Feast or Famine in Denmark

From denmark

It has been feast or famine this last week as far as the weather goes. Progress from Copenhagen was slow to say the least , drifting up the Sound to the island of Ven with less than 5 knots of wind if we were lucky , ghosting (sic) past Hamlet’s castle at Helsingfors and trickling along to windward to the fishing harbour of Gilleleje on the N coast of Sjaelland. Then all change as a gusty Westerly gave us a hard beat 80 miles to the West to reach the lee of Samso just as it increased to near gale.

Once over here you are never too far from a weather shore to anchor in perfect safety, or umpteen charming little harbours to take refuge in . On the other hand the water is shallow , the salinity low and the wind and pressure driven currents surprisingly strong , especially when the weather turns boisterous. All these things combine to kick up steep seas in the open water between the islands , and we certainly turned tail and ran after attempting to beat to windward round a headland in 30 knots . After a slightly nervy passage downwind between some shallow sand islands , we were once again in the shelter of land and definitely glad of this more comfortable plan B.

From denmark

This part of the Baltic is noticeably more “alive”. It supports a significant fishing fleet , seabirds are abundant , and we have been thrilled to sight pairs of porpoise quietly bumbling around on most days. It would seem that much of this is due to the increased salinity as we get nearer the “mouth “ of the Baltic, but I would also think that Denmark and Sweden have been well ahead of the game as far as pollution control is concerned , . Certainly the water appears very “clean”.

There is an autumnal feeling in the air. The hedgerows are groaning with fruit , blackberries and plums and mirabelles seem to grow everwhere and apple trees are begging to be scrumped. The little harbours are nearly empty ( my guess is that they get very crowded in the summer ) and once the weather improves I think it will be idyllic.

From denmark

After 3 days on the charming little island of Samso , we put up small sails and tore down the Storre Baelt ( the Great Belt) and have dropped anchor at the bottom of Fyn , opposite Valdemars Slott ( Castle) – a Baroque extravaganza that would be perfect to go ashore and explore if it wasn’t pouring with rain and blowing 30 knots. A mile away is Svendborg , the centre of the Danish classic ship “industry “ , and with another day of foul weather to come it seems the ideal place to restock , do a few repairs and study the weather .It would be nice not to have to rush away , but our windward bashes of the last few days have convinced us that if we get a fair wind for home we must take it. Just through the little Sound the chart shows lots of little islands and old shipbuilding towns , all just a days sail from Kiel , so this seems a perfect area to absorb some more Danish ambience whilst awaiting the green light from the weather gods.

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