By Andy Lund
Ed note - This is the fifteenth installment of a multi-part series by Andy Lund on his first year of cruising on board Resolution , the Nordhavn 46 he took delivery of in February 2004.
We arrived about 915 AM today after an uneventful North Sea crossing. Winds never exceeded 20 knots, and the swells averaged three to four feet. Only hazard to navigation on the North Sea is a vast number of oil platforms scattered all over. We thank Commanders Weather for their wise advice to delay our Stromness departure by two days.
We are tied to a stone commercial quai on the west side of the "Vagen", the old Bergen harbor, with two Norwegian sailboats rafted to us. Seems there is a steamboat festival starting tomorrow, and the main yacht quais are taken up by the old steamboats. Since they'll be just across from us, the show ought to be good. The harbormaster helped us find a spot, then took me down the docks in the pouring rain to the customs house, where our clearance went smoothly - quite a contrast to the bureacracy of Latin America.
We'll be in Bergen for a couple of days, then head around the southern Norway coast, stopping in Haugesund, Stavenger, Kristiansand, Grimstad and Tonsberg (for Oslo), then we'll go down the Swedish coast to Goteborg. We'll be in Copenhagen late in the month and Kiel, Germany by the 31st.
We arrived Stavanger, on the SW coast of Norway, about 100 miles south of Bergen, at about 1 PM today. The rocky bays and inlets between Bergen and Stavenger are evocative of British Columbia, but more populated, with little villages and many summer homes. We're moored in the inner harbor, alongside a stone quai within walking distance of everything. Lively town with restaurants, bars and shops all along the harborside. The weather is sunny, cool and breezy, with showers inland.
We took a passenger launch up the Lysefjord this afternoon, a four hour trip through some of the most spectacular scenery in Norway. I decided someone else could do the driving for a change. The famous "Pulpit Rock" you see in the tourist photos is in Lysefjord, and looking up at it from 3000 feet it is quite spectacular.
We should be in Frederickstad, a hour south of Oslo, by next Thursday or Friday, then start down the Swedish coast the beginning of the next week. We'll probably be in Copenhagen by the 21st or 22nd and in Kiel, Germany by the 31st.
We arrived Hanko Island, near Frederikstad, Norway this morning, after an overnight crossing from Grimstad. We are tied up at the Hanko Gjastehavn, on the east side of the island in a very sheltered bay, dotted with summer houses. There is a little passenger ferry called "Hankosund" which crosses from a dock just adjacent to ours, to the mainland about 500 yards away.
The weather is grey and cloudy, with a persistent and deep low over the Baltic Sea continuing to create rain showers and some north wind. The trend over the weekend looks better, with the low dissipating. We're ready for warm sun - after all it is August!
One of Zack's au-pairs from his childhood has a summer home here, and will be up from Goteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden over the weekend, so we will have dinner with her, and get a chance to show her the boat. We're about an hour south of Oslo by train from Frederikstad, so Zack and Chase will head for Oslo on Sunday. I may go, or I may stay and take a day off, having visited Oslo in the past.
Our plans are to leave Hanko Monday 15 August, heading south along the Swedish coast to Goteborg, arriving there Thursday 18 August. Chase will take a train to Copenhagen that evening, for his plane home early the next morning. We'll stay in Goteborg a couple of days, hopefully getting the forward toilet fixed. Next stop will be Copenhagen, 22 through 24 August, then we'll spend 25 through 29 August in Horsens, near Frederica, on the east side of the Danish mainland (Jutland), where other of Zack's childhood au-pairs live, now raising their own families. We'll reach Kiel, Germany on the 30th. Zack will take a train to Amsterdam for his plane home on 1 September, and Karlo Munch, an old friend of mine from NATO days - he's retired from the Luftwaffe - will join me for the trip through the Kiel Canal and across the top of Holland. I plan to leave the boat in Lelystad, about a half hour south east of Amsterdam, while I fly home for two weeks on 12 September. Mike McFadden and I will come back to Europe together on 26 August, visit Amsterdam and in mid October continue across to London and St Katherine's Dock for the winter.
Nordhavn 46 "Resolution" arrived Goteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden today at noon. We are docked in the Lilla Bromen marina, in the center of town. Busy city landscape, but very convenient. Interesting trip up the Gota River, a very active port - largest in Sweden - after four days of winding through narrow rocky channels and islands, stopping at little fishing towns down the coast from Norway.
We bid farewell to Chase Kaufman here. He takes a train this afternoon four hours to Copenhagen, over the new 17 mile bridge across the Oresund from Sweden to Denmark. Then he flies home to Los Angeles, and back to USC where he'll be a junior. We were pleased to have him aboard, from Oban, Scotland.
Zack and I will depart for Denmark (Helsingborg - Hamlet's castle - about 25 miles north of Copenhagen) tomorrow afternoon, after we get the clogged toilet fixed (our fault, not the toilet's!). Tonight we have Marethe Slensvik aboard for dinner.
We'll be in Kiel, Germany August 30th, after spending a few days in Horsens, Denmark, visiting with old au-pairs of Zack's. Last stop this fall is London, in mid-October, where we'll moor the boat at St Katherine's Dock, next to the Tower of London, for the winter.
"Resolution" arrived Copenhagen this morning, after an overnight passage from Goteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden. It was a bit rough in the Kattegat, with 20 knot winds and short three foot seas on our nose. After dawn the wind dropped as we entered the Oresund, the narrow stretch between Denmark and Sweden. We passed Helsingor, Denmark at about 730 this morning, with Kronborg Castle (famous as "Hamlet's Castle" in Shakespeare's play), close in on our starboard (right) side.
We are moored, at least for tonight, in Christianshavn, a canal just off the old main harbor, almost in the center of town. Very crowded, but very convenient.
We'll be in Copenhagen for three days, then head up around Zealand (the island Copenhagen is on) for Horsens, about 30 miles south of Aarhus, on Jutland (the "mainland" peninsula of Denmark), arriving there 24 August.
All is well, including the forward toilet, which was fixed in Goteborg.
We arrived Horsens, Denmark this morning after an overnight run from Køge, Denmark and are moored on the outside of the old yacht harbor, just across the channel from the industrial docks. The trip around southern Zealand (the large island Copenhagen is on) was beautiful, through a number of small channels lined with fertile farm fields and rolling hills. Just at dark we went under a most spectacular suspension bridge across the Great Belt. This long highway and railway bridge connects Zealand and Fyn islands, leading to the mainland Jutland peninsula of Denmark.
We'll see two of Zack's old au-pairs who live here in Horsens, and take a train Friday up to Aarhus, the old university town about 30 miles to the north. We'll be in Horsens through Sunday morning according to our present plans, then depart for Kiel, Germany, arriving there on Tuesday, 30 August. We'll reach Lelystad, Netherlands (30 miles SE of Amsterdam) by Saturday 10 September, where I'll leave the boat to fly home arriving 13 September, returning 26 September.
The weather seems to be deteriorating, with gale warnings for the whole of the North Sea, and storm warnings (winds over 50 knots) for the Orkneys and Shetlands, north of Scotland. So it's nice to be in port for a while. This morning is calm and sunny, with blue skies all round. The rain will come later.
We entered the sea lock at Delfzijl, Netherlands just before noon today and are now in the Dutch canal system. We had a great run through the Kiel Canal, out the Elbe River and down the German Frisian coast to the Ems River, which led up 25 miles to Delfzijl. The weather has been sunny, warm and breezy.
We've moored in the old Ems Canal, next to the center of town at a pleasant marina. Dock charges are 10 Euros - about $12.50 - plus electricity. Quite a bargain! Mike and Zack will remember $200 a night in New York City, and the east coast of the US averaged $75 a night. Northern Europe has averaged $25 a night, usually with electricity.
Zack Blum, aboard for five months - from Florida - went home from Kiel, and back to the University of California Davis, where he'll be a junior. He's been a great shipmate, and I miss him already. Karlo Münch, a German friend of mine from Munster, Westphalia (Germany), whom I met while serving with NATO almost 20 years ago, joined me in Kiel, and will be aboard for another week, through to Lelystad, near Amsterdam.
All is well, although it's time for engine service and a lot of little repairs.
We arrived Lelystad and the Deko Marina at about 1700 (5pm) today, on a sunny but hazy and warm afternoon. Lelystad is about 25 miles SE of Amsterdam, on the edge of the Ijselmeer, the large inland sea in the center of Holland. My shipmate Karlo Munch goes home to Munster, Germany tomorrow, and I fly to Seattle on Tuesday, for a two week stay. Mike McFadden and I will fly back from Seattle to Amsterdam together on 26 September.
The trip through Groningen and Friesland provinces (NE Netherlands) was really pretty, with lovely old towns - like Groningen, Dokkum and Sneek, threaded with canals, and miles of farm fields full of fat cattle and sheep. Windmills dotted the landscape. We moored on stone quais in the center of the towns, so everything was within walking distance. Occasionally we could peer into someone's front window as we passed on the boat, and once I had to untangle the rigging from a canalside tree. All great fun!
Amsterdam, SW Holland then Zeebrugge, Belgium (for Bruges) and across the English Channel and up the Thames to London by mid-October, where we'll winter over at St Katherine's Dock, next to the Tower of London.
We're in Haarlem, Holland, about ten miles west of Amsterdam, moored alongside a canal wall in the center of town. Mike McFadden and I returned to Holland on Tuesday 27 September, picking up the boat in Lelystad where I'd left it for my two week trip home. It's great to have Mike back aboard. He'll be with me for the next year, and down the Danube to the Black Sea and Turkey if everything goes according to plan.
We had the main engine - the 140 hp Lugger - serviced in Lelystad. It had run 2930 hours in the past 18 months - about 20 years average use - so a scheduled maintenance program was due. Dulon Services changed out the injectors - they spray the diesel into the cylinders for combustion - and the engine continues to purr.
Haarlem is an ancient trading city with a magnificent 15th century cathedral. It's really convenient for Amsterdam - only 15 minutes by train. So we're headed that way today, to visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. We'll be here for another four days, then head slowly south as far as Zeebrugge, Belgium before we cross the North Sea to London. We expect to be at St Katherine's Dock in London around 15 October.
We arrived London today just before noon, after an uneventful 20 hour passage across the North Sea from Zeebrugge, Belgium. We're moored in the center basin of St Katharine's Dock, next to the Tower of London. This will be "Resolution's" winter home, through next April. Mike McFadden and I will travel the continent over the winter via leased car (a small French Peugeot diesel SUV), returning to London every three weeks or so for a week at a time. Cheap flights on Ryanair and EasyJet (like Southwest at home) make "commuting" practical. We head for Paris on 26 October on the Eurostar train through the Channel tunnel, pick up the car after a week, then drive through Burgundy and Alsace in France, across Germany to Dresden, down to Prague, and to Vienna all before Christmas. We'll be home for Christmas for about a month, from mid-December through early January. Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, northern Italy, southern France, Barcelona, then Dordogne, the Loire Valley and Normandy (France) are in the plan for after Christmas.
Since I bought the boat 18 months ago we've put 2950 hours on the engine - about 20 years "average" use for a boat. We left Bellingham a year and two weeks ago, and have covered close to 14,000 miles, down through the Panama Canal, across the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island to the Azores to Falmouth, England, then up across Scotland and around the North Sea to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland and Belgium. The past three weeks were spent in the Dutch canals, traveling all across Holland from one end to the other.