Short but intense

Launch 2016
As usual Frank and me had Rainer at our side to support us launching Rolling Stone. Frank planned a sailing trip with the whole family for three weeks in Danish waters. After that, it was Rainers, Matthias‘ and my turn. With approx. 2 weeks my trip would be kind of short this year. The boat was well prepared for the crane and so nothing unexpected happened…although you never know 🙂 For July the weather was grey and rainy but sunshine and blue sky was predicted for the days to come and it turned out that Frank and his family would have dreamlike sailing holidays.  Maybe someday Frank will contribute a travel report with some nice pics …As you will see below my sailing trip was not so much fun.

Low Pressure & clogged Filters
In Sonwik, a quite new marina located at the Flensburg Fjord, Matthias and me entered Rolling Stone to start our holidays. Rainer was loaded with work at his office and he would accompany us the next days, wherever we would be then. The weather was still okay, it was sunny, but already breezy and the barometer was dropping dramatically…After weeks of sunshine and best sailing conditions something evil was developing around us. I wanted to leave Sonwik as soon as possible before the weather got worse and therefore we headed out of the Flensburg Fjord the next day. Already during this passage to Sonderborg the wind increased and we were going with 7 kn SOG with the 110% jib alone. It was the first indicator of the low pressure system which seemed to build up very quickly. Once in Sonderborg we were pinned the next day. Besides the force 9 gale, the maximum temperatures dropped to 9°C, usually you have about 20°C. Heavy rain showers did the rest to keep us there. In fact there was not a single boat leaving the port. The mood on-board was still good, but to be honest it could have been better. However, due to the weather the nearby barbeque area was deserted so we could build a spacious protection with a couple of sunshades. Also, as the sun was coming out here and then we took the opportunity to visit the historic center of Sonderborg. By chance the Danish Royal Yacht Dannebrog (1932) made a visit there. Quite a sight, this almost 90 year old majestic vessel, which is still in service for the Royal family.

Finally after the weather became moderate we left Sonderborg heading Heiligenhafen. Unfortunately we did not reach it…Our bumpy passage swirled up all the dirt and mud inside the diesel tank. As a result the filters clogged in no time and after starting the engine it died after some minutes. As this happened we had no clue about that at all and we really had other things to do: HOSITING SAILS again quickly to avoid grounding in the narrow shipping canal with reefs all around. Also there was a lot of traffic and the wind was still blowing with force 6. Without engine it was impossible to get to Heiligenhafen so after some research we decided to try Großenbrode which seemed to be accessible under sails only – and we did it, although the docking maneuver was a challenge. This experience revealed the last remaining weakness of the fuel supply system, the tank itself. Every other part of it was already replaced by new equipment. Of course we need to find a solution for this and decided that we had to build inspection / cleaning hatches for the tank to have the possibility to access it (see here).
Again days went by, without any sailing. It was quite frustrating. We had a technician on-board because it was not clear to us, what exactly happened and we wanted to be sure that the new engine was still ok. Also, we had to get more replacement filters for the diesel supply system, because the upcoming trip through the German canals required 4 days of serious engine operation…The last leg led us from Großenbrode to Travemünde, the entrance to the Elbe-Lübeck-Canal. In Travemünde, next to us, we met the beautiful Germania VI, a Bermuda-Yawl, which was the first welded aluminum boat worldwide and the last yacht of the steel tycoon Alfred Krupp. With regard to sailing we did another day-sailer at the bay of Grömitz and that was it…Sailing this year was finally over.

However, during the canal tour back to Braunschweig we had great weather und much fun again…a bit too late for my taste.