53° 42′ 8.3736” N
7° 9′ 56.6208” E
July 14, 2013
We are in Norderney. We are jogging seven kilometers in the town to get a sense of where we’ve arrived.
A spa town. Huge. Almost an industry. Hundreds of hotels and boarding houses, parks, cafes and a waterfront, which is powerful like the North Sea in Denmark. Very neat, very stylish, very beautiful and very subdued. This is apparently how the Germans have cure-vacation.
Back on the boat we do some cleaning. Later we cycle to town to shop. Falling into conversation with the owner of the neighboring boat, Jörg from Cologne, which has his Nauticat 33 lying in Ijselmeer and who knows the tidal waters and the Frisian Islands in and out.
The tips pours out of him. About tides, how to sail in the Wadden Sea, good advice on different cities, and advice on how to put up the boat up for the winter near Amsterdam.
He gives us some charts, a tide application for our computer and an auto map of the entire Netherlands. Good stuff.
“You have to leave at six o’clock in the morning,” he counsels us, looking at the tide-tabels. Damn! We were intending to sleep late tomorrow.
53° 52′ 13.5264” N 8° 42′ 48.3372” E
July 10, 2012
The lock is open and waiting for us. Seven or eight boats are already in place. This lock is apparently free. You only pay one end of the Kiel channel.
Now we are really on our way! The fairytale opens with the lock gates, and we sail gently out into the Elbe estuary on our way out into the world.
The power is noticeable. Although we have the wind contrary, we log up to 9.4 knots. Ronja never sailed that fast before.
The water does not conspicuously differ from what we know from home. And yet. The traffic of large commercial ships are impressive, and together with the strong current, we get the feeling, that have come out into something big and different. The water is brown like clay. The light in the air takes color from that.
The entrance to Cuxhaven is special. We were warned, that there could be a current of four knots across the entrance. That was right. Strange to feel your own ship moved by forces that much larger than yourself. We are taken sideways, but with extra revolutions from the engine we manage to get into the port.
We go for the City marina, get a bridge operator open the bridge, and find ourselves an excellent berth in the middle of the city.
We walk the city. Buy charts, tide tables and food. It rains. But we do see most of the city, and it certainly has charm. A seafaring town with lots of activities related to shipping, fishing and a manifestly huge industry transporting German tourists to the duty-free mecca of Helgoland. Or out to see seals in the Wadden Sea.
A blessed night. In the middle of the city. But quiet. Tomorrow we will leave early with the high tide.
Logbook: Sailed 8.00. Destination: Cuxhaven. Arrival: 11.30.