Now 14 days have passed since we left Vallensbæk. We got Susanne and her two sons on in the morning, and Mette came home from a party the same morning. We had a nice trip to Klintholm. The youngsters were a bit seasick.
The boys got off the next morning, and we continued to Gedser in a fresh side/headwind. As we were going towards Gedser, the engine would not take in water. However, sailing on the other tack helped. Ouch. We entered the harbour by the engine. The next day, another hard trip across the Baltic Sea in partial headwinds and high waves. However, we were able to keep the course towards Fehmarn and entered the harbour there.
The weather forecast promised a westerly wind for the next several days, so there was no way around it if we had to continue across the bay of Kiel against the headwind of 2m high waves and an engine that could only start when we were sailing on the port side. The first challenge was whether we could get under the bridge to Fehmarn. There was a free height of 21m, and our mast is 20m. We made it under the bridge once again – even at high water. We arrived at a fine harbour at the entrance to the Kiel Canal. Now we were in calm waters. We cleared the first lock the next day; a bit confusing as to which VHF channel we should sign up for, but everything went well, and we arrived in Rendsburg in the afternoon. Here there was peace for Jeppe to examine the engine more closely. The exhaust hose was leaking. Jeppe managed to get hold of a mechanic who could come the next day in the evening, but he could not get a new hose as that guy was under court order. He came at 8 pm and repaired the old hose. Jeppe found out that a company in Brunsbüttel, located at the end of the canal, had a blunt hose he could buy. Now we just needed the muffler to complete the repair. In Brunsbüttel, Jeppe picked up the hose, and we sailed with the current to Cuxhaven.
We asked the harbourmaster when it was best to sail out into the North Sea in relation to current and wind. He recommended 2:30 in the morning. We had decided to go to Den Helder, a sailing trip of over 200 sm. We had a nice sailing of 31 hours. We could sail by sail most of the time. We had changing shifts 4 hours at a time. Susanne and I were together, and Jeppe and Mette made up the other watch team. In Den Helder we slept in. The next day the trip went through the lock to Ijsselmeer. A huge dammed lake. We arrived at Enkhuizen at 5 pm and went for a walk in the beautiful town with many picturesque canals. Jeppe had now made contact with a company that had a muffler in stock in Amsterdam. It had to be picked up before 5 pm the following day. We left early through the first lock, which turned out to be closed. It was a bit difficult over VHF to understand the Dutch lock guard, but we eventually found out that there was a lock next to it. After that, it went fine downwind to Amsterdam, and at the locks, it also went fine. We had previously been to the small harbour Sixhaven, located very close to the centre. We were lucky and could get a nice seat. Jeppe off in a taxi to collect the muffler and then carry out the replacement of the exhaust hose and muffler. That man is tireless. At 7 pm., he could get back to work after a long day of work with sailing sluices, harbour manoeuvres, taxi driving and repairs. Unfortunately, they don’t take the Visa card very many places, so he had to spend all our euros on the muffler.
We stayed one day in Amsterdam. Yesterday morning the trip continued in calm weather to Zeebrügge. Out of the channel to the North Sea and by motoring on completely flat water. 4-hour shifts just like last time. Only at 10 pm did a little wind come, and we could set sail. We arrived in Zeebrügge this morning at 4:30. We docked in the marina and slept. Now I’m sitting on a cool terrace outside the port office and laundry, waiting for the washing machine to become available. 36 degrees have been promised today, so we are waiting to go into Bruges tomorrow, where it should be a little cooler. The crew is in good spirits. Susanne is a wonderful guest to have with Mette listens to a lot of audiobooks but also enjoys the city trips in the cities we are located in. Jeppe has been very busy with repairs of various things and goes sightseeing to the nearest boat equipment rental when possible. I understand that you have a heat wave at home too. I hope everyone is well and enjoying the summer.Vi blev en overligger dag i Amsterdam.