Bornholm, Denmark


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The Danish island of Bornholm has been fought over for centuries by Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. The 227sq mi (588 sq km) island is the 8th largest in the Baltic Sea, lying 80nm east from the nearest Danish land, 45 miles from Germany and only 25 miles from Sweden. Prominent on the northwest coast of Bornholm are the ruins of Hammershus, the largest medieval fortress in Scandinavia, built in the 12th century as a base for the Danish Crusades.

The island is one of the sunniest places in Denmark and this, along with its diverse and beautiful scenery, attracts some 600,000 visitors per year. With a year-round population of roughly 40,000, the island is unusually well-served by ferries that seemed to be constantly arriving and departing during our three-night stay on the island.

Below are trip highlights from March 24th through 26th, 2019 at Bornholm, Denmark. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

3/24/2019
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Sunrise
Fabulous pink and purple sunrise as we are underway on an 80 nm run from Klintholm Havn to Ronne Havn on Bornholm.
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Tuning Error
Our main RADAR is a 25KW Furuno DRS25A. We find it amazingly easy to use compared to RADARs we have used in the past and it’s remarkably good at resolving small details like a fish boat working close to shore. Recently it’s started to produce “Tuning Error” errors which just last for a second and then are gone, but they are getting increasingly frequent. The RADAR has just under 10,000 hours transmitting and we know that any magnetron with more than 8,000 hours is living on borrowed time so we’ve been expecting a problem for the last couple of years. We have a very nice Furuno DRS6A backup RADAR with under 1,000 hours as backup, so we’re haven’t been in a rush to preemptively fix the expected magnetron problem on our main RADAR until we actually see it.

We contacted Furuno and they said explained that a magnetron will always have some fluctuation in output. The system will auto-tune for these changes in magnetron output and the operator will not see any impact from these slight changes. But, as the magnetron ages, its output will start to vary more and more and, eventually, the auto-tuning system will not be able to adjust for its variation and a “tuning error” messsage will be produced. Furuno went on to recommend turning off auto-tuning which is what is being done in this picture. This works well and the errors stop. Of course, the magnetron problem is real and it will still need to be replaced.

Overall, we’re super impressed with the quality of Furuno support—over the years we’ve had few questions but, when we have them, the Furuno team is amazingly good at resolving them. They’re really a top notch organization. The downside of Furuno is the parts pricing is very high. For example, the video card in our NavNet 3D black box, was a $300 client computer part before discounting when it was first produced a decade ago, but currently from Furuno it’s $1200. Perhaps the high price is because the graphics card is now a museum piece :-). Similarily, the recommended replacement parts price not including installation for our DRS25A is half the price of replacing the unit. So our current leaning is to replace it entirely even though it’s an excellent RADAR with a high-hour magnetron.

Overall, we wish the parts were less expensive but, on the whole, we continue to really like Furuno and will likely buy a new DRS25A RADAR this summer. The equipment quality is good, it’s very usable, and 9 years and 10,000 hours isn’t bad for a RADAR.

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Baltic 2 Windfarm
Lots of radar targets as we pass south of the Baltic 2 Windfarm. The 288 megawatt farm was completed in 2015 at a cost of €1.25 billion.
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Wind Turbines
Some of the 80 Siemens SWT 3.6-120 wind turbines in the Baltic 2 windfarm.
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Seagard
The Finnish-flagged 503-ft (153.45 m) RO/RO Container vessel Seagard.
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Aquamarina
The Italian-flagged 446ft (136m) oil tanker Aquamarina. Large ships in the area often have an orange stripe around the top of their pilot house, making them highly visible from a distance.
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Traffic
We’re in a very high traffic area as we pass through a relatively restricted section of the Baltic Sea between Denmark, Germany and Sweden.
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Coral Anthelia
The Dutch-flagged 377ft (115 m) LPG tanker Coral Anthelia.
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Diversion
Despite the heavy traffic, we were mostly able to run a direct course to Bornholm as we crossed the lanes. But we eventually had to divert course to pass behind the LPG tanker Coral Anthelia.
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Lady Clarissa
The Dutch-flagged 354ft (108m_ general cargo vessel Lady Clarissa.
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Entering Ronne Havn
Passing behind the outer breakwater into Ronne Havn on the island of Bornholm with the 396ft (121 m) ferry Povl Anker. The vessel is named after Paul Hansen Anker, who was active in the rebellion against Swedish control of Bornholm island in 1658. The owning company, BornholmerFaegen, operates three routes from Bornholm with two other ships and currently keeps the Povl Anker in reserve.

One of their other boats, the Villum Clausen, is in the Guinness book of world records for its top speed of 48 kts and the fastest distance in 24 hours achieved during the voyage from to Denmark from the Austal shipyard in Australia. This ship is named after an islander who shot the Swedish commander trying to escape arrest. Bornholmers seem to take their independence pretty seriously. :)

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Quay 23
Water is not available at our berth, so we’re stopping off at Quay 23 to fill our tanks. Bornholm charges for water and power, so we’re also picking up the tally card that water and power are charged to, and paying our moorage fees.
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Freke R
The cargo vessel Freke R rounding the corner off our bow to enter the harbour. The ship doesn’t have thrusters and the skipper has to apply a fair bit of power to maneuver in the tight quarters.
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Ronne Havn
Moored for three nights in the commercial port at Ronne Havn. There’s almost no tidal range here, so we don’t have to leave the usual slack in the lines when on a fixed dock.
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Cobblestones
A golden evening sun lighting up the colourful buildings as we walk Ronne’s cobblestone streets.
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Church
St Nicolas’ Church in Ronne was originally built in 1350, and has been renovated, extended and restored multiple times over the centuries.
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Harbour View
Looking across a small boat harbour inside Ronne Havn. The harbour entrance is just out of the picture on the right, and our berth is farther to the right.
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Ronne Lighthouse
The 59 ft (18m) Ronne Lighthouse, built in 1880, was taken out of commission in 1989.
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Small Batch Brewery
Enjoying delicious Bornholm-brewed pints from Small Batch Brewery over dinner at Buffalo Steak House in Ronne.
3/25/2019
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Hammershus
From our berth at Ronne Have on Bornholm Island we had a great view to the island’s ferry traffic. This is the 518ft (158m) RoPax (combined freight and passenger) ferry Hammershus arriving at 5:45am after an daily overnight run from Koge, Denmark, just south of Copenhagen. The ferry was delivered in 2018 and has a service speed of 18 knots. It is named after Hammershus, a fortress ruin on Bornholm Island.
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Express I
As the Hammershus was arriving, the fast ferry Express I was loading beside us for a 6:30am departure for Ystad, Sweden. The (112m) fast ferry, built by Incat of Tasmania is one of the largest in the world and has a top speed of 40 knots, or 36 knots fully loaded with 1,200 passengers, 417 cars and up to six buses. We saw it’s sistership, Express 2, while travelling the east coast of Denmark last year.
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Imor
The Polish research/survey vessel Imor departing Ronne Havn from Nordhavn (north port), where we also are moored.
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Express 1 Returning
The fast ferry Express I returning to Ronne Havn from Ystad, Sweden. The ferry makes four runs daily this time of year and eight in the summer. The island is incredibly well-served by ferries from Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Germany and over 600,000 visitors a year.
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First Smell
Spitfire getting his first smell of Bornholm Island.
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Loudhailer
We use a forward speaker as a combination of loadhailer and fog horn, both supported by one of our Icom M604 VHF radios. This forward speaker takes a lot of water when operating in heavy seas and, as a consequence, only lasts about two years. We have a backup speaker at the stern of the boat that can be operated as a load hailer and fog horn by the other Icom M604 VHF radio. The forward speaker failed on our last foggy outing so here James is replacing it.
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Express I Arriving
The fast ferry Express I returning to Ronne Havn from the second of its four runs today from Ystad, Sweden.
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Locating Wires
When the boat was new LED rope lights were installed behind the valence panels that surround the saloon. This LED rope light was always insufficiently bright and it’s now showing darkening from overheating. We’re replacing the LED lights with a new option that gives us control of color and brightness. Unfortunately, the old lights ran on 24VDC while these run on 12VDC.

Here James is attempting to locate the wire that feeds the rope lights in order to install a 24VDC->12VDC converter. He found the wire by measuring current to the old lights and switching the lights off on and on. When the correct wire is found, the current switches on and off with the appropriate light switch.

3/26/2019
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Bike Island
“Welcome to our Bike Island” is the title of the bicycle trail guide for Bornholm Island. The island has more than 142 miles (230 km) of marked bicycle trails, so with some sunny weather we got the bikes down and set out to explore.
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Harbour
Picturesque small boat harbour along the west coast of Bornholm Island. It must take a real pounding in big westerly winds.
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Picnic
We’d gotten a bit of a late start to the day, so stopped about an hour in for a picnic lunch seaside. What a wonderful spot. The weather was a little cold at 45°F (7.2C) but we were dressed warmly and weren’t cold.
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Steep
Walking the bikes up the 22° rise from sea level to the cliffs above.
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Sweden
The reward for pushing our bikes up the hill was a view all the way to Sweden, We could see all the way to Sweden, 20 miles away, from the clifftop.
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Deer
This deer kept a very close eye on us as we cycled past.
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Route 10
Following cycle route 10, a 65-mile (105km) bike trail that rings the island. We’d be taking about half of it, from Ronne to Svaneke.
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Hammershus Castle
Hammershus is the largest ruined castle in Northern Europe and Bornholm’s most visited sight. Its construction began at the beginning of the thirteenth century and it was abandoned as a stronghold in the 17th century. The ruin has been a listed monument since 1822.
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Hammeren Lighthouse
The top of Hammeren Lighthouse, viewed from Hammershus. The lighthouse at the northern tip of Bornholm stands 279ft (85m) above sea level. The light first went into operation in 1872 and was deactivated in 1990.
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Jail
Hammershus Castle needed a suprisingly large jail given the size of the fortress.
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Ruins
Looking east across the stable ruins at Hammershus Castle.
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Visitor Center
The dramatic new Hammershus Castle visitor center is built into the hills such that you can only see the viewing deck above it as you approach from the road.
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Bird
Two of these handsome black birds were singing amongst the Hammershus ruins.
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Moselokken Quarry
Jennifer standing on large rocks Moselokken Quarry. Stone from here has been used all over Denmark, including the famous elephants outside the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen.
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Raven
We’ve been seeing these large ravens throughout Denmark. They’re beautiful birds.
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Dock
In settled weather, a tour boat runs from the town of Gudhjem to drop off passengers at this exposed dock along the east coast of Bornholm Island. From there, they can climb stairs and walk along the cliff tops and sea caves.
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Helligdomsklipperne
Taking the stairs down at Helligdomsklipperne (Sanctuary Cliffs).
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Ladder
The staircase and a water-side ramp led to this sturdy stainless-steel ladder.
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Cave
At the bottom of the ladder was an entrance to a large sea cave. Jennifer was inside in an instant.
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Looking Out
The cave extended about 50 ft (15m) into the cliff, with chimney opening above. This is looking back out from inside.
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Windmill
Windmill at the town of Gudhjem, about a third of the way down the east coast of Bornholm Island.
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Harbour
The harbour at Svaneke, our final destination for the day.
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Bryghuset
The Svaneke Bryghuset (brewhouse) was a welcome sight. We’d cycled about 40 miles (65km) and were pretty tired, and the temperature had dropped later in the day, so we were getting cold as well.
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Copper Vat
Svaneke brews organic craft beer in beautiful copper vats.
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One Liter
James ordered us each a one-liter glass of craft beer. That’s a lot of beer! And it wasn’t even the largest size.
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Beer
Jennifer’s beer is almost as bigger than she was.
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Us
Our table at the Svaneke Bryghuset. We had excellent steak dinner and the beer was wonderful.
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Bus
On the bus for the 45-minute ride from Svaneke back to Ronne. We’d made reservations for the bicycles before we left this morning, so we could enjoy the brew pub confident that we wouldn’t have a 20-mile pedal (32km) in front of us.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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2 comments on “Bornholm, Denmark
  1. David Magda says:

    The Furuno DRS25A still seems to be available for sale (both the “classic” and a new variant):

    * https://www.furuno.com/en/products/radar/DRS25A
    * https://www.furuno.com/special/en/radar/drs6ax-class/

    Would you go for a one-to-one replacement, or get get a solid-state system (either from Furuno or someone else):

    * https://www.furuno.com/special/en/radar/drs4d-nxt/

    • Yes, thanks David. We already have a new DRS25A on order and we’ll pick it up when we are in Seattle in July. We decided to go with the same RADAR as was installed back in 2010 because it works without change on our Navnet 3D system and it’s a phenomenally good RADAR. We’re very happy with it.

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