Westward against strong westerly winds (29.06.-03.07.2019)

The waves in the Baltic Sea are not very pleasant. Very short and steep. If they are just against you in gales, it might be that some thoughts can come up to give up sailing…

The weather forecast for the whole upcoming week predicts strong westerly winds. Saturday seems to be still ok and therefore I start singlehanded on Saturday morning at 7h to sail to Stralsund.

The morning of departure in Kröslin

The original plan was to start on Sunday, but I want to profit from the still favorable winds to sail to the NW as far as possible. Katrin and Siggi are planned to join me in Stralsund by noon, but due to technical problems of the railway near Stralsund they are delayed. The resulting late departure from Stralsund forces us to change plans, and we stop in Barhöft – only 8 nm from Stralsund. The plan for the day to continue directly into the Grönsund must therefore be abandoned. 

We leave Barhöft on Sunday morning at 5h, because strong westerly winds are announced for the same afternoon. When that comes, we definitely want to be well protected in some harbor. The original place we planned to go to – the island Vejrö – can not be reached, since a strong wind starts to blow from the W early afternoon nearby the harbor of Stubbeköbing. We immediately decide to go into Stubbeköbing and can fortunately find a berth alongside the harbor wall.

Alongside the jetty in Stubbeköbing

Stubbeköbing is not really a nice place. The town itself is not very interesting and the only open restaurant reminds us to a waiting hall at the railway station. Most people actually occupy the ice cream store in the harbor, which is not really surprising due to the hot weather with temperatures of more than 30deg Celsius. By the way, the ice cream is very good. One real highlight during our stay was the arrival of two old cars that had a short break on the parking of harbor wall.

Passage of two old cars in Stubbeköbing

The wind is still increasing, and our berth turns out to be very uncomfortable in one respect: a huge amount of sand stored nearby is partly blown by the wind of up to 35 kn directly towards us and as a result of that, there is sand all over the boat – inside and outside.

Two days later, on Wednesday, we can continue. It is a cold day, because the temperature dropped by 20 deg the last days. But a weather window with “only” 20kn of northwesterly winds opens for us. We definitively need to go West because otherwise our time table cannot be hold. Again, we have to leave very early because the northwesterly winds will again increase during the afternoon and turn W. The first 31nm we have to use the motor against the wind and against a very high waves. The ship hits very hard into the waves and the spray is blown over the whole boat. During that time I have some thoughts if it is really wise to travel with sailing boats…Anyway, we need to continue. There is no other way. North of Vejrö we can finally set sails and stop the motor, since we sail a southwesterly course from now on. we sail very fast down the Great Belt, and a strong current helps us to go south. Again the wind turns more against us and we cannot reach Spodsbjerg as planned. We therefore continue to Bagenkop where we stop early afternoon after 60nm. Tired and a little wet we are happy to be here.

In Bagenkop alongside the jetty

Only one third of the berths are occupied and we can again go alongside the harbor wall. This time it is not sand that blows from the side, but the spray over the harbor wall. That is not really a problem, and the sand from Stubbeköbing has been washed away as well.

Plenty of available space in Bagenkop

Now we need to wait for  the next weather window to sail the last 30nm to Kiel. Friday seems to be the day…

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