Well, we got to Cuxhaven but not quite in the time that I first predicted.
During the night, the second watch had reefed the genoa and even though we initially pulled it all out in the morning, we had to put the second reef on the main, and pull in the genoa to a small triangle. The wind was absolutely right 16-20 kn NW, the waves were at times 3-4 m from the port quarter or the aft and we made anything between 5 and 8 knots all day. The owner looked like a little boy on a rollercoaster when we let him steer all day. It was a real pleasure seeing someone so happy. I very much doubt he’ll be in that kind of weather anytime in the next few years with this boat.
30,5 hours and 178 NM on the gps and we tied up at Segler-Vereinigung Cuxhaven Marina in 15-20 kn winds. Quick showers, some shopping and dinner and it was time to hit the sacks. I had given orders that lines would we loose at 0000 UTC so we would only get about five hours of sleep.
It was really dark when we woke up. I was a little sceptical with the clouds hanging low. Is there any idea in leaving at this time? We got under way a little bit late, but quietly and started chugging up river. After leaving the port, as a captains’ prerogative I hit the snooze button on myself and left the others driving.
A few hours later I was awoken and told that we had arrived at Brunsbüttel. I directed the boat to the recreational boat waiting area and contacted the canal supervisors. They told us to wait 10-15 minutes and 15 minutes on the dot, the light turned to an occulting white. We put our gear in forward, just as the canal told us we were free to enter.
One could say that we had a private lock. Only a working boat came in with us. A few minutes later, the gates opened at the other end and our North Sea adventure ended. We’re heading for the more familiar waters of the Baltic Sea.