British Kiel Yacht Club
11 August 2012 – British Kiel Yacht Club
The BKYC is run for the benefit of the British Army of the Rhine – part of their R&R facilities. I rang to book a berth as we left the Schlei. It was a great sail – a fast reach all the way – and we arrived in time for a late-ish lunch.
The club is in Stickenhorn, at the head of what used to be the flying boat anchorage. It’s protected by the Stickenhorn mole, and is very sheltered – and also very undeveloped. At the end of WW2 the English army (or rather, some officers keen on yachting) requisitioned the boats and the premises of the Kiel Yacht Club. It’s very interesting to read the conflicting takes on that time on the websites of the BKYC and the KYC. As the Brits see it, they maintained the boats and handed them back in excellent condition; the KYC commodore sees it as a takeover by an invading army who showed no respeck for Germany. Both are probably true!
The box mooring is enormous – the mooring lines have had to be lengthened. We had no sooner sorted ourselves out than the skipper of one of the club boats approached: he had absolutely nothing to do with the management but he appreciated the opportunity to orientate visitors to the club. He was taking out a crew from the military for a long weekend to Denmark. The info was concise and complete – good shops in Freidrichsort (4 supermarkets, bakeries etc) 20 minutes away on foot; and the bus into Kiel. Aidan clearly does a fair bit: he had been part of the team that had brought back the new fleet of 8 Hallberg Rassy 342s from Sweden in May with a novice crew. He described the boat that he was taking out yesterday as a heavy old tank.
Despite formally being independent of the army, its hand is all pervasive. The manager is “on duty watch;” there is a poster of BAOR Standing Orders that everyone is expected to know and adhere to; there is a pervasive sense of order and discipline. The photographs on the wall are of past and current military leaders giving awards etc at the club in their official capacity. My guess would be that the club is formally independent, but supported by a great deal of goodwill and (probably) hidden subsidies. The cost for us in 18euros a night all in – a competitive rate. We had a drink in the bar yesterday evening – met Horst and Janet, who have a Moody 38 and lots in common with us. Drinks at the bar seemed cheap.
Today, we cycled into Freidrichsort to get a few necessities prior to the big stock-up in Rendsburg, and then this afternoon cycled 18 miles round trip to the Holtenau locks (where the Kiel Canal starts) and then on by ferry (free) to the Kiel side of the canal into Dusternbrook and Kiel. The ferry was crammed with people and their bikes.
You can’t follow the fjord all the way: access to the locks is barred and south of the canal is a big naval base in Tirpitzhafen. Lots of Verboten signs! There was an enormous container boat in the lock. The small boat locks are still closed, so tomorrow we’ll be squeezed alongside the big ships.