Enroute through Southern Denmark to Kiel

Trip Start May 13, 2010
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Trip End Oct 04, 2010


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On board Bronzewing

Flag of Denmark  , Fyn and the Central Islands,
Monday, June 14, 2010

After spending a wet and windy weekend in Middelfart, we left on Monday to start out on our trip. Our first stop was a delightful anchorage called Dyvig which we had discovered last year and to which we were keen to return.  From there we went South and met Deiter and Gunder in their boat at a small marina called Wacherbilling in N. Germany. Here we enjoyed an excellent dinner with them in the waterside restaurant  where we were able to sit outside under near perfect summer weather conditions. The following day we took our folding bicycles and had the most wonderful 25 km round-trip following tracks through a beautiful natural area following the coast around, cycling through low-lying wetlands attracting thousands of water birds, deciduous woods with huge old oaks, beech trees and numerous others, fields and fields of wheat, barley, corn, rape, marshes with herds of Highland cattle and small grey ponies grazing, on to a light house and a sea-front tourist park.  We met the owner who told us his grandfather had bought a farm at a good price after the war and his mother had started the tourist park in the 50's.  The park is now their entire source of income and the huge farm barn has been converted to apartments and a back packers’ hostel.  We had our picnic lunch gazing out over fields to an estuary and windmill in the distance.

From here we went to Maasholm where we anchored North of the marina and were joined by another Dragonfly named "Just for Fun". The following morning (yesterday) we departed amongst an armada of sailing craft all headed for Kiel. There must have been a 100 or more yachts of all shapes and sizes – including square riggers under sail. A truly magnificent sight.

We had a great sail in quite strong winds and much of the time we were sailing on a broad reach (wind coming in about 110 degrees from the side). Richard was delighted that we outpaced all and sundry – but it was a close run thing. Overhauling one or two classic heavy displacement yachts took a surprisingly long time proving that a classic wineglass hull shape can be surprisingly fast. The trimaran is only really fast when it is planing and for this it needs a close reach or a beam reach. We did not get such a wind direction until we entered the Kiel Fjord. Here however, the wind gusted to 24 kts and all of a sudden we were planing and reached 14 kts in a matter of seconds.

No sooner were we under control than we were greeted by the extraordinary sight of the world’s fastest sailing yacht – a trimaran with hydrofoils, speeding up the Fjord on the opposite tack. A truly remarkable sight with the boat fully airborne - simply riding on 2 foils and with its rudder in the water. A lot of spray and we could imagine that it was doing 40 knots or more. We learned later that this boat is a French built Hydrofoil tri called L’Hydroptere which has been timed at a formidable 57knots! Now that’s exciting sailing! Makes our speed quite modest!

Technical info re the above experience

As we were under full main and we have a high aspect rig with a large powerful square topped mainsail this proved the wisdom of Richard’s insistence on changing the traveler system from the standard central side-winder on the traveler (which often proved virtually impossible to move across when there was a lot of pressure on the sail and was too slow to operate), to a system whereby the traveler is operated by a conventional self-tailing winch at each end.  This new system can easily and quickly be operated by either the helmsman or crew.  When the wind gets too strong or gusts suddenly the main sail is then placing the boat under too much pressure. When the boat is hard pressed the bow of the leeward hull starts to dig into the waves and the boat wants to turn into the wind. There is a lot of weather helm making it nearly impossible to bear away – unless the main can be dumped by releasing the traveler – something that we can now do quite easily with our modified traveller system. Of course there is no opportunity to reef the sails under these conditions and on a multihull it is essential to de-power the mainsail quickly. Richard’s modified system worked perfectly and within seconds, he had the boat back under control.
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