54° 10′ 33.3408” N 7° 53′ 38.1156” E
July 12, 2012
The wind howls. The rain splashes. The wind direction is counter to the direction we intend to go. We decide to spend the day on Helgoland.
In a gap between two rain-bursts we head to wander around the island. Interesting trip. Along the way, posters explain about the island’s history. Dramatic fighting between England and Germany on the ownership of the island. We also see gulls, guillemots and a lot of other birds, who lie windswept on shelves in the rocks.
Everything is, understood, in the German manner. Paths, paved with fences on both sides and especially landscaped vantage points. Not like in Anholt in Denmark with complete freedom to move anywhere you please.
But it’s still OK. Informative. Beautifull. Wind-blown. Very different.
54° 10′ 33.3408” N 7° 53′ 38.1156” E
July 11, 2012
We sail in the Wadden Sea. Strange to think that six hours later, the water we’re looking at will be gone. We stick to the marked channel. 15 miles later we are out of the Elbe. We are in the North Sea, the part called the German Bight.
The waves have become larger and larger, as the river has turned into sea. Again, we head directly into the wind, and the tidal advantage, we secured ourselves from Cuxhaven to the North Sea, can not catch up with the force of the wind. After three hours of sailing, our speed of motor is down between two and three knots. We knock up and down in the waves and hardly feel, that we move forward. Annoying as there are still 60 nautical miles to the target of the day.
We decide to make new plans. We consider Bremerhaven (28 miles) and Wilhelmshaven (30 miles), but we choose instead Helgoland (16 nautical miles), because winds and currents are more favorable for Helgoland.
The waves are still high. Kirsten says they are three meters high. I believe they are a lot less. But it feels rough. The genoa sail has got a rope. The mainsail is not up at all. The motor works for the progress. Rain washes down most of the time. The wind keeps as promised: 9-13 meters per second, but it just feels more violent, when the waves at the same time are pretty huge.
We call Helgolands old military port at 15 o’clock. Tired, hungry and a little amazed to be right here, where we would previously have wrinkled our noses of this duty-free and tourist-invaded island.
After a late lunch we take a walk on the island. It’s actually fun. Very different. A world of its own.
There is a little Anholt (danish island) over it: Large natural areas. Viewpoints and beaches. But there is also something Las Vegas over it. Lots of cafes, restaurants, hotels and liquor stores ( “Shiffausrustüng” they are called close to the port).
You can get married on the island for € 898, including a tour of the old bunkers and three nights at a hotel. On the island there are maybe 100 stores. Two thirds trade with perfume and hard liquor.
Historically, Helgoland has been a center of corsairs and pirates. Today piracy assumes new forms. Everything costs money: Toilet, shower, electricity. Throw immediately a coin, thank you.
All cars are micro-small and runs on electricity. Bicycles are prohibited. Scooters allowed. Urban city is divided into “Unterland” at harbour-level and “Oberland” up on the rock. An elevator lifts the lazy from one part of town to the other. € 1.20 for a single journey with elevator.
One rain shower follows the next. The night is filled with thunder, lightning, strong winds and rain. It is rough on the North Sea.
Log-book: Sailed: 8.00. Destination: Borkum or Delfzijl. Arrival at Helgoland 15:00. Weather: Southwest 9-13 m / s. Rain.