A month on board has turned into two(ish), with the first of the promised blog updates here. Baltic cruising is very different from our previous sailing experiences and extremely enjoyable so far in mostly unseasonably glorious weather. In eight weeks it has rained little, unfortunately leaving the countryside parched. None of the Scandinavians we have met can remember the months of May or June being so sunny and warm for a very long time.
To take up our story then …
We returned to Denmark on May 8th, to be reunited with Pipistrelle at Søholm Yacht Services, in the rural location of Nybøl Nor. It was a relief to find her in much the same state as we had left her last October, though both the 24 & 12v battery chargers had been replaced during the winter. They were 18 years old! Having received quotes for both antifouling and polishing the topsides, Bob decided that for the first time since Portugal in 2009, we had better things to do with £2,000, and so spent 3 days working on the hull (he’s clearly cheap labour)!
Alternative accommodation and road transport were vital during that time. Full use was made of the rental car we hired on arrival at Hamburg airport and of the impressive facilities at our Airbnb in Alnor, close to the boatyard in Søholm.
Pipistrelle was relaunched on 16th May, and with most of the recommissioning tasks complete, we finally left Søholm a week later to anchor in a sheltered spot a couple of miles away for one night. This was mainly to fit the two headsails safely with Pipistrelle ‘head to wind’. We also played logistics, with a dinghy ride back to Søholm for Elaine to collect the car and drive to nearby Marina Minde, await Bob turning up in same dinghy to go together back to Pipistrelle and sail her into the marina! Here we made final preparations and having victualled for the umpteenth time in Flensburg, Germany, where everything is much cheaper than in Denmark, were ready to get some miles under the keel again.
We had joined the Cruising Association (CA), who were holding a Stockholm Rally at the beginning of June, and whilst we made good progress east through the islands of Denmark, anchoring three times overnight (at Bagenkop, Femø and Harbølle) our plans for sailing on to Ystad in southern Sweden went out of the window with the arrival of easterlies. Instead of a hard beat for hours to achieve 60 nm, we put into Klintholm on the island of Møn, the last harbour going north before either turning NW towards Copenhagen, or NE towards Ystad.
There we stayed for what turned out to be ten days in its safe marina. There are many places to visit nearby, together with enjoyable strolls along sandy beaches in any weather, a good way to relax after a day’s work on Pipistrelle (yes, always something to clean, polish, repair, renew!).
The Danish equivalent of the White Cliffs of Dover are the chalk cliffs of Møns Klint which stretch for 6km with up to 120m drop in places and offer pleasant walking through woodland with splendid views into the Baltic. We chose a bright sunny day for our afternoon excursion by (expensive) public bus.
And finally, one spectacular Danish sunset at Klintholm.