We have made good use of favorable winds during the last three days, zooming from Strandby in the far north of Denmark to Sønderborg in the south, next the border with Germany. That included our first full-family overnight sail in three years, going first from Strandby to Årø, (a small island to the south of the larger island of Fyn), covering just over 175 miles in 34 hours, and then a second shorter 30 mile trip through mostly protected waters, from Årø to Sønderborg.
The overnight passage was some hard sledding. One highlight was the need to cross a major shipping line in a rather tight area at about 3 a.m. Such crossings are difficult enough as it is, and was made a little more challenging both because it was dark and because one is not thinking at one’s clearest at that hour of the night. Add to this that we are missing our chart plotter in the cockpit, and the task was made a little more interesting still.
The photo above is of one of the ships that passed nearby. It’s a blurry picture, but we wanted to show what these things look like from the perspective of a relatively small sailboat. She’s close, but we’re safe, as we are outside the designated shipping line, waiting for a break in the traffic so we can dart across the shipping “highway.” We were able to do that soon after this ship passed.
Because they are lit up like Christmas trees, these big cruise ships are actually easier to deal with than freighters and tankers. There is no confusing where they are and where they are going. The commercial carriers, on the other hand, often have just a couple of lights, and the rest appears as blackness. Especially against an urban skyline, their movements can be hard to decipher.
As the sun came up, so did the winds. We had planned on staying to the east of Fyn, but the winds would not permit that easily, and so we bore off, went to the north of Fyn, and then passed down through the more protected waters between the island’s west coast and the Jutland Peninsula.
We eventually got into more protected areas, and got so see some of the Danish country side up close.
We enjoyed our stay at Årø.
We sailed from Årø to Sønderborg the next day.
We put 205 miles beneath the keel in these three days. We’re just 30 miles from the Kiel Canal, and our next stop will be Germany. 280 miles down, 768 to the Bay of Biscay, 4,409 to the Caribbean.