A MUCH better day!

Trip Start Apr 09, 2010
Trip End Sep 26, 2010

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Flag of Denmark  , Region South Denmark,
Thursday, August 26, 2010

At last! We woke to blue skies and little or no wind. It was cool, autumnal even, but at least the incessant howling of very strong wind and drumming of rain was over. We could now continue with our exploration of this part of the Baltic, the area that is reputed to be the most attractive and one in which we initially thought we had oodles of time to enjoy – it's funny how bad weather can put a spanner in the works. We actually are still OK time-wise, but we do need a bit of luck with the weather if we are too see all we originally envisaged.

So, without further ado, once we had stoked our inner boilers with bacon & egg, we set off down Kolding fjord under engine, as the wind was too light to give us sufficient speed. Our destination for the day was about 30 miles away, the well-preserved town of Haderslev, which i s situated at the end of a relatively narrow 7 mile fjord. Rather than exiting Kolding fjord, turning right to travel south in the Lille Bælt and then turning right again to travel westwards down Hadderslev Fjord, we took a minor detour and crossed the Lille Bælt having exited Kolding Fjord and entered Fæno Sund, which separates Fyn from the small off lying island of Fæno and at its southernmost point marks the entrance to Gamborg Fjord on Fyn. At the entrance of the sound, the water is really quite deep, some 40m or so and there was a noticeable current. Whether it is this combination or some other factor that causes fish to collect here (I assume) but there were large numbers, 5 at least, of porpoises in quite a small area, busily sounding and exhaling noisily when they surfaced. Again, they take absolutely no notice of passing boats, so unlike dolphins. Having travelled down the sound, we chose note to go into Gamborg Fjord but re-entered the main channel ie the Lille Bælt and then continued southwards. At this point we were sailing, as the wind was occasionally strong enough to warrant switching the engine off and we could enjoy that sensation of moving quietly through the water that makes sailing so pleasurable.

This part of Denmark is very pretty. It is fairly heavily wooded and interspersed with the trees are large arable fields, usually filled with ripe wheat or barley and dotted amongst these two principal vegetation types are little meadows with grazing animals and some rather attractive dwellings. It reminded us of Suffolk, with the same undulating landscape – as I said, it is very pretty. However, unlike Suffolk, there are countless places to stop and anchor and the sea is not the North Sea, it is much more akin to being on a lake than on sea proper. In short, it was very relaxing, no tides, gentle winds and sunny skies, really splendid!

By 15:00 we had reached the entrance to the Fjord and from now on, we were effectively travelling into the wind so the sails were put away and the engine started. The channel runs more or less down the centre of the winding fjord. Most of the fjord is less than 2m deep but the channel is maintained at 6m, so there is plenty of water. It is well marked with green and red buoys so piloting was not a problem, provided one kept one’s eyes on the buoyage and not linger too long on the pretty views and wonderful houses as they pass. It was a truly uplifting passage, the scenery is so different to that which we are accustomed, sort of gently alien. Equally alien was a mock river boat with moving paddle wheels that overtook us, a sort of Danish 'African Queen’ (see photo).

Like all Danish end-of-fjord towns, Hadderslev is dominated by huge grain silos on the quay side. It doesn’t add to their photogenicity’ if there is such a word, if not there should be! However, unique to this town is the fact that the manufacturer of one of Scandinavia’s best yachts, X-Yachts, is based here and we passed several brand new boats floating in the company’s docks. The yacht berths for lesser mortals are situated at the end of the fjord and we were very kindly pointed to an alongside pontoon, in a sort of cul-de-sac close to the facilities and diesel tank and we’d tied up and settled in by 17:00.

Later that evening, as it was such a pleasant one, we had a barbecue, using the harbour’s grillplads ie dedicated barbecue area with grills in situ. A nice end to a great day.

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