Skagen and Saeby 26.6. – 27.6.

  • Posted on: 4 July 2012
  • By: Eve

Our original plan was to leave Marstrand and go south towards the island of Anholt in the middle of Kattegat. However the weather forecast showed a wind from south and a motoring directly against the wind was not interesting us. So we decided to make a little side-tour and turned Suwena towards Skagen in Denmark. This way we had a wind on the beam. We travelled on a border between Kattegat and Skagerrak. The line between the lighthouses on north-western corner of Marstrand and on north-eastern corner of Skagen divides these two water areas. Therefore we also had an additional meaning for this sail.

Andrus made a route directly over the Kattegat to Skagen because in here the Kattegat is at its narrowest, only 30 nautical miles. Our route caused a little surprise to us. We had been sailing for some time and the sea was totally empty. We chatted quietly in the cockpit when suddenly a clatter and rattle was coming along our keel. Fortunately Suwena has a long keel and while sailing the foldable propeller is folded. Soon the fishing net emerged from below Suwena. OMG, fortunately we did not get stuck. A moment later we noticed to be in the middle of really big fishing nets and there were many of them. The rest of nets we avoided and one test for the keel was enough.

This leg had also good conditions for using a autopilot's windvane mode. On the sea the wind is always shifting a little around. Autopilot's windvane mode worked wonderfully and kept the wind angle constant. All was good until suddenly it sounded a large new kind of alarm and we were frozen about what is going on? The wind had shifted more than a little bit and the autopilot notified that it was time to trim sails and update the wind angle into it. Actually the big wind shift was also in a forecast so there was nothing surprising. We just had never have this kind of alarm going off before.

Now on Kattegat we also familiarized ourselves with tidal waters. On the Baltic sea there are no tide. Of course the water level varies but this is caused by wind moving the water around. At the beginning we had a half knot from a stern. Suddenly when the direction of the current was reversed and its strength went up to 1.5 knots we started to ponder about its origins. It turned out to be a tidal stream. According to the Navionics sea chart the tide in Skagen on this day was 28 cm. We followed this small tide with great interest because next year we have a plan to enter the North Sea through Kiel canal and then we'll sea the real tidal waters.

Suwena was dressed again with a new courtesy flag. The flag of Denmark was flying in strong crosswind below the right spreader while we tied her up in the harbour of Skagen. The harbour was big and full of Norwegian boats. Of course there were many Norwegians already in Sweden but here their amount multiplied. It turned out that next to harbour was a store where liquid bunkering items were sold by boxes on the pallets. Usually alcohol is sold in this magnitude by the ferry harbours. For example in Tallinn on a way to Helsinki just next to the ferry ramp it is possible to make a last minute purchase and load your car directly with a pallet trucks. We were a little surprised. But what the heck, its a nice sail from Norway and you save some money as well. Similar bunkering stores were also in Saeby, our next stop from Skagen.
Tight harbour of Skagen
Tight harbour of Skagen
Skagen harbour is really a fishing habrour. Huge fishing ships were entering and leaving all the time. The harbour is however well maintained and there were no typical smells associated with fishing. Also there were only a few seagulls. This was absolutely the cleanest fishing harbour we have been.
Fishing vessels in Skagen
Skagen was busy trekking place. There were many camping sites, hotels and guest boats. Huge sandy beaches and trekking paths bring visitors into this place. The lighthouse at Skagen's cape divides Kattegat and Skagerrak on Danish side. Our visit to Skagen concentrated on the city and the first priority was to find a shop in where to buy a Danish pre-paid internet stick.
Walking street in Skagen
After Skagen we wanted to stop in Saeby. We were tipped about this place by our Swedish Midsummer neighbours. The Sun was finally fully shining and temperature climbed to 22 degrees. We were broad reaching and raised the gennaker. The wind of 5 m/s filled the sail nicely and I had to run downstairs to change into the summer's lightest sailing outfit. Sunbathing in bikinis under the gennaker was a great treat. We enjoyed the afternoon coffee together with Andrus on our foredeck while the gennaker was silently pulling Suwena towards Saeby. This is the summer we have been waiting for some time already. Andrus estimated the tide and chose our departure time, so we had a knot of current pushing us along all the way.
Suwena's gennaker
Saeby's habrour was totally different compared to the guide book. Everything was renovated. There were brand new docks and most of the berths were for tying up between the piles not stern anchor as in the book. We were just making her fast when we heard three beautifully trumpet played songs from the breakwater. It was time to lower the flags for the night.
Harbour of Saeby
In Denmark the free berths are marked with green signs