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.

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. 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 🙂