We left Wiltshire at 1800 on Monday night immediately after a Board meeting that I needed to attend. We then drove nearly 200m to Harwich, arriving at 2145 and soon on to the Stenna Line ferry. We were off the ferry and cleared border control at the Hook of Holland by 0830. We drove through Netherlands and Germany (mainly on motorways) to Burg on Fehmarn Island a distance of about 400m arriving there at 1545. After a little delay as our contact was not at the yard that afternoon we eventually put the car into one of the yacht halls to await our return in Whileaway and sorted out a few details. We then had time for a beer and an early supper in Burg, sitting outside in the warm sunshine. We walked to the town station and caught the local 1844 train to Puttgarden on the north of the island, where shortly afterwards we boarded the 1905 ICE train from Hamburg to Copenhagen. Having boarded, the train rolled on to one of the regular ferries for the 45 minute crossing to Nyrobing in South Denmark. So having just boarded the train we had to alight and go to the passenger area on the ferry! The ferry company made much of the fact that we were travelling on one of a fleet of the most environmentally friendly ferries in the world, amongst the features being a big bank of batteries enabling the ferry to store power for later use.
|Scandlines Hybrid Ferry|
We were on Whileaway in Dragor harbour at 2330 just under 29 hours since leaving Wiltshire.
Apart from the loss of a fender (don't know why) Whileaway was just as we left her. After all the usual checks, refitting some gear that is stowed away when we leave her and reprovisioning at the local shops we slipped our mooring at just after 1130 on Wednesday morning.
We headed south towards the small town of Rodvig which we had visited in July. It was a sunny day with just a little cloud and for a while we were able to sail but then the wind dropped and being on the nose we decided that it would be quicker to motor. We were about half way to Rodvig, crossing from one part of the Danish coast to another when Andrea noticed three seemingly identical naval ships heading north on a parallel course about 2nm to the E of us. We were watching them, interested in what they may be up to, when the VHF radio burst into life with "Whileaway this is Polish Warship Resko". I returned the call and Resko requested that we switch to a working channel. The next call from ORP Resko was blunt "Whileaway change course 10 degrees West". I called back "Polish warship Resko this is Whileaway, confirm alter course 10 degrees west, over". There was then a little delay and the answer came back that there was now no need for a course alteration! so we pressed on. Naturally we kept watching the three ships wondering what they were up to in what were Danish territorial waters. They certainly manoeuvred around, sometimes circling, sometimes stopped before eventually they set off S heading back from whence they came. We could only assume that they were on some sort of exercise, perhaps hunting a submarine? Later we established that the ships were Minehunter/Minesweeper class so perhaps they were supposed to be finding dummy mines?
Arriving at Rodvig just before 1800 we were surprised at how empty the harbour was. On our last visit in mid-July the harbour had been three quarters full when we arrived at lunch time! This pattern of quiet empty harbours stayed with us throughout the following days, so much more pleasant than being with the crowds! When we had visited Rodvig before we had visited Stevens Klift and other places so this time we just required an overnight stop.
|Beautiful sunny September morning in Rodvig harbour|
On Friday morning we decided to explore the east side of Mon. we decided to begin by cycling 17km to the main town of Stege. The town has plenty of old streets and buildings and lies alongside the waterfront.The main street had a variety of shops and a nice feel to it.
|Limited selection of products in this shop?|
On Saturday we had another warm sunny day and at 0930 we slipped our mooring and started heading W towards the estuary that leads towards Stubbekobing on the island of Falster. We were able to sail close hauled for about three and a half hours before putting on the motor and turning north into a narrow buoyed channel between the islands of Mon and Falster. Stubbekobing was pleasant but sadly quite run down with empty shops and houses despite some signs of industry. A bright spot was the traditional ferry still operating between Stubbekobing and the island of Bogo.
|Histoic Bogo Ferry|
|Traditional houses Nykobing centre|