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Denmark - Little Belt

Date: Tuesday 2nd September to Monday 8th September

Distance : 85 miles

Weather : Fine ... for September.

Tuesday at Grenå was washing day (and drying day after the previous thunderstorms). We had a truly excellent meal in the Restuarant at the marina - both the Olives with Djion (to spread on the homemade bread) and the Marzipan Soufflé were real discoveries, and Pat's Blackberry Meringue was historic - to use a Winnerism. At about 75 quid, it was also good value - for Denmark.

The Navy at workWednesday was going to be set sail day, but we got up late and with the wind about 18 knots on the nose, we chickened out. In retalliation the Navy decided to buzz us with helicopters. There was obviously an exercise going on somewhere out at sea and the choppers kept flying over and landing in the sand dunes behind the marina. One guy flew (irresponsibly, we thought) at mast height down the marina. We fought back by taking pictures of them and shaking our fists.

HouWe finally managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour on the Thursday and had a glorious sail down the coast towards Århus, catching up and overtaking another yacht in the process (Oh, alright, it was smaller..) The wind finally shifted and died half way across Århus Bight, until filling back in and roaring us down to Hou. Hou (spelt Hov in some books) is a small (very small) one-horse Danish ferry town. Both the harbour and the yacht harbour were full so we laid alongside the quay - carefully missing the toilet pump-out station in the process. We had a dissapointing meal in a local restaurant.

The piling rigThe following day there was no wind at all, but strong south-easterlies were forecast for the day after so we set out for Bogense, on Fyn, to give us a reasonable line into Frederika. On the way into Hou, engrossed in getting the sails down, we had narrowly missed a wooden pile, painted red and acting as a port-hand navigation mark. At least Pat claims we missed it - I wasn't paying attention. Suspiciously, when we left Hou, the guys with the piling rig were out giving it some attention.... (We didn't hit it - honest . ED)

Stomach, what stomach?On the way down to Bogense we saw some Dolphins and a couple of Seals. The crafty Dolphins were leaping in and out of the water, except when they got within camera range, when they dived out of sight. The water was also so clear that you could not only see the bottom, but also the fish swimming beneath the boat - an odd feeling at 6 knots!

Bogense turned out to be a major boating centre, with a 600 berth marina and a tarted up fishing harbour. Marina fees are paid to a machine - an improvement over some harbourmasters. At least you don't have to indulge in polite conversation.

Flag on a boat in MiddelfartOn Sunday we made for Middelfart in the Little Belt proper. The skys were overcast, it was raining, and there was no wind. We cheered up a little when we saw what we thought were Dolphins leaping just off Frederika. We now think they were harbour porpoises. Spurning the small old harbour in Middelfart, which was full of visiting German yachts, we decided to tie up in the yacht harbour. We arrived at the end of a race, with boats everywhere.

Monday saw Pat's last chance of some retail therapy in Odense. Apparently, she doesn't have a single pair of shoes suitable to go home in next week. We must have trailed round a hundred shops, and looked at a thousand pairs of shoes, but none were suitable. Tragic, I call it.

The Skipper has been morose and sullen ever since we left Sweden. Pat thought it was because he knows he is going home. I thought it was his Swedish batteries runnning down, but the real reason appears to be that we've run out of gin. When you get him going on that subject, he wont stop.

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