Middelfart, Fyn 55:30.363N 009:44.234E

Frans & Sarah Toonen
Sat 3 Jun 2017 19:00
Saturday 3rd June 2017. 39.5nm. 0.8 engine hours (at last). SE 4/5.

As we were headed North and the winds were to strengthen, we set off at 8 am. The very elegant ‘Louise’ we were rafted to had fairleads accessed through trimmed holes in the top of the hull and so the lines wouldn’t slip. This meant Frans had to free us from Louise and jump back on board. The sky was fully overcast as promised but it didn’t rain and the sun popped out occasionally.  The SE wind freshened to a Force 5 but the ride was comfortable although downwind because we were in sheltered waters. 

 During our passage the ship’s log passed the 10,000 nautical mile. When we bought Pelagia in April 2011 we reset the log to zero so that is a fair distance in 6 seasons - no sailing in 2016. 

We had noted that the small harbour of Åaro (on the island of the same name) looked cute but we decided not to stop as we need to reach a train station by tomorrow so the girls can reach Copenhagen on Monday. If we had stopped we would have had to motor a further 15 nm into a NE wind on Sunday as the wind is planning a 180 degree shift overnight. 

We carried on towards the NE corner of the large island of Fyn fortified by homemade soup with the BBQ chicken leftovers and the lovely fresh bread the Captain went out for at 7am pre-departure. Fyn is separated from Jutland by the Lillebælt (Little Belt) which is a narrow winding passage (formed by a glacier) lined with beech and beaches (funny huh!). Unusually for the Baltic the Lillebælt is up to 80m deep with reefs and dive walls making it a populars dive location.  The fresh water of the Baltic mingles with the salt water flowing around Jutland and through the Kattegat so we had some currents as well. Porpoise are common here but we didn’t spot any.

Middlefart straddles a peninsular on the NE corner of Fyn and has the required railway station. Until 1925 when the bridge from Jutland was built it was an important ferry port. The marina on the south side is large and lacking character so we motored around to the old harbour on the north but there was no room. The NyHav 1 (new) tiny marina is under construction nearby and we moored in (possibly) the largest box in Denmark as we had to keep changing the lines for longer ones due to the distance from the poles to the cleats. Enough water under the ship this time too. The new harbour facility had a restaurant and we checked the menu. The cheapest item was a burger for about 30 pounds so we headed to the supermarket and made so much spaghetti bolognese we had to eat it both nights. 

On Sunday morning we strolled around the town. Everything was shut except the church and so we hopped on the train across the Lillebælt and in 5 mins we were in the city of Fredericia on Jutland instead. Fredericia is a unique city within Denmark in that it was built as a fortress town in 1650 with 50' earth mound bastions that remain a ring of green history within the city. Although information was scarce it seems the Swedes invaded sometimes and the provinces of Schleswig-Holstein (Prussians) were always fighting with Jutland. We walked over 8 miles in total taking in the sandy narrow beach area, the old harbour which is being developed into a smart waterfront (with reasonably priced lunch stop - Danish buffet), the gas depot on the waterfront and the full length of the bastions. We also saw rather a lot of houses as we sought the railway station to get back to Middelfart. 

As this was Janice and Deb’s last evening aboard we sat on deck until the sun (and the swan family with 7 cygnets) had left us and put the world to rights (politics anyone?) instead of concluding the canasta contest……tbc. Monday morning the girls left on foot for the station and within 10 mins we had slipped the lines and back out into the Lillebælt headed north. 

PS Janice hopes to return all her sea sickness medicines to Boots as it turns out she does not actually have sea sickness after all!

Middelfart has some attractive buildings

Fredericia has sandy beaches along the Lillebælt

The ramparts provide a view over the Lillebælt to Middelfart in the distance across the bridge