Copenhagen to Kiel


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After an excellent week in Copenhagen, we reluctantly departed to continue south towards Amsterdam. Over two nights, with an overnight stop in the Smalandsfarvandet, we ran 153nm to just inside the Kiel Canal at Lake Flemhude. Shortly after departing Denmark and entering Germany, our US registration again attracted an official inspection, this time from the German Coast Guard.

We passed through the Kiel-Holtenau lock shortly before dark and, for the first time, navigated in the dark through the canal. At night, the close quarters of the Kiel Canal feel ten times closer and care is required to both keep off the shore but also give the commercial ships enough time to work.

Below are trip highlights from October 13th and 14th, 2019. 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.

10/13/2019
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Opera House
The dramatic Copenhagen Opera House lit up as we depart Nyhavn shortly past 4am. We had an 82nm run ahead of us and wanted to get in well before dark to enjoy a bit of an evening at the anchorage.
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Traffic
We’re seeing plenty of AIS traffic in the Oresund shipping channel as we run south. At 6:30am we’re starting to get enough light that we can actually see some of them now. Also visible on the chart at upper right is the 48-turbine, 110 MW Lillgrund wind farm in Sweden.
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Stevns Klint
The Stevns Klint lighthouse to our west. The 15 km-long fossil-rich cliff Stevns Klint is a UNESCO World Heritage sight for “offering exceptional evidence of the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite that crashed into the planet at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago. Researchers think that this caused the most remarkable mass extinction ever, responsible for the disappearance of over 50 per cent of all life on Earth.”
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Bogestrommen
We wanted to take a shortcut through the shallow channel Bogestrommen to reach the Storstrommen, but both our C-Map and Navionics charts indicated a dredged depth of 2 meters and Dirona draws just over that. We got some help from Anders Tang, of Denmark-based Nordhavn 40 Bo-Bo, who advised us that the dredged depth had been increased to 2.3 m in 2015. That would be tight, but doable. We saw a least depth of 7.4ft (2.25m) when we passed through mid-tide, but depths mostly were at least 8ft.
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Traps
Lots of traps are in the waterways around Bogestrommen, but fortunately none were in the actual channel, so we didn’t have to dodge any.
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Net Drying
This fisher has strung nets between these stakes. We’re not sure what’s being done.
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Queen Alexandrine Bridge
Approaching the Queen Alexandrine Bridge across Ulvsund. The bridge, completed in 1943, was named after the wife of King Christian X of Denmark and has been depicted on the Danish 500 kroner note.
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Calm
Wonderfully calm conditions as we cruise the scenic Ulvsund.
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Storstrom Bridge
As we near the Storstrom Bridge, we’ll be rejoining the path we took when we passed under this bridge on March 23rd en route to the Baltic. In the entire summer’s 6-month, 2,652-mile cruise, we’ve rarely retraced our path. And what a fabulous summer it was—we had a spectacular time exploring Sweden, Finland and Denmark and likely will return in a couple of years to cruise the Gulf of Bothnia.
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Crossing Prohibited
The Storstrom Bridge is plastered with signs indicating that boats can only pass under the bridge at designated points.
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Construction
A massive building under construction at Orehoved, possibly for crop trader Getreide AG.
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Seahawks
After an 11.6-hour run, we ended the day in a sheltered anchorage off the island of Fejo and watched the Seattle Seahawks take on the the LA Rams on NFL Gamepass.
10/14/2019
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Moonrise
Moonrise from the anchorage at the island of Fejo.
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Wind
The winds blew strongly from the south overnight. We had good protection from the island of Fejo, but you can see the arc we carved on chartplotter as the wind blew the boat around at anchor.
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St. Katharine Docks
The St. Katharine Docks newsletter showed a photo of a snow-covered boat moored there and we realized it was Dirona from our London stay in early 2018.
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Keldsnor Lighthouse
The Keldsnor Lighthouse had been operating since 1905 and is the largest on the island of Langeland.
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Pitch
We were in head seas for the first couple of hours of our run to the Kiel Canal. You can see on the pitch graph, roughly at center, that we were pitching over 10 degrees for a period until we turned south west and put the wind more to our stern (click image for a larger view).
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Leaving Denmark
Lowering our Danish courtesy flag as we cross the border to Germany.
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Entering Germany
Raising a German courtesy flag as we enter Germany.
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Athena Seaways
The 652-ft (199m) DFDS ferry Athena Seaways en route to Kiel, Germany from Klaipeda, Lithuania. The ship, built in 2010, can carry 550 passengers.
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Naval Memorial
The 236-ft (72-m) Laboe Naval Memorial has an observation deck at the top. The structure was originally built as a memorial to those who died in World War I, but was expanded to include World War II and later sailors of all nationalities lost at sea. In front is the World War II submarine U-995, the only remaining type VII U-boat.
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Coast Guard
We’d not been in German waters for long before our US registration snagged another official inspection, this time from the German Coast Guard. They came alongside, but didn’t board us and only wanted to check our Schengen immigration status. After handing over our passports for inspection, we were quickly underway again.
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Friedrichsort Lighthouse
The Friedrichsort lighthouse is a prominent landmark en route from the Baltic Sea to Kiel Harbour and the Kiel Canal.
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Heikendorf
The ferry Heikendorf crossing the Kiel Fjord.
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Kiel
View to Kiel and the naval shipyard there. We were planning to stop in Kiel for a night or two, but the maritime museum that we wanted to visit is closed for the winter, so we decided to save it for another time.
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Lutje Horn
The German Navy tug Lutje Horn exiting the Kiel-Holtenau lock as we arrive.
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Fluvius Teign
The German barge Fluvius Teign exiting the Kiel-Holtenau lock behind the navy tug Lutje Horn.
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White Lights
We waited less than ten minutes before the mast showed flashing white lights indicating that we could enter the lock.
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Kiel-Holtenau Lock
All alone in the Kiel-Holtenau Lock. It was an efficient and easy transit, much more so that our exit at the beginning of the year where we were packed in with a large commercial boat and a tugboat.
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Transit Fee
Jennifer paying our transit fee for the Kiel Canal at a kiosk just inside the lock. For our 16.5m vessel the transit fee was €41 which is good for three days.
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Dusk
We exited the lock just past 6pm and it was getting dark by the time we paid our fee and it would be very dark by the time we reached our destination of Lake Flemhude. Pleasure craft aren’t normally allowed to operate at night, so we contacted the canal authorities for guidance. The said we couldn’t overnight on the payment dock and gave us permission to continue through to Lake Flemhude.
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Passing Ships
Running through the Kiel Canal at night felt a little challenging and even more so when two large ships passed us. At night, the close quarters of the Kiel Canal feel ten times closer and care is required to both keep off the shore but also give the commercial ships enough time to work.
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Lake Flemhude
Jennifer attaching our lines to the pilings at Lake Flemhude, where we also stopped on our first trip through the Kiel Canal a year ago. The moorings in Lake Flemhude are designed for small boats to tie bow-and-stern between pilings that are organized in a grid. This has the advantage of allowing a large number of boats in a small area, but has the disadvantage that Dirona doesn’t fit. We used the same solution as last time by tying off to the unused outside portions of the piling grid.
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Relaxing
After an 11-hour run from Denmark, passing through the Kiel-Holtenau Lock and navigating in the dark to Lake Flemhude, we were all ready to relax. Spitfire joined us outside.
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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