved buildings. It also has a long marine and naval history, and a huge oceanarium has been build at the water front. Runa, Mattis and I went to visit the Ozeanium and were hugely impressed. I have visited a lot of aquariums – did after all study marine biology, but this place is probably the best I have seen so far. We walked under large models of phytoplankton and made a virtual dive in a submarine. And in the end I bought my first ever book in German, about the Seenomaden, an Austrian couple who write about sailing to Canada and Greenland.