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The Voyage of 'S/V Röde Orm' - Sweden
Come on board and take part in our adventures while exploring the world at the slow pace of a sailing boat. We left in June 2009, heading south to escape the northern winter... to start with. Currently in Algarve/Portugal taking it one day at a time.
The Kiel Canal
06/24/2009

At 7PM we were in the lock with two other sailing vessels. Much to my surprise, there were no grumpy old guy in uniform in the Lock Master's office, but a kind man in his early thirties who offered me a piece of cake (!) when I payed the '12 in fee.

Germany certainly seem to have changed since I hitch-hiked through it at seventeen!

The locking procedure is not THAT dramatic here, it's just a couple of decimeters we gained in altitude before continuation to the sheltered inland waterway. The canal is 53,3 miles long and connects the North sea with the Baltic Sea, thus making it unnecessary to round Denmark. (No offense, dear Danes, just distancewise!)

Pleasure Crafts are not allowed to be uner way in the canal at night, giving us an excuse to get a full night's proper sleep, so we anchored in Lake Borgstedt in one of the five 'sichers' along the stretch of the canal.

Departure
06/23/2009

At last we managed to cut those docking lines. Probably the hardest part of any voyage of this nature. That doesn't necessarily mean that the rest is going to be easy, but most likely very simpe in comparison. A year and half, spent on selling the landased possessions and then refitting the boat is finally over.

With a magnificent High Pressure System covering most of the North Atlantic from the Azores to Scandinavia we just had to go now. A weather window like this doesn't appear more than once a summer at best. The forecast is sunny and warm and N-NE and then E winds in the 8-23 knot range for a week to come.

By now we have skipped the iea of going to Scotland to start with. Since we are already delayed for about a month, we want to get south ASAP. So it will be the English Channel and then Bretagne (Brittany) and from there across Bay of Biscay to Galicia in Spain. Pretty much the same route as most people take from this region. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to sail in Scotland som other time.

Three a clock we went south under the opening bridge in Falsterbo Kanal, to set course for another Canal, the Kiel Canal, or Nord- Ost see Kanal as the Germans call it. 210 degrees on the compass and approx 140 miles to go, so we should be there tomorrow evening at dinner time. The wind was fresh, around 24 knots, so we started with a reef in the mainsail.

After just a couple of hours, we had to shake it out and the wind went down to just enough to provide steerage. So much for forecasts! A mere 2 hours. Normally very reluctant to fire up the engine on a sailing boat, I did. Not only do we want to make the best use of the high pressure and the (forecaasted, remember?) winds but the mechanics 'orders' for the best of the Iron Genny was to run it pretty hard and long hours at the start. So we did, with diesel tankage for more than 70 hours of motoring, we didn't hesitate to keep on for most of the 27 hours to Kiel. We managed to sail 3-4 of them, that's all.

Prominent visit in the Marina
06/21/2009

The russian participant of the Volvo Ocean Race 'dropped by' today to fill some fuel and then continue towards S:t Petersburg I assume, for some show there for the local crowd.

They had to leave the race already after the second leg if I remember it correctly, due to the fact that the Main Sponsor jumped ship after experiencing heavy losses in the financial crisis.

That said, the boat looked pretty worn and rugged today, and the crew didn't seem too happy either.

A celebrity visit here none the less...

Galley renovation done
06/21/2009

And we are quite happy with the result too. And the yellow fever 'attack' faded away in a couple of days, Thank God!

Yellow Fever?
06/12/2009

Who hasn't heard of cabin fever? Today that's what we are suffering from. It's raining cats and dogs since early last night and the wind is steady in the 30-40 knots range with a few gusts to 50-ish during the early part of last night.

The rain will end tonight but the wind with stay around 30 knots at least 30 hours more.

Luckily there is a remedy for cabin fever. A decent dinner, a glass of wine and a movie on the computer will help us endure this evening.

I am not sure as to if there's a remedy for yellow fever, but those nasty little virus you can see on today's picture has invaded my body in small numbers, provided with the vaccination I got yesterday. They are not alone either, the are in a happy little crowd with diphteria, tetanus and hepatitis A and B.

No wonder I feel like struck by the flu and not too sharp today.

As an interesting aside, the Doctor who gave me those shots will move to Dakar, Senegal in August to work over there during 2 years, and gave us an invitation to visit them if/when we get there in the fall.

Sure seems like a nice spot to spend the upcoming winter...

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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