To Wismar

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Mon 9 Jul 2012 17:28

8 July 2012 – Westhafen, Wismar




Yesterday we left Lubeck through the midday bridge and lay at anchor in the Kleine Holzwiek, about a mile upstream of Travemunde. Two final pictures to round off Lubeck: a sign from the bridge across the haven (never seen a tank on a sign before!;) and a picture of the marina.


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The final night in Lubeck was characterised by alarums and excursions.  The berth opposite ours was occupied from about midday by a narrow wooden sailing boat with 2 adults and 6 children: the eldest about 13, the youngest about 3; and one with Down’s Syndrome.  The sang froid of all was notable. The mast was down, and the skipper spent the afternoon getting the mast rigged.  Their home port was Stralsund, and I assume that they had come through the canals from the Elbe.   As we were about to go to bed, about 9.30ish, a small head poked up through the forepeak hatch crying Mummy, Mummy.  With no German, we held a watching brief.  No-one appeared.  The small boy (the youngest of the brood) eventually crawled out on to the deck, where he continued to cry with increasing desperation and started to shiver.  He put his arms down his vest to try to cover up.  Our neighbours (Dutch husband, German wife) arrived and like us were very concerned.  I provided a blanket.  They talked about calling the police.  Roger tried to get into the boat, but it was locked up – the whole family other than the smallest boy had gone out to supper.  We took him to the neighbours’ boat, still wrapped in a blanket, to await the return.  His cries were distressing.  The parents returned about 11pm, and were taken to task by the neighbours.  Neither parent was prepared to meet our eyes.  We stayed up drinking with the neighbours about all sorts – the grey Wave (the migration of the over-50s on holiday from May onwards;) life in Amsterdam; the destruction of Lubeck by the bombs; the state of E Germany; the European Union and the future of the Euro – in short, life, the universe and everything.


Here is a picture of the idyllic anchorage that Roger took this morning. 

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We left just after 9am, and arrived here at about 5pm.  We sailed most of the way: one of those days when the wind was on the nose going north out of the Trave; and then going east along the coast; and again, finally going south into the Wismar Bucht.


Here in Westhafen we again have Dutch neighbours.  What a polyglot race!  They can talk to everyone .  Our neighbour in a boat type Pedro “Donky” (boat name Bully) was extremely helpful as we came into the berth with a 30 knot squall of rain, and then showed us the ropes.  The harbour master was super, located in a little waterside café on the neighbouring pontoon, surrounded by coffee and cakes.  The cost seems low – 1 euro/metre day plus 1 euro per passenger – 15 euros a day.  But on top drinking water is charged at 0.5 euros/ 100 litres (there was no drinking water in Lubeck) and electricity is metered.  It’ll be interesting to compare the eventual costs/day.


This evening we ate SchweinerSchnitzel (grilled) with ratatouille before walking round the town.  It’s fascinating – on lots of levels.  The harbour is surrounded by open green spaces, ripe for development, but probably reflecting either bomb sites or slum clearances.  The town has wide streets (wider than Lubeck) but still have a lot of gaps.  There’s a lot of renovation work going on in buildings of all ages.  The Church was blown up in 1960, but the tower stands, separate from the church.  More tomorrow.