After having enjoyed beautiful Kalmar for a few days, it was once again time to head forward. This time we had our sights set on lovely Copenhagen.
From Kalmar to Copenhagen it would be a roughly two-hundred miles sail, so the sea deities willing, it would take us much less than two whole days to get there. The predicted weather looked good enough as well— not only upwind sailing (cheers!). And in case of any troubling and unforeseen changes, we’d have merry Bornholm on the way as a terrific plan B.
Usually, I like to leave very early in the morning, just a bit after sunrise. This time, however, we needed to get some more fuel, so to the delight of the rest of the crew, we had to time our departure to the fuel station opening hours.
Then, after a quick fill-up at the station, and twenty minutes of motoring later, we were once again out on the wonderful sea. Sails hoisted and traveling south with about seven and a half knots of boat speed.
Toward the Sunset
As the evening started to set in, the wind decided to check out. A bit before 7 pm we were sailing (in the wrong direction, heading into a shipping lane) with TWS at about 5 knots, SOG at barely 3 knots, and VMG at about 2 knots.
Having about two-thirds of the trip ahead of us, it felt like a good time to start the engine.
And also a good time to enjoy the sunset. There wasn’t any gray left in the sky, only blue with some scattered clouds being slowly devoured by the setting sunlight.
Everything was just as beautiful as it sometimes is— and sometimes should be, I think!
The Good Night Shift
As the night arrived, we got some more (and much appreciated) wind in our sails, so we shut down our engine and continued onwards into the night by green power alone.
At the latitudes we were sailing, this summer night in the middle of July would last roughly seven hours. This meant that with three-hour watches, we would get from dusk to dawn in a bit more than two watches, one for Charlotte, and one for me.
“So, I will try to get some sleep now, ok?” I said to Charlotte, who had put on her foul weather clothes for the first night watch.
“Yes, sure,” she replied, unusually preoccupied with looking at the instruments in front of her.
It was the first time, I thnk, that I saw her really getting into the sailing stuff— checking the horizon, the sails, the wind angle, the plotter, and so forth. She looked really concentrated, and that felt oddly comforting.
I think I actually fell asleep for a bit, without worrying too much about everything.
After midnight, the wind built up a bit, and we were starting to get some good sailing speeds, holding steadily over eight knots SOG.
It’s a special feeling actually, not seeing very much of one’s surroundings due to it being dark, but still feeling the wind powering the boat forward through the water.
From 00:30 am to 05:30 am, we averaged 8.3 knots, which is exactly what would be needed to reach the mythical “200 miles a day”. Well, that and nineteen more hours of the same, obviously.
Our maximum speed during the night was a healthy 9.4 knots, which was a bit above the boat’s hull speed. Again, brilliant!
And then the sun started to rise!
After the good nightly sail, the wind decreased and we (unfortunately) had to turn more upwind again.
We were still quite far away from Copenhagen, and because I really didn’t want to arrive there after dark we, once again, pushed the start button on the engine and started to motorsail.
And, also, finally, we got some company!
“Really, we never see anyone where we are sailing,” Charlotte exclaimed. “Half of the time I think it’s ok, the other half I’m wondering if they know something we don’t,” she added, with a slightly worried look.
Broen – The Bridge
“Hey, is that it?” I shouted to the others. “Look!”
We had been keeping a lookout for it for a couple of hours, and there it finally was! Öresundsbron, the bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Well, the two highest pillars of it, anyway.
For the final leg of our trip, we were presented with some tricky navigation.
Things had changed a bit since I last visited (twenty or so years earlier), and they were now building an island (!) right in the middle of where we previously had sailed into the city.
Navionics showed the right stuff on the chart, but it was still a bit confusing. Google offered additional help, though, and I found one official document giving more detailed instructions on what to do. How to sail safely in and out of Copenhagen during the different construction phases.
So, armed with a sufficient amount of caution (and an adequate amount of nervousness), we inched forward and made our way toward Lynetteløbet, and the port of Copenhagen.
OMG, It’s Full Of …
Once inside, we were met by a myriad of other boats, kayakers, passenger ferries, and even a hydroplane! The contrast to the deserted sea we had experienced earlier in the day was slightly overwhelming. (A bit like sailing into Hel in Poland, actually!)
“Hey, what’s that over there, Charlotte, look!” I said and pointed to the harbor in front of us. “It looks like just… just like an enormous crowd of people?”
We didn’t know that the harbor we had selected, Amaliehavnen, actually doubled as Ofelia Plads, one of the Copenhagen’s “city beaches”, absolutely sprawling with people hanging out, sunbathing, swimming (although that wasn’t officially allowed at that beach), and in general enjoying their free time (with and without alcoholic beverages!)
Cool, but in other words, we would have not a few, but a few hundred spectators checking out our docking maneuvers!
The docking went swimmingly, and a couple of the beachgoers actually came to assist us. We secured the last available non-double-parking spot, and so we had arrived.
After a really nice 200 nm sail, we were absolutely excited to be in beautiful Copenhagen! ❤️