Period 18/05-05/06
Departure from our home harbour De Put  to the Danish island Aero.

On May 18th our trip has started.

After very warm saying goodbye sessions at home we had a pontoon full of friends at the day of leaving. With so many be loving family and friends it is hard to leave…

The wind has been for weeks Northeast to East, strong and in the wrong direction. So we have decided to sail the first part Northward through the rivers and canals of The Netherlands in stead of over the North Sea. The attached map gives an idea of the trip.

Also this sailing by motor has its charm, because you pass very nice and cosy villages. The landscape is typical Dutch and attractive.

The first stop was right in the centre of an old town, Dordrecht. After that we pass many bridges and locks to enjoy the beautiful city Haarlem. We walk through this place and have a wine on one of the pavements and have dinner in a nice restaurant.

Durgerdam, a very small village near Amsterdam, looks like a place where time has stood still. In order to go to the other side of the harbour you have to use a self service ‘ferry’ that has to be manually pulled to the other side. Ancient times are back!

In the evening Arie and I watch the final of the Champions League. I continuously have to think about the disappointment of my friend Richard, a fanatic Chelsea fan,  who I know is one of the thousands of English people personally present.

Many memories come into our head visiting Enkhuizen and Makkum at the IJsselmeer, nice traditional villages.

To shorten the voyage over the canals through Friesland (a province in the North of NL) we decide to go via the Dutch Wadden (‘Waddenzee’) to Harlingen, a small city where Hub in the past started his ‘career’ as a teacher in mathematics and physics. Not really a career, it lasted only 5 years, and then he went into ‘business’, which did satisfy a lot more his fidgety and inclination to get things done. Most importantly, this move did enable him to go on an early retirement…….

From Harlingen we did pass the two most Northern provinces of The Netherlands (Friesland and Groningen). We had night overstays in small villages. For example Birdaard, a village stretched along the canal with an active windmill, and Zoutkamp, a fisher village. In the last one we are interviewed by the local radio about our ‘adventures’ on the boat . It was for a programme that describes the local environment in an humoristic way. Of course we miss the broadcast on Sunday morning.

Groningen (also the city name) is one of our favourites. A exuberant city, lots of students, historic buildings, cafés, restaurants and a beautiful museum. We visit the exhibition about modern Chinese art.

The wind is still East, force 7. The forecast of the wind direction is still not good, but it looks that we will have a window to pass the German Bight (about 100 nautical miles) on Saturday May 31st.

The German Bight is notorious for his strong winds and lack of sufficient safe shelters.

On Thursday May 29 we arrive at the German island Borkum. In the past it  was a rich island because of the navy, but nowadays it doesn’t have the sparkling look anymore. We take a train at the island (there is only one with only two stops….) to go to the centre of the village near  the beach. The weather is beautiful and warm, like most of our holidays until now.

On Saturday the forecast is reality and we leave at 4 am the harbour to sail the 17,5 hours. Everything goes according plan and we arrive at the right time at the entrance of the Elbe, where the current is at max about 4 kts. This stream is a really good reason to be there in time. We have used our sails for about 14 hours, excellent!

On Sunday we sleep a little longer and sail the rest of the day to pass the Kieler Canal for 75%. It is really hot and we enjoy the nice environment of the Canal. The large sea vessels with height up to 35 meters (about 100 feet) pass on less than 75 feet distance, but luckily they are not allowed to sail faster than 10 kts.

Monday and Tuesday we stay in Kiel. On Tuesday we take the train to Hamburg for buying our sea maps of North Sweden, Finland and Estonia. I have ordered them weeks ago by the internet, but did want to have them handed over. It saves time when something is wrong, but also gives  more security knowing that the kilos of paper for almost 500 euro a boat are really printed….

Hamburg is a beautiful, rich city. Many very well maintained historic buildings and  a lot of cafés.

The wind becomes a boring story….still East up to force 7. Our original goal, the German peninsula Fehmarn, is not reachable, so we sail on Thursday June 5th to Aero, a Danish island. On this island there are the typical Danish houses and the cosiness and the hospitality as we know from Denmark.

After arrival we all had a laugh about an incident on the boat of  Arie and Nelleke. When opening closets and cabinets behind the coaches huge amounts of lather did appear…..the cap of a bottle washing-up liquid was off…..a bit of water caused by a leakage of the water tank a few weeks ago and you even could wash dirty laundry under the floor, given the fact that the sailing trip to Aero was good, but heavy.

The plan for tomorrow, June 6th is Fehmarn as said before, but this will be reported in the next part of the report.








typical Dutch landscapes



the radio reporters

Groningen university main building

 German island Borkum

Kieler Canal

typical Danish houses


map of this period