You´ve probably read the first three parts of my inshore adventure, crossing a good part of Germany on a brand new Beneteau Oceanis 35.1 that was brought by myself to the Baltic sea. That´s a 250 mile trip on rivers, but mostly inshore waterways:
A whole new world of sailing on a boat – of course without actually having the sails up, let alone, the mast standing – but I found it very, very interesting and exciting to check out this world of seafaring. I´ve met big and smaller inshore vessels and experienced a different level of boat-handling when meeting ships and being overtaken, which is something of a new set of skills for me. I was also particularly challenged and in the end very excited by the locks and the mastering of the former highest ship´s lift of the world. So, at last we brought the boat to Luebeck where it was due to be rigged and made ready for real sailing.
There´s a very special place here in my new home town of Luebeck, which is called “Teerhof´s Island”. It´s a 20 minute dash downriver from the old town and – just like the ancient city limits of Luebeck – a proper island. Now it is connected to the land by a dam and it hosts a couple of marinas and yacht services. It bears a very special and unique feeling, not that brushed high glossy 5-star marina-image, but something oily, used and somehow romantic feel. I loved it here. Besides, the rigging agent did a magnificent job!
Steaming upriver: The Sea is calling
So we catched the boat late in the morning to bring her “around the block” to her temporary home, a marina some 15 miles away at the Luebeck Bay. But before we could set sails, we enjoyed a beautiful clear, icy-cold morning with a perfect blue sky and an empty waterway. So, going downriver Trave which is going into the Baltic Sea, the expectations of hoisting the canvas were growing along the excitement as well.
River Trave is a very picturesque river, not so much over populated (at least not in this time of the year) and as the river hasn´t been artificially altered to suit modern commercial shipping, it was like passing by natural scenes. Which there are: This last part of the voyage brings us through natural reserves and the former border between the two Germanies: Luebeck used to be on the front of the cold war with River Trave being a part of the iron curtain.
Reaching Travemünde after some two hours – the small town located at the estuary of River Travel – I instantly remembered my Skipper exam which I was passing here some years ago in the midst of large ferry ships which are departing for Scandinavia here. I found the harbour not very crowded and loved feeling the force of the ever-increasing winds, blowing in hard from the Baltic Sea.
Getting up the sails: What a bliss!
Leaving the harbour and steaming behind the buoys, I steered the boat into the wind and for the first time of her life we hoisted the mainsail. The wind wasn´t blowing that hard any more but as the sail was up and we luffed the boat, I could instantly easy the engine and put out the Diesel – let´s roll out the Genoa!
And up she went. With winds coming in at 35 to 40 degrees, the boat heeled over nicely and jumped to speed. What a bliss! At first I needed to drive her hard on the edge of the wind with our sails constantly on a tendency to kill, bit we needed to pinch in order to hit our marina with just one manoeuvre. Veering a bit to have the wind coming it just perfect, the boat was easily doint 6.8 to 7.4 knots, which is great for a 35-footer indeed!
I just loved it! In fact, these were the first ever miles ever in this season under sails and as my sailing mate Dirk was freezing too a bitter cold, I was happy when he asked me to keep the helm and be staying under deck where he was putting on the heater to max power. Me, as being well prepared with insulating underclothes, I had the fun of my life – the Oceanis was racing like nothing. Great!
So finally, we landed the boat and concluded this inshore delivery with one hour of great sailing experience. I can look back to 9 wonderful days aboard this Oceanis 35.1 and was very happy to send a message to her new owners that the yacht arrived safely without a scratch. Looking forward to the sailing season, this experience re-assured me of so many things, of which this one is the most important: There are seldom happier people than sailors!
You may be able to read all Inshore Delivery-articles by clicking on this hashtag #inshoredelivery
Also a great read:
A King´s Cruiser 33 in the Med: Family sailing
Flat, fast, exciting: The Vismara SUPER NIKKA