From Kiel to Delfzijl


Well, now it was time to get into the Kiel canal. We did have a few butterflies in the stomach after all the stories about how difficult and awkward it would be. Especially the stories about how the fenders would disappear in the corrugated steel walls of the lock. After having reported in on the VHF ( first time I used the VHF “for real”!) and waited for a while it was time to get in with ropes and lines at the ready. We had our experiences from Göta Kanal fresh in our minds…





We were very surprised to see floating platforms along the walls, which you could jump down on and tie up to. When we had gone down 30 cm it was all ready and done.  We had just about time to pay the €12 fee before it was time to carry on. Easy peasy! There was an incredible amount of traffic on the canal, both cargo ships and pleasure boats. One container ship after the other went in both directions. It was best to steer clear when they were coming at you! You couldn´t help but wonder what was in all the containers? A lot of them were from China...






We were on our way to Rendsburg, where we planned to stay the night. It was a very pleasant trip in the countryside with the sun shining. We saw a lot of birds and particularly a lot of swans. Coots were other birds we saw a lot of. We got to Rendsburg in good time to do some shopping before the shops shut.






The next day, the 30th August, we carried on our journey to Brunsbüttel. Before we left Rendsburg we followed the canal to a railway bridge with a transporter under it at Kreishafen. We saw cars driving onto the “transporter”.  Personally I would have chosen another route with a car! Just before the bridge there was a little house with a sign that said “Welcome point” and we were wondering what this could mean. All of a sudden we hear the Swedish National Anthem blaring out from the loudspeakers and a man waving with both his arms! This certainly made us feel welcome as we motored past his little house.





We started out with nice dry weather, but then the rain started.  It rained all the way to Brunsbüttel. It is nice to have proper wet-weather gear that keeps you both warm and dry.  In Brunsbüttel we moored at Ausweich Yachthafen, where you can find water, electricity and a toilet. A relatively calm mooring compared to the Guest harbour next door to the locks, and cheaper too. Here in Brunsbüttel we bought more charts and more groceries. Now we took all our tide tables out to work out when it would be best to leave for Cuxhaven. We decided to stay another night as the weather was bad, i.e. pouring rain, bad visibility and very windy.









Large container boats went past our mooring place all the time.  During the day you didn´t think about the noise they made, but in the night our boat transformed into an echo chamber with the sound of their propellers. An incredible din! After another night with little sleep we set off at 06.50 on the 1st September and went into the lock at Brunsbüttel. Just as pleasant an experience as in Kiel and even more pleasant as we didn´t have to pay anything!

€12 for the whole canal! Incredible if you compare with for instance Göta Canal or the locks in Göta Älv.

 Picture: Small ferries crossed the calan all the time.


WE came out into the Elbe just at the right time as the tide was going out. With a lot of help from the tide our heavy boat got up to 9,8 knots! We needed all our wits about us as we were entering the harbour in Cuxhaven. With that speed it was easy to miss the entrance, but it all went well and we soon found a mooring place.

We planned to leave the next day for the next leg of our journey, but that was not to be. We, together with other sailors from different countries, ended up waiting for four days for better weather. It was blowing both gail and storm winds. During this time we concentrated on practical duties such as laundry and maintenance, etc. We did try to get the harbour master to smile – but didn´t succeed!


Sorry! No pictures. Must get

better at using the camera.

We kept an eye on the weather reports and on the 5th there would be less wind, i.e. force 4-6. We decided to go. The question was at what time, so that the tides would fit in.

We were going to pass the German Frisian Islands. On one of the islands, Nordeney, there is a guest harbour you could use – if the conditions were right. Otherwise we had no choice but to go to Borkum. The distance Cuxhaven – Borkum is about 80 nM. The tide would have time to change and the question was when we were going to have it against us.We decided to have it with us from Cuxhaven and left the harbour just after 8.00.  Several of us had the same idea.



Sorry! No pictures. Must get

better at using the camera.


The day started with little wind and a current increasing in strength. We were surfing nicely and passed the sandbanks around Cuxhaven without any problems. Then the wind increased in strength.

After we passed the inlet to Bremerhaven we had the wind straight on the nose. We had sails up until now, but now we carried on motoring. At 19.00 we were outside Nordeney and the wind was so strong that there were no possibilities of going in. In our pilot books it says that if the wind is blowing more that Bft4 it is dangerous to enter the harbour. Now it was blowing force 6-7. We had no choice but to carry on to Borkum. Now it started to get really dark.

Sorry! No pictures. Must get

better at using the camera.


We arrived at the inlet to Borkum at 24.00 and tied up at 02.07 on the 6th September. The tide was with us, as it took longer than we calculated to get to Borkum.

Yet again we are grateful that we invested in an electronic plotter with radar.  Apart from lit buoys there were a number of unlit ones which we did not see at all in the dark. Thanks to our electronics we missed these as we careered passed at 9 knots.

Here you see a picture of the “Three musketeers”: one English, one German and our boat (in the middle) who came in at about the same time.




It was difficult to fall asleep as the adrenalin had been pumping in our veins. In spite of this we were up early and got acquainted with our neighbours.

The next day we had a very pleasant sail to Delfzijl in brilliant sunny and warm weather.

Picture: The lighthouse boat stationed at the Borkum Riff.