Trip 2006: More Islands/DK

After 13 hours on board of the aeroplane we changed from cruising in the air to cruising on the sea. In terms of free movement there is not a big difference but in terms of relaxation it is hardly comparable.

We arrived in Augustenborg after filling up the last free space of the car with food and plenty of beverages. It has almost become a routine, since we do the main shopping shopping in the “Förde Park” in Flensburg, which is very convenient, just next to the motorway heading to Denmark. I love to spend these two hours there at the beginning of the holiday in the middle of all these busy consumers before we set off towards more calmative days on the boat.

As usual, the boat was already in the water, the mast was up and the re-commissioning could start straight away. However, we wanted to start slowly and in patience and therefore it was very good that some friends of the family were already expecting us with a good cup of tea aside a nice piece of cake. In order to represent Hullu Poro appropriately this season, T-Shirts have been handed out, as you can see on the photos.

Every year there is popping up something new on the technical side during re-commissioning. This year the two main subjects were batteries and diesel filters. Okay, changing the two diesel filters for the first time myself, took us about 3 hours. We feel, that is not to bad, especially as it showed up to work without problems later on. Batteries is a project itself and we have to learn the hard way. Our 3 x 62Ah service battery bank was completely empty. Plugging in the shore connection put them back alive, but definitely they took some damage and after vacation they showed only 50% capacity. Years before, they were 6 month in winter storage without charging and no problems in spring; 12 month storage without charging was too much. We learned, batteries are sensitive equipment on a boat, not at all comparable with an automotive battery.

After we had made clear sweep, we left Augustenborg late afternoon under engine heading towards Dyvig, where we dropped the anchor close to the marina. Te-Habenga, sailing yacht of “Nölke Family Sailing”, was already expecting us as they set sail already early morning. We got our dinghy prepared and joined them on their boat in the marina for the first sundowner of the year. Following morning, after testing the cold water, Te-Habenga came alongside for breakfast, before we set sail towards “Lillebelt”. We had a good day of sailing and took the opportunity to take some pictures of each other’s boat. Hullu Poro anchored again whereas Te-Habenga preferred to have a comfortable sleep in the marina of Middelfart Lystbådehavn. For us this was perfect as it included the bakery service next morning with fresh rolls delivered to our boat. Our target was to get to Samsø as quick as possible but the wind was not favourable to us and therefore we had to make another overnight stop at Æbelø, one of our preferred places for anchoring. Sure, after we dropped the anchor the wind was back again, but for us to late to proceed as we did not want to sail through the night. Next morning, the wind direction has slightly changed and some swell was coming in. Therefore we were all up early in the morning setting sail towards the Ballen on Samsø. Wind was increasing from East and we stayed a few days relaxing, either at the beach or just doing nothing. In the evening we had fresh fish (plaice) prepared on the barbecue. The “Nölke Family Sailing” turned into “Family Sunbathing” for a few hours per day due to the fact, that a beautiful sandy beach is just next to the harbour. Time was running and Te-Habenga had to start its journey back south, whereas Hullu Poro still had 3 week ahead and wanted to go further north. We had no exact target, but many ideas and were happy, that we still had plenty of time ahead of us.

We found, that the weather forecasts were very unreliable this year. There was no big difference in quality between German DWD or Danish DMI. When, for example, we left Samsø towards the north, the forecast was 20kn, decreasing to 10-15kn, but the opposite happened, the wind increased to 25-30kn. Although we do not feel at all, that sailing in such conditions with our HR34 is a problem, but you want to know about it upfront, therefore a weather forecast. However, we have never experienced a moment, where we did not feel save on our boat and thus, we also managed this part and arrived in Grenå safely. There were many shower squalls throughout the month of August, some with thunder, but mostly without, luckily. We probably all like theses effects, caused by the interplay of sun, clouds, moon, fog, stars, rain, etc., but a weather forecast has to be reliable.

We have never been to Anholt and Læsø and therefore decided to get our own impressions of these two islands between Denmark and Sweden. We arrived in Anholt and the harbour was almost empty. In the middle of August, restaurants and shops are already in the process of closing. No rolls in the morning, unless you are prepared to walk or cycle a few kilometres to the only little village on the island. But this was the only little downside, which we quickly overcame. We enjoyed Anholt very much, not only the scenic beaches but also the picturesque landscape. It is a lovely island and you feel being put some years back, at least at this time of the year, peak season might be different. Anholt is different to all the other Danish islands, we have visited so far over the years. We have immediately decided that we will visit this island again, once it is on our way.

Susan would love to spend a few months sabbatical (recharge batteries, batteries again!!!) on Anholt but definitely not on Læsø. The main difference between these two islands is not only the size, it is also its character. Anholt has much more character than its bigger counterpart Læsø. Although we were unlucky with the weather on Læso, we do not feel that sunshine would turn our impressions around. However, the very positive side of Læsø were definitely the bakery in walking distance and the fresh “Jomfruhummer” directly from the fishermen in the harbour. As you can see from the picture, we had plenty of work with the big bucket of hummer I have organized. During this summer we also improved on our own fishing capabilities. We did not only caught some plaice and weevers (too small to eat) but also needlefish (which we put on the grill, very tasty) and some nasty sea robins (better get rid of) .

We like Skagen and therefore we decided to visit this harbour with its commercial character and Swedish/Norwegian sailors. Overall the harbour was not busy at all. You can see from the picture, plenty of free space at this time of the year, which makes it very pleasant, from our point of view. We only stayed one night before we turned around to start the way back. In the meantime we also managed to install the Pactor III modem in order to communicate via short-wave. This is a very useful piece of equipment, not only for weather forecast but also for position reporting & e-mail. We definitely have to explore this further, amazing technology.

As our theme for this year seemed to be “More Islands” we stopped in Langør/Samsø. This unique area at the north tip of Samsø was on our list for quite some time and this year we made it. Incredible peaceful place on earth, would be our summary of this nature reserve. Hopefully this will remain as it is, also in future.
From Langør we passed the north tip of Samø and managed to moorage in Tunø, just before another shower squall started. This island is comparable with Anholt. Again, you feel being back in the last century, or at least 50 year back, which leaves a very contradicting picture to our nowadays hectic world.

On the way back we stayed one night in Marstal on Ærø. Walking around, you really feel that this is still a place formed and developed based on its long lasting shipbuilding industry and history. Marstal has a huge harbour and our pontoon, which is good for about 40 boats, was finally only occupied by 4 boats. Te-Habenga has been in Marstal about 10 days before us; the harbour was packed and they had difficulties to find a place. This shows again, how short the peak sailing season in Denmark is.

After 4 weeks and only 535sm on the clock, the boat is now back in the shed since 01.09.2006. Click here for detailed log.

Best regards,
Your HP Crew
Susan & Bernd