Wednesday 25 April
The day started early, as Mate felt we should give ourselves a full day’s light to complete our journey to Copenhagen, or at least a marina on the outskirts of the city, that is near to where we need to deliver the items requiring repair. By 0730, with no further signs of malfunctioning equipment, we were bouncing out of the relative shelter of the harbour into a sea still bumpy from yesterday’s wind. It was raining.
Mate stowed all my fenders neatly in the sail locker, and mooring ropes into the lazarette locker in my cockpit, before taking over on the helm while Skipper hoisted the mainsail. Soon we were following the coast of the island of Møn, that has impressive chalk cliffs on its Eastern shore, and working our way North towards our next harbour, some 45M through the murk.
Years of dinghy sailing taught my crew something about assessing wind strength and direction, but today proved how easy it is to become reliant on the electronic gadgets that do the hard work for them. It was a day of challenging wind conditions, with the variable breeze blowing primarily from the direction of our destination. Ironically for today’s passage, this is known as the ‘No Go Zone’, and means a boat has to tack – make a zigzag course, which can add a lot of miles and is a relatively slow and less comfortable point of sail.
All in all, then, it was a difficult day’s sailing: an average speed of only four knots – a brisk walking pace (if you can walk on water), wet, cold and heeled over, making it difficult to move around the boat, or do anything below decks. To be fair, it did stop raining some time during the afternoon, but this improvement was mitigated by the wind gradually backing until my crew gave up all hope of trying to sail me into harbour, hauled in the sails and motored the last hour, hoping to avoid yet another looming raincloud.
Unfortunately, my diesel tanks are down to less than a fifth of their capacity, which leaves the fuel sloshing around in a lively sea, causing Trevver to choke occasionally when he takes in air instead of liquid. Not a stress-free end to the day, then, but not, in fact, the end of the day either. We arrived at Ishøj Havn about an hour before sunset, but my crew were unable to determine the berth that had been allocated for us, and in a strong crosswind, Skipper was understandably reluctant to attempt a box berth that really didn’t look wide enough. Our track on the chart plotter looks like we were designing the pattern for a quilting project, and an hour after our entry, we finally tied up alongside a sturdy steel trip boat, apparently undergoing renovation. A friendly neighbour assured us, in perfect English, we’d be fine here, as her owner wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
A scratch supper was thrown together, and Mate was asleep before her head touched the pillow.