Klaipeda 29.6. - 3.7.
We arrived on Wednesday evening into the warmth of the south. The air was hot and moist and twisted around us like we would been arrived in the tropics.
Klaipeda is Lithuania’s the only harbour city and the Juru riverside is full of ship quays, container harbours and industrial buildings. Dane canal splits from Juru canal and leads to the city's guest harbour.
Old City Marina's inner harbour was absolutely full because the city's yacht club marina is being renovated. We moored Suwena on the riverside of the Dane canal. We put out all our fenders because we did hear beforehand that there could be some swell. During the western wind the waves from the sea go up the Juru canal and reach the Dane canal as well.
Suwena was in no trouble as the waves were long and gently sloping. We only needed to adjust our lines in a way that Suwena can swing freely. We have noticed that when we moor our 19 metric tons Suwena with four lines; two pulling forward and two backwards; the lines will share the loading and there will be no yanks on lines. We have added rubber snubbers into two of the lines which we use in side mooring as bow and stern lines. We also bought from Visby a new snubber that can be added to any line and its position can be easily adjusted according to the needs. We bought the snubber for a test and it has been performing very well and we'll get some more if we find any. In addition we have tested small snubbers which we bought from the fair. By adding all four pieces to the spring line they have been working excellently.
The basic rubber snubbers are sometimes troublesome as they cannot be adjusted when mooring the yacht. Sometimes the ring on the dock is so close that the snubber will prevent fixing the line as it will not go through the ring. So during the mooring we usually use first one line without any snubbers and then add lines with the snubbers as needed.
It were positively surprised to notice that the vessels making the mini cruises on the canals were driving cautiously and did not make any disturbing stern waves. The ships run actively all day between the east and west side taking people from city to the delfinarium, marine museum and magnificent sand beaches for sunbathing. We passed the cruise as our target is to continue from Klaipeda to Nida for exploring the sand dunes more closely.
The city of Klaipeda is a mix of old and new, modern and history. For example the old town has got many influences from the Germans as the city was once for a short time a capital of the Prussia. Today Klaipeda is the Lithuania's the third biggest city with 190000 inhabitants. The cultural atmosphere of Kaipeda is made by countless statues located all over the city.
On Thursday evening we were not very happy about the yellow layer of pollen Suwena had gathered on the deck. That was nothing. On Friday we woke up to a street cleaner that cleaned a street for sure, but all the dirt and sand were thrown on the decks of about ten yachts moored on the Dane canal. We could not see the pollen below the sand any more. Of course there was only one water hose and we waited in queue to get our turn. There was not a lot of water coming from the hose and the cleanup was a long project. The complete deck washup took three hours before Suwena started to look like herself.
The power connection to yachts was made on an interesting way. The chip card could be loaded with money. Afterwards money could be transferred to the electric post and the meter runs according to the usage. The harbour fee was paid normally to the harbour office but electricity was arranged separately.
At about three kilometers from the marina is a huge shopping mall called Akropolis. For once the mall is organized in a way that the similar shops are next to each other. It was time to bunker the Suwena and in the middle of the Akropolis was one of the biggest grocery stores we have ever seen. Every kind of possible food had meters of shelf space. When buying the meat we used fingers to explain what we want. The lady at the desk was the first Lithuanian who did not speak English. We pointed what we want and showed eight fingers. Lady asked cautiously 'gram' and we nodded. Soon we had a small bucket full of delicious shashlik meat for grilling onboard the Suwena.
In Klaipeda we also met a boat we previously met in Sottunga. British yacht Goodwill has travelled the Baltic Sea in opposite direction going to Finland, Russia and Baltic states to Klaipeda. It felt good to meet somebody we have met before in foreign harbour. Goodwill continued south towards to Poland and England. Suwena has one more destination in Lithuania. On Sunday we are going to expore the Curorian lagoon and the city of Nida.