We are looking forward to next summer and upcoming sailing voyage. The winter has passed by making preparations and sailing plans. The start of this year's cruise will be a little different than usually because Suwena has been wintering for the first time out of Finland. Now that we take a plane to Germany, we are only allowed to have two bags checked in. To manage everything we have made countless lists of to-dos, like for example a shopping list both for Finland and Germany and list of chores for preparing spring maintenance on the boat. The eagerness to get back on board is growing every day as the spring launch day is getting closer.
The plan for next summer consists of cruising on a shores of the North Sea and the English Channel. We are looking to get a new perspective from the angle of sailor to our familiar central and western European countries: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and UK. After spending a lot of time during the winter on google we believe that the summer will be great and we'll see a lot of magnificent places where we have not been before.
The season will begin in the town of Kappeln in Germany by making a spring maintenance to Suwena. Kappeln has been an excellent choice for wintering a boat because the marina of Ancker Yachting is located in the middle of yachting centre (Yachtzentrum Kappeln). From there we could find everything from engine maintenance to sailmaker and of course the chandleries. We think she will be ready for the summer cruise in no time as everything we might need is within the walking distance.
During the upcoming summer we will leave the Baltic Sea behind us as we'll pass through the Kiel Canal to the North Sea. We will face new challenges as we will enter the tidal waters. The Reed's Nautical Almanac will be put to good use for making sure that there would always be enough water under the Suwena's keel. The Baltic Sea is quite unusual sea area because there is no tide at all. Also the North Sea will throw up another challenge in a form of sand banks which are constantly moving by sea currents. For example on the Frisian Islands the depth marks on charts cannot completely be trusted and the buoys marking fairways are moved constantly.
The planned route of next summer will pass trough both big European metropolises and small villages as well as islands. It will be interesting to see what kind of faces for example Amsterdam and London will show to sailors. Of course every sailor needs to visit two of the biggest harbour cities in Europe: Rotterdam and Hamburg and so must we, too.
The island adventures will take us to Helgoland and to the Frisian Islands both in Germany and in the Netherlands. We would also like to make a trip on the Dutch canals. Stopping in the towns of Edam and Gouda will give us a first hands experience on cheeses named by these places. We will also see some canals in Belgium as our plans include visiting the city of Brugge (Bruges) which some call it a northern Venice.
We are also planning to explore both coasts of the English Channel. The plans are still rather open. We'll let the winds decide the places we'll visit on Normandy coast. A stopover somewhere on the Opal Coast (Côte d’Opale) in France would be great before turning our bow towards the UK.
In late March we got a confirmation from Ipswitch Haven Marina and thus she will spend the next winter in Ipswitch. The Ipswitch is located on the east coast of England by the river Orwell just north from the Thames estuary.
We will again write stories about our cruise along the summer. Please come and check back every now and then on what the crew of Suwena is doing. Maybe you can even enter a comment as we are always delighted to get feedback from our readers.