Kiel Canal to Heligoland


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From Lake Flemihude, just inside the Kiel Canal, we made a 97-nm run to Heligoland, a small island 30 miles offshore from mainland Germany. Despite adhering to an 8.1-knot speed limit in the canal, the delays in locking through, and an initial negative current in the river Elbe, we got enough positive current later on to average 7.9 knots overall and complete the run in 12.3 hours. We did arrive into Heligoland after dark, but the entrance is straightforward and it’s pretty hard to miss the island with the 2,000-watt Heligoland light visible for 28 miles.

Below are trip highlights from October 15th, 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.

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BBC Bergen
Passing the 421ft (128m) general cargo ship BBC Bergen shortly after getting underway from Lake Flemhude. The oncoming red ship visible in the distance is the 344-ft (105 m) oil/chemical tanker Fidelio.
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Mainland
The 400-ft (122m) oil/chemical tanker Mainland.
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Lurssen
The superyacht builder Lurssen has their yard along the Kiel Canal. No yachts were in evidence today though.
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Rendsburg Bridge
About to pass under the Rendsburg Bridge, the symbol for the city of the same name.
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Kay Rupp
Blog reader Kay Rupp, who visited us in Cuxhaven last year, lives nearby and came by to say hello as we passed.
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Selfie
Selfie of Kay Rupp and us taken alongside the Kiel Canal.
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Seine Highway
We passed the 85ft (148m) vehicle carrier Seine Highway last year in the Kiel Canal last year too.
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Neuenfelde
The 439-ft (134m) container ship Neuenfelde barely clears the 223 ft (68 m) Hochdonn High Bridge.
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Washing Windows
Jennifer cleaning our windows of all the salt spray we took yesterday while in the head seas.
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Gates Closing
We made excellent time from Lake Flemhude and were inside the Brunsbuttel lock six hours after departing Lake Flemhude.
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Brunsbuttel Lock
All alone in the smaller of the two Brunsbuttel Locks.
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Exiting Lock
Exiting the Kiel Canal at Brunsbuttel.
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Steinburg
Pilot boat Steinburg moored just outside the Kiel Canal at Brunsbuttel.
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Lock Control
Looking back to the lock control tower for the Brunsbuttel locks. The cranes in the background are working on a new lock currently under construction.
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Current
We entered the river Elbe at the top of the ebb against a 2-3knot current. Not ideal, but eventually the tide will change and we’ll be in positive current.
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Dredging
A massive dredging project was underway along the north shore of river Elbe with seemingly miles of pipe snaking away from the dredger visible in the distance.
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Wulf 4
Tractor tug Wulf 4 supporting the dredging operation along the river Elbe.
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Bamberg
The 282ft (86m) German Coast Guard ship Bamberg standing watch along the river Elbe. Equipped with 2 Wartsila type 12V26F diesel engines, the ship can do 21 knots.
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VTS
The local vessel traffic service keeps a close eye on the ships in the area. They called us to inquire about our destination and to remind us not to enter the area where the dredging operations were taking place.
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GRE 19
The fishing vessel GRE 19 working the shallows north of the Elbe shipping lanes.
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11.5 Knots
We got our positive current and are now doing 11.5 knots when we normally would only making nine knots at that RPM. We’re running much harder than usual to arrive into Heligoland as early as possible. We’re not as concerned with the fuel burn as normal, since we’ll be picking up a load of fuel there.
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Halunder Jet
The 177ft (54m) Halunder Jet returning to Cuxhaven from its daily run to Heligoland. The vessel has a top speed of 35 knots.
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Heligoland
The lights of Heligoland visible in the distance as we approach. The white glow in the the sky is our forward spotlight.
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Sudhafen
Moored at Sudhafen in Heligoland, with the bright Heligoland Light visible on the hill in the distance off our bow. We could see it for miles as we approached.
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Dinner
A relaxing late dinner in the cockpit after a 97nm, 12.3-hour run from Lake Flemhude just inside the Kiel Canal. This is our third trip to Heligoland, but the first that we’ll stop and explore for a few days. We’re looking forward to it.
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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