12 - August 3, 2006: Goetakanal to Burgtiefe
12, 2006, Monday
are back on the boat in Motala! The day after the wedding was mostly
spent with Claudia and family. In the evening, we had dinner with
Christa. Monday was a hectic day. We still needed to straighten
out a few things, and I began working on the wedding pictures. There
was a professional photographer - thank God because it got quite
busy. There were also two other friends who are professional photographers
and were also shooting like mad. The young couple has its work cut
out for itself, just reviewing all of the pictures and then selecting
the best of them for the album. I really don't envy them.
had another few enjoyable hours at Luise's visiting with Omi, Doug
(Auer, a friend of the family), Silvi and Brad, of course, Sid,
Luise, Peter and Laura and, not to forget, Claudia. Luise and Silvi
made lobster rolls for dinner - what a treat, and the lobster was
so beautiful - see picture below
on foto to expand!
13, 2006, Tuesday
Tuesday, it was more of the same, the laundry had been done the
night before, at least in terms of washing, now came the drying
and the ironing. Everything needed to be ready for our departure.
Juergen wanted to purchase a chart plotter for the boat, I wanted
to look for certain Jeans for my brother, Ulli. We decided that
Juergen should get his chart plotter while I was finishing up with
the chores and trying to print just a few more of the wedding pictures
so I could send some to Guenter and Waltraut and a few other family
and friends, just so they would have an idea how beautiful the couple
looked. It all went smoothly, except, we needed to go back to West
Marine as Juergen was missing an additional device for his chart
plotter. I was unlucky in terms of the jeans for my brother, the
company "discontued" his favorite style (sorry Ulli, I
will have to look elsewhere in August, when I am back in New York).
We returned our rental car and got comfortable at the airport, reading.
I even managed to get some of the pictures mailed thanks to Continental
Airlines' President's Club, and I found an international charger
for Juergen's Palm Pilot. Hopefully, he will soon be in perfect
shape again and able to access all his contact info.
flight was uneventful, well, actually, it was not. Laura, Peter's
partner, flight attendant with Continental Airlines, decided to
pick our flight so we could see her from time to time - initially,
she was to work "up front", but she switched with someone
and, as a result, was "our" flight attendant. Of course,
we got perfect treatment, and in the end, she had one of her colleagues
take pictures of her and each of us with her phone camera. She will
e-mail the pictures, so I will upload once I received them. We said
our good-byes this morning, rented our car, had breakfast nearby
and decided to drive to Uppsala, an old Viking town with the largest
and oldest university of Sweden, a castle (of course) and a beautiful
dome (of course). The latter was more ornate than we have seen in
most of the other churches, still it had the distinct architecture,
size, and internal set up (various smaller chapels for special services
like weddings, baptisms, etc.). We decided to drive back to Motala
on a more northerly route so we would see more of the country -
more forests, more meadows, lakes, sounds, fields of different types
of grain, all standing high. The sun was shining though the wind
was strong and cool. It was a perfect travel day. We took a one
hour break and slept as we noticed that my driving was not very
concentrated. We both felt a lot better thereafter, and we enjoyed
the drive more as well.
on foto to expand!
called to confirm our "car service arrangement" (we will
pick them up from Nykoeping tomorrow).
13, 2006, Wednesday
had a good night's sleep until 11 a.m., had breakfast - we had not
purchased any food so I quickly went to the Motor Museum Cafe and
got some bread and butter, gave them a compliment about the museum
which, as I had mentioned previously, is well worth seeing, went
food shopping (of course, I forgot a lot of things), went to the
System bolaget (the government owned liquor store and refilled our
supply of wine) - I meanwhile did laundry and tried to get onto
the internet. By about 1500, we left for Nykoeping to pick up Hannes
and Maren. Juergen had meanwhile noticed that he forgot his battery
charger for his computer. So, on the way and after stopping at the
manual lock at Borensberg, we stopped in Norrkoeping to buy a replacement
charger, were sent from one place to the next. We ran out of time
an drove up to Nykoeping, checked in yet another store - of course
without any luck and got to the airport in time for the flight arrival
from Luebeck. Hannes and Maren came with their luggage (and our
"transport bags for our bicycles") shortly after 1800,
and off we were back to Norrkoeping for our battery charger. We
barely made it before 1900 when the shopping mall was scheduled
to close, but Juergen actually found something that seems to be
working... it only needs to work until we get back home in August...
We had dinner on the boat and chatted until almost midnight...
on foto to expand!
lock operation in Borensberg
boat passing the aqueduct built in 1993, the newest in all
photos taken from the road as we drove to pick up Hannes and Maren.
14, 2006, Thursday
and Maren got up early to go food shopping. We tried to get internet
access so I could finally upload the latest news, including the
pictures of Claudia's wedding and Luise with the humongous (spelling???)
lobsters. Around 1000 Hannes and Maren refilled their fuel tank
while we got ready to cast off our lines, saying good-bye to Motala,
to Carl, the gorgeous Swedish young man "harbor master"
for the canal here in Motala. He is a student of design and is planning
to spend a year in the US. Juergen gave him our names and phone
number and encouraged him to call us. We hope he will. He was very
helpful and very well-mannered. After crossing Lake Vaettern we
got into Karlsborg, took the last lock "up", went through
Lake Botten into Lake Viken and some incredibly tight canal passages
- see photos. Lake Viken is the highest lake in the Goeta kanal.
We stopped overnight in Taetorp, nothing but a Cafe, a toilet, a
garbage container and, of course, a bridge and another lock to be
tackled the net morning. It was rather idyllic, the weather was
perfect. We had supper on the boat - Maren had made her incredibly
delicious shrimp cocktail (almost a salad, with mushrooms and a
delicious 1000 island dressing type, served with nice bread and,
of course, plenty of wine). The next morning, we arranged with two
other boats the sequence of entering the lock and off we were around
on foto to expand!
very narrow passage in Lake Viken, taken backwards and forward
highest point in the Goeta Kanal at Forsvik at 92m
15, 2006, Friday
we took 11 bridges and 12 locks, some were doubles, two were triples,
making a total of 12. We had "lost" Hannes and Maren because
of the way people entered the locks, and so we were behind them
for more than one hour. We both had hoped that they would not continue
beyond Lyrestad and as we got closer, I saw a mast that looked very
much like that of Hannes and Maren's boat - and then I saw Maren
waving... we were very happy to see them. There was sufficient room
behind their boat by the pier wall. We tied up with their help,
got electricity (our phone was dead by now, and we wanted to recharge
our toothbrush - unfortunately, we could not recharge our 12 V battery
which no longer gets charged by our engine - we don't know why and
hope that when our generator is being fixed, this problem will be
dealt with as well). Maren made an incredibly delicious salad with
nice bread, some cheese afterwards, lots of wine. I think by the
end of the (early) evening, I was quite drunk and went to bed.
16, 2006, Saturday
of you know that it is my birthday today. I had been awake a few
times during the night - with a headache. I thought I was dehydrated
and went to drink some water and fell asleep quite quickly. By 0700,
I was so awake that I began to read one of my photo magazines. By
0815 I was so tired again that I fell asleep and did not wake up
until about 1030 - terrible to waste the day like this. The sun
was shining, it was warm. We had breakfast in the cockpit, Hannes
and Maren came to say happy birthday, brought me a very nice gift,
something from Hannes grandmother's estate, remember, she had passed
away and they had her funeral while we were celebrating Claudia's
wedding. We then debated whether we should continue or stay in Lyrestad.
In the end, it was a very quick decision to move on. We cast off
our lines and went through the first bridge without a hitch. Then
we already encountered a lot of backed up traffic. A Norwegian boat
was trying to cut the line - a big no no in canal etiquette. Juergen
tried to tackle the situation by talking to the captain, telling
him that we already had arranged the sequence of entry into the
next locks and for the Norwegian boat to come in after us. We already
knew then that they would never fit but it sure was not their turn
yet anyway. In the end, he stayed behind, and the others went in
as discussed. We ended up in Sjoetorp, at the end of the Goeta kanal
before it enters Lake Vaenern. We made 4 bridges and 8 locks today.
It was a little stressful, and our toe rail got damaged a little,
not much. We will be able to sand it smooth again. Hannes and Maren
had some issue with a line that had gotten caught. Also that got
fixed in the end without any real damage. We tried to continue towards
Mariestad on Lake Vaenern. When I realized that Hannes was taking
the Easterly route, we quickly let them know that the bridge about
7 nm away would be 18 m only, too low for us. The way around the
islands was a lot farther, and we decided to return to Sjoetorp
so that we can go to Mariestad in the morning tomorrow.
enjoyed the rest of the day with a casual dinner - my birthday dinner
will be had tomorrow with more choices of fancier places - walking
around, looking at other boats, antique cars, buying post cards
which I had not purchased in quite some time. Then we had a little
bit of wine on our boat, sitting in the cockpit until around 2200.
It got chilly while the day had been very hot. The wind piped up.
Now, at around 2300, it is calmer again. We plan on leaving around
is doing the navigation as Hannes and Maren will take the way they
had started out taking this afternoon. We will have to go around
the islands before we can actually take a well-marked channel in
between lots of rocky islands until we will meet them again in Mariestad.
Juergen will also call Fischer-Panda tomorrow to arrange for the
repair on Friday when we expect to be in Vaenersborg (at the other
side of Lake Vaenern).
17, 2006, Sunday
left Sjoetorp in the morning, with a bunch of problems. Hannes was
docked in such a tight spot that he could not leave without a motorboat
moving. So Juergen and I went to knock on the boat. The owner was
very friendly and helpful. He permitted us to move his boat one
spot over (thank God that had been vacated earlier that morning),
and with the help of boat neighbors, Hannes and Maren were on their
way. We then tried to cast off our lines and to unhook our aft mooring
ball. With all the wind pressure on the boat and the fact that another
boat was also hooked into that same mooring ball, there was no way
for me to do so. I even had to let go the line with the hook as
we otherwise would have drifted into some of the boats still at
their docks. I wanted to let go and just leave, but Juergen did
not. We - with a lot of trouble and finally the help of three other
boaters - we tied up parallel to a dock, Juergen donned his bathing
trunks and went off to retrieve our mooring ball hook and line.
That accomplished and again with the help of the three boaters who
had just picked up their brand new Comfortina 42 or so (built on
Lake Vaenern and on its maiden voyage back to Germany), we were
finally on our way.
I said, it was rather breezy - we saw lots of gusts up to 37-38
knots - we motored (the wind was on our noise) through some tricky
terrain, into channels with buoys virtually impossible to make out
before we already got there, very winding... in short, beautiful
but hard to enjoy as we concentrated so much on finding our way
- we finally made it into Mariestad.
on foto to expand!
and Maren were nicely docked parallel at the town pier, and we tied
up to them. We were glad it was over as it sure was stressful -
can you see the rocks in front of Mariestad? This is what we saw,
often much smaller and barely visible, right next to the channels
we were navigating. We had a small dinner on the boat as we were
all exhausted and decided to have my more "formal" birthday
dinner the next day. We had gone food shopping before and, thus
were able to have a decent meal onboard that night.
18, 2006, Monday
dinner was quite nice though the restaurant was virtually empty
except for a few tables outside - not very attractive, therefore
we sat inside. We had a good time and shared another bottle of wine
sitting in the cockpit afterwards. During the day, we had visited
the cathedral you can see on the picture above and below:
on foto to expand!
and Juergen had also installed our new acquisition, a Garmin chart
plotter that has a terrific screen, easily legible even in bright
sunlight. Unfortunately, we needed internet access to access charts.
We will have to wait until we have that, and so, the next day, we
again followed Hannes through the very tight and winding channels,
surrounded by rocks, visible and, worse, not...
19, 2006, Tuesday
left Mariestadt at around 0745 as we had planned to go to Hoerviken,
a very small harbor near Laeckoe Castle. The harbor master had confirmed
to us that the water was 2.50 deep and that, if we got there early
in the day, there was a good chance that she would have room for
our boat (and that of Hannes and Maren). We followed Hannes again
though the buoys were better visible today... We saw Laeckoe castle
from afar (see picture) and were amazed at the passage through all
these rocky islands... the way some motor boats were anchored inmidst
grassy patches. We entered Hoerviken harbor, very slowly as the
depth dropped further and further, and all four of us agreed that
this was not a place where we would like to run the risk of hitting
rock. So we turned around out of this harbor bay and continued further
West out of the rocky area into more open waters of Lake Vaenern.
We then speeded up ahead of Hannes and Maren to ensure a docking
spot for the night and, hopefully, even for all three nights as
we expected the repairman for our Fischer Panda generator on Friday
on foto to expand!
of Construction Equipment
was easy, we phoned the bridge operator (the bridge is 17.5 m high
and only is opened upon request). The operator was very friendly,
confirmed that he saw us on his camera already and promised to open
the bridge as soon as we got there. It was amazing how promptly
this all happened. Cars were still passing, then the barriers came
down, traffic stopped, and the bridge opened immediately. We watched
for our signal to pass which followed suit, and through we were,
with the bridge closing right behind us - see pictures. The railroad
bridge was still open and to remain open for another 10 minutes
or so. Thus, we made it in one swoop without any wait.
on foto to expand!
the bridge opened for us.....
here, it was closing right after we passed through...
was interesting as there was really no "permitted" spot
for us. In the end, we decided to tie up and for me to walk over
to the harbor master's office to ask where we could go. We were
allocated a spot that said "reserved" and confirmed that
we could stay there for all three nights. Thus, when Hannes and
Maren arrived a while later, they could tie up to us, and we sat
down for a welcome drink and then supper on our boat, in the cockpit
in beautiful sunshine.
20, 2006, Wednesday
slept late. My arm and my leg were torturing me all night (I had
missed a step going down below while holding my backpack with my
camera equipment. Of course, I did not want it to fall, and so I
was holding on for dear life while really falling down. In the end,
I softened the blow at the expense of my arm). My leg has been hurting
for weeks, even at night when resting. Whether it also is a hip
problem or something else, I don't know, and I really don't want
to know. I just wished it would get better. I am using ointments
and other remedies without much of a result...
noon, Hannes, Maren and Juergen took their bikes. I did not want
to because of my ailments. We agreed to meet in Trollhaettan, a
town about 10 miles away, both for lunch and then to check out the
next lock or two as these are larger than what we have been used
to from the Goeta Kanal, and as I said earlier, the water is running
out from beneath, thus there is a lot less pressure on the boats.
While this particular lock was about 10 or 12 m in vertical drop,
people were holding their boats quite relaxed. I am confident, we
can handle these without any problems, particularly if the locks
are not full. If they are full, it might be yet another story...
We also had lunch and had walked about 1.8 miles to the locks in
pretty high heat and humidity. Of course, we stopped later on for
some beverages and rest in the shade, after having watched one set
of boaters be "dropped" to the next lower level. Then
we walked back to town. Hannes and Juergen took their bikes to get
back to our boats. Maren and I took a taxi, went food shopping and
came back to our boats when Juergen arrived, totally exhausted.
It sure was too much for him even though he hates to admit it. He
rested a little, replenished fluids, took a shower, then sat in
the cockpit and watched whatever was going on in this harbor.
made a very nice salad, followed by wonderful cheeses and bread.
It is 2230 right now, and we are ready to go to bed. Tomorrow, the
repair man from Fischer Panda is scheduled to arrive in the morning.
And I am scheduled to catch up with my laundry....
21, 2006, Thursday
and I did laundry pretty much for 5 hours - waiting for the endlessly
running washing machines - we each did three - and then for the
again endlessly running dryers... real fun. The Fischer Panda mechanic
came shortly past noontime and worked on our generator for about
three hours. He replaced the panel and a few fuses which also "fixed"
that our engine charged our 12 V battery again. We were elated.
We went to the cash machine with Arne to pay him and said good-bye.
We had dinner on the boat later that evening. Before we took a little
walk with Hannes and Maren. Vaenersborg is a quaint little town.
Little is the operative term, at least in terms of city center.
Still, it was nice enough for us to sit down for capuccino, espresso,
etc., our usual. Unfortunately, it began to rain. We stopped at
the Swedish government owned liquor store, the System Bolaget, bought
a few bottles of white wine and returned to our boats.
we returned, we wanted to turn on our generator, the lights went
on but nothing happened. We tried again and again, without any change.
Thank God, Arne had given us his business card before departing.
We immediately called him. He suggested this and that and the next
thing. Nothing. In the end, he said he would call us on Saturday
morning around 1000 to 1030 as he might then come with his children
to check out the problem.
22, 2006, Friday
did not call until 1045 when I called him. He seemed to have been
awakened by the call and told me that he would be there in about
two hours. We were so relieved. He did show up with his kids-took
them to the pool and then worked on the generator again for another
two hours. He thinks that our generator's heat exchanger is on the
Fritz and that we should order a new one. He thinks that it was
just too hot to turn on the day before because when he arrived,
it immediately turned on. He checked all sorts of things that he
had suggested the night before but could not find any other reason.
had initially wanted to take the bus to Trollhaettan, but Hannes
and Maren did not feel like it. Maren's mother is very sick and
in the hospital. In addition, it was already around 1600. Instead,
I made a huge salad, Hannes and Maren brought some cheese and wine
along, and we sat together for a while. Maren and Juergen played
Backgammon, something they had not done in a while. Supper was on
their boat. We turned in early as we wanted to depart between 0800
23, 2006, Saturday
Maren and we were up early and departed at 0800 sharp. We wanted
to make it to Lilla Edet, a small town below five of the six "down
locks". It was amazing, the bridges opened quite promptly for
us and we were the only two boats in the first lock. Of course,
we considered ourselves lucky and hoped that it would remain this
easy. Well, not quite. We "picked up" a few more boats
as we moved through Trollhaettan but we made it in unbelievable
time to Lilla Edet. We made a few observations on the way, unfortunately
some that we had made on previous days. It seems that Norwegian
boatsmen whether sailors or motor boaters are incredibly pushy and
in a great rush, not sticking to the etiquette of not passing boats
in the canal, not passing them in locks, etc. It was amazing, we
time and again were overtaken by Norwegian boats, nobody else...
locks were much larger than the ones on the Goeta kanal and we were
in them with nine boats - more would have fitted if there had been
more. Instead of the special lines rigged like in the "up locks"
in the Goeta kanal, the "down locks" in the Trollhaettan
kanal are easier to handle as the water rushes out from underneath,
i.e., there is very little if any pressure on the boats to move,
still, our boat is heavy, and we had our share of work to hold the
boat steady, Juergen with the boat hook (unfortunately, there often
was nothing to hold on to), I with a line which I had to "lasso"
over some sort of steel "knob" which was screwed into
a cutout in the rocks. This "knob" only showed up every
two and a half or three meters. This meant, I had to hold the line
until the knob with the line was pretty high up before the next
"knob" appeared out of the water, then I had to take the
line off the top knob and lasso it onto the lower knob, for sure
not an easy manoeuvre, but I got the hang of it after a while.
Edet was a tiny place with virtually no space for our boat. The
lock opened as Hannes arrived - we had rushed ahead to give our
engine a little workout and to secure a docking space for the two
of us at the extension of the "dock for boats waiting for the
lock to open", i.e., not exactly attractive or practical, and
there were no bathrooms, electricity or other services available.
Hannes must have seen that and motioned for us to continue into
the sixth lock which had opened for a few boats that had meanwhile
caught up with us while we were docking. We did make it and were
back out before we knew it.
remaining approx. 26 nm to Gothenberg were uneventful, mostly we
were surrounded with beautiful scenery until we approached Gothenberg.
We passed lots of rocky areas, lots of forests and meadows with
sheep and cattle, a few houses here and there and some industrial
parks, nothing special to mention. We also passed a huge castle
which was never defeated. Unfortunately, there was no space for
our boats to stay overnight for us to visit the castle so we continued
on our way. In Gothenberg harbor, a huge area, it got very industrial
and very ugly and we all wished that the trip was finally over.
We had already been on our way for almost 10 hours.
railroad bridge was closed as we got there, and here we found the
same Norwegian that had "bothered" us around 0930 this
same morning because of his trying - and in the end succeeding -
to pass us. While he must have waited for more than 30 minutes if
not longer, we were very happy to realize that we only had to wait
for 5 minutes before the bridge opened. Is there justice in the
world after all???
was another road bridge too low for us but not for the Norwegian,
nor for Hannes. The bridge operator was very kind and opened it
for us immediately, just like the one in Vaenersborg a few days
followed suit, recognized that there was no way for us to enter
the harbor we had hoped for, Lille Bommen, (totally overcrowded),
and continued on our way to find a totally empty harbor, a marina
for permanent "residents" only, with no services but lots
of dock space. We decided to stay there for the night. We talked
to a Swedish boater who kept his catamaran there. He agreed that,
though there was no "
service", we could easily stay there. Other boats followed,
including a Danish boat and, over night, a Polish boat which left
after us and which we saw later the next day in Lille Bommen.
24, 2006, Sunday
played Backgammon as Hannes asked whether we were ready to depart.
We had discussed the night before that we would try to find a spot
in the other harbor the next morning around 1100. Well, it was different
again. But Juergen and I had discussed over breakfast that it would
be best to go to right away to where we would want to stay, should
Maren need to go back to Germany because of her mom. We really did
not feel like switching harbors again in a day or two. Hannes agreed
and so we went further South through Gothenberg, past the ferry
dock we had been arrived at (and departed from on another occasion,
i.e., when we visited Hallberg-Rassy in Elloes), the birthplace
of our Impromptu. We passed the hotel we had stayed at while in
Gothenberg about 8 years ago, went underneath the bridge we had
crossed to go to Elloes and finally turned to port into "our
intended harbor", just about 4 nm South of Gothenberg. We immediately
found boxes we both fit into (we got some help from the crew of
an 80 ft sailboat which is for sale now) and were happily "docked"
very quickly. We paid the harbor master for two nights, ensuring
that it would be ok to stay for the third night, if we ever decided
to do so, and met up with Hannes and Maren to take the tram into
went through Lille Bommen harbor, well recognizing that there would
not have been any possibility at all for us to make it into. Instead,
we enjoyed lunch in some tiny cafe outdoors (not good but ok for
the occasion) and continued walking around the opera house, the
pier (where we would have been tied up as there was no room at all
inside the harbor), kept on walking and, in the end, decided to
take the tram back to our harbor around 1530. The tram arrived within
just a few minutes and we were back in the harbor by 1605. Maren
and I went to check on ear doctors as Juergen kept on suffering
from a hearing loss which seemed related to some oil he put into
his ear for cleaning. We got some information, an address and a
phone number, and we will go early tomorrow morning to meet up with
Hannes and Maren once we are done.
loved Gothenberg in the sunlight (the last time we were there it
was dark, gray and cold and rainy, so we really did not enjoy being
there and saw little if any positive features). This time, it was
different, we enjoyed the atmosphere, the scenery, the architecture
and the overall impression. What a difference weather and light
can make. We were disappointed at the dirt in this particular city,
which only confirms what we have seen in a few other places: lots
of graffiti, lots of garbage lying around, very little pride in
ownership - I will spare you the picture I took today, but it is
very upsetting to see so much filth in the streets, on the sidewalks,
in the water, particularly when considering that the Swedes are
generally very environment conscious. I can't figure this
are some examples of what we saw:
on foto to expand!
of a submarine - and a beautiful building in the background
and Juergen helped another boat to dock in this incredibly tight
harbor as we wandered around and marveled at the craziness of such
a setup without any controls - and now, we are wondering how these
people will ever get out of their tight spot again...
statistics of our Canal Trip:
on the Goeta Kanal and the Trollhaettan Kanal began some time
in 1810 and 1608, respectively, and was completed in 1832.
length of both canals: 215 nm, including 38 locks up and 26 locks
down for a total height difference of 92 m. We encountered a total
of 56 road and 6 railroad bridges of which 59 needed opening for
us to pass, some of them roll, others swing or lift bridges, most
of them automatic, some manual/upon request only.
started in Mem on June 21st and arrived in Gothenberg on July
23rd. Excluding the 10 days we needed for our flight to NY for
Claudia's wedding (including staying Stockhom), we had 22 travel
days. Total canal costs for both canals including docking, laundry
and shower facilities amounted to SKR 6,330, i.e., approximately
US $ 700.
saw lots of interesting places, sites, art (mostly in the form of
sculptures or fountains) and wonderful architecture, mostly in the
many churches we visited. We had great and not so great meals, had
a wonderful time with Hannes and Maren, enjoyed the local scene
in many of the places, took lots of photos and video, suffered but
also had fun going through all the locks, the very tight places
in Lake Viken, encountered lots of very friendly people, encountered
no animosity towards us due to our nationality, though a lot of
people still oppose the war in Iraq, observed some positive and
some negative traits in certain nationalities, all generalities
but facts observed on our trip and generally had a blast. In addition,
we were blessed with incredibly great weather (at least in this
latter part of the trip) and are so happy to be in Sweden that we
already are talking about a car trip through this incredibly beautiful
country some day in a few years from now...
will be going to an ear doctor for Juergen's ear tomorrow, will
do a little more siteseeing with Hannes and Maren and will continue,
most likely, the next day to go South towards Copenhagen and possibly
further, all weather depending.
25, 2006, Monday
got up early as we wanted to get to the clinic early in order to
continue our sightseeing adventure. As we got ready, our generator
did not start despite a number of attempts. I turned on our engine
to charge our batteries for a while, when I tried to turn on the
generator again. This time it worked. We concluded that its problem
right now is mostly that our 12 V battery is shot from the time
when it could not be charged by the engine due to a broken fuse.
very nice boat neighbor in this harbor (captain on this 80 footer)
offered to check out the generator. Thank God we did not have to
accept his generosity as the generator had started as mentioned.
But we are now on the hunt not for Red October but a new 210 Amp
12 V battery...
finally made it to the clinic, all by tram and a rather short walk,
were sent from one reception area to another, told that there was
no appointment possible today. When we pushed for one, they gave
us 1445. We called Hannes and Maren and met up with them for lunch
and a visit to the Gothenberg museum - a very nice place that mostly
spoke of the Vikings and, of course, more modern history. We then
took off to the clinic while Hannes and Maren remained in the museum.
Juergen was treated by a nurse and doctor and given a prescription
to ensure that no infection will develop. He thinks that he hears
better since the treatment and the bothersome "sticky feeling"
in his ear has disappeared. Now I am hoping that he is finally getting
to being his old self again.
on the boat, we turned on the generator - it even started right
away, albeit slowly - Juergen has been doing the navigation for
tomorrow. We are planning on sailing to Varberg, approximately 40
nm South of here. I have been updating the web text and pictures
and now we will be going to the harbor master's building so we can
get internet access to upload the website and for Juergen to finally
register his charts for the Garmin chart plotter.
26, 2006, Tuesday
is Luise's birthday today. We had left Gothenberg early in the morning,
followed Hannes and Maren for a while until we were out of the rocky
area - though navigation in these waters was a lot less tricky than
it had been in Lake Viken and other places. We then speeded up a
little, first to give our engine a little workout - at 1200 RPMs,
Hannes' speed, that was not exactly the case - and, secondly, because
we had been told that Varberg was difficult to find a spot in for
our size boat. Well, we made it around 1415 and were assigned a
spot along the pier, nicely protected by car tires, painted white.
We found a great spot, except it was right next to the garbage container,
and as the day progressed and more and more people took their garbage
there, the odor became less than acceptable. So we closed all our
portholes and hatches for the night.
and Maren had arrived about an hour after us. We got ready for town,
walked around, had our usual "coffee break", did some
food shopping and went back to our boats. The town of Varberg is
amazingly beautiful. I am saying amazingly because you would never
expect that as you enter the harbor. It looks very industrial though
it has a huge fortress right near downtown. The town itself is filled
with nice pedestrian shopping areas, lots of sculptures, parks,
a nice church, lots of great boutique type shopping. I really would
have loved to stay for another day to get to see all these places
and to photograph them. Instead, Hannes and Maren felt that we should
continue the next morning for Halmstad as that harbor also has very
limited space for boats of our size. In addition, we were approaching
the weekend.... the usual story.
just a few photos that I shot while walking around that afternoon...
on foto to expand!
near Gothenberg (taken from Impromptu)
island on way to Varberg
at Varberg harbor
Sculptures in Varberg
morning view of Varberg Harbor with fortress in background
27, 2006, Wednesday
it is Torsten's birthday (Torsten is Hannes' and Maren's son who
had spent a couple of weeks with us as a teenager, and loved the
US so much that he is now living in the US in an executive function
at Dow Chemical). Our friends left even earlier than we did, mostly
because we are so much faster than they, motoring - so far, there
has been virtually no wind or if so, right on the none. The sun
has been shining every day, and it was very hot and humid even early
in the morning. We left after three games of Backgammon, around
0815 and, after an hour of motoring, passed Hannes and Maren in
the distance. They were a little closer to shore, we preferred to
be further outside.
arrived in Halmstad around 1315 - 1330 and found one spot that would
fit our boat. It is amazing how small boats just tie up along the
pier though they would easily fit into the boxes, and nobody calls
them to order. O well... There was some current from the river Nissan,
but it was not enough to get us anxious. Juergen backed into the
spot, I jumped up onto the pier and tied our stern line enough so
that Juergen could move the bow with the bow thruster, and the bowline
was tied up as well. After the two springs, we were in business,
had a quick sandwich lunch and waited for Hannes and Maren to arrive.
About an hour after we had settled in they arrived, all exhausted
from the heat. We, too, were hiding under our dodger. Our bimini
frame is still broken (tore out of the hull on the starboard side
and its connection is totally bent since Visby. None of us knows
how this happened. We hope to get this, the dodger - all seems are
giving out, and our hot water heater fixed in Rungsted, Denmark,
where we expect to leave the boat for our flight to New York and
on to Denver for Andrea's wedding on August 7th. This is also where
we hope to buy a new 12 V battery as the other one was discharged
too much for it to recover), therefore, we also have little protection
from the sun. Hannes and Maren went into town. We were still too
hot to accompany them. We tried to find them later, but the town
is too large and the spots to have Capuccino too numerous that we
had dinner on our boat, just a huge salad with all sorts of crunchy
veggies, and a choice of oil sardines, tuna, hard boiled eggs and
tomatoes, all on the side as some of us prefer one over the other.
By 2230 we all were tired and went to bed.
on foto to expand!
marker to Halmstad
to Halmstad - very industrial...
28, 2006, Thursday
wanted to walk around with my camera today to take pictures of all
the many sculptures we had seen as we were looking for Hannes and
Maren the day before (for once I left the boat without my camera
as I was too hot to carry it around, and since I knew that we would
stay for at least one, possibly two days (to avoid the weekend rush),
I could afford to do so. Of course, I already said then that I was
sure we would see something terrific that I would miss by not having
my camera with me. It did not seem so that evening.
morning, it was gray, a lot cooler than yesterday as it was totally
overcast and as we were sitting playing Backgammon after our pancake
breakfast (in the cockpit), it began to rain. So, here we are, sitting
down below, Juergen doing navigation and catch-up work, while I
am trying to stay up to date with our website, even if I cannot
upload it here. I assume this will only be possible in Rungstad,
if at all...
29, 2006, Friday
left Halmstad early in the morning as we wanted to arrive in Moelle
rather early. This is a tiny (and I mean tiny) harbor which has
little opportunity for docking for a boat our size. We went as fast
as we could and arrived around 12-1230-ish, went into the harbor,
saw that there was NO space for us and immediately turned around
in this tiny harbor and left again to continue for Helsingborg (remember,
last year, we went to Helsingoer and took a ferry over to the Swedish
size, i.e., to Helsingborg). We informed Hannes and Maren of the
overcrowded conditions in Moelle and the need for us to continue.
They agreed to go to Helsingborg as well, and so we continued on
our way and, at some point, decided to set sail and not motor, assuming
that there would be ample space for us and Hannes and Maren in Helsingborg.
We had a glorious time, recognized a bunch of places on the Danish
coast which we had visited or passed last year and finally made
it into Helsingborg. We were amazed at the crowds, at the lack of
discipline not to take up space specifically dedicated for large
boats with boats around 20 - 30 feet. We finally asked someone whether
we could tie up to their boat - they reluctantly agreed - and told
Hannes and Maren who had followed us to tie up to another boat right
in front of us. The swell was very strong as the wind had increased
and there was ample large ship traffic causing some of the swell.
We had no choice if we wanted to stay.
and Maren agreed that this was it for the night. We went for Capuccino
etc. and discussed that I really did not feel like cooking because
of the heat. Juergen later on made a dinner reservation in a restaurant
not far from our boat and nicely located to afford overseeing part
of the harbor and our boats. The food was exquisite, the atmosphere
inspiring. We had a wonderful time. Still, we were tired and after
dinner, went to bed. It was rather noisy because Helsingborg was
celebrating the flower festival which equated to lots of people,
lots of beer and other alcohol, lots of "cheap" entertainment,
a band or two with loud but not exactly great music, etc. You should
have seen the harbor the next morning - empty beer bottles and cans
all over the place in the water and outside, lots of garbage all
over - just amazing...
30, 2006, Saturday
needed bread. As our neighbor, whose boat we had tied up to and
who gave us the secret on how to treat the teak deck (Gori 44 -
90%, Gori 22 - 8%, paraffin - 2 to 5% - ever since then, we have
been trying to find the Gori product and have been unsuccessful
to date...) needed to leave around 0700, I took a walk to find a
place for fresh bread even on Sunday morning. I finally found a
beautiful store, already open, with wonderful food and also freshly
baked bread, rolls, etc.. I purchased bread and rolls for ourselves
and also for Hannes and Maren. Hannes had been purchasing rolls
for us on many mornings. I welcomed the opportunity to reciprocate.
had breakfast in the cockpit. Finally, Hannes and Maren moved their
boat next to ours. We decided to take another walk around the harbor
area while I was taking pictures of sculptures etc. - see pictures.
We then had another Capuccino "coffee break" and decided
to depart for Rungsted.
left around 1130 or so, crossed the Traffic Separation System ("TSS")
towards Helsingoer, saw Kronborg Castle again - and loved it just
as much as we did last year when we kept our boat in Helsingborg
for a two-night stay and then moved along the coast towards Rungsted.
We arrived early that day - around 1330 or so - and tried to find
a box for our boat. We finally did, but with a lot of anxiety. Our
boat neighbor helped, and we were tied up within just a few minutes.
Hannes and Maren followed suit and found a box right next to us
- amazing given how crowded the harbor was.
took a walk, had our usual "coffee break" and decided
to talk to the harbor master for our longer-term stay (to August
18 or so) and the various repairs we needed, the next morning. We
had dinner on our boat, in the cockpit, in great sunshine (baked
vegetables with rice).
on foto to expand!
Truck for the Flowers of the Flower Festival
31, 2006, Sunday
slept late, had a leisurely breakfast down below because it had
been pouring all night and the cockpit was still wet. Around 0945,
we went to the harbor master, expecting that he would have space
for us for the entire time we had hoped for. It was nowhere easy
though, in the end, they indicated that they would find a space
for our boat. We then tried to find the sailmaker - we need to have
our dodger resewn as the seams seem to give up their "lives",
our water heater needs fixing, our 12 V battery needs to be checked,
our generator, our alternator and who knows whatever else.... Nothing
was possible. People were on vacation, the mechanic's boss was going
to show up for a few hours in a few days - again, no guarantee of
getting the work done.
called the Yacht Center Baltic Bay in Laboe, near Kiel, Germany
and found a harbor master with a lot of dedication and responsiveness.
He understood what we needed and promised to call us back in about
15 minutes to confirm a dock space etc. He actually called back
promptly, confirmed our dock space (D 16), confirmed an appointment
with a sailmaker (August 4) and also promised that the other repairs
were no problem, subject to obtaining the spare parts we needed.
It was great. With this knowledge, we said good-bye to Hannes and
Maren - a little prematurely, a little in a hectic mood, they decided
to move on as well, but only to a harbor 20 nm away while we were
aiming to go to Klinthom, about 60 plus nm away.
weather was wonderful, we mostly motor-sailed with an average of
8 knots and arrived in Klintholm at 1930. We tied up to another
boat - there was no other space available any more and at least
six boats were coming in after us. We immediately went out to dinner
- sole ("flatfisk" and "koked potatis"), boiled
potatoes, beer. It was delicious!!! Then we went to bed, exhausted.
1, 2006, Monday
had to get up a 0400 because the boat we had tied up to wanted to
depart at that ungodly hour. They planned on photographing the Klintholm
cliffs at sunrise. The night had been terrible for me as I feared
to miss the time to get up. By 0350 I was totally awake, awoke Juergen,
and we decided to get out and chatted with the people who were leaving
at this hour. On the one hand, I was ready to do the same, on the
other I knew that Juergen was still very tired and that he would
do this only because I wanted it, not because he would enjoy it.
So we decided to go back to bed. The little boat tied up to us remained
tied up to us while we let the other boat depart. We then tied up
to another boat right on the dock and went back to sleep.
boat wanted to leave around 0830 - 0900. We were ready. The boat
next to us was not quite ready, but they were forced to because
we wanted to depart as well.
trip took a long time to get to Burgtiefe, for us, due to current,
it turned into an approximately 70 nm trip as we mostly motor-sailed
(over ground approximately 60 nm). The wind was right on our nose
or enough on the nose that we could not sail though we would have
loved to. We passed Gedser, the harbor we had stopped in overnight
on our last year's trip around the Danish islands. This time, we
needed to make another approximately 30 nm to get to Fehmarn, the
port of Burgtiefe. This is the harbor Hannes and Maren usually stay
at when on Fehmarn. It was closer than Lemkenhafen and easier to
get into, and much larger. So we thought it would not be a problem
for us to find a box for the night. Well, we had some difficulty.
The main guest harbor of Burgtiefe is built in a circle with boxes
inside and outside the circle. There was not a single space available
or large enough for us. We continued deeper into the harbor and
finally found a box with pilings far enough apart for us to enter.
Two sailors came running to help with the bow lines as Juergen smoothly
drove into the box, despite the fairly strong winds. We had encountered
a squall just about five nm before the harbor entrance, with gusts
of 34 knots and lots of rain. Though the wind had subsided somewhat
it was still blowing around 25 knots. I was very proud of Juergen
for the smoothness with which he drove the boat into the box.
were tied up very quickly. Juergen prepared the navigation work
for our next day's trip while I cooked dinner. We went to bed after
I spoke with Christa who is in the hospital - unfortunately...
2, 2006, Tuesday
breakfast we went to see the harbor master to pay our dues. He had
already come by but did not get a response so he went back to his
office. We had a quick chat, untied the boat and left, again in
gray and windy conditions. Again, we mostly motor sailed with very
brief interludes of sail attempts. This approximately 38 nm trip
was short compared to the previous two days. We arrived at around
1700 and found "our dedicated spot" occupied. We called
the harbor master. His brother was on duty. He claimed not to know
anything about us (though his brother had confirmed to me that everybody
in his office would be able to help us) and that, if we did not
find another spot with a green sign, he could not help me and we
should come back the next day. Of course, I was enraged, particularly
since his brother and I had clearly agreed that we would arrive
on August 2nd and, if due to weather, we would be delayed, I would
call. I had not called until we got there...
temporarily tied up to a catamaran which was kind enough to let
us do so and went to the harbor master on duty. When he saw Juergen,
he became a lot more helpful. One very funny comment he made when
he finally found his brother's notes on our telephone conversation.
His brother had us listed to arrive on August 3rd (though this had
been agreed otherwise - see above). When he saw "tomorrow's
date", he commented that his brother never makes mistakes and
certainly not with numbers, because he used to be a navigator and
numbers were part of his personality. I chuckled because our friend
Hannes and we had had a conversation many weeks ago on how to treat
people and what to say or not to say to clients - we had been reminiscing
about our jobs, careers and the things that happened to us... in
a sales training seminar, Hannes' trainer had stressed that one
NEVER said to a client "you must have misunderstood me"
as that would imply "you client are too stupid to understand
what I am saying". I was very much reminded of that when this
harbor master made the "no failure" comment about his
brother. I guess, I am the stupid customer....
the end, another gentleman in the office arranged for the two boats
that had tied up in our spot unauthorizedly to move elsewhere and
for us to take the spot dedicated to us for the time of our repair
and flight back to the US. We were very grateful, sat down in the
cockpit, played Backgammon and then - after a brief stroll around
the property which, by the way is gorgeous - you will see photos
with my next update, have not taken any pictures yet - we had supper
in the cockpit.
3, 2006, Wednesday
spoke to the original harbor master who obviously had heard about
our problems last night from his brother - and found all sorts of
excuses. He confirmed all the arrangements made regarding repairs,
the sail maker's appointment for tomorrow. We paid our dues until
August 17 and got two days off as, in this harbor, the seventh day
of docking is free, a very nice gesture. Juergen is taking care
of a few boat things and got our bicycles out as this town is very
pretty, with a gorgeous beach and lots of opportunity to bicycle.
We can finally return the many water bottles and get rich as they
charge about 20 US cents per bottle and more at purchase, i.e.,
we will get lots of money back. I am also doing laundry... thank
God with great brand new and high-tech washing machines, Miele of
course. You must know my preference for Miele machines...