Departure: Samsø, April 7, 9 AM Arrival: Mols Bjerge, April 7, 3 PM Nautical miles: 30
April is known as the month of change, weather can shift rapidly and will always surprise you (sadly often negatively), nature is waking up, becoming green and wildlife is mating. As we try to adapt to nature’s rhythm and weather, we are spending a fair amount of time studying the forecast, moving anchor spots in order to stay safe and comfortable. We managed roughly 10 days without a harbour, solely living of our supplies and using our solar panels and batteries. Using our diesel heater as little as possible, as it still uses a significant amount of electricity.
Like the changing weather, we’ll have to change as well, as we have to adjust not always being productive (whatever that means), but also to the slow progress and uncertainty/limitations dictated by weather/Covid and our abilities. So for now we are taking it slow, planning to head North, crossing to Sweden by the end of the month, hoping that Norway will then soon let us in.
By mid-April food and water were running low and we decided to dock in Ebeltoft for some supplies. Our consumers’ instinct kicked in unsurprisingly fast (Homo shoppus in its natural habitat) and quickly we had not only refilled necessary food supplies, but also managed to get some 2nd hand hiking boots, caps, other bits and bobs (reduce – reuse – recycle nerds) and, most importantly, a faucet for our new saltwater tap that should hopefully help us reduce freshwater consumption (i.e. *pre-washing dishes, washing vegetables, boiling pasta/potatoes/beans). To install the tap we actually used the existing deck-washing pump/pipe and re-laid the pipe underneath the floor to the sink, pretty smart eh? Now we’ll only need to get water with a bucket in order to rinse the deck and get back problems – or just have a dirty boat as usual.
Departure: Ebeltoft, April 19, 11.30 AM Arrival: Limfjorden, April 20, 3 AM Nautical miles: 90
Our stay in Ebeltoft was mainly a positive experience, however on our last day morning things heated up. After I (Leo) and Kai SUP’ed ashore to collect the repaired wingfoil, we parked our board in front of the camping site on the public part of the beach. Denmark has some weird laws about private and public space, especially around the shore – anyway all beaches public or private are kind of public, meaning you can always use them, on private ones you might be restricted from staying overnight. Why is that important? Well after a long walk I couldn’t spot my SUP on the beach any longer, I saw it however on top of a little golf buggy driving away into the camping ground. Me being, or trying to remain, cool observed from the distance and increased my walking pace slightly, thinking that they might just be putting it aside for some reason.
As I approached there was no sign of my SUP nor the thieves. At this point I start stressing and getting annoyed, so I walked into the camping ground (clearly indicated as private) and walk around until I located the two morons behind some shacks with the board quite hidden behind. I decide to play cool and calmly asked why they took it. Their reply was that they thought it was stolen, so I politely asked if they are the police or if they have informed same. Long story short; they refused to give it back, accused me of trespassing and I had to wait for the boss who gave the order to remove it. He then accused me/us of using their showers and bathrooms – which we of course hadn’t done (frankly I was surprised he couldn’t tell from my odour 🤣). Apparently many sailors anchor there and might have done so in the past, which must annoy him terribly.
Anyway I started shouting and calling them names and told them they had five minutes to bring my precious back to the beach otherwise things would go nasty. (my red face and precise arguments) must convince them and they did bring it. Meantime Pernille had shown up and we, mainly her at this point, finished decorating them with polite wishes for their future. We also called the police just to confirm that we did nothing wrong (i.e. the beach is not private, and even if it was we’re allowed to leave our property on the beach without automatically transferring ownership to the camping ground – another one of their “masterful” arguments for theft). If you ever go to lovely Ebeltoft go to a hotel or by boat – and lock your SUP. PS. We’ve never before had such a bad experience in Scandinavia. Anyway, I am still a bit mad and plan my revenge, but we’ve moved on this day sailing 15 hrs to the entrance of Limfjorden – anger kept us awake through the night, which is kind of positive.
Departure: Limfjorden, April 22, 10.30 AM Arrival: Frederikshavn, April 22, 6 PM Nautical miles: 47
We stayed at anchor by the mouth of the fjord, awaiting some rougher northerlies. After a couple of days we found a somewhat promising weather window (or so we believed) and headed out for Strandby further North. With headwinds gusting to nearly 30+kts and short steep headwaves, we regretted our decision soon, but we kept going as the forecast indicated the wind to shift in our favour and gradually subside. The wind however kept shifting like crazy and gusting to near gales. Our poor autopilot Olav was unfortunately a bit distressed by the conditions, and we had to steer by hand and made little progress. As the wind shifted further to our disadvantage and subsided we motored the last 2-3hours and called Frederikshavn instead, saving some distance and suffering. The next day we completed the leg to Strandby, where Pernille’s uncle Erik and auntie Karin live and had been awaiting our arrival. Erik, a former captain on the bigger ships, has sailed all seven seas and has taken some interest in our little journey. They spoiled us with a delicious dinner and funny stories from Erik’s adventures.
We spent the next few days with Pernille’s parents (we had dinner and lunch at actual restaurants! and spent a lovely sunny albeit windy day in beautiful Skagen). They were nice enough to drive 5 hours to meet us here before we crossed the dangerous sea of Kattegat. Nowadays Kattegat is probably very safe with updated forecast and surveillance. The amount of older wrecks however tells a different story – small depths, combined with rapidly changing conditions create the perfect recipe for shitty conditions and disaster.
Anyway, for once we nailed the planning and forecast and had a very nice trip over to Sweden – still close on the wind, but comfortable – arriving after 8 hours to a beautiful sunset with a rising full moon, but see for yourself. Some fresh oysters picked off the rocks due to spring ebb, made the arrival even better. We pulled the bow to the rocks and enjoying our private rock garden, and guess who else loves that – yes Kai.