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August 8 to August 31, 2005: Denmark and Beyond

August 8, 2005 (Monday)

After sending our last post cards from Germany (with German stamps) and returning the washroom key to the harbormaster, we departed in mixed weather (a little patch of blue was visible in the sky...) for Sonderburg, our first Danish destination. The 36 nm run was easy with little wind (except for the last hour). Of course, we motored as we were eager to get there. Sigi had recommended that we not tie up in the yacht harbor but rather go all the way into town and tie up there. We did, right in front of the castle. The Danish queen had just left the harbor an hour before we arrived. We had seen her ship. There is an electricity hook up even in the middle of town (unfortunately only for 220 V, but our European cell phone and our computers are happy with such charge, just not our Impromptu nor our water heater - hot showers can only be had if we let the engine run, one benefit to lots of motoring instead of sailing). We just wanted to sit down for dinner when the harbormaster came to collect the Euro 21 in docking fees.

August 9, 2005 (Tuesday)

We decided to stay in Sonderburg to do some sightseeing and to enjoy this beautiful little town. We even had breakfast in the cockpit and walked through town until it began raining again, forcing us to seek shelter in a small restaurant (Juergen had his first burger since we had left for this trip, I had a shrimp cocktail but with much smaller shrimp, together with a glass of wine and Juergen a fairly large beer and coffee afterwards, we spent a whopping Euro 30). We had found a few small gifts and a few T-shirts for me, bought some smoked eel and a sole for us to have for dinner tonight and went back to the boat when it promptly began raining again. Will it ever get better? Even the Europeans complain. It is rather cold (barely 55 - 60 degrees F, much too cold for our taste).

We still wanted to walk over to the museum, but in this rain, we most likely will not do so. Whether we will depart tomorrow or stay another day will be determined tomorrow in the morning.

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Impromptu docked at the Queen's Berth
Sonderborg Harbor viewed from Impromptu

August 10, 2005 (Wednesday)

It has continued to be cold and the wind became so strong and from such a direction that we were constantly pushed against the Castle dock wall. A fairly large motorboat tied up to us, without asking. Thank God, they did not stay long because they left to the Yacht Harbor. We were quite happy. We played a lot of Backgammon, read and talked when, suddenly, there was quite a bang. Another sailboat had attempted to parallel us in order to tie up. He scraped off part of our toe rail and also made a scratch into the gel coat on the blue stripe. Unfortunately, we did not see that until he had left, of course never to return to ask about any potential damage even though we needed three people to finally fend him off. Juergen had told him that tying up to us was not a good idea under the circumstances. I was very upset that they did not come by after having docked in the Yacht Harbor to check...

August 11, 2005 (Thursday)

It was raining all morning, not a heavy rain but one that goes through and through. I thought we would be staying yet another day, however, I guess, Juergen had enough of Sonderburg. He also wanted to visit with Elvstroem, our sail maker, and Gori, the manufacturer of our propeller, Elvstroem is located in Aabenraa, and Gori is in Haderslev, approx. 20 miles from Aabenraa. So we ensured to leave for the 12 noon bridge opening as we were departing through the Alsfjord, approximately 20 nm in miserable weather and winds up to approx. 28 knots true. It was impossible to find a proper spot for our boat so I called the harbor master who directed us to a "floating bridge" (a floating dock) which we tied up to, not an easy man oeuvre given the wind and the tight harbor. In the end, we made it and were glad about it. A few other boats arrived, including one Dutch boat, a 40 foot Hanse, who also could not find a proper spot. We offered to help them dock right behind us. They were quite glad as well.

We walked over to the harbormaster's office and found a note to pay via envelopes provided (100 DKr per night, unless one was over 65 - pensioner - then the cost was only 55 DKr). That made Juergen very happy, and we converted generously into Euro 10 (was really only Euro 7, but we did not have the change to pay the proper amount). Later on, we walked by the harbormaster's office again (after lunch which we had in the cockpit, despite the cold and the drizzle, just because we both were tired sitting down below all the time) to learn that we paid the wrong harbormaster. This harbor is split in two and our dock belongs to the harbormaster on the other side of the harbor. We received our envelope with the money back and proceeded to the correct harbormaster. It was past 1700 and, of course, the harbormaster had already left. In England, Holland, and Germany the harbormaster was available for much longer hours but this is Scandinavia where the stores close at 1730 every day of the week except Saturday when they already close at 1300.

We took a stroll through this picturesque town which - again - has a very attractive pedestrian shopping zone with three attractive kitchen supply / china etc. stores, two wool stores, two toy stores, plenty of men's and women's boutiques, three ice cream parlors and at least 4 or 5 restaurants and 4 pizzerias, one very beautiful antique store and two or three hair salons, two banks and a few beautiful sculptures, a church and gorgeous houses, all painted in very soft and attractive colors. We found one Italian restaurant where we will have dinner tomorrow.

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Downtown Aabenraa

Tomorrow at 0800 Elvstroem will pick us up from the harbormaster's office. Who knows what else the day will bring.

August 12, 2005 (Friday)

Thank God it is not the 13th, even though the weather looks just like it. Around 0700 the sun came out for a whopping five minutes or so to be replaced by heavy clouds and, what else, rain. We got ready so we could be picked up at 0800 by the gentleman from Elvstroem, the sail maker. Juergen paid the harbormaster and got his 50% discount - Nancy, isn't that an idea to entice old people to keep their boats at the MBW??? - just a suggestion. Juergen was in seventh heaven, not because he saved a few Euros but more because of the principle involved.

We spent a good two hours at Elvstroem, which actually was closed for the annual four-week vacation (just like HR in Sweden). We learned that all the Danish and Swedish companies close for four weeks each summer. A skeleton crew was there to take care of a few things. So was the sales rep Jochen Reimer. We discussed the sail, the material, battens or not, and other issues and then took a tour through the facilities. Elvstroem also had acquired Sobstad a few years ago and is a major manufacturer of racing sales, at least in Europe, trying to gain greater access to the US market as well. We had a great time. Herr Reimer even took us back to the Post Office from where we sent a gift to each of the boys in Wuppertal and then took another stroll through town, including through the local antique shop which had a few adorable things, unfortunately at prices we did not want to accept. We also bought crème brulee dishes as Juergen discovered his love for crème brulee.

We made a reservation for dinner at the Italian restaurant for 1900 and are very much looking forward to spending the evening in this cozy looking establishment.

Our Dutch neighbors who had docked right behind us left for Sonderburg. We advised them to try to tie up where we had tied up.

August 13, 2005 (Saturday)

The dinner last night was a great disappointment. The wine was served open - it was awful and we don't know whether we were served what we actually ordered. Who knows??? The food was mediocre and the atmosphere a lot less enticing than we had expected.

We took it very easy this morning - which morning do we not take it easy? Around 1200 we decided to depart. Juergen eased out of our rather precarious spot (dock to the port side, two pilings forward and aft to starboard and very little space in between beyond the size of the boat. But he managed perfectly. It was raining and windy - of course with the wind from the wrong direction (forward). So we motored to the next port of our choice, Aarosund. It is a very small harbor on the mainland, exactly across from the island of Aaro. We decided against the harbor on the island because we were not sure about the water depth. While there is very little tidal difference in the Baltic, there can be significant depth differences depending on the wind direction, and as the harbor of Aaro was not particularly deep to begin with, we decided that the harbor of Aarosund was more palatable to our sailing hearts.

There was a very strong current - which the pilot books already are warning of - and a very tight fit between ferry dock, fishing harbor and the entrance to the yacht harbor. In the end we found a perfect spot on a dock (!!!), i.e., we did not have to challenge our cowboy rope-wielding capability but could tie up lengthwise as we are used to. A friendly Dane (investment banker as we found out later, working for Schroeder in London) helped us with the lines. The entire process did not even take five minutes. We chatted for a little bit and then invited Steen and his wife Inge for a glass of wine. They had a brand new X-yacht. We barely were tied up when another X-yacht arrived and tied up to our boat (without asking, without even smiling at us - unfortunately not entirely atypical here...). As it turned out and we learned from Steen, the owner of this X-yacht was one of three partners who own the company. Well, their docking manoeuvre did not impress us in the least, though they had four adults on the boat who all were involved in the process.

Steen and Inge visited with us for an hour or so as they had a dinner reservation in what they called an excellent restaurant. We tried to make reservation for Sunday night; however, they were only open for lunch on Sunday and closed on Monday. So we decided to have a warm lunch and sort of skip dinner on Sunday and made the required reservation.

We went to the harbor master's office where we paid our dues (DKr 120), walked around the facilities (very nice public rooms with tables where some people already shared the food they had brought, various rather attractive barbecue areas surrounded by beautiful bushes, a deck to sunbathe on. This harbor had the usual bathroom facilities and two Miele washing machines and dryers, all for little money to rent).

August 14, 2005 (Sunday)

It was raining again after the previous evening had turned sunny though not too warm. So we stayed in bed and read. I wanted to make coffee only as we had the lunch plans I had mentioned above. We exchanged some contact information with Steen and Inge as well as their recommendation for the next ports to consider, restaurants to go to, while we gave them the address of the store where we bought our new bed sheets. They had admired them when taking a tour through Impromptu the day before.

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The Restaurant/Hotel..
...on our Stroll

There are a lot of jellyfish in these waters. The one you see above actually hurts very much if touched by it. I thought you might want to see what they look like.

In the restaurant, we sat at a table overlooking the harbor and the island of Aaro, which was right across from us, this time bathing in beautiful sunlight. Inge and Steen showed up. They had enjoyed their dinner so much that they wanted to have lunch here as well, particularly since they planned on leaving in the afternoon to have something fixed on their furling boom (which X-yacht installed. The factory is only approximately 7 nm away from Aarosund). We asked them to join us at our table, and so we had a lively discussion over a delicious lunch. They departed shortly thereafter, while we took a nice stroll through the harbor again.

Juergen had a headache and wanted to rest. We sat in the cockpit and he read while I was transferring photos onto his and my computer etc. He went down below because he was getting cold. I remained on deck, enjoying the pictures taken in England, Germany (including our party) etc. but also our visit in Isensee with Ulli and family when Luise and Sid called. We chatted for quite some time and when I was looking for Juergen he was not in the main cabin (so I thought he had gone to bed to sleep). We promised to call in a few days again so there was no need to wake Juergen. As it turned out he was lying in bed reading. Shortly past 2100 he got up so we could finally have a small supper - to go back to bed and read. Of course, we had called Silvi and Brad to congratulate them on their 40th wedding anniversary. Silvi was elated about Stefi and Andrea's surprise party arranged in Silvi and Brad's house without their knowledge and without Sophia spilling the beans even though she knew - amazing for a four-year old.

August 15, 2005 (Monday)

We thought it was time to move on. Sigi had recommended a harbor not far from here, Middelfart. We felt it was not far enough, the weather was gorgeous - yes, I mean gorgeous. We had been sitting in the cockpit in T-shirt and shorts having breakfast and continued on our way with no need for a sweater or long pants until the sun almost went down around 2100 that day. We decided to go a whopping 38 nm to the town of Bogense, not far from Odense, the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson. Again, this is a picturesque town with houses dating back to the early 17th and 18th centuries. The church also dated from 1600 plus - very beautiful, clear lines, not much ornamentation, very typical Scandinavian, the lines we appreciate very much.

We tied up perfectly for the first time, despite the two pilings at our stern. We were very proud of ourselves...

We took a stroll through town. It was a holiday so most stores were closed. We decided to go back to the boat and have dinner late (cheese ravioli with Alfredo sauce). We played Backgammon and went back to bed to read. By now, Juergen is reading the Howard Hughes biography while I am reading the book by and about a German couple sailing to Antarctica and wintering on Deception Island (we had been to Deception Island on our Antarctica cruise and had visited some of the places they were talking about, but that is not why this book is interesting, it is more because it is a husband and wife team sailing in extreme areas of the world, though mostly accompanied by others including a crew from a well-known German TV station (ZDF for those who know what we are talking about). - Unfortunately, though their experience in the Drake Passage and beyond were far worse than what we experienced on our trip across the Atlantic, the book brings back a lot of the feelings and fears in me which I experienced while on our way.

August 16, 2005 (Tuesday)

Juergen still did not feel well. So we had decided last night already to stay put for today. To top it off, the gorgeous sunny day from yesterday had turned this morning into a grey blustery day on which one prefers to stay in bed and read anyway. So we got up late and decided that this was the perfect day to do laundry. All harbors have good laundry facilities, very clean and mostly not crowded. After breakfast, we packed all our laundry and went to the harbormaster's building. Instead of coins one "leased" a special key which was worth DKr 100 (approx. $ 15) which provided access to the bathrooms, the laundry room, the Internet room (unfortunately, no wifi, just the use of the harbor's computer. Again we could not update our website which I am trying diligently to keep up to date just in case we are lucky somewhere...). We finally figured out how this key worked on the washer and dryer and happily watched two loads are cleaned while Juergen went to whatever stores were in the harbor area. I later on went to the Viennese baker for some fresh bread and rolls, some cake, the post office and the card store. We want to keep our friends happy with post cards from some of the places we are visiting.

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Bogense Harbor
Bow-to docking is difficult with even a three-foot Tidal Difference
Medieval Church

Once all was done, we decided on another stroll through town. Unfortunately, by that time it was approximately 1600 and some of the stores including the Tourist Information store (with lots of very cute items in the window which I would have liked to browse in) closed already. So we went for a very late lunch in a very picturesque and cozy restaurant but decided to sit outside. The drizzle had been blown away and the sun had come out, warm enough to sit outside. With herring on ice, potatoes and a salad, we had a delicious meal, which Juergen topped with a Danish pancake with fruit and ice cream and I with coffee and a Danish specialty, which they called (macaroon cookie. In reality, this was a Marzipan based "bread" - I was in seventh heaven. Larry, you would have loved this as well....).

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Historic Building

We decided to take the bus to Odense tomorrow as it would take us out of our general sailing direction to go there by boat, and the bus is so much quicker and easier. We are planning on the 0941 departure and don't know yet at what time we will be back. We are hoping for good weather (the weather forecast is perfect with sun and warmer temperatures) so we can sightsee, take pictures and enjoy this historic town as well as the bus ride through the countryside.

I bought a special beverage ("snaps" as the Danes call it) which Steen had served before they departed from Aarosund. Juergen and I liked it, and I had seen it in the super market where the post office was located. Juergen does not know it yet, but I will surprise him with a glass thereof shortly.

August 17, 2005 (Wednesday)

Though we read until late last night (I finished my book) we both woke up very early, (a) in anticipation of the bus ride to Odense, I guess, and (b) because the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. We had breakfast in the cockpit in T-shirts and played backgammon until it was time to walk to the bus stop. Though there is no great tidal difference as I have remarked a number of times, I barely was able to get off the boat - actually; I would have been unable to get off the boat if Juergen had not helped me. The jump off of our anchor was too much for me to dare. When we got back later in the afternoon, it was a lot easier to get on again....

Very few people were on the bus to Odense, mostly because rush hour in terms of school and work seemed to be over. So we had a pleasant ride through the countryside. We enjoyed the harvested fields glowing from the sunlight, the picturesque houses in their pastel colors, very delicate, not too strong and very tasteful. We love the reed-covered roofs, which look a little different from the way we are used to in Northern Germany.

The town of Odense is not very impressive. The bus terminal is right near the train station in a more or less industrial area to one side and the banking center to the other. The historic sites with the birthplaces of Hans Christian Anderson and Carl Nielsson, Denmark's most famous composer, are located in a very small but beautifully redone area of town where the houses look even more attractive - see for yourself.

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Christian Andersen
Art Students in front of HCA's Birth House

There are so many pictures to choose from and it is not easy. I am trying to provide you with a glimpse of what we see and experience as we like to share with our friends and family the different aspects of our trip, the different history, the architecture, the art (though that is impossible really to show here as I do not generally take pictures of art in galleries, stores or museums). When we are back home, we will try to put together one DVD as a slideshow that is hopefully a little better organized and of greater quality as I reduce the picture quality to a bare minimum for the website.

We spoke with Nancy Bodick today, felt we needed and wanted to let her know where we were and how we were and also we wanted to know how things were with her, the marina. She had two items she felt were worth reporting, the less important was the fact that a bank in Milford had just been held up while her mom was in a store next door. Nobody was hurt but the robbers got away - "why don't these people stay in New York rather than coming to Milford" were sort of her words...

The other item, very sad, really struck me even though I did not know the person that well. Ann, girlfriend of Roger, another boater, had passed away, way too young and very suddenly. According to Nancy, she had been diagnosed with cancer just before our departure and had not wanted us to know about this. We were not close friends with Ann and Roger but did talk occasionally. She was very pleasant and very kind. This all happened so quickly, it is scary and very sad. I wished I could talk to Roger to express my sympathy but also to see how he is doing...

August 18, 2005 (Thursday)

It is Carola's birthday today. After we had breakfast and departed from Bogense (and finished running the engine for hot water) we called to express our birthday wishes. It sounded as if the house was full of friends at 1100 in the morning. Carola and Albrecht will go back home tomorrow while Volker and Andrea remain in Leso until Saturday. Albrecht and Carola will participate in the annual Lodgeworks (formerly Summerfield)-WestLB get together which, this time, will take place in Germany. Albrecht had suggested that we join. However, he is no longer the host and there are reasons beyond this website why we graciously declined (Carola agreed with my reasoning).

We arrived in Tuno, a very small island not far from Samso around 1530 and promptly found a perfect dock (no lasso-throwing necessary). A nice Dane helped us with the lines until we could finally secure everything ourselves. One step and we are on land. We took a nice walk along the beach where a few people were swimming in this barely 64 degree F water. Others were sunbathing, yet others were already barbecue-ing and a group of men was consuming huge amounts of beer while talking about whatever came to their minds. It was later confirmed to us (see Kopenhagen) that the Danes consume huge amounts of beer...

I was in my element taking pictures of the beach, the brush, Juergen, the activities as the ferry arrived... it was very much fun to watch. Tuno does not permit cars on the island. So you see many mopeds, bicycles, but also lots of tractors, some with wagons behind for passenger transport (we called those "buses"), some smaller, for just one or two people plus luggage (we called those "taxis"), some just transporting goods (we called those "trucks"). The only true truck on the entire island is a military truck, which was loaded with unidentifiable items by a navy ship, which arrived shortly after the ferry departed.

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Tuno Taxis waiting for the Ferry
The Tuno Ferry at its Dock

We read, played Backgammon, enjoyed a bottle of wine accompanied by escargots (our dinner - with all that butter, one cannot eat anything else).

The moon was full tonight - very pretty to look at. I will try to take a better picture tonight with my larger lens - the wide angle just does not do the moon justice.

A HR 34 or so asked whether they could tie up to us as the harbor had filled. I was not too happy about it, particularly since the two men really had not tried at all to find another spot, but in the end, they were very polite and did not bother us at all. They had chartered the boat and had to return it the next day not far from here.

August 19, 2005 (Friday)

We had decided last night already that we would stay here today. Tuno is so pretty, and we really had not walked around enough yet to feel that we knew the island. It was another beautiful day though the barometer keeps going down slowly and there are a lot more clouds in the sky than we saw yesterday. Still, it is warm and still sunny. We had breakfast in the cockpit in shorts and T-shirts (the third day on this trip, amazing) and played Backgammon. Then we took a walk towards "town". That is actually a huge exaggeration as there is one road with not even 10 houses near-by and then one here or there further away. There is one church whose steeple doubles-up as the island's lighthouse. I think this is a clever idea. Juergen is opposed as a church steeple has a special purpose, which should not be diminished by the lighthouse function. The island also has a school with seven grades only. Thereafter, kids have to attend boarding school. If I remember correctly, there is a total of nine students in the entire school this year.

We visited the cemetery, walked by the two restaurants in town and studied their menus for a potential lunch. We walked by the Netcafe, located in a building from 18hundred-something. If my Danish is good enough, one can even use one's own computer there, i.e., it is a hot spot. The problem is that it is open daily only from 1000 to 1145 and on Monday through Thursday and on some Saturdays also from 1600 to 1745. Well, today is Friday... If I can convince Juergen not to leave as early as we had initially planned because we want to cover approximately 50 nm tomorrow, I could finally update our website for the first time in over two weeks. I would be so happy...

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Church Steeple/Lighthouse
Tuno Beach
The Net Cafe, housed in a
1894 Building
Field in Tuno

Juergen is trying to clean the yellow stains off our bow (without using fresh water which is not permitted in Holland, Germany, Denmark - who knows where else - nobody is washing their boats, amazing, considering what we see and do in the US....) while I am again transferring photos and typing.

Our idea is to make our way to Kopenhagen, Denmark's capital, where there is a harbor right near the mermaid, highly recommended by both Sigi as well as Steen whose boat is generally docked there. Unfortunately, it is somewhat cumbersome to get there because of a lot of shallows that need to be circumnavigated. Therefore the 50 nm I was talking about before.

We also asked Waltraut and Guenter to visit with us in Fehmarn, a German island in the Baltic (I must admit I thought that it was Danish because Waltraut had mentioned how much she liked Denmark and in response to that comment, Juergen suggested to meet in Fehmarn - not that I want to blame him for my ignorance...), and not too far for them to drive to. This would mean that we will have been in Kopenhagen where we plan to spend at least two days and will need to cover a bunch of more miles which, however, we will not do in overnight trips (the buoys are very different from the ones in the US, often hard to see (at least for our untrained eyes) and not lit. Given the many shallow areas and our lack of local knowledge, we will only travel in good light, i.e., not even in fog or very heavy rain). It is not supposed to rain tomorrow though. So we should be ok making the trip, even if we only left around 1100. The days are very long here - I might have mentioned this before. It is almost 2200 when it starts getting dark. We are often totally confused as to the time of day and tend to eat very late just because we forget the time. This is not bad at all because on beautiful days like yesterday and today we can really enjoy many hours.

If I manage to update the website now, the next time will most likely only be possible in Kopenhagen again. That will be in a week from today at the earliest. Again, we appreciate your phone calls, emails and questions to friends and family. We are happy that so many of you still take an interest in our trip, in us, and visit our website, complaining that it takes so long for updates to be posted. Believe me, it is not my doing. If it were up to me, I would do this at least every two or three days. But it is not up to me, so we all have to accept lengthy delays at times. Be well. We miss all of you and are very much looking forward to seeing you either before we depart for home early October or in the US once we have returned.

August 20, 2005 (Saturday)

We went to the NetCafe around 1030 and actually found someone sitting in front, tending it. We both logged in, I to update the website and then to check e-mails on my computer. Juergen uploaded his electronic charts for which he needed Internet access to register. We were in heaven - finally, after so much time had passed and we had done so many things, seen so many sites... Of course, 1145 came way too soon. I left my computer there, as I wanted to come back the next time they were open at 1630. The beautiful, sunny day was spent on the boat with a little polishing of the top, having lunch in the cockpit, playing Backgammon. Before I knew it I had to run off to be at the NetCafe on time so I would have the full hour it was to be open.

Juergen remained on board as the harbor filled more and more and it was scary to see how close people came with their boats, how many tied up to us and others and what spaces people found to tie up their boats in. See for yourself:

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Crowded Tuno Harbor (view from our first Spreader)

Juergen took this picture from our first spreader. We were five larger boats all tied up together with us on the quay... The row of boats in a "packet" were right behind us. Our German neighbors Axel and Barbara came over for a glass of wine after dinner. As to the Danish eating habits, every marina has lots of picnic tables, barbecue possibilities as I have mentioned before. They all seem to use proper china and glasses (which our American friends make fun about us for) - and it all looks very inviting.

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Danish Sailors' Dining Culture

August 21, 2005 (Sunday)

We wanted to leave in the morning, but with the harbor being as full, people warned us that we would not be able to until at least 1400. Well, after we watched a few sailors make fools out of themselves trying to get out of their spots (with lots of help it still was a drama and "fun" to watch... how nasty we can be...), we made it at 1115, with no big deal. Juergen eased out very slowly, in reverse, keeping our bow as close to the quay wall as possible. This way, our neighbors did not have to untie their bowline and could just be pulled into our spot once we vacated it. Juergen got a few compliments about his seamanship while he was executing this manoeuvre. Even getting out of the harbor per se was a challenge as boats were doubled up in the already narrow entrance. Thank God for our bow thruster (by the way almost every boat in Europe, no matter how small, has a bow thruster. I now know why. They would never be able to get into as tight a spot in any of the harbors as they have to here, for lack of space).

We made it to Odden, passing Samso, another very picturesque island with rolling hills, a very long coastline, meadows, trees, fields and just a few houses in between. The next harbor was located on the island of Sjaelland (pronounced "zaehland"). This harbor was a total disappointment. It had been written up as a typical fishing village which has all the things you would expect from such. It also mentioned a seafood restaurant. We had been looking forward to some nice fish dinner. We found the restaurant, not even bad looking, closed. A sign informed us that, in August, it was open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 1700 to 2200. As this was Sunday, we were out of luck.

The harbormaster was also not present but envelopes in a wooden box by the office door required our payment accompanied by the respective boat information (name, size). The sealed envelope was then put through a slid in the door. A lot of things are based on the honor system in this country, at least when it comes to yachting experiences.

August 22, 2005 (Monday)

We left around 0900 as we really did not like this location. In addition, we were tied up to an X-yacht (whose owners we never met and who did not seem to be on the boat, even at night - but one hatch was open). We did not really want to stay there for longer than absolutely necessary. A few yachts had gone into the fishing harbor the night before though the pilot books mention that this is not permitted. The one other American boat we had seen in Sonderburg (but never spoke to the captain/crew as they were not on their boat when we walked by) had done exactly that, but they left about one hour before we did.

We managed to sail for about three hours, along the northern coastline of this island. It was hazy so we did not see very much. There is a beautiful bay, which, if we had time, we would explore, but we needed to move on because we arranged to meet with Guenter and Waltraut in Fehmarn (I might have mentioned this previously). Our next destination was Helsingor. The town is famous for its castle Kronborg which UNESCO nominated as one of the worlds treasures, in good company of the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, etc. We could see it for miles before we got there. It is very large and very beautiful.

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Helsingor Harbor (Denmark)

Even though this harbor is very large, the docking is not exactly perfect. Many of the pilings are so narrow that we could not fit and some boaters did not adhere to the notices along certain walls to leave the space for boats 12 to 20 m in length. Instead, there were three boats at most of 10m which all were docked in such a fashion that we could not squeeze in between. The other US boat which had left Odden before us came to the rescue as they offered that we tie up to them. We did, chatted for a while and were then invited for a glass of Campari and chips.

It turns out that this couple (Helge and Bente Krarup) who are from Florida, sailed their boat (a Gozzard 44- spelling?) with two other men across the Atlantic in 2000. They have been sailing in European waters every summer and have already gone to Norway, Finland, Russia, Denmark (of course because they are originally from Denmark), the Mediterranean including Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia - of course, Italy and France but not the Balearic islands (Mallorca, Menorca). They fly back home for the winter. In Denmark, they are visiting with a lot of family and friends. Thus their European sailing is somewhat different from ours. They were a very nice couple who we asked to let us know when they are in NY to visit their daughter (sings in the chorus of the City Opera).

We had skipped lunch, and I was starving, having looked forward to having some nice fresh fish. We walked into town until we found a large square with a lot of different restaurants (Indian, Thai, Italian, Irish, just no Danish fish restaurant). We decided on the Italian and had seafood there. It was not what we had been looking for but it was quite nice.

August 23, 2005 (Tuesday)

We had breakfast in the cockpit and went on our way to Kronborg relatively early. When the ticket office finally opened at 1030 we had already walked around the entire castle, purchased some postcards and browsed in the museum shop which interestingly was open already. We spent three hours in the castle including the maritime museum, the living quarters of the kings and queens, and the casemates. It was time for lunch. We went back to the same square, as we had liked the location. Unfortunately, our choice of restaurant was pretty miserable this time. I had the worst food in a long time, if not ever. Of course, after we had eaten and walked around town, we found a lot of outdoor restaurants that looked more attractive (including the food on people's plates). Too bad.

We were so tired and hurting from all the walking, and we had talked about potentially also going to see Helsingborg, the Swedish town across the Oresund (Ore Sound) from Helsingor. We took one of the ferries (costs a whopping Euro 8 for the two of us round trip, because senior citizens pay only DKr 20 while "adults" pay DKR 38). The view from the upper deck onto Helsingor and, later on, Helsingborg, was very attractive as it gave us a different perspective. We only walked around a little (due to the pain mentioned before - Juergen's hip and my right leg - it is no fun getting old...) and then took the ferry back across. We purchased some fruit, cheese and other items and finally made it back to our Impromptu. How good it felt to sit!

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Helsingborg Harbor (Sweden)
Fountain in Helsingborg

Juergen immediately went to repair - at least temporarily - the exhaust hose, which was gushing lots of water into the port lazaret as it had chafed through again. This had happened on our Bermuda trip as well and had been repaired approximately three to four years ago. So much for that repair... It will need to be done in the winter again. Right now, Juergen used silver tape, rope and whatever else he could find but it is still leaking a little.

August 24, 2005 (Wednesday)

We left around 0900 as we wanted to get to Kopenhagen as early as possible. We had been recommended to visit a harbor just about two walking minutes away from the mermaid statue (Langelinie). As the location is highly desirable, the chances of getting a space are greater the earlier in the day one arrives. We got there around 1230 and immediately found a space with a green sign "Fri" which does not mean Friday but "free" or available, as nothing is "free" when it comes to dockage, certainly not in this harbor. We paid the hefty sum of DKr 250 per night, i.e., around Euro 35 (not an outrageous amount compared to docking in the US, but rather expensive around here. Compare that to Euro 9 per night in Cuxhaven to between Euro 10 and 15 in most harbors on the Continent. England was much more expensive as I am sure I pointed out earlier). Juergen paid for two nights right away, because we were sure that we wanted to stay at least that long, possibly longer. This harbor is almost round. One docks with the bow forward. There are no docks between the boats. Rather than pilings, there are stern moorings with metal rods, which end in a loop through which one either ties a rope or, the really well prepared (not us) have special hooks that just hook into the hole. The hook is attached to a line, which you then fasten on your stern. Well, we had no problem getting a line through the hole on the mooring rod nor to tie up the bowlines. However, we were taking up almost two spaces in width and in length we protruded tremendously that the aft mooring did not really function properly. Juergen walked over to the harbormaster to check whether we should really stay there or rather move to another location. We had seen one or two openings elsewhere in the harbor. Of course, we had to move.

Now, this was a challenge. In our new location, the mooring ball was quite further back than in our first spot. Of course, our line was too short to feed through the hole and back to the stern. I attached a second line - we still did not reach the dock and were only halfway between the two boats next to us. It must have been quite some scene. To our starboard side, a German/Icelandic couple tried to help, forward someone on the dock also tried. Juergen did not think we would fit as we barely had enough room for fenders on both sides of Impromptu. The man on the dock said it would work. So we attached a third line aft and with Juergen's help yanking the connecting pieces through the mooring ball hole, we finally could move forward sufficiently for us to tie up and be able to get on and off over the anchor. Well, we felt pretty stupid having gone through this manoeuvre. However, the other couple promised that they had similar problems when they got here a few days earlier. We chatted for a while, had lunch (finally - it was past 1400 by then) and immediately walked into town along the water.

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Approach to Kopenhagen
Langelinie Yacht Harbor
Famous Kopenhagen Mermaid
Church Spire

Kopenhagen is worth a visit or two or even more than that. There is so much to see and to do that our couple of days would certainly not suffice. The weather was also cooperating which added to the joyous mood (not only ours, everyone's, one could tell). We ended up in an area along a canal with lots of open air restaurants, people playing and singing Jazz to entertain the crowds and, below us in the canal, were canal tour boats, some with, others without a guide. We knew we wanted to take such a tour and initially planned on that for the next day. Then Juergen felt that it was better to do it right away (it was just about 1700) as the weather of the following day was predicted to be rainy and unpleasant. We did and were driven around town through canal after canal. It was unbelievable, felt a little like Venice or Amsterdam, except all the canals were very clean and did not smell. Many of them were lined with docked boats. It was awfully tight just for our tour boat to get through at times. The canals are surrounded by the most unbelievably attractive housing, mostly older buildings with huge windows (therefore, we assume, also high ceilings), all renovated with modern windows, beautifully painted, small balconies furnished with beautiful teak garden furniture - all very inviting. We had a ball and I took lots and lots of pictures. We also passed the new Opera house ("Operaen"). Did I mention already that it was paid for by the owner of Maersk (the world's largest privately owned shipping company). Appropriately, the headquarters of Maersk are located on the opposite side of the opera, not exactly, but the workers can see the opera house from their offices. The only condition for the opera house was that it was exactly (and I mean exactly) across from the marble church and the axis from the opera house to the church had to go exactly through the palace of the Danish Queen. Well, it is built exactly in such location. See for yourself.

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Juergen in front of "Operaen"
Inside the Lobby of "Operaen" (photo a little dark - sorry)

We had walked for about five hours and our legs and Juergen's hip were hurting enough that we just wanted to find a place for dinner. We saw a few, did not really get excited about any and hoped to fine one closer to the boat. Well, we did, but here, we would have had to spend easily a sum we just did not feel like spending. Instead, we went to the boat and ate dinner there - comfortably sitting and relaxing and knowing we did not have to move any further.

August 25, 2005 (Thursday)

It was raining cats and dogs as they say in England. Unfortunately, this lasted all day. We read in bed until our backs hurt and we felt we wanted breakfast. We ate pancakes with wonderful raspberries purchased in Helsingor two days before. We decided to try out our washing machine after Bente had mentioned to Juergen that she could not conceive of sailing and being without. It actually worked quite well. After two loads (3 kg each) we almost were done. I don't think I want to do bed sheets on the boat unless the weather is predictably warm and dry for at least a full day. In this case, we strung a line criss-crossing from the forward head into the room between main cabin and V-berth. Most but not all of the things are dry by now, despite all the rain yesterday and some rain still today. I will from now on not go to laundromats any more or use the marina machines (maybe, unless they are Miele, then I might make an exception).

We played Backgammon, backed up some of my pictures on DVD, made phone calls, read some more, ate lunch late, played more backgammon, until I could not stand it any more. By about 1930 the rain had finally reduced to a drizzle and so we went to find a restaurant to have dinner at. Nothing in our immediate vicinity, also not in the opposite direction towards the cruise ship quay. Of course not, because cruise ship tourists usually eat on the ship. A bus had stopped. We asked the driver whether he would go into town as we were looking for a restaurant. He was very nice and helpful and took us to the area where we had looked the day before. He pointed to one or two places he thought were supposed to be good, and we decided on one of them. As we exited the bus, he indicated that, if we ate fast, the bus tickets could still be used for the return trip. However, we did not really have in mind ordering, eating and drinking within less than one hour.

Dinner was good (we both had a wonderful mushroom appetizer). Juergen ate fish, I meat. We splurged for a taxi to get back to the boat without having to walk at all. That was very good because we had been hurting all night the night before from the five-hour walk, and we did not want to repeat this again.

August 26, 2005 (Friday)

The sun was out this morning, but the boat was totally wet. I got up to clean the water off so that we could have breakfast in the cockpit even though the wind was quite strong and blustery. Juergen complained but joined me anyway. This time, it was pancakes and strawberries. Unfortunately, our maple syrup was finished and I have not managed to find our second bottle yet.

We paid for a third night at Langelinie and walked over to the "harbor bus" to get to the Opera House.

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Our Harbor "Bus"
View from Operaen to the Marble Church
View towards "Operaen" from the Plaza of the Queen's Winter Residence

We hoped to take a tour as we had done in Sydney quite a few years ago - no reservations, nothing. Well, this time, we were not so lucky. We had walked through the building on the ground floor and just attempted to go to the second floor when we were reprimanded for doing so - it had sort of been roped off, but not really. I, intrigued to photograph from up there, pretended that I had not noticed the barrier. Well, Juergen had told me so.... we had to come back down without any pictures from up there. The guard informed us that "it takes a little bit of planning" before one gets here to take a tour. Everything is sold out "months in advance". Too bad, we really would have liked to see it. One thing we have noticed time and again, a lot of the information is in Danish only, not in English, not in Japanese, French or any other language. We find that rather strange given the popularity of Denmark in general and Kopenhagen in particular. Also at the Opera House, everything was in Danish only - well, Mike and Larry, you will have to start learning some Danish, I guess (we brought you some of the information as we thought you in particular would be interested in seeing it).

We took the same "harbor bus" to the Library from where we walked to do some food shopping. Our boat neighbors had recommended a particular store in town where the meats and everything were supposed to be very good. On the way, we saw a small restaurant alongside one of the canals we had gone through two days before on our canal tour. The food on the plates looked very inviting though the space was tiny and very tight. We sat under large sun umbrellas which provided too much shade, and I complained to Juergen about that. Shortly thereafter, we were glad to be under exactly those umbrellas as it began to pour quite heavily. The weather today was rather mixed and still very cool. A couple sitting next to us and we started talking (they asked where we were from - you can imagine the conversation. I will not bore you again...). He was a Swedish lawyer, she a teacher for disabled and ADD children within the public school system. They live in Gothenburg and take the three-hour drive to Kopenhagen quite frequently as they love the city, the people, the food and the flowers. Strange, we had already noticed that all the Swedes on the ferry to Helsingborg a few days ago were carrying lots of boos and flowers back to Sweden.

The food in the restaurant was as wonderful as it looked and, FINALLY, I found my herring. Herring was on the menu in at least eight or ten different versions of preparation - wonderful. I was in seventh heaven. I took a look into the restaurant itself (since we had been sitting outside). What a cute and original place. It would have been wonderful sitting inside as well and many people did (and many were sitting outside, even during the rain). One woman was sitting at the entrance door (but inside), smoking a big cigar, a child and a dog right next to her. Where do you see that in the States? It was rather curious and funny looking - certainly very original.

We did our food shopping and walked slowly back to the boat. By now, most of the clouds are gone (not all), the sun is shining, the wind still blowing. We are supposed to have more rain tomorrow but then, there is improvement in sight, at least if we believe the weather frog and the notice next to the harbor master's office.

We will be leaving tomorrow morning after breakfast. Our next destination is Rodvig or Klintholm, both harbors have been recommended, Rodvig is closer to Kopenhagen, about 34nm, Klintholm about 52nm. Depending on the weather and what time we will actually leave, we will first go to Rodvig and the next day to Klintholm (or do Klintholm non-stop). I think we will only go to Rodvig tomorrow and 24 nm from there to Klintholm the next day. Why stress over these things?

August 27, 2005 (Saturday)

The sun was shining, the wind blowing. Juergen had a "busy night" in his dreams so I let him sleep a little longer. We planned on leaving around 1100 only. No need to rush. After breakfast in the cockpit, we filled our water tank (now that we detected how useful our washing machine is....), took our docking lines back onboard and off we went. It had been raining so much that Juergen decided to empty the dinghy while we were going very slowly. Of course, this wonderful wind was right on our nose causing us to roll in our genoa after we had unfurled it for a whopping 20 minutes or so. But we were very close to the official shipping lanes which one is not supposed to cross other than in a right angle (and we really did not want to cross in the first place). This way, we ensured to have hot water for later on.

The island of Sjaelland (the same that Kopenhagen is located on) has lots of harbors, bays large and small. It is gorgeous to sail along. We enjoyed the view. Also, there is a new bridge/tunnel connecting Sweden's Malmo with Denmark's Kopenhagen (remember the couple we had met yesterday?). It is very pretty to look at. We did not go under the bridge but went over the tunnel, staying on the Danish side. That was highly recommended by Sweden's "naval control" as they called themselves on the radio, even to large ships as near Malmo there were some America Cup trials going on (someone mentioned the Louis Vuitton race). We covered close to 36 nm until we entered the port of Rodvig. It was very small and very crowded and most boats in this part of the world are a lot smaller than ours. In England, in particular in Lymington, our boat was one of the smaller ones. Here, the opposite was true, and we had noticed a few times already that, because of the boat's size, we were attracting a lot of people who wanted to tie up to us even if there was still room elsewhere. Here in Rodvig, we attempted to tie up bow towards dock, stern tied to pilings, but we stuck out too far and thus could not keep the boat from running into the dock forward. We untied all the lines and Juergen eased us out of this mess again. The yachting harbor was no option for us. The fishing harbor, however, indicated room for "large yachts". I would never have considered Impromptu that, but here we had to try our luck in this part of the harbor if we did not want to move on to another harbor. The only option here was to tie up to a huge German-flagged "brigantine". We asked permission. They were all very helpful and now we are tied up securely until tomorrow morning when we will continue to Klintholm.

Juergen had read somewhere that there was Internet access. It certainly is not available in this harbor it seems. I will check this out further. As you see, I have not been able to upload the website again since Tuno. All the Internet cafes in Kopenhagen (at least the information we could find) indicated only the number of computers they had, not the ability to use one's own computer. The story of my life in this regard.

August 28, 2005 (Sunday)

Juergen had invited someone from the brigantine to view Impromptu. Marcel came around 2100 when we had just finished dinner (fresh fish purchased in town, zucchini and finger potatoes. Juergen had one of the Dole desserts which we had purchased for our ocean voyage he, however, did not eat. I don't care for this anyway and refrained. We chatted for about two hours. It was nice and fun. This morning, we got up around 0800. We wanted to get on our way between 0900 and 1000, just as the brigantine wanted to. We both had the same destination. They asked that we reserve a space for them since we would make it into Klinthom before them anyway. We left shortly before 1000 after our almost obligatory breakfast in the cockpit. We undid our lines off of their deck, I scrambled back onto Impromptu, and off we went (cleaning the deck of the lines and fenders, as usual). The wind came from about 60 degrees apparent at about 18 knots. We could sail!!! We got the main and genoa out and were in seventh heaven. The sun was shining though the air was chilly. Roland had mentioned that it was supposed to get nice and real warm so we hoped... instead, it got colder, the wind freshened up, more and more clouds rolled in.

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Impromptu tied up to Solvang

While the sailing was great, the cold was not exactly comfortable...we endured it anyway. We sailed for almost 20 nm when we had to change course into the wind. Given the cold we decided not to tack but just to take the genoa in and motor the rest of the way (slightly over 5 nm). Over the radio (channel 16) they issued gale warnings. We did not feel like encountering a gale either and felt good about our decision to start the engine.

The coastline of this part of Sjaelland is unbelievably breathtaking.

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We had initially navigated in a straight-line fashion towards Klintholm's harbor entrance. We had noticed a fishing boat starting to "round" the typical "sticks" in the water (the stationary nets fishermen are permitted to set up). We followed this fisherman around until he turned to the jetty, which we had already seen for miles (the "sticks" are very difficult to see from a distance. Sometimes, there are no sticks, just sort of mooring buoys in great quantity).

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Herring Nets in front of the Coast Line

August 29, 2005 (Monday)

We did laundry - how exciting. Solvang, the brigantine we had met earlier when we tied up to her in Rodvig had left. They were going to another harbor and then to Gedser, where we planned on going the following day. Most likely, we would meet again.

We had purchased smoked mackerel the evening before. That was our late lunch after doing a ton of laundry. We decided it was easier and faster using two large Miele machines plus a dryer... than washing in our small machine on the boat without having the benefit of a dryer. We walked over to SPAR, a local grocery market chain where they sell everything from food to wine to clothing (limited supply of course). You can also rent bikes there. We did around 1550 (return was 1800 the next day). We wanted to take a bicycle ride to the cliffs. One can go down to the beach and look at the cliffs from below. Well, we had seen them from the water which, in retrospect, is clearly the best view. On the other hand, we enjoyed the bike ride (though I was more than pooped and had to get off the bike more than once). We noticed on the return trip that the trip getting there was mostly up hill (no surprise because we had been at sea level and went to about 128 m (which is over 400 feet). We then walked first some 300 steps down to look at some cliffs (of course, they had to be walked up again) and then we saw the sign for the steps all the way down to the beach, another 500 plus steps down (and up...). With Juergen's hip problems and my leg, we were wondering whether we should really do this. We started out "at least to go down some portion of the steps". Before we knew it, we were all the way down. We took a look here and there (did not walk much beyond any more) and a few photos and slowly, VERY SLOWLY, we walked back up. I needed more stops than Juergen as I got out of breath very quickly.

Here are some of the pictures we took on our bike ride and "mountain climbing excursion".

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On the Beach after Climbing down all the Steps
See for yourself how high this was
This Tree has trouble holding on

And here some more we took in Klintholm itself, as it is a small fishing village, I was fascinated by the way they handled their catch.

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At the Rogeri

At the "Rogeri", the Fish Smokehouse, we purchased the Mackerel I had talked about - DELICIOUS

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The Fishermen at Work, sorting and weighing the Fish for Transport to distant Locations

Reeling in the Net ...

... the fishing boat is loaded with clean and repaired nets. Of course, the video would show this better but this picture must do for now.


August 30, 2005 (Tuesday)

It was another sunny day, not as cold as yesterday but still quite cool. We still had our bicycles, so I tried to purchase fresh rolls for breakfast. We were too late, all sold out. Some freshly baked bread was excellent as well. After breakfast, we went back to the smokehouse to purchase more mackerel and some herring. They only opened as of 1000. That is why I could not do the shopping when looking for the rolls. We returned the bikes and went back to the boat and off we were after having thanked "Bente", the (female) harbormaster for managing the harbor so well and for recommending the cliff tour.

As usual, the wind was on our nose, we also needed hot water for dish washing and for our showers. We motored for a good 90 minutes or so and then decided to sail, albeit slowly and with the need to tack. But we are a sailboat and wanted to act like one as well. It was beautiful.

At a distance, we saw Solvang, the brigantine (I hope I am spelling this correctly and am using the proper terminology - can anyone help, please???) sailing out of their previous port VERY SLOWLY. She was gorgeous to look at.

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As it turned out, they did not go to Gedser but some other port, we don't know which.

We arrived in Gedser and were properly docked, yes you read correctly, we again found a proper dock alongside which we could tie up to - wonderful. We immediately went to the harbor master to pay our dues as they threaten with a 50 DKr fine if she has to come to collect. We are also supposed to have Internet access. So far, I have not been successful. But I will try again. Maybe, this time it works. "See you" in hopefully just a few days (via this website, I mean).
August 31, 2005 (Wednesday) Well, it worked after I went to the harbormaster's office. The signal there was much stronger than on Impromptu itself. We were too far away from the base. You should have been able to read through yesterday's write-up. Today, it was sunny but cool. We walked into town to see what Gedser had to offer. Well, other than the church, there really was not much to photograph. We bought some groceries and walked over to the commercial fishing and ferry harbor, had a small lunch in a pub (sitting outside in the sun which by then had gotten stronger as long as one sat protected from the cool wind). We strolled back through some woods and found blackberry bushes, an apple tree and another fruit the name of which I do not know in English. The fruit looks like a cherry but is yellow and seems a little larger than cherries generally are. Can anyone help as to the name thereof? In German, it is called "Mirabelle". We took our groceries to the boat and immediately returned to the "orchard" with some plastic containers. The blackberries were in abundance, the problem was that they were quite prickly and started tearing on my pants which really were not made for this. We stopped picking as soon as we felt we had enough for the next day's pancake breakfast. We also picked a few of the other fruits, but not a lot and went back to the boat. The wind blew stronger (around 19-20 knots) and was quite cold. Juergen went down below early to "play" on his computer. I sat in the cockpit, bundled up with two blankets, and I was still shivering.

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Gedser Harbor

I had read a very nice tomato sauce recipe in a terrific Gourmet cookbook which Juergen had purchased for me not too long ago. Since I have so many containers of chopped tomatoes (the Pomi kind), we decided on spaghetti and tomato sauce. It was easy to cook and tasted delicious, particularly since we had some fresh, some dried herbs, fresh garlic from Tuno and the right Parmesan cheese. I found that it remained fresh much longer if not wrapped directly in plastic but first wrapped in a paper towel and then in plastic. It tasted delicious.