27 June 2012 – Heiligenhafen
The escape from Laboe! As predicted, the wind dropped overnight, and although the weather was overcast, there was only 10 knots or so of wind. The first task was to dispose of the garbage; the second to recover the 20 euro deposit (pfand) from the harbourmaster for the key to the facilities.
Escape from the berth remained problematic. Instead of reversing out, we slid sideways, into the fairway. Given the cross wind, this was not unexpected (although undesired.) No harm done, and away by 10am (ish.)
The journey east was down-wind, about 35 miles. The surprising thing is that there was so much swell, despite there being no tide. The lack of tide changes behaviour – there was no gain in standing into shore to cheat the tide. We stood out, but from time to time were threatened by the navy, who came on to the VHF radio to announce the blowing up of a mine off the R Schlei (miles away) and the warship Elbe, practising small arms fire (Vessels Must stay 3km clear) which we heard relatively close. There was an announcement of the cease fire at 1pm prompt – time for the ratings to have their lunch.
Although travelling downwind, it remained cold. It’s only been since arriving in Heiligenhafen that the sun has come out, and it’s felt seasonal. The marina is ENORMOUS – more than 1000 boats, I guess, at the head of a gut lying east-west under the lee of Fehrman Island. Securing a good berth was by sheer luck. We entered the marina and tootled about looking for a suitably wide berth with a green sign (the red flashes on the boxes indicate that the berthholder is to come back this evening.) Width is not only about the space between the box posts; it’s also about the space between the rows of berths, and whether Roger can manoeuvre in the (usually very restricted) space between the rows of berths. But here we are on Steg 9, berth 59 – a 6+ wide box berth: facing south, so likely to be better sheltered from the wind. The fee seems to be standard for Germany – 17.50 euros a night, plus 2 euros for electricity. In addition we’ve paid 9 euros for 3 days of wifi, although we’ve only booked 2 days at present.
Roger is gradually recalling the German that he picked up in Munich. He managed to make himself understood to the hafen kantor this evening – although the response was in English! There were two harbour masters on duty – the one who did all the work, with his specs perched precariously on the end of his nose; and his colleague, much younger with a neat long goatee beard caught in a pony tail, who just supervised and offered nibbles to the dog behind us (this is pure catmeat!) Two people on duty was not enough – the queue was out of the door!