Period 06/06-24/06
Trip fron the German Peninsula Fehmarn, via Denmark and Sweden to Latvia

The voyage of this period has been represented in the map at the right.

Fehmarn is a flat peninsula covered with many corn fields, at the German north coast of the Baltic. It is loved by many Germans for holidays. It is a pity that the Germans develop the island too rigorously: despite plenty of space one is building many tall hotels and apartment buildings. They are even asking an entrance fee for the beach !
We have decided to moor in the old fisher harbour with the traditional atmosphere and the nice and cosy market aside.
Because the wind is still from the East and too strong, we do a bicycle tour on the island. We visit the main village (Burg) at the island with unfortunately too much tourists (….we are just old sailors….). Out of the wind the temperature and the beer are good. In the evening we have an excellent dinner in an old restaurant at the harbour, where we eat extremely fresh large plaice.

The next day is really the turn of the wind in the right direction, which is still valid until today (June 26). We sail to Gedser at the Danish island Falster. Our kids did call it in the past ‘Gedver’  (which means almost literally ‘disgusting’). It gives in one word a good description of the village, which is almost desolated and dead. The harbour master is a girl of about 18 years old. I ask her if she lives in Gedser and if she likes it. With sparkling eyes she tells me that she will leave the village forever to study in Copenhagen. I wish her good luck with  her study and the start of party time. She is delighted!

Our next destination is Klintholm, a cosy harbour at the very beautiful, Danish island M­øn. The island has a coast of  white cliffs and part of it looks like the Seven Sisters at the south-east coast of the UK. We moor the boats in such a way that we will have a good position for the satellite disc…..the Dutch have to play football.

Just in between:
A few photographs give a good impression how we followed and watched the football. The diversity: outside in the cockpit, covering the sprayhood to avoid brilliance on the screen; with the satellite disc; sometimes with digital terrestrial antenna (more easy to set up…). In Skillinge our mooring was next to the local pub and we watched the first match outside on a large LCD screen. We were the only ones. We told the waitress that we would come back later that evening for the second match. The darling did move the large screen inside, because it would be too chilly for us!!! Even Nelleke and Tineke did come to watch and the four of us were the only ones in the pub. The Swedish holidays only start after Midsummer night
. We did also watch at a large roof terrace after dinner in Kalmar. When it became too cold, all spectators did get a blanket. Finally in Byxelkrok we went to the pub, that was fully crowded with Swedes to watch the match Sweden against Russia. In summary, very enjoyable and we didn’t miss much. The Dutch played well, until they were playing extremely bad against Russia, who earned the victory completely. We are a little bit less interested……

From Klintholm we sail to Gislov Laege at the Swedish south coast. Originally our plan was to go via former East-Germany (Rügen) to Bornholm (a Danish island in the middle of the Baltic, far from the main land of Denmark). However the wind direction is not good enough, because our aim is to use the sails!

The village is not very interesting. It is a pity. We have to stay for another day, because of gale. Time for doing the wash.

On June 12th we arrive in the beautiful Hanse city Ystad. It has magnificent, even mideavial, houses, beautiful squares and a cosy atmosphere. The stories of inspector Wallander (books of writer Henning Mankell) are situated in this town.

Via Skillinge (the only positive point are the nice people of the pub who enabled us to watch football on a large screen) we have a heavy sailing tour to the south-east coast of Sweden. Wind varying between force 4 and 7 Beaufort, waves 2-3 meters (10 feet). During the trip several weather fronts pass, luckily without rain for us. Both boats sail with high speed through the water and we arrive after a trip of 70 nm almost at the same time. The speed was several times on average far above 9 knots, a lot of times above 10 knots with a max of 11.1 knots. A nice experience, because normally the boat does at max about 7-8 knots. In the evening I send a sms to my son Tim, who had until now the record with our boat sailing under spinnaker with wind force 5 (10.2 kts). We did it without…
During the first part of the trip the genaker (sail for light winds of about 100 m2 , about 900 square feet) of Nelleke and Arie tears apart during the first unexpected gust of wind.
We  are very tired at arrival after sailing 70 nm in the heavy circumstances. We arrive in Sandhamn, because we decided not to enter the harbour of a small island (Utklippan), because I judged it not to be safe seen the high waves.
Via Bergkvara (not much to say about, a camping and many old, neglected houses in very bad shape and an old store with swimming suits from the fifties) we arrive in the strategically positioned trading city Kalmar. It has grand buildings and an old part with very small wooden houses and a lot of flowers. We visit the castle, that lies beautiful near the water.
The genaker of Arie and Nelleke gets repaired at a tariff that has the smell of fraud.
The next days we sail with temperatures of mostly above twenties and no rain (like almost all days of our holiday until now) between the main land of Sweden and the very long (about 60 nm) island Öland further to the north.
We visit places like Borgholm (compare to Cowes, although they are waiting for the holidays to start) and Byxelkrok at the most northern part of Öland. It is a small fisher village, where the small red wooden fisher houses are transformed into small stores.
On June 20th we arrive for 2 days in Visby (island Gotland). It is a extremely beautiful, historical, mediaeval city. The city walls are still existing and in good shape. We enjoy the festivities of the Midsummer festival in the large with many flowers covered botanical garden. Many hundreds of families are picnicking and listening to the music of  local performers. In the middle is a tree that is decorated with more flowers and many women and children have a ring of flowers on their head. In the evening we have dinner at an inside square of a complex of restaurants with also a night club annex disco. We enjoy a lot of what is happening around us. Many young women are wearing long barebacked (more ‘barefronted’) dresses and are clearly hunting for rarely present, respectable men.  We are sitting with our sweater on, because it is chilly. Swedes normally are dressing based on season, not on temperature……

Above Gotland there is another island called Faroe. Through the canal between the two islands we sail to a small village Faroesund. It is the starting place for our 86 nm trip to Latvia.
Crossing the Baltic to Ventspils (Latvia) is going well and fast, although the waves are huge (3-4 meters, 10-13 feet). After 13 hours we arrive and achieve a new milestone of our voyage. Most of us never visited a land of the former Eastern Bloc.
There is a large contrast in wealth, although poverty still predominates. Ventspils is the largest transhipment port for oil at the Baltic. In contrast to the rest of the harbour, this port is well equipped. The yachting harbour is simple, old and dirty, but has everything (including internet) except for water. Surprisingly the price is really high, but in the village everything is very cheap.

Also here the three day festivities for Midsummer have started. We visit a flower market.
Only after minutes we get as a present flowers from the laughing people, who are almost  not able to talk anything else as their own language. When we offer to pay, they refuse to take money. Yet we buy something else to give them some business. In a very good mood we walk with the ring of flowers on our head through the village. We visit also a beautiful Russian-Orthodox church (see photographs).
Finally something special I have never seen before. I had to make use of a public convenience. The cashier was a girl of about 5 years old (with her mom cleaning the toilets). She hadn’t a clue of money, so I was pleased to leave the change, but she didn’t dare to talk to me. Only when I arrived at the toilet, saw that there was no paper and went back, it was made clear by her mom that I had to take paper from the paper roll next to the cash desk decorated with many flowers…before going to the toilet! Fortunately it was all brand clean.

On June 24th we went with the regular bus to Riga…3 hours out and 3 hours back…half way a stop for a pee and a bite for the whole bus….. The country is still poor, but people are generally friendly and good-humoured. Riga in contrary is mainly for the very rich and the tourists.

Unfortunately a lot was closed in Riga, because of the national holidays. It was a cold day, but we have warmed ourselves at heated pavements and in restaurants for lunch and dinner. The city is beautiful, but did miss a lot of atmosphere, because it was not very crowded and also the museums were closed. A little disappointment, but we didn’t regret we did undertake this trip.

On June 25th we have left to go to Estonia.

I will describe that in the next report.











 map period 2


Mon (looks like the Seven Sisters iat the UK south east coast)

installing the satellite disc

watching football in the cockpit

Skillinge, the pub with large LCD screen

watching football in the restaurant (outside)

the church in Skillinge


fast sailing, Tineke in the cockpit

obsolete, old store in Bergkvara

Kalmar, mediaeval houses

the castle in Kalmar

Kalmar; on the way north


view on Visby from outside the town wall

Midsummerfestival in Visby

Midsummerfestival in Visby

Ventspils, grinding poverty

Ventspils, well preserved churches

flower market, the lady who offered flowers to Arie and myself

Ventspils, flower girl Nelleke

Ventspils, flower girl Tineke

Ventspils, Arie and Hub

Ventspils, Russian-orthodox church

Ventspils, Russian-orthodox church, inside

Ventspils, the cashier of the public convenience with the cashier in front and the toilet paper in the background next to the cash desk

Riga, manufacturing and selling dolls