Blog 1 Jenny

Al Shaheen
John & Jenny Franklin
Thu 5 Jun 2014 06:22
N54:36.2 E009:51.9
5th June
> After a wonderfully calm night anchored off buoy 17 in the Schleimunde Monday night (in 1.8m under the keel, a bit skinnier than we'd usually like!) we motored down/up the Schlei on a clear glassy stretch of water - all looks beautiful, but stray outside the channel and you're aground in thick mud very quickly! Past Kapppeln which looks like a delightful little olde town, past marinas chock-a-block with masts and dozens of old 3-masters flying Dutch flags (found out later from Claus that apparently they all come up from Amsterdam for the summer season, as this is where the commercial trade is!), through the bun-fight of the lifting bridge which opens hourly and is a bit like a race to see who will get through first, and on another few miles to Boknis on Schlei - visible from some way away by virtue of the big tent on the shore!
Anchored fairly close to shore, again in about 1.5m under the keel (plenty, says Claus later!), then dinghies ashore to finally meet up with the man who has been such a strength and help in setting up this Rally. Delightful man, a very proud Schleswig-Holsteiner and a doctor who still lives in the same house he was born in, Claus is also a history buff and took great delight over the next few days in regaling various snippets, including the fact that we are now in Anglia, home of the Angles from where the original Angles left to inhabit England way back when (along with the Saxons from Saxony too of course!). He and his lovely wife Linde made us feel completely at home here in the house on the Schlei, which used to be his parents' summer home until his mother moved in to live here permanently. And being an organised German, everything is ready for the big day - tent erected, tables laid, only need the people and the pig on the spit to begin the festivities.

Later in the afternoon, we all drove across to Kappeln, lovely little town some 10kms away, both to sort out our German SIM card for the phone but mainly to visit Viking Willie's boatyard for the launch of his new dinghy. Willie is a character of note, a craftsman of the old school, who works in wood and builds the most stunning boats! Claud and Linde keep Gullveig here (and of course we had a tour first) and the yard is full of beautifully crafted gems. It was a most entertaining afternoon!

By the time we got back to the house, the boats had started coming in, and over the next day or so, they have steadily gathered. We now have 7 boats here already, with 3 more due to arrive today: 3 have been delayed and will meet up with us further along the line, and unfortunately Wings (Gus and Helen) have had to drop out for health reasons - we'll miss them!

So, all set for the big party this evening - and of course after 3 days of glorious sunshine, it's now pouring with rain! But Claus assures me it will be over by noon - and I trust him implicitly!
> Sent from my iPad