We’re off!

We were up well and early. We were aiming to be at the bridge for the first opening at eight. We left a couple of minutes late for a perfect timing, and I admit to slightly over speeding for some part of the river.

We made it to the bridge a couple of minutes before eight and waited patiently in the calm morning sun. At ten past eight, it was quite evident o one was going to open it, so we tied up at the pier. I went to check the timetable. In all the excitement, I must have heard wrong, misunderstood or lost something in translation. German isn’t one of my strongest languages. The first opening wasn’t until nine. All we could do was wait.

No way were we going to chance 80 NM across the Baltic with a brand new boat that we still didn’t quite know. Plan B, head for Sassnitz along the coast was being drawn on the plotter.

Just before nine, we could see other boats starting to queue in the river. They obviously had read their timetable properly. We cast off and joined them. And with almost German precision the bridgekeepers started working at 9.01.

We were off for the Baltic. There was no wind in the Großstubber bay, and we had to motor the first 15 NM until we found a little whiff of wind. Time to set sail. At least it was coming from the right direction. No tacking needed and our beautiful new Code 0 was in its element. It gave us over two knots more than the jib had!

So we cruised leisurely on towards Sassnitz, passing smock full beaches along the way. We arrived in Sassnitz just before four in the afternoon, and there was plenty of space. There were great signs at the ends of the piers telling us what sizes of boats the boxes were intended for. Not wanting to squeeze in for the first night, we opted for one size up from our boat. The price difference was negligible anyway. The reversing wasn’t perfect, I had to do it a second time before we were tied up. Maya and I still have some acquainting to do.

The harbour masters’ office didn’t open till six so we waited for a while before visiting him. Germany is underdeveloped when it comes to payment systems. Cash only in most places. Quite frustrating.

After paying up, we headed for the tourist attraction in the harbour, HMS Otus, an old English sub. With that sorted out and having no other needs, we walked back to the boat and prepared for the next day.

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