High expectations – difficult decisions
Due to our jobs, we are limited in the duration of our time off. During the summer, we are only allowed three weeks off. This year we were lucky and managed to get four weeks vacation.
We wanted to do something special with our time, so we decided to participate in a fleet arranged by DOCA – The Danish Cruising Association. The destination of the flotilla was the west coast of Norway and the final goal in Flåm in Sognefjorden. We have heard fantastic things about this area, and the pictures looked stunning.
We knew that time would be scarce, but, if all went according to the plan, we would be able to make the schedule. We were excited about going on this trip – meanwhile, we joined the organizer team. We put a lot of time and effort into the arrangements. Approximately 20 boats were going to participate in the flotilla, and we quickly became friends with the other organizers and participants.
According to plan, we untied the lines in Skive on July 4th 2019. That afternoon it was cold, raining and the wind was blowing 20 knots – gusting 30 knots. Not a pleasant start to our summer cruise but we were only sailing 20 nm to our anchorage in Færker Vig.
Wet and tired, we went to sleep and crossed our fingers for better weather the next day when we were going to meet the other flotilla participants in Lemvig. A sail of 37 nm.
The next day the sun was shining, and we set off towards Lemvig. We had a lovely sail to Oddesundbroen (bridge). Most of the time, we were sailing 7 knots. On the AIS we could spot several familiar boat names going the same direction we were. It was some of the other flotilla participants. And you know what happens when several sailboats are going in the same direction 😉
After passing the bridge, the wind picked up and was right on our nose. We motored the rest of the way as we didn’t want to arrive too late in the day.
That evening we had our first group meeting where we were going to decide when it was possible to cross over to Norway. It was a sail of approx 200 nm. The plan was to meet up at Langøya, on July 10th. Some other participants were already in Norway, and some were sailing another route from Denmark to Norway.
We had all been following the weather forecasts for the past several days. It had not been looking good. The wind was going to be right on our nose the entire way, and the waves calculated to 1,5-2 meters. So we decided to wait. We had 4-5 days until we had to be at Langøya. And we waited and waited. We were meeting up with the other sailors every day looking and interpreting the weather forecasts. But nothing was changing.
On the morning of July 8th, we made a tough decision. The forecast was the same for as long as we could see. With only a limited time on our hands, we didn’t want to waste any more time waiting in the marina. We had enjoyed our time with the other sailors, but now we wanted to go sailing. We were sad and disappointed to leave our new friends and responsibilities behind.
Along with several others – who also had a limited time on their hands – we left Lemvig and sailed east with the wind in our backs. The sun was shining, and we were flying along with 7-8 knots. After 70 nm we reached Skudehavnen in Aalborg. It was not possible to sail any further because the bridges in Aalborg had closed for the night. (only open between sunrise and sunset).
We got up early the next morning and continued east – out of Limfjorden and into the open ocean. We had the fellowship of another boat from Lemvig – Puk. Decided to sail to Læsø – an island situated between Denmark and Sweden – and so did Puk. July is high season in Denmark (and the rest of Scandinavia) therefore Vesterø Harbour on Læsø was packed when we arrived late in the afternoon. Fortunately, Puk came before us – and having a smaller boat, they were able to find a berth. Bjarne and Merete helped us find a berth even though it was difficult, and we ended tying up alongside three other sailboats. There was almost no more available water left in the basin – boats filling out the entire marina.
In the evening we had a cold Gin & Tonic with Bjarne and Merete from Puk. We talked through our options and made new plans.