the end of the weekend and the route ahead is still long .. time to
sail on. The wind is firmly settled in the North East corner, perfect
to be accelerated by the Southern tip of Sweden. Such a wind pushes the
water out of the Baltic Sea into in the North Sea, creating a strong
current northwards between the Danish islands. Yes, right in our nose
The alarm clocks goes off at 5 am – we are trying to leave
early enough to avoid the strongest of the current. Still, we will
register 1.2 knots between Copenhagen and Malmö. This is actually a
busy place: we pass by the Norwegian tall ship “Sørlandet”.
When history meets modernity
The wind is, as
forecasted, quite strong and against us. We beast against it with
two reefs and the jib, towards a big windfarm (“Baltic 2”). Shall we
pass South? Or North? Or perhaps through it? Apparently, it is allowed
to sail between the big towers, during daytime only and with wind no
more than force 6. Before we make up our minds, the wind drops a notch
and veers north, and we can safely pass along – with a wide margin and
enough comfort to dedicate our afternoon to various mending and sewing
As the night falls, the winds picks up again. A
nasty choppy sea appeared in no time and washes over the deck. It feels
like in a laundry machine inside. A few vicious waves even come in,
flooding the chart table. We are soaked – but, weirdly enough, not
salty! The water here is really fresh! Interesting contrast, fresh
water and offshore, wide open sea travelled by big shipping vessels.
But no complain: everything dries much quicker! This confirms our
favorite saying “it’s not wet, it’s fresh water”.
nearing the coast now, it’s time to decide where we will land. In our
guidebook, two options on the North-East end of Rügen island: 1. Lohme:
“idyllic surroundings, charming pocket-size fishing harbor nested under
a forested cliff. Quiet and quaint.” 2. Sassnitz: “big fishing
harbor where the industrial activities dominate”. Obvious, isn’t it? At
least until we read the book again, including the small prints under
Lohme: “approach dangerous with strong wind”. Let’s see: we have 3
reefs and the jib, and clearly too much canvas on still. Yes, the wind
may be qualified of “strong”. So much for “quiet and quaint”, we’ll opt
for safety, however industrial.
course is set towards the safe waters buoy 3 M offshore of Sassnitz,
giving a wide berth to the coast and hoping that wind and waves will
have time to decrease in the meanwhile… but they don’t. So we head for
the harbor, with jib up only, on a very fast broad reach. At the end of
the breakwater, the waves are breaking due to silting. Better to give a
wide berth. Phew! Sheltered from the waves, we can maneuver and finally
reach the visiting berths.
Mooring dolphins, 5m deep. The fee
depends on the size of the chosen berth. For <12m, it was 12 euros.
Payable in cash, to a real person, speaking German only of course! We
are out of digital Scandinavia, welcome back to the cash world!
The entrance with day light and calm wind looks much more appealing!
22nd May: Sassnitz (onshore)
3.30 am, we fall into a deep slumber.
we open the eyes again, a bright sun reveals the details of this
“industrial” harbor. A string of shops and restaurants, trying to catch
to attention of the passers-by, strolling the quay with an ice-cream in
the hand. A cliff overhangs the harbor, topped by neat holiday villas
alternating with green trees. Indeed, a few big fishing boats and
warehouses may deserve to be called “industrial”, but all in all it’s a
specialties include “sanddorn”- based products (sea buckthorn), ranging
from jams to creams and liquors. Restaurants put forward a wide variety
of fresh fish, including cod and zander. Sassnitz became a town
during the 20th century only, when the farming village of the top of
the cliff was joined to the fishing village at the bottom of the cliff.
Populated since the 16th century, the place really grew in the 19th
century with the joint development of trains and seaside tourism.
also the gateway to the Jasmund national park with its majestic and
glistening white chalk cliffs, up to 161m high. Covered with a beech
forest, the area was first protected in 1990 under the DDR, it is the
smallest National Park in Germany. Now, it is protected by UNESCO.
Perfect for an afternoon walk! A nice and easy trail of 7km leads to
the highlight of the park, the « Königsstuhl ». Unfortunately, this
specific rock and surrounding grounds, including the visitor center,
are subject to an entry fee. A little off put by the mercantile
atmosphere, we turned around and came back to the city on the same
path, stopping at the splendid viewpoints along the way. Breathtaking
views of the sea, swallows flying very fast up and down perfectly white
walls plunging in the transparent water.
View point from the hiking path
For dinner, we indulge in Schnitzel and Bier – perfect to celebrate our first (and only!) German stop.
is a nice little breeze. We were shaken enough during our last crossing
and we enjoy a flat, quiet trip under the sun.
says that the wind will increase with nightfall, so we ready the jib.
As soon as the small sail is up though, the wind drops again, calling
the genoa back. 6 knots, straight to the next harbor, not too close
It’s night again when we approach. The entrance to
Dziwnów is well-marked, following lined-up lights into the channel. At
these latitudes there are only a few hours of dark, and we always
manage to arrive during them!
Hoisting the Polish flag
Very surprising inclined pontoons in Dziwnow. A sign precises that it i forbidden to walk on them
marina is recent, on the left bank after the fishing harbor, dug out
between the reeds. Equipped with pontoons which would be very
practical… if we could walk on them!
The marina is also
equipped with many videosurveillance cameras. There is even a camera in
the showers! (although it covers only the sinks, says the sign on the
door). It is past midnight when we arrive, but there is a guard on
duty, who approaches us as soon as we near the sanitary block. You can
check in anytime of day or night. But you cannot check in in English.
Polish preferably, mixed with a few words of German. At the end we
understand that we need to pay 50 PLN, plus 6 PLN for the shower. In
cash of course! We are allowed to go and sleep before going to the cash
In this marina are mainly foreign
boats: one Dutch, two Germans, two Norwegians. Not very talkative.
Until now, we spoke the most with Swedes, in Hamnholmen, and a young
couple in Sassnitz. It is not like in the Atlantic, where we met again
and again the same boats and made a lot of friends. We miss the
friendly atmosphere a bit.
24th May : Dziwnów (onshore)
Polish stop. It is pronounced “jiv-noof” according to our excellent
(although a bit dated) Imray Guide of the Baltic Sea.
has never been in Poland. Laure, once, the summer when France won the
world cup (yes, that long ago!). And never in this region, Pomerania.
We walk around with our eyes wide open, avidly absorbing the first
Road closed to cars, motorbikes and... pedal cars ??!!
city is clearly devoted to tourism. Half of the buildings seem to be
hotels and B&B. A lot of construction work is ongoing, with
scaffolding and hammering in almost every street. The rise of tourism
seems pretty recent and booming right now.
This is common to
many Polish seaside resorts: many infrastructures, in particular
marinas, are very recent. Nautical charts and guides are sometimes
outdated. We ended up checking Google maps for confirmation!
grocery shopping in Poland: we discover the “pierogies”. Those
dumplings stuffed with a wide variety of sweet or savory ingredients
are about to become our favorite meal during a sailing trip! Easy to
cook (boiled or panned), and delicious!
from the city along the beach, we understand the touristic potential of
this region. Immense stretch of white sand, as far as the eye can see,
fringed by forested dunes. The sand is so smooth and thin! It also
makes a funny noise when one walks on it. The water however is not that
warm yet, it is enough to immerse the toes for the moment.
The beginning of the looooong polish beach
A full bag full of plastics picked up even without looking for it
Here, we are
struck by the quantity of rubbish on the beach. The ground is literally
covered with plastic wrappings, bottles and cigarette butts along the
promenade in the dune – despite dozens of bins standing right there. On
the beach itself, we pick up a full 12L again, and only in our tracks,
along the water (we did not clean the full beach unfortunately – the task
discouraged us). We wonder: why is there so much rubbish here, whereas
a few kilometers away on the other side of the border in Sassnitz, the
beach is very clean (with the exception of the inevitable cigarette
butts…)? Is this down to public infrastructure? To education and
awareness of the population? Of tourists?
Back to the harbor, we enjoy a nice local beer – cheering to our first contact with seaside Poland!
We had been warned… the wind is
generally coming from North-East in the Baltic during the spring. It
veers to the South-West at the end of the summer. It would be much
better to start from Helsinki for a Baltic trip!
The wind is
also accelerated along the Swedish coast. The weather forecast predicts
stronger winds around the Danish island of Bornholm – so we decide to
stay along the Polish coast for a while, and make our way West, slowly
beating against the wind. The Polish coast is a long strip of sand and
dunes, guarded by fishpots – which are not pots, as we learnt, but nets
here! Luckily they are set deep enough so that we can sail close past
the little flags. Fun fact: they are equipped with a round cross in
metal to reflect radar. Not sure if this is to be found or avoided! We,
on the other hand, are not fishing anything.
Beacon for fishing nets, equipped with a radar reflector
Little wind and forecasted storms
encourage us to stop in the next harbor, Kolobrzeg (or Kolberg for the
lazy and the foreigners). This time the sun is setting as we enter into
the harbor and we can enjoy the last of the daylight to find the
marina. We are improving :o)
26th May : Kolobrzeg (onshore)
is a big fishing harbor, and the marina is located at the end of the
chenal, after the fishing boats and the grain-storage buildings dating
back to 1929. Visitors moor in a dedicated basin with many
finger-berths, toilets and brand new showers – the laundry machines are
also welcome after 2 weeks sailing. 30 PLN / day, and you should keep
the change! In particular, 5 PLN coins are required for the showers –
as in most Polish marinas we’ve seen so far.
Grain storage buildings from 1929 and timber ready to be loaded on a ship
Nice light before the rain...
completing the laundry, shopping and various maintenance activities
required, we are free to explore this new place. Walking back towards
the sea front, we are surprised to find many touristic attractions.
Countless shops and kiosks sell ice-creams, waffles and smoked fish.
Other conspicuous features of any Polish touristic resort seem to
include fake pirate and Viking boats, on which locals embark for a
short cruise out to the sea or upriver. Excepting some Germans, most
tourists here appear to be Polish.
Our steps lead us to the
beach and the very nice pier – then wind and storms lead us away from
the shore and into the more sheltered city center.
known for having brilliantly resisted Napoleon, has an interesting
formerly fortified city center. Like in many Polish cities, the
destruction of the Second World War was catastrophic. Some buildings
are restored, including the conspicuous cathedral and the 19th century
brick town hall.
The rather unusual facade of the cathedral, made of bricks of course
On our way back to the
boat through the "Hanseatic Salt Market", a historical fair in costumes
that commemorates the past of the city, also a member of the famous
The storms seem to calm down, tomorrow we can resume our slow progression Eastwards...
SuDad - 05/06/2018 18:38:38 Ca c'est ce qui s'appelle une économie d'échelle!: emmener tout votre fan club d'un seul coup le long de côtes que personne ne soupçonnait il y'a... quelques instants. Qui imaginait le tourisme balnéaire polonais, hein? la finesse du sable. Bon, les caméras dans les douches, c'est un peu trop créatif, sans doute.
Plus stable que le vent, votre verve, elle, ne faiblit pas. Nul besoin d'incidents pour épicer, le récit est naturellement et spontanément savoureux. Ca aiguise l'appétit. Heureusement, on n'en est encore qu'au hors-d'oeuvre!
La suite, cheffes! ici plus qu'ailleurs, l'appétit vient en mangeant. Merci pour cette gastronomie.
Mum - 05/06/2018 09:50:32 Super avec cet humour qui nous picote agréablement ! la mamou - 05/06/2018 08:20:35 voici une bien belle façon de commencer la journée !! merci les filles pour ce super article !!