19 June 2012, Cuxhaven
Arrived! And all serene. As planned we set off from Lowestoft at 10am on Sunday 17th, as the storm started to abate. Jenny and Bryan had planned to sail off Lowestoft on both days but the race committee cancelled racing on both days. I think Jenny was a bit concerned about our trip, especially the big seas off Lowestoft , but it was no big deal.
The route took us north from the harbour entrance towards Yarmouth, until there was a break in the sandbanks that we could sail through. >From there it was a straightforward reach across the N Sea until we reached the Traffic Separation zones off Holland. We hit the first TSS at 4.45am on Monday, and from there the wind progressively got lighter and lighter. The shift system didn’t seem too difficult, and we managed 3 hours on and 3 hours off without too much difficulty.
Few adventures! Apart from one boat who left Lowestoft just before us, there were no boats in view until the TSS. There was the excitement of a couple of bumble bees (both I suspect left us for a watery grave) and a large dolphin who came to play or display (not sure which!) He was alone, and white with slate grey patches; substantially larger than the schools that generally come and play. He jumped out and smacked his tail on the water to make a big splash, on one occasion he jumped vertically, within 5m off our beam, he must have cleared the water by 1m ; and then dived off, only to reappear in the bow waves. By the time I got to the camera he swam off.
As we got into German territorial waters, there was a pile driving boat setting up the bases of a wind farm. There was also an officious guard boat who refused to give the coordinates of the exclusion zone until we were well outside… Roger (with direct experience of the Geman mindset) was scrupulous about following the rules, and we proceeded without further challenge.
Arrival in Cuxhaven was as planned, just after 10.30am this morning Tuesday. The harbour is only open April – October, and has good finger pontoons. Initially we were tempted by the 9-12 meter berths but found them uncomfortably small, so moved to the 12-15metre berths. We are just next to the hammerhead, and well settled. The berth costs are 20euros/night, (EXTREMELY inexpensive by UK standards;) in addition we will have to pay for electricity and water via a charge card, and the balance will be refunded on departure. Cuxhaven is a pleasant small town, which seems to have all the necessities: but, oh dear, no chandleries to speak of! The value of the facilities on the S Coast of UK were never so recognised as now, after exposure to Lowestoft and here!
Here is a picture of MA in the marina….
We’ll be here for a couple of days before going further up river to Brunsbuttel, and the Kiel Canal.