Around Denmark

In the following years I would spend as much time on the boat as possible. All vacations and weekends I went out sailing. Even on work days in the season I would go for a quick sail after being in the cubicle all day. We were living very close to the coast of Copenhagen and it was only a few short minutes to walk to the boat.

I gained a lot of import routine in preparing the boat, leaving and arriving, hoisting sail and tacking in that period of the first season.

It was not always smooth sailing and often I was close to hitting the many buoys in Copenhagen port.

Also had to learn to take care of the boom and you can see here. Near miss or a near hit.ufff

So here I was sailing around the port in Copenhagen among cruise ships, merchant vessels and off course a lot of pleasure boats.

It was a good place to get more sailing experience because it was very protected from waves and wind. When it was very windy with high waves I would sail inside the walls of Copenhagen port and on more pleasant days I would sail outside in the strait towards Sweden.

As I gained more and more experience I wanted to explore all of Denmark on the 7 danish seas.

Started out on small weekend trips with the admiral and soon we sailed further and further and deeper into the ocean.

Around Denmark.
© OpenStreetMap contributors. Tiles courtesy of Andy Allan. Website and API terms

I also took up fishing in those years. Normally I wouldn’t even touch a fish with a pole and much less eat it. But now on a boat I thought it could be fun to catch some. The admiral insisted that if I was to catch fish then I also had to eat them and not just eat a steak.

Well challenge accepted, bought some equipment and found a work colleague that was an expert in fishing.

Good catch 🙂

Soon we were catching hornfisk, codfish and many other species. At first it was difficult for me to eat them but fresh fish is something completely different. They taste so fresh and there is no foul smell and now I enjoy fresh fish as often as possible.

Starting to actually sail

Well now I was the proud owner of a small boat located in a marina 26 nautical miles(30 miles, 48 kilometers) from Copenhagen that needed to be moved to her new home marina in the city.
I could hardly wait to get it home, everyday I was studying the weather forecasts almost every hour. But to no avail the weather in the cold north is rough and we had high winds for weeks.

But finally one day the weather was reasonable and finally I could bring it to Copenhagen.
It turned out to be quite a trip for a beginner like me. First we hit the ground inside the other marina, lesson learned: don’t sail too close to the bridge with small boats!
But it came off the ground with some wiggling and out into the ocean. Up came the sails and everything was working.
But even though I knew all the theory of navigation and had even bought all the paper maps(this was before GPS devices became really big) I didn’t pay enough attention to our actual location. One thing the boat also missed was a depth charger, so I had no idea how much water I had under the keel.
So south of the island Amager we got way too close to the coast and bumped into a rock. Turned the boat around immediately and nothing more happened.

The trip from Vallensbæk to Copenhagen with the rock about halfway.
© OpenStreetMap contributors. Tiles courtesy of Andy Allan. Website and API terms


Well that was quite a shock but a very important lesson was learned. Don’t forget where you are in a boat!

But I did arrive home to Copenhagen after my very first sailing trip in my own boat.

La Sardina arrived in Copenhagen.

Buying a boat

Well here I was with my freshly printed certificate of competency and nowhere to sail with no boat and no actual experience at all.
The sailing season in the cold north is short only a few months and here we were eager to sail. I knew people with boats and pestered them all about taking me with them on their next trip. But soon I learned a dark truth about the boat world: people actually rarely sail their boats. Most only a handful of times during the short season. Some even never leave the pier during the entire season.
Growing quite desperate with the situation and the vaning sailing season I decided to buy a small sailing boat. I was still not 100% sure of my own commitment and time available but I wanted some experience now and I would not just let the sailing season end without some more sailing.

My requirements for a sailing boat was first and most important of all that it must be sailing ready right now. I’m such a big procrastinator and a year long project was not in my plans. Most likely I would never have finished. I wanted to sail right now before the season ended.
Second requirement was that It must not be bigger than I can sail it alone. Larger boats can be very difficult or even impossible to sail alone. Especially leaving and arriving at the dock can be problematic alone.

Started searching papers and the internet for boats and soon this old Albin Viggen turned up.

The sales ad for La Sardina.

It was owned by a family that just arrived home from their summer sailing trip and it was 100% ready to go here and now. It had a good size for solo sailing and it was even reasonably priced as the market was at that time. The price was so low that it was no problem if I later wanted to get rid of it. It was located in a marina Vallensbæk just south of Copenhagen so it would be no problem to bring it home. At that time I was convinced that if continuing to sail I would get something in the 40 foot range.

Contacted the owner and we met up for a test trip. This boat turned out to be exactly what I was looking for and I bought it on the spot.

Learning to sail

Doing my research I found a private sailing teacher with his own boat that was offering the official curriculum in 7 days total and the last day would be exam day with a certified censor. 

http://www.nordsjaellands-sejlerskole.dk webpage

This was a much better solution for me and I even talked my wife (the later Admiral) into participating.

The course started and it came with quite a few surprises for us. The schedule for the course was quite straightforward. Breakfast on board and then studying navigation, rules and safety on boats. Then lunch and then sailing on the boat all afternoon.

Surprise number one was how tiresome for the body it is to be on a boat. As the boat is moving all the time the body can never rest. Constantly it needs to compensate for movements. Also a boat, even a big boat is a cramped place. All the time I had to duck, move up and down the ladder and even getting onboard was something giving sore muscles for a lifelong landlubber. So no long evenings in the cockpit enjoying the long light evenings of the cold north. I was fast asleep at 9 every evening.

Surprice number 2 was how nice it was to sail in a sailboat. The sound of the boat moving through the water and the wind in the sails quickly convinced me that I was not a motorboater but a sailboater.

We finished the course and both got the certificate and we were now officially real sailors. Or sort of 🙂

Landlubber

In 2009 I was happily working as an IT consultant in Copenhagen in the cold northern part of Europe. Days were long and intense but still I had some free time to spare on something new and exciting.

Being born and raised in a small village in the inland part of Denmark meant I had only a very few times been on a pleasure boat. My knowledge of sailing, navigation and caring for a boat was literally zero. I even had a strong tendency to become seasick on ferries so everything was against me from the beginning. 

But none of that sussed me away from dreaming about sailing around the Copenhagen port with the old channels, docks and the old defense islands in the strait of Øresund. Maybe even whizzing to Sweden across the strait could be a fun activity on the weekends.

My idea was to get a slick, fast small motorboat of the type with a big V8 engine. Here in the cold north a certificate is needed for fast motorboats, but it’s no big problem and it can be had after participating in a short weekend course. Some even offer the certificate in one single day. 

But I was a little worried about the low amount of general knowledge I would obtain on such a short course. Coming from a background of no boats and suddenly being on an ocean kind of worried me a little. How about boyes, rules, regulations and safety, I had no knowledge about anything relating to boats and the ocean.

Next level would be to obtain a certificate of competency for yachtsmen in a sailing club. Then I would learn everything about navigation and safety and this card would also be valid for a fast motorboat. But I quickly realised the long timeframe for this certificate, people were often spending 1-2 years to get this certificate in sailing clubs. This did certainly not fit my impatient nature !! 

Hello World

Welcome

Goddag, goddag to everybody out there whether sailing or not. I’m doing a new sailing channel(just a hobby, won’t be big and professionnel like many other channels) it will be for the internet and social media.