Sahula Cruising

14 May 2012 | England
25 October 2011 | Ipswic
13 September 2011 | Ipswich
13 September 2011 | Ipswich
25 June 2011 | Frankfurt
09 June 2011 | Frankfurt
25 May 2011 | Regensburg, Germany
18 May 2011 | Linz
12 May 2011 | Nova Sad
12 May 2011 | Vienna
05 May 2011 | Budapest
22 April 2011 | Viden
08 April 2011 | Constanta, Romania

passage report No. 59 Regensburg to Frankfurt

09 June 2011 | Frankfurt
David Haigh
Passage Report No. 59

May, 2011

Regensburg to Frankfurt

“Push off,” Sahula is swung by the current, the aft mast end hits the concrete wall, a mast light and wind indicator paddle snap – the price for not removing them. Fenders are placed on the mast ends.

Sahula is at the Regensburg marina. “Don’t worry it is soft” “It will rain on Friday.” Sahula is “perched” some 20 cm balanced on her keel, pontoons lines are bar tight. Overnight the River has dropped.

Five locals pushing, a motor boat pulling and Tanya revving – Sahula leans to and breaks free to another berth.

A revisit (by train) to Passau to see Captain Jord (River Countess) at his home. A visit to the Government “Foreigners” office with Jord speaking German results in “You must leave end of visa.” (no agreement Australia and Germany).

Skipper must now rethink the next part of the trip. It is resolved to cruise the Rhine to Holland and leave for the United Kingdom for winter and home then next season to Norway.

Sahula, departs, threads the “700 year old bridge,” clunk - a hidden obstacle strikes hard the hull. Steel is a friend.

At Kelheim, another of Ludwig 1’s folly’s,( other is Walhalla temple, Regensburg) the “pudding” like “Liberation (Napoleon’s defeat) monument squats high above the River.

“Marina” means Sahula’s keel rests in silt overnight. (11 Euros – Kelheim Yacht Club)

Past the dividing marker: Danube to left, Main – Danube Canal to right. 7 weeks and 2412 km to the Black Sea, 2012 to Constanta Canal. Skipper congratulates Crew on a job well done. Sahula and Tanya (engine) likewise. A unique and remarkable adventure.

Ahead the Main – Danube Canal to Bamberg – 16 locks, 171 km, (3-4 m), ascending to 406 m.

A swan family swim idly by, signets resting on mother’s back. Castles perch above river villages.

“Lyaemer” (2100 tonnes) is Sahula’s ticket to a speedy transit through locks. Locks fit one barge and a “sportsboot.” She also created “horibulus lockius.”

Sahula was trapped – if she swung out from behind the barge she would meet 2000 tonnes exiting the lock. Drifting, the rudder felt the shore rocks. Full ahead, barge forward propeller surged, Sahula bounced, missed the now almost past barge and was free. Dark disaster is never far.

To Holland downhill from the 406 m summit. Five locks (three: 24 m) to Nurnberg.

Green and Red navigation markers changed sides – uphill markers from sea.

Dusk, Sahula moors behind “Stormy” (German yacht enroute to Romania) at a factory river wall.

Guests of Klemens (lawyer and yacht owner of Nurenberg)and Reiko, to a Bavarian biergarten.

Lock, lock and locks – 34 locks over 384 km to Frankfurt each between 20 minutes to an hour.

Varied locks yield surprises: turbulent up, calm down, through draining current, static or floating bollards so far apart “sportsboots” can only use one, two closing gates in one, exit gates sink or rise, non or English speaking lock masters, one lock master manages a number of locks using cameras, sportsboots yield to commercial barges, turbulence from exiting barges, sportsboot “waiting” wharf – too shallow or non-existent, other sportboots (rowing sculls, motorboats) crowd space. Patience is a virtue.

Rural greens – ochre steepled, orange/red roofed villages - unchanged patchwork of agrarian life.

“Venetian” Bamberg, “unspoiled gem of medieval and Baroque architecture (2300 buildings declared World Heritage).

Locked out (lock repairs), Sahula alongside a barge, Skipper walks to the local village – neat, impossibly clean, a large church citadel and a “backerie” – hot bread shop.

Garden rural fields – a Monet of red poppies, purple, white, yellow wildflowers. Steep, terraced vineyards line the hills blessed by chiselled stone icons.

Wuzburg, city of Prince Bishops, bridges, churches and hilltop monastery.

Weinberg Yacht Club pulls Sahula to the wharf, “It’s only soft” (1.4-5 m)(12 Euro). Passing barges suck out, then fill the depth. Alarms ringing, Sahula departs.

Holiday time: massed tents, campervans and village festivals. Sahula cruises cautiously between swimmers, skiers, canoes, rowing sculls.

Anxious ducks, geese, swans and frantic families quickly cross.

Navigation lights signal late dusk alongside a lock wall.

Maintenance is avoiding the unprepared. Calcified loo pipes give Skipper a lesson.

Sahula “races” to Frankfurt, arriving a week early at Speck Marina, Offenbach (12 Euro/night).

Skipper must now resolve the way ahead: to Holland and England or to Baltic and Finland.

Next Report No. 60: Frankfurt, Rhine to Holland.

6th June, 2011
Vessel Name: Sahula
Vessel Make/Model: van de stadt 36 extended to 40 feet
Hailing Port: Townsville
Crew: David - single hander
David is retired (60 ish young) academic who taught potential environmental radicals environmental law, law of the sea and coastal law. He's now setting out on a global cruise aboard Sahula. He's travelling solo except when potential crew take the plunge and join up. He welcomes worthy souls. [...]

About Sahula

Who: David - single hander
Port: Townsville