Departure: Esbjerg, June 6, 2.30 PM Arrival: Helgoland, June 7, 5.30 AM Nautical miles: 90
As Leo is German and Dory Man sails under German flag, we feel that this 1 day visit to German territory deserves an entire log entry. Helgoland, the dot on the map in the German bight. An island of many characters, hard to put into words.
Home for just over a thousand islanders and a very turbulent history. Attractive in the past for its strategic position, at one point Danish territory, later used as a fortress by the Nazis, with plans of turning the island into a massive port for their entire fleet. Then bombarded and blew to pieces by the allies, including being hit by the then biggest non-nuclear bomb/explosion of 6700 tonnes in 1945, called the Big Bang, changing and transforming the entire geography of the island.
Apart from its strategic location, the island provides an ideal breading ground for various species of sea birds as well as ideas, with Werner Heisenberg (1901–1976) first formulating the equation underlying his picture of quantum mechanics while on the island in the 1920s.
Sea birds everywhere.
Today the island welcomes herds of tourists and sailors, but also a fair amount of retirees who enjoy spectacular views and spectacular cheap tax free beer and diesel. Yes, an island 36km offshore has probably the cheapest diesel in Europe (96 cents/litre). We highly suggest a stop or a quick browse through Wikipedia, it’s pretty interesting.