|'Enterprise' Classic Yacht|
tHE cRUISING lIFE
After our #sail cruise up the West Coast of Sweden and to the North-East of the Baltic Baltic Sweden and Finland we decided that we would cruise the South-western Baltic, i.e. Southern Denmark, Germany and the South coast of Sweden. Although this is the most populated part of the Baltic, there are still many quiet and beautiful places for a #dreamchaser. Of course every area has a rich and diverse history. For the complete route, go to Google Earth (and remember to tick the boxes in 'Temporary Places') When you scroll over a yellow push pin the log book entry will come up.
The South-Western Baltic
We started down the Lillebaelt, the name given to the passage between the mainland of Jylland and Funen the westernmost of the two main islands of Denmark. Each side of this waterway is punctuated with inlets sheltering small towns nestling in a green and pleasant land. Looking at the map you may think that this a sheltered waterway but the reality is that it funnels the wind and can be quite breezy. Good #sailing, if it is blowing in the direction that you wish to go!
Turning east we followed the coasts of the two big islands, Funen and Zejland, picking our way around many tiny islands and finding small villages and some bigger towns. Midsummer’s Day found us in Nyord where the festival was celebrated with a bonfire on a floating raft in the harbour (quite close to us!). To enjoy a midsummer’s night gently rocking in the cockpit, listening to the music by the glowing embers of the bonfire is a #liveaboard experience we will remember for the rest of our lives.
At the end of this passage we circumnavigated the island of Møn with its shallow, shifting channels to the West and the impressive white cliffs to the East. From here we went along the North German coast from Rostock (Warnemȕnde) to the Polish border. This has been the German Riviera for many years. The Prussian kings made the island of Rȕgen their summer resort and the main town of Bergen still shows the grand elegant building of a German Golden Age.
At Rügen one can turn inland to an area called the Hiddensee a little known area of interconnected lakes and rivers running to the Polish border. Here you come across the ancient Hanseatic town of Stralsund, sadly badly damaged in World War 2 but raised again and very interesting. A little further on is the more sinister Peenemünde where V1 and V2 rockets were developed and manufactured; now a museum. All the places along this coast have been greatly restored since reunification of Germany and the German Riviera is back.
Leaving Germany we went north to the island of Bornholm, passing on our way Hitler’s huge 10,000 apartment holiday resort , at Prora, for the Party faithful. Bornholm is an outlier of Denmark and is a flagship of a greener ‘smart-grid’ world. This scheme is part of ‘Eco Grid EU’ that involves switching all cars on the island to electric and using their batteries each night as grid storage. Innovation is not limited to industry for there are numerous artists and galleries throughout.
The southern coast of Sweden between Simrishamn and Karlskrona is a quiet coast with lots to explore. The sparsely populated island of Hanö had sculptures strategically placed around it creating multiple surprises as we hiked around it. Karlskrona has been the headquarters of the Swedish Navy for centuries and as such is packed with interesting maritime history. Approaching it one passes the area of numerous foreign submarine intrusions made famous by Kurt Wallander in his novel ‘The Troubled Man’. Kungsholm Fortress with its walled harbour is a ‘must see’.
_We came back to circle the Danish islands of Falster and Lolland on our way back to the German coast. Lolland is famous for its ‘Hydrogen Community’. This is a wind generated power system that stores electricity by manufacturing hydrogen by electrolysis and then converting it back to electricity when the wind is not blowing by the use of fuel cells. We Travelled East this time into the Kieler Bucht, the headquarters of the German Navy, with famous place names everywhere. Entering the bay we passed the impressive U-Boat Memorial to 35,000 sailors lost at sea with an example of their iron coffins at the base.
From here we went north up the coast of Schleswig Holstein, territory that has gone back and forth between Denmark and the German Principalities for centuries. We closed the loop at Middlefart and so back to Århus that we had left 4 months earlier.
Cruising the Baltic always leaves you with the feeling that so many interesting places were passed by and your head is so full of new facts and experiences. You need a #retirement winter to reflect and relive it all.
For other Cruising blogs see the Archive links in the sidebar at the top of this page.
Other blogs of interest are The Retirement Dream and How to Live Your Dream
David Phillips and his wife June have sailed the European and UK coasts for 30 years, the last 14 in Enterprise. It has been a continual exploration , inspiration and growth of experience. They would not have missed a minute.
It is a symbiotic relationship, you look after her and she looks after you and takes you into a fascinating world that is otherwise inaccessible. Ill health finally forced them to sell her.
On 2 September 2017 she was sold. They hope that she will bring the same life changing experiences to the new owners as she brought to them.