One year after Norway, we're heading back across the North Sea to the Netherlands. This time, however, we don't take the direct route, but the route via Skagerak and the Kattegat. The first stop in Denmark is the island of Anholt, where we are "welcomed" by a fellow TO (Bernd, SY Hullu Poro) at the jetty. We gladly take advantage of the help with mooring, as there are only rings at the jetty.
We notice the beach with sand and dunes, different smells and different goods in the shops in this country that is new to us. We also get a guided tour of the island by the island dog, who accompanies us for almost two hours on our island walk. Otherwise, unfortunately, we don't have much beach weather.
We choose the direct route without any stops in order to be in Sønderborg in time for our meeting with friends. With good sailing wind, sun and few waves, we first enjoy a very calm and fast sail on the Baltic Sea. The wind is forecast to die down, so we decide to sail through the Little Belt under motor. Sailing at night through this narrower waterway with bridges and various lights takes a bit of getting used to. We drop anchor in a bay in the middle of the night and continue our journey the next morning, rested.
Once in Sønderborg, we get the last berth directly on the promenade pier. For a couple of days we plunge into the tourist hustle and bustle and meet friends who also come by sailboat. It's wonderful weather and we're still enjoying this great summer! Continuing without a stop, we head for Kiel. We were overwhelmed by so many ships of all sizes. Fortunately, we were able to reserve a berth at the Kiel Yacht Club, which is secured for us for a week.
Anticipating a German supermarket with fine sausage and a larger selection of cheese, we enjoy going shopping. Even a visit to Kiel's weekly market only leaves us amazed. The variety of goods on offer quickly overwhelms us. On September 21st we celebrate our "1st anniversary underway with the Aegir". We have covered 6630 nautical miles so far - we drink a toast to this and to the rest of our journey. We and the "Aegir" - it just fits!
With family visitors on board - Gregor's sister Magda and her husband Ingo - we continue through the "Kiel Canal". This was a premiere for us and Aegir. And everything works out wonderfully. We stop twice (Giesel lock and Brunsbüttel) before continuing on the Elbe to Glückstadt. Impressive are the strong currents. With a good cross-current we arrive in Glückstadt. A very pleasant little town awaits us.
Then, the next leg to Hamburg is even more exciting. With traffic increasing, we are challenged by the harbor entrance. Now we start a few great days of "Hamburg Tourism" with a port and city tour, a concert at the Elbphilharmonie, some fish sandwiches, a visit to the fish market and the maritime museum.
There is a crew change in Hamburg and we continue via Glückstadt to Cuxhaven. Christine's mother Traudi - our 84-year-old "crew member" - shows herself seaworthy and enjoys the journey. We had a great berth in Cuxhaven thanks to our TO colleague Simone (SY Germane). Meeting virtual acquaintances "live" is always a pleasure.
We have another "crew change", our friend Jörg and his son Paul come on board, and we continue in two stages to Holland. Weather conditions are very changeable and we take advantage of two sufficiently good weather windows. However, a very rough sea awaits us from Cuxhaven to Borkum. The entire crew feels sick! We can recover on Borkum and continue on to Den Helder. There, the Aegir barely fits through the harbour entrance of the "Koninklijke Marine Jacht Club". Eventually we get a good berth for the next stormy days. There is enough time to visit the marine museum area of the historic Willemsoord shipyard, which is well worth seeing.
On the last two legs of the day, we sail in a twosome again. With a good sailing wind and beautiful weather, our first voyage, after more than 6800 nautical miles and 13 months, ends again in Hellevoetsluis.
For the next five months, this familiar place will be our home. We are delighted that many people, known and unknown, have been following our journey so far. Some of them we will meet in the coming months. We will continue to report in 2024 and say "Tschüsssss" until then.