The AIS guy eventually came and did the installation. He skipped his mother’s birthday party to help us. Very kind of him. We had issues with the antenna cable, so luckily we had an emergency antenna that we could use for the trip.
We sailed away Saturday morning from Karrebaeksminde, Denmark. There wasn’t much wind but we made it to Spodsbjerg on the first day. We tried some fishing, since there is really good fishing waters around that tiny town. Lucky us our friend Geert caught a flatfish and 2 cods.
Beautiful sunset in Spodsbjerg
The cute town of Spodsbjerg and the Harbour office.
Day two we went all along Langeland island, which is very long… down to the beginning of the Kiel Canal and moored in Stickenhörn. Very boring marina, not very guest friendly. It was a Sunday, and everything closes early if they are even open. We had a delicious cod dinner onboard.
Day three we got up at 7 and got underway. We purchased our tickets to go through the Canal on the right shore side of the old lock.
Very convenient. It cost us €35. You are obliged to purchase “Merkblatt für die Sportschiffahrt auf dem Nord-Ostsee-Kanal”, but we could not figure out where to do this, and suddenly we were in the canal and it was forgotten about. Once we had entered the Canal, we had a great breakfast with egg and bacon. It started as a chilly morning with some rain, but turned out to be a beautiful sunny and hot day!
Our dear frineds brought these nice hats for us on our maiden trip!
You see all kinds of interesting boats on Kiel Canal
Going through the canal was quite nice, with a lot of activity on the canal as well as next to it. We exited at 4 pm as calculated to match it with the strong current we would have with us going out on the Elbe river. The water was completely flat, absolutely no wind. As we were motoring and having checked the weather we passed Cuxhaven and continued on to Helgoland directly. We had an amazing sail there, sailing into the sunset with the moon rising behind us.
We moored in the moonlit harbour at about midnight as the third boat from the jetty. The first one was leaving the next morning at 6 am, so the guys were kind to get up and rearrange the boats.
Day 4 I got up relatively early to get some provisions and made us all blueberry pancakes. We were then ready to explore this tiny, but interesting island. The nature and bird life is beautiful and we had a really nice walk around it.
When Staffan was walking by some other boats he heard his name, and it was a colleague from when he worked in Singapore on his yacht. He was sailing it down to the Mediterranean. Funny, what a small world it is!
Day 5 we had to take care of our battery issue. We had realized when we were motoring, our batteries did not charge. Very strange. We tried different things, as changing a fuse, and checking the power on all connections. But as we all have limited knowledge about this, although our friend Geert can fix almost anything, we had to wait until we came to the next marina to get this one solved. This was the time. After consulting with the local electrician, and 2 other good friends that have a lot of knowledge we were suggested to get start cables and it would be sorted. Easy! Well, if you are on an island without cars it is not easy. We had to go to the electric company that provides the whole island with power to help us. They did not seam too busy so they gladly made too thick cables for us at no cost! That is some good service! We connected them and started the engine and voila! Worked like a charm!
After that, we left Helgoland and its mystery and moved further south. We had a overnight sail to get to Texel, and we split the night up in two watches. Debbie & Geert started with the 22-02 watch, and Staffan & I did the 02-06 watch. It was quite cold that night, although we had had very warm weather and a bit too light winds actually. The following day (Day 6) as we approached Texel it was pouring with rain. Since Geert believes that if he doesn’t get wet, dirty and tired, it is not real sailing, we gladly stayed below while he volunteered taking the rainwatch. We supplied him with hot coffee and soup, and he seamed to be happy. Texel has incredible tide water. Now during full moon the difference was 2 meters, so we had about 20 cm under our keel as we cam into the harbour. A bit nerve wracking. It cleared up and we had a lovely meal in the cockpit with local oysters and bbq’d shrimp and fish. Unfortunately Geert cut himself quite badly while opening the oysters, so I was glad I had updated our first aid kit.
The cute island of Texel
Day 7 we left in the morning to sail into Amsterdam. We had fog all day and that was interesting as we came closer to IJmuiden and boats and ships were coming and going. We had great training on our radar that day. We entered the lock and went through the Nordzeekanaal to Amsterdam Marina in a bit of drizzle at times. This Marina has the most amazing service building. On the second floor are the showers. At the end of this corridor there are two rooms that have bathtubs overlooking the marina and the IJ river. Really fascinating to sit there and see that!
Day 8 was our last day of this maiden voyage on Varuna. We went through Amsterdam with all its ferries, sailboats, tugboats, cruise ships through the Oranjesluis out into the IJmeer to our new home port of Muiderzand.
It was with mixed feelings we arrived. We were so very happy everything had gone so very well, with big thanks to our dear friends Debbie & Geert and we were a bit sad it was over. We sailed 442 nautical miles. Now we look forward to sailing on the Dutch waters and explore the many cute little towns around here.