Diary of August


From the canal between Alphen ann den Rijn and Amsterdam on August 1st.


August 1st
We were lucky with the weather, the locks and the bridges today until we got into Amsterdam. There the bridge-keepers either had all gone for lunch or were sleeping hard! No less than 15 minutes waiting at a single one of the bridges! And with 10 bridges . . .
In the end we were rather bored, but there was nothing we could do about it.
Finally we got to the Sixhaven in Amsterdam, but it was full of boats already. But that was not a problem. The harbourmaster told us to moor outside another boat and it didn't take long until we had another boat outside Bibbi too!
We used the Waterbus to come into the city centre and had a beer directly.
We did not bother to look into any of the shops, just looked around. It is an amazing city!
Soon we got hungry and tried to find a nice restaurant, but that was hard. Finally I asked a lady sitting on her porch for help and she told us were to find the best restaurant in the area, and she even drawn a map.
It was a good drawing, easy to follow so we soon found the restaurant. All the tables on the pavement were booked in advance, but we were allowed to have two seats there for an hour and a half. We agreed.
We were served an exellent saltimbocca, the house-wine was very good as the service, so we had a very nice time there.
All the time boats were sailing along the canal, people sat chatting and having pick-nick att all the bridges. It was an enchanted evening!
When we got back to Sixhaven we found that it was possible to walk all across the harbour without getting wet! In any direction!

Along the canal

An open bridge

Narrow street in Amsterdam

In the harbour late in the evening

August 2nd
We left Amsterdam at about 10, and we did not decide that ourselves. When a harbour is totally filled with boats, you have to leave when a boat inside of you wants to leave. So this morning the boat closest to the harvour entrance left by 8 and by 10 we left and I guess the flow of boats uput continued until 11 or mayby even 12!
Many of the boats from Sixhaven aimed at the oraniensluis to get ou to Markermeer, the open sea south of IJsselmeer. That is were sailingboats may sail and often do.
We crossed the Markermeer and aimed at Lelyland and the lock to IJselmeer there.
When we got halv way over the meer is was extremely hot and no wind. I stopped the boat and jump into the sea to cool down. It was extremely nice!
In this heat and no cooling wind at sea we choosed to stop for the day at Lelystad, because we needed to buy food.
Lelystad has a big modern harbour and it was almost empty when we arrived. No people around, so it seemed rather dull. But we decided to stay.
I was sent away on a bicycle to find food. Asked around and got a hint about where to find it and went away.
I found a factory outleft for clothes and a museum and a ships yard building a replica of a ship from the 17th century.
I hade obviously cycled in the wrong direction and tried another one. - It's straight ahead, said the harbourmaster. You can't miss it!
So I went off in another direction on a road for bicycles which was not at all straight on. Many crossings but I followed the signs to "Center" and ended up between two companies selling new and old cars. Here it seemed like the bicycle-lane ended so I continued a block further on the road. Stopped again and saw a lot of parked bicycles. Saw a lot of people coming out of a house with filled bags.
Ah - I've found it!
So got into the shop and found almost everything I was looking for and a few other things.
It was a total chock leaving that shop. It was pleasantly cool inside. Leaving it was like entering a sauna!
With all those bags, a bicycle and all that cycling back to the boat!
I managed but I got soaking wet.
During the afternoon and evening a lot of boats came to the harbour.
The evening was long and calm and as soon as the sun had set the temperature got quite pleasant!

Chaos after leaving Oranien lock in Amsterdam

Amsterdam skyline

Odd ship on Markermeer

The museum of the Nuewe land in Lelystad

August, 3rd
Another fine day at sea, cause now we are talking sea and not canals!
In Lelystad we came through the lock between Markermeer and IJsselmeer without having to wait. From there we sailed on the IJsselmeer three hours until we reached Prinses Margriet lock up in the north to get into Prinses Margriet Kanaal.
The IJsselmeer was totally calm with no waves at all, except for swell from other boats. It was rather misty though, with bad visibility but we followed a barge all the way from Lelystad to Prinses Margriet lock and we followed the route that was well marked with boyes and sailed from one boye to another. Thanks to AIS on the navigationcomputer and on the plotter we could follow almost every barge in the area to avoid collisions and easily keep far away from the professionals.
It was very warm all day.
When we got into Prinses Margriet Kanaal through Friesland the landscape changed to something very, very special. It is very flat. Only churchtowers and towers at the locks are higher than the trees. For us Swedes this is fascinating.
Furthermore, it seems that water and land has 50 percent each of the area and land seldom raises more than 30 cm over the water.
This is an area you could spend several weeks, go to a new place every day and not see the same place twice!
Amazing, truly amazing!
When we got close to Sneek we saw a lot of sailingboats across the green grass. Every boat had one white and one black sail and it was obviously a competion. When we moored in one of the harbours of Sneek we saw this regatta and feared that the whole harbour would be filled with celebrating sailors in the evening. So I asked around.
Every year there is a competion in sailing big boats between thirteen towns in Friesland. There is one regatta in each of the thirteen towns, one day in each town, and today it was here in Sneek. After the days competion on sea, the boats and crews immediately sailed to the next town to prepare tomorrows regatta.
Late in the evening, at dinner, it started to rain. Unlike earlier on this trip, the rain continued for hours. It didn't stop until it was time to go to bed. It was a bit annoying, but didn't really matter.

The lock in Lelystad. Note that there are dubble ports, as at times the high water shifts from one side of the lock to the other.

In the lock of Lelystad

In the Prinses Margriet lock

Sailing competition and a small windmill near Sneek

August 4th
Today we passed one of the most beautiful parts of The Netherlands, The Alde Faenen. this is an area that land and sea seems to share equally 50/50 percent. Very fascinating and beautiful.
The area is very popular and there are a loy of places to moor, for the day och over night. No facilities, only beautiful. And there are a lot of nice private houses too, most of them can only be reached by boat.
After passing through this area we continued on the big canal towards Groningen. We soon hanged on to a big barge and he fixed all the bridge-openings for us.
We aimed at Oosterhaven in Groningen were we stayed in 1998 too.Good harbour in the middle of the city.
We had no food on board so we decided to go to a restaurant. First we strolled around a while until we decided to eat at a restaurant at the central square.
Very nice food in a pleasant town on a beautiful evening!
But just as we were back in the harbour it started to rain. Heavily. And it continued as long as we were awake.

There were a lot of boats on the canal today.

In Alde Faenen

In Alde Faenen

The church by the square where we had dinner

August 5th
This morning we spent a couple of hours to get food and money i Groningen.
We strongly feel that we are on our way back home now. And we do not want to take exactly the same route this time as we did in 1998.
In -98 we took the Ems-Kanaal from Groningen til Delfzil and then Ems upstreams to the Kustenkanal in Germany.
Då tog vi Emskanalen från Groningen till Delfzil. We have studied the charts very carefully and found another route from Groningen to Ems which seems to be nicer, and best of all, we don't have to go out to the sea with the tidal waters. It was rather tough from Delfzil upstreams to the first lock in Ems even tough we left Delfzil at a time when we took advantage of the incoming tide.
So this time we choosed to leave Groningen at the Winschoterdiep and after a couple of hours turning south on the A.G. Wildervanckkanaal. From there on there are the Staadkanaal, the Musselkanaal, Te Ter Apelkanaal and finally the Haren- Rütenbrock Kanal. All of them rather small canals, but big enough for us, that will take us to Ems, where we can go downstreams to the Kustenkanal.
On this diverted tour we will pass the border between The Netherlands and Germany when the Ter Apelkanaal changes name to Haren-Rütenbrok Kanal.
The trip today was very nice. The first part of the canal has a loft of shipswharfes building mainly canal-barges, but also some bigger ships. Don't ask me how they get those bigger ship out to the sea!
The first part of the A. G. Wildervanckkanaal was like the first canal, but finally we turned of this canal into the Oosterdiep - and that was something totally different!
Now we are on a very small canal in the middle of the town Veendam. There are bridges that must be opened everywhere, at least one for every street in the town!
After mooring here Ingrid had a shower and I walked around a while before dinner. There are a lot of shops in the town centre, so I think you can find everything you want here.
The evening was warm and calm. But we went to bed early . . .

Que of boats for the lock further into Groningen

See the bird here?

Flat land. Here's a train passing.

The town hall of Veendam

August 6th
What a day! During six hours we sailed on three different canals, passed 48 bridges which all had to be opened for us, passed seven locks - but only sailed 13 nautical miles! With an hours lunch for the lock and bridge-people that makes an average speed of about 2,5 knots. Our usual speed pends between 6 and 8 knots, depending on the actual conditions.
But here we are, and we do not complain. It has been one of the most fascinating days of this trip.
During the first part, in the Oosterdiep, two men were following us on bike and car and openening all the bridges. There was usually only a few hundred meters between the bridges! Those guys made a terrific job.
Sailing on this section was like sailing through a town. On both sides there were houses, mostly very nice houses too. By the end it looked like farmhouses on the eastern side of the canal, but they were as close to each others as the "townlike" houses on the other side of the canal.
The Stadkanaal started with a fairly long section without bridges and locks, but it changed and became more and more like the Oosterdiep. The Musselkanaal was exactly like the Stadkanaal.
We had decided to make the village Musselkanaal our goal for the day and stopped for the day in the guestharbour there. We could have continued a bit further with the other boats, but choosed to stop here. Campers and guesting boats together and sharing fascilities.
It was very hot all day and we got a few drops of rain during the trip. Late in the afternoon and the late evening we had a few showers too.

In Veendam

Along the canal

A bird by the canal

Artwork by the canal


August 7th
We had lazy day in Musselkanaal waiting for the day to pass along.
The weather was changing all the time. From really hot to, well, freezing cold in the wind. Very few raindrops during the day, hardly worth noticing. But in the evening after dinner, en heavy rainshower with thunder rapidly passed over us.
We spent the day lazyly as we could not get any further on the canal as all bridges and locks are closed on Sundays.
So we fixed a few things on the boat, walked around the village center, saw the old train in action, had showers and many other things.
It is very nice to have a day like this sometimes. We like and need it.
Tomorrow it is back to normal again. The canal is waiting for us and we want to come as far as possible.

In our harbour

In our harbour

A historic train

A fantastic sunset

August 8th
One more of those days!
We had mad an appointment with the lock- and bridgeopener that he would come and let us out of Skoonerdop haven we we had spent the weekend at 10 o'clock this morning. We were there at exactly the right time, but he did not show up! We were in the boat just by the bridge and at a distance we saw other boats coming from another direction having the closiest bridge on the other canal opened. But we had no means to contact the man who had forfotten us.
After a while we moored nearby the bridge and 11 o'clock, the next possible time for bridgeopenings, I walked at that other bridge that all boats have to pass to talk to the clerk and make him open for us too. But at that time nonone came from either side.
So I cycled along the canal to find a lockkeeper that could help me. He called the man who should have let us in the morning. That man was sorry . . . He had forgotten us.
But unfortunately, the next time for starting the tour was 1 o'clock, after lunch!
At 1 o'clock we finally were let out of the harbour and continued our trip.
And it was a nice trip too. Nice canals, a row of family-houses on each side of the canal. Almost all of the houses were well kept and we always had pleasant views and from a lock-keeper we bought two smoked fishes for dinner.
At the very end of the Dutch canal we were delayed another 20 or 30 minutes. We had to wait for two boats coming from the German side.
All these delayes during the day made us miss the last time to get into the canal on the German side by twenty minutes! We had to moor at the waiting bridge and stay there over night. At 8 in the morning the bridge and lock will be opened for us.

Seabirds held us company while waiting for the first bridge to be opened

View along the canal

Old foundations for a stonebridge near the border

Leaving The Netherlands and entering Germany

August 9th
Eight o'clock sharp the red light of the bridge and lock in front of us was turned on, only to immediately change to gren as the bridge opened.
I was ready for it, but not really prepared. I could not imagine that the Germans would be so exact and open on the dot eight as they said yesterday they would.
But I was fast. Started the engine and loosened all the lines to shore and was off to the lock in less then a minute. Ingrid hardy noticed it!
I called her gently, asking her to join the crew and help to moor in the lock, which she did, as usual.
The trip down to Haren by the Ems was gentle and nice. No interruptions. Only a few unexpected halts by a lock or a bridge, but none of them were long.
The trip down Ems was a piece of cake. Nice and easy, and soon we got into the Küstencanal, but stopped in the harbour of Yachtclub Surwold 1980. Only a few miles into the Küstenkanal and a very well kept harbour it is. The harbourmaster greeted us welcome and pointed out a nice mooringplace.
We have noticed for some time that our batteries are way too old. So I asked the harbourmaster if he knew were to find new batteries nearby. He asked me of the details for the batteries, made a phonecall and said that three new batteries would be delivired in the harbour at six o'clock. That's what I call superb service in a guestharbour!
And by six the batteries were really delivered. At a good price to. I mounted them immediately and they were good.
Unfortunately our kitchen seems to need some extra attention too. It refused to start this morning, so I used the spare kitchen.
But when it didn't start with fresh batteries I really do not know what to do. Have to think more about that. The spare kitchen will give us coffee tomorrow morning anyway.

One of the many bridges we passed today

Lock number 3 on the Haren - Rütenbrock Canal.

Coming from south on the Dortmund - Ems Canal we saw this sign and turned into the Küstenkanal

Bibbi in the Yachtclub Surwold 1980 habour

August 10th
We started early this morning. An hour earlier than usual. We wanted to get away early to be able to come pretty far.
And we did get away an hour earlier than usual, but we didn't all that far!
Stopped in Haren to fuel up and realized there were very few guestharbours between Haren and the Mittelland canal. Only one actually, and that one in Minden was a bit too early. On the other hand the nest guestharbour was quite a long waintoon the Mittellandkanal.
So we decided to stay in Meppen and found the nice harbour of Yachtclub Hane-Ems.
I started an attempt to fix the kithen. Emptied the fueltank and filled some fresh fuel. Checked that it pumped fuel OK which it did. And then started it. Success at first attempt! Put a kettle on and the water got hot and was OK. Assembled the whole thin, and after that Ingrid and I went to the restaurant across the road to have dinner. We were served delicious food in a nice atmosphere at a very realonable price.
We got back to the boat for a cup of coffee and then the kitchen refused to start!
Have to try another fix tomorrow!

The sign says it all, we're on the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal

Cows on the kanalbank.

People living along the canals often have chairs by the canal.

A cooling-tower in disguise!

August 11th
Today we aimed at the harbour in the Osnabrück side canal and it seemed reasonably possible to get there in one day.
But that is when figuring the milage you aim to go. But on these canals it's not the milage that counts. It's a question of which boats you have to go together with and the wills of the lockkeepers!
So to reach that harbour today, would have meant that we would have to be on tour at least until 9 o'clock in the evening!
But we had decided to at least come to the Mittellandkanal and when we finally got there it was so late that we decided to use a free harbour with no fascilities. It is located only a few miles into the Mittelland and is actually an old dead-end-arm of that canal.
The harbour itself is actually very nice. Used by barges and pleasureboats alike. The harbour is big and there were at least 15 pleasureboats, one barge and an official canal workingboat there when we came. A few more pleasureboats came later as well as another barge.
The day on the canal was very pleasant. A few light showers, for sure, but warm.
Late in the evening, after dinner, there were a few heavy showers, but so what - the day was over, and our beds were waiting for us.

The Hase river from the left flows out in the Ems

Canal view

The canal was like a dream today

August 12th
We left our harbour early and had a long days trip eastwards on the Mittelland kanal. The weather was changing all day with some showers and and some sunshine.
In a way it was nice to see this canal again but of course, it had been better if we had not been forced to this longer route.
In the afternoon, only about an hour before we reached the Minden Yacht Club, just while overtaking a barge, our engine stopped!
The pressure from the barge helped us float aside and we could easily tie up the boat to the bank.
All this happened during a heavy rainshower. I had in mind to phone for help, but had to wait until the shower was over.
We finally found the phonenumber to the Minden Yacht Club where a nice lady answered. She found a serviceman that phoned back. Of course he could not come today, but he promised to send a man tomorrow.
The serviceman also called the harbourmaster in Hübbecke who promised to send out a member to help us to their harbour, but most certainly it could not be done within an hour or two.
So we waited . . .
Finally I saw a pleasureboat coming and going "our" way.
The couple in that boat stopped by and helped us. We tied our boats tight alongside and the trip to Lübbecke was rather quick.
We were well taken care of in the harbour and had a nice evening there.

Stranded under bridge 117!

Bibbi seen from the bridge

Bibbi beeing towed side by side . . .

. . . by this kind couple

August 13th
The young serviceman showed upp fairly early, but he could do nothing. He was not familiar with our engine. But he promised that his boss, the real expert, would come and help us. Mayby Sunday afternoon, or more likely on Monday.
So we will have to wait and see.
I cycled off to get some kerosene, petroleum in German, for our stove. Got that, as well as some other things we need for weekend.
Back on the boat again I started with the stove that has refused to start the last few days.
I managed somehow to get it almost working, but I was not satisfied.
So I called Gösta in Onsala for help.
He gave me a couple of ideas on what to do, and after few hours work the stove started!
Both of us spent the afternoon reading and after dinner we went to the clubhouse to have a beer and chatted about an hour with the local people there.

The stove boiling water for coffee!

Ingrid reading and drinking wine

August 14th
The day was warm, but unfortunately it started to rain just before breakfast. And this raining continued untill late in the afternoon.
Ingrid spent a couple of hours working on her computer and I worked on mine. Ingrid noticed a fender floating around in the harbour. I saved and washed it. So it's now one of ours.
I had hoped to be able to cycle into the Lübbecke center, but with all that rain it was not possible. Late in the afternoon the raining stopped and we felt much better.
But the serviceman did not show up and to be honest, we did not expect him too either.
We had an early dinner and after that we went to the clubhouse for a beer together with other guests and boatowners. This day the conversation was concentrated on how the German people handle their own language in a grammatical way.
It was very interesting to hear a German man complaining about how bad the German people, journalists and TV-people, not to mention the Germans in common, are when it comes to following those rules.
After a couple of beers we went "home" to our boat.
By then the sky was pratically free from clouds and we had a beautiful sunset

These fishing men came soon after six in the morning. They stayed there until noon, despite the heavy rain that started about 8 and continued until late in the afternoon.

Nice old boat in the harbour

Ingrid reading and writing

August 15th
We had a nice day in Lübbecke with a warming sun. If it hadn't been for the waiting it had been a perfect day.
The serviceman came fairly early, only to say that he must to the doctor first. He promised to be back by 11, or 12 at the latest.
Ingrid had a shower and spent several hours reading in the sun by the clubhouse.
I cycled off to the village to get some food and beer. I was aspecially interested to get some Barre-beer.
But as the serviceman did not show up by noon, we got worried and angious.
I feared that he would not come until tomorrow, but just before two I saw him and was very pleased with that.
He did not work fast but clever. Easily found out that the engine got fuel all the way to the cylinders.
This led him to the electronics. He pushed a little button a couple of times and asked me to try to start, and the engine started!
Then he asked me to turn off the engine, but that was impossible.
He turned a little trigger on one side of the engine and it stopped.
- Well, he said. It's this little electronic thing that fails. Must be changed. So it must be ordered from Penta in Gothenburg, and only God knows how long it will take for it to get here. And he adviced me to go to my ordinary serviceman in Gothenburg when I get home.
He carefully showed how to start and stop the engine and I tested a few times, workes fine.
When he had left us, Ingrid and I discussed what to do. We finally decided to leave Lübbecke and go to Minden, which is only an hour away.
So we got the boat and ourselves ready rapidly. Started the engine and left the bridge.
We moved slowly first and when I pulled the gashandle for more speed, the engine died! Tried to start it, but no.
Opened the engine room, pushed the button a couple of times and it finally started!
So we directly moored the boat at the closest brigde and discussed what to do and finally decided to continue.
The engine worked very good all the way to Minden and we were very pleased.
We decided to celibrate with dinner in the clubhouse.

A father with his little son in the harbour in Lübbecke

In the Mindener Yacht club harbour

In the Mindener Yacht club harbour

August 16th
We had a fine and warm day at the canals. The engine ran fine all day. It was warm all day.
Started with shopping, and left Minden fairly early even though shopping always take too long!
Our first stop was by a bunkerboat in Minden. We were told that we could get fule there.
But no! They only had fuel for the professionals. The kind of fuel that contains no bio-diesel and thus no microbacteries that makes engines stop! We are not allowed by the authorities to buy that fuel.
The man on the bunkerboat told us we could get fuel in Nienburg, and that was exactly where we were going, so no problem!
The next stop was at the lock from the Mittellandkanal to Weser. We had to wait a little while to get into this lock, but once we got inte the lock it was a nice experience. This old lock sinks or lifts boats close to 15 meters. But the lock is rather short and small, so a new lock is built along side to it.
From this lock we entered river Weser.
Thinking of the heavy traffic on the Mittellandkanal and most other big canals we've been on this summer, Weser was a very positiv surprise!
It passed between and through small villages and towns in a meandering way. The locks are almost taming the natural stream, but nevertheless, we "earned" about a knot to our speed.
Unfortunately there were no free places in the harbour of Nienburg but we were offered to moor alongside another boat. We certainly do not like that, but had no choise.
Soon we walked into town, the old city. It was nice and a lot of people wandering around. We decided to have dinner at the Rathauskeller. Very nice and they served the best schitzels we've so far this summer.
Back on board Bibbi we made it an early evening, not to disturb our kind neighbours too much.

View westwards from one of the bridges i Minden

The lock in Minden seen from downstreams

Idyllic view from Weser

August 17th
Had it not been for the lock at Dörverden, this might have the perfect day on the German canals!
The trip down to that lock was superb. The trip after that lock was also superb.
But we had to wait close to three hours to get into the lock.
We had planned and hoped to get fairly close to Bremen this day, but we only got half way there, because of all this waiting.
When we got out of the lock we decided to go for Verden, two kilometers upstream the subsidiary river Aller. The harbour there was OK, but way apart from the old town.
Anyway. It was a nice, sunny and warm day, with not a single drop of rain. Real hot too, and aspecially hot during the waiting at Dörverden!
The views we passed were spectacular with horses, cows, and all kinds of birds along the canal. There were also sandbeaches, calm lagoons with sunbathing people, lots of anglers and small nice villages.
But we can't get on for ever in this lazy way. Ingrid has promised to take care of our grandchild Hedda on Thursday next week. We have realised that we have no chance of being home by then. The question now is if we can get close to a place from where she can get home by train or ferry.
We keep our fingers crossed.

The trip today was a trip through an idyllic rural area.
We saw a lot of birds, horses, cows and sheep.

August 18th
It started to rain during breakfast and while we prepared for departure the raining got worse and worse, so we waited a while.
We soon reached the first lock whiched we passed during the rain, but soon after that the rain stopped abd we sailed along.
We followed the stream downwards to the lock in Bremen where we met the upcoming tide, but we only lost about a knot in speed so we continued.
We hoped to get to a harbour between Bremen and Bremerhafen so that we tomorrow easily could reach Bremerhafen, the river Geeste and Hadelner canal. From there we are off to Elbe and the Kieler Canal.
The river Weser was very nice, there was always something special to see. When the rain stopped we could really epreciate the view and decided that river Weser is worth a detour!
Huge industrial sites met us in the outskirts of Bremen and somewhere there we found a harbour with a fuelling station som we filled our tanks there.
When we passed the central parts of Bremen we saw mostly newer houses, not the old and small houses we had expected.
Finally we reached the tidal lock and for the first time during this trip it had come to a self-service-lock. As we've never seen or used such a lock before, we had some troubles but were help by the persons overlooking us via cameras. Nevetheless this operation was not fast! But very interesting indeed!
When we got out of thet lock we had the tidal stream against us. We lost a knot in speed, but we continued and where only a mile away from the harbour we aimed at when the machine - once again - stopped. I made a few attempts to start it, but to no awail.
The boat now slowly drifted back towards Bremen and of course in the middle of the fairway. As soon as I saw a pleasureboat I waved to it and the people aboard immediately changed they course towards us. I asked if he could take ashore so a safe harbour which he was willing to, but only with the tidal stream. He proposed that he'd take to his homeharbour, close to Vegesack and a bit into river Lesum. He also promised to call a serviceman for us when we got there.
It took us almost two hours to reach the harbour and it is located a long way up into river Lesum, which is a very beautiful water. One one bank there are a lot of bridges with boats. On the other bank a row of villas of all kinds. An extremely peaceful and nice area!
We were welcomed to the harbour by helping hands and very good service. They called the serviceman who will come early tomorrow morning. But dinner was late this day that we'll hardly forget - for several reasons.

The sport-boat lock in Bremen We saw a lot of sandbeaches today Bremen seen from river Weser The SVU clubhouse by river Lesum.

August 19th
The serviceman arrived arrived early in the morning as said, but he did not find that anything was wrong with our engine.
But he did manage to start it and even the normal turning off the engine worked!
So, he left almost immediately and we were happy. Decided to leave this harbour and finished the preparations. The engine started OK, but when I turned to full gas it faded . . .
We got angious and decided to stay and call the serviceman back.
By then he was way off to another job and could not come. He promised to come in the afternoon, but called and said he'd come tomorrow instead. He had been delayed at another boat and there was nothing neither he nor we could do about that.
While waiting I cycled off to the village Burg to buy some food while Ingrid was reading one of her books.
The weather was rather nice all day, but as usual this summer changing all day. Mostly sunny, but at times cloudy. Mostly no winds, but at times chilly winds. So it was sweater on and sweater off every once in a while.
But no rain att all!
During the day we studied the tidal water coming and going, as well as the magic water behind the clubhouse. Both very fascinating.
Had we not come to this place, we had missed it all! Would have been a shame.

At low tide At low tide At low tide Magic water in a small creek beside river Lesum

At high tide At high tide At high tide

August 20th
What a day!
The sunrise was very beautiful and the mist flying over the river magical. But it was cold, only 10C.
We spent the day waiting for the serviceman. He had promised to call between 10 and 11, but we had to wait longer. By 1 he called and was on his way.
He spotted two things to investigate further, the fuel first, and the fuelpump next. Both these things can have the symptom our engine has. Unfortunately he did not have the right things for investigating this at hand, so he promised to be back on Monday.
The people at the club said they have canisters enough for emptying our tanks. They also have a pump for the job, as well as a filter thank cleans the diesel so that it can be reused when the tanks are OK.
So I think and hope everything will be fixed on Monday.
Ingrid walked into Burg to find out how long time she needed for that. We have decided that she leaves me tomorrow. She must be in Rixö on Wednesday evening to take care of little Hedda.
From Burg she will take the train to Kiel and from there the ferry to Gothenburg.
In the evening the club invited us to a grill-party. So we had a nice evening with new friends and the evening was really warm.

Sunrise Morning mist Welcome . . . . . . to the party!

August 21st
Yet another one of those days . . .
Very hot, but late in the afternoon a couple of showers that cleared the air and softened the heat.
Willy, one of the members of the club where we stay, offered to take Ingrid to the railway-station. Ingrid and I thought he meant the nearest station and accepted the help. He took us to the hauptbanhof in Bremen! This meant that Ingrid only needed to change train once, in Hamburg.
Ingrid only had to wait two minutes for the train, and I saw her embarking it. So she was safe on her way.
Some hours later she called me and said she had got a ticket for the ferry but she had to wait an hour to get on board.
Back in the harbour it was so hot. Impossible to do anything. I and some others were invited to have a beer at Willy's cottage by the harbour. We chatted away an hour or two in the shadow under the trees and had a good time.
However. I left the company to have a lunch sandwich onboard Bibbi and spent the afternoon uploading yesterdays log and pictures.
In the afternoon we had one or two very short rainshowers which was good and in the evening a heavy rainshower with thunder. But hat was rather late and in a way welcome to clear the air.

With the tide going out and eastern winds . . . . . . the sailors can sail out to Weser. We've had two wonderful sunrisings.
Now this was the sunset today!
Not bad!

August 22nd
Another hot day, but I was also nervous about the engine and it was a long, long waiting for help.
It was agreed that a man would call me early in the morning to let me know more.
But no call and finally I called and got the answer that he would call back between 12 and 1.
So waiting for that call I cycled twice to the village for shopping.
I got no call at the agreed time and waited another hour until I called. No answer. Waited a few minutes and called again. No answer, But only a few minutes later the other serviceman called and said he'd be with me at 5:30.
But no man at 5:30 either so an hour later we called him and by then he was on his way . . .
When arrived he immediately started to connect a separate tank with "fresh" fuel. He bypassed the two filters and one of the pumps.
And the engine started prompt and ran very nice. No smoke and no vibrations!
He disconnected the separate tank, the little pump and the small fuelfilter and brought them back for examination and promised to come back tomorrow.
It was now rather late and most of the members had resigned to their boats. A few of them passed and stopped to ask how things were going.
One of them asked when I planned to leave and I answered that I'd leave on Wednesday.
- We had planned to leave tomorrow, he said. But we will wait until Wednesday and escort you to Bremerhafen.
Well, that is what I call German hospitality!

At low tide . . . . . . and at high tide.
Quite a difference!
Bibbi in the SVU-harbour in Lesum river

August 23rd
The weather was quite nice when I woke up, cloudy but warm. But when it was time for breakfast a thunderstorm passed over the harbour. And when breakfast was finished, the sun was shining and is was warm again.
So I cycled into the village to get a few things like bread, a newspaper and some more Coke. This cycling was more of a therapy to get over the anciety about the engine . . .
While in the village I cycle a little bit further away on the streets there. In a shop for bycycles I saw a bag to hang och the steeringhandle(?). I stepped into the shop and realised that it would fit on my minibike so I bought one. Fitted when back in the harbour and it really good!
The serviceman had told med that he could not come before noon and when I hadn't heard from hom by 3 o'clock I called him and got the answer: - I'm on my way!
Then a new thunderstorm passed over and I realised that he could not leave his car, but very soon after the rain had stopped he came and I was pleased.
He immediately assembled the parts he had brought and asked me to start. The engine started immediately and run very well. In fact much better then before. Then he attached a pressuremeter on the incoming dieselline and found it was no pressure at all. It should have been some to secure diesel for the engine.
So he inspected all the pipes from the tank to the engine and found a valve on it. He did not know what it was for, but finally removed it. Started the engine again and there was pressure.
He was convicted that the engine works OK and that it would be OK to run it back to Gothenburg without that valve. Maybe even the solenoid on the distributerpump must be examined too, when back home. Especially when I told him that one of the club members would escort med to Bremerhafen.
He also said, that if anything happened on the way down to Bremerhafen, I just had to call him, and he would come and help me again.
So late in the evening, I celebrated in a humble way, with a long delayed dinner, and after that, an hour of chat with my new friends in the harbour.

The railway bridge in village/suburb Burg The main road towards Bremen In Burg new houses are built by the river Lesum

August 24th
This day also started with a fantastic sunrise.
I woke up very early and by 8 o'clock I cycled into the village to get more cash, as the serviceman last evening wanted most of what I had.
But I was too early! The room with the cash-machines were open 24 hours for their own customers and did not open for the public until 9 in the morning. Fortunately I happened to be outside their door when one of their customers were on his way out, so I got in and got the money I wanted!
Back in the harbour I said goodbye to all my new friends there, and they wishes me good luck on my way back home to Gothenburg.
Klaus and Renate in the motorboat Wantij escorted me all the way to Bremerhafen and everything on Bibbi worked OK. We moored alongside a bridge in the tidal water of river Geeste and Klaus booked tome for fuelling at 8 tomorrow morning.
Renate went shopping and after calming down a while I followed her example. I found teh Karstadt and bought new shirts, Danish buttercakes and some food before I returned to Bibbi.
Before making dinner I had a shower, and then I spent the evening writing this logbook.

Another fantastic sunrise! Schoolship Deutschland in Vegesack, where Lesum falls out in Weser Hitler's U-boot safety-room. Was not finished until after the war, and is now a protected historical memory.

August 25th
We had a warm but cloudy morning. Were up early. Had to be at the bunkerstation by 8.
But the bunkerstation was only two minutes away so it was no great effort to get there on time!
I got ver there first and after med Klaus and came immediately after me. We got our boats fulled and then left each others. Klaus and Renate went back to Elsflet and I continued eastwards on the Geeste and later on the Bederkesa-Geeste canal.
I had planned to stay an hour in Bederkesa to shop a few missing things, like potatoes. But when that was done I found it beeing too late to continue all the way to Otterndorf, the end station of the canal, as well as the first guestharbour after Bederkesa.
So I spent the afternoon walking around town. First for shoping and then another round for looking. Had a cup of coffee at the old castle, went over to the other side of the canal and found the lock between the Geeste-Bederkesa canal and Bederkesa lake.
I also went to the harbourmasters office and paid the dues and got a key to the toilets and showers. I also spent about an hour sorting out the pictures before dinner.
If the morning was cloudy and warm the afternoon was sunny and hot! It was actually way too hot!
But in the evening it cooled down a bit and got rather pleasant bı the time I had dinner.

The whole canal is very idyllic The canal is very small. Meeting a boat may be tricky. For several weeks we have hade a spinder onboard with his net across the drivers front window! We don't mind. Today a big insekt got stcuk in the net and the spinder wounded it up and saved it for "supper". This is what the young boys in Bederkesa do to impress on each others - They jump into the canal from the bridge!

August 26th
Another amazing day!
Warm but cloudy in the morning and hotter and hotter as the day passed. Until in the evening, when a sudden thunderstorm arrived as a surpise! I've never seen such a heavy rain combined with so much wind before. Really amazing!
The trip this day was a trip through a fairytale country-side, and when we got to Otterndorf and had to wait two hours to come through the lock I could hardly stand the heat. Spent most of the waiting-time ashore in any shadow I could find.
The German couple I sailed with are also going to the Kiel-Canal and they adviced me to stay in Otterndorf as the best place to stay in Kiel-Canal is Rendsburg which to far away this day. Besides, with the southeastern wind we have today combined with the tidal water would be difficult. The wind is supposed to turn towards southwest tomorrow which will be OK.
So I followed their advice and stayed in Otterndorf.
Which I, in a way, regret.
Soon after I had moored in Otterndorf the wind faded totally and it was calm an hour or two, which had been enough for me to come into the Kiel-Canal. But when I found out that, it was to late.
I wanted to buy a few thing so I asked a person in the harbour how to get into the town center:
- Over the diek there, take the main road, turn right, and you are into the center within 15 minutes, he said.
I followed his advice and after 15 minutes I was at a camping-site!
So I skipped the shopping and sat down outside the harbourmaster's office. There was a rather long qeue of people waiting there to pay their dues. While I was sitting on a bench there, I felt one or two raindrops.
Having paid my dues I went back to Bibbi, calmed down and relaxed a while and suddenly the most intensive rainstorm I have ever seen flew over the harbour. Extremely intensive, with thunder and lightning! Accompanied by the sunset! Very beautiful.
But unfortunately the lightnings refused to come when I pushed the trigger on the camera . . . !
At this time I also saw that Bibbi was stuck in mud!
As the tidal water left the harbour Bibbi dug herself a bed in the mud and stayed safely there.
Scared me somewhat, but it was the same thing for all others boats, so I image it's OK.
I immediately realised that I could not start the engine as it needs cooling water from the sea. Everything else should work as usual, I thought, until I remembered that the toilet onboard needs sea-water for flushing! Fortunately the tidal water came back before I went to bed, so I didn't have to go to the toilets ashore in the rain!

From the Hadelner kanal The sea-lock in Otterdorf Bibbi got stuck in the tidal mud. We had a fantastic sunset with all possible colours all the time. Hundreds of lightnings too, but they refused to come when I pushed the trigger!

August 27th
A rather glomy day. But warm. A few showers too.
I wanted a rather long test of the engine before entering the sea in Kiel so this morning I startedfrom Otterndorf, sailed across the Elbe to Brunsbüttel and continued all the way to Rendsburg. A trip of close to 50 NM and a bit more than 7 hours.
Everything worked OK, both the engine and everything else.
At one red light for the big ships I overpassed four of them, but later they overpassed me without any difficulties.
While the big ships continued I stopped in Rendsburg. Never been there, so I thought it would be nice to test. The alternativ was the bridge after the lock in Kiel, but I think that harbour is too far away from the city.
After mooring and a chat with the harbourmaster I walked an hour or two in the center. A big fair on many of the streets and a lot of people walking around. Live music everywhere, even in the harbour. Rather nice.
I stopped at a wine-stand. Tested a glass and bought three bottles.
Back on board I had dinner, listened to the music from the fair in the harbour and later, as usual, fixed the pictures, wrote in the logbook. Around midnight it started to rain.

Ready to enter the Kiel Canal The flying ferry! Summer-party in town Summer-party in Rendsburg as seen from the harbour

August 28th
I spent the day fixing a lot of things to have myself and the boat ready for the open sea. The bycycles moved from deck to the forecabin, diesel moved from the spare tank to the main tank, fuel filled in the tank for the stove. I had a shower. Walked into town to buy some new clothes. Bought some internet-time from the harbourmaster to be able to upload the last days logbook.
Finally I had dinner at the restaurant in the harbour, outdoors in spite of the risk for rain.
There were plenty of rain roday. Many showers and some of them rather heavy.
When I write this many of the boats from the club here are paraden by the party quay. All the boats looks like Christmas Trees with a lot och extra lights.
This party that ends tonight is the traditional Autumn-party in Rendsburg. They actually celebrate that autumn is here, or at least near abouts!
The party ended with big fireworks.

The theatre The old town hall with an amazing set of bells that plays melodies Lots of people on the quay The helicopter let people jump into the water, only to be able to save them!

August 29th
This morning I made the ship in shape for departure. I only had to get some more money and get some more food. On the way to town I stopped by the toilet in the clubhouse and when I got out from there it was raining so heavily that I could not possibly go out. So I waited inside and incidently another man was there waiting for the rain to stop. A British sailor.
So we exchanged experiences from the sea and the canals and had a good time while whatching the rain through the glassed walls.
When it stopped raining we said goodby and I went off to get money from the bank and food from the shop.
And guess what!
On the way back to the boat it started to rain again.
By then I decided to stay in Rendsburg one more night. It's not nice to leave a harbour in rain with fairly strong winds, and if you do, of course it will rain when you come to a lock and when you moore in the next harbour.
And furthermore the weather-forcast looks much better for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
Spent the rest of the day onboard with reading the local paper and writing.
I also noticed a big steel-ship in the harbour. It was called "Rudolf Diesel". If I don't remember wrong Rudolt Diesel was the man who constructed the dieselengine that is so popular in boats and nowadays also in cars as it is comparably environmently favourable.

August 30th
This morning was much brigther than yesterday. So I rapidly had the boat ready and sailed over to the bunker bridge to fill the tanks. When that was done I left Rendsburg.
It was a very interesting day on the canal but it was also sad and joyful!
Interesting because of the boats I saw, as well as for the sights along the canal.
Sad because this was the last day on the canals! So many beautiful views we've seen and so many kind and helpful people we have met. We'll never forget them.
Joyful because today I reached the sea with wider views and at least a little salt in the water. Maybe soon I'll dare to jump into it!
So it was actually a perfect day with all those mixed feelings and a couple of rainshowers of course, but also some sun and in the evening no wind at all!

We've seen hundreds, or manby even thousands of ships in the canals, but nothing like this big cruisingship! Magic water flowing into the canal! The four locks in Kiel-Holtenau. Two old, fairy small, nowadays used for pleasureboats, and two "new" ones used for commercial ships.

August 31st
I was very confused this morning - much more then usual!
The weather-forecast last evening said that the winds in the area would be about 10 ms this morning. And there was no wind at all in the harbour.
So I went to the harbour-masters office to see the latest forecast. It was a bit better than the forecast from yesterday evening, but not good enough. So back on the boat I tried to get internet-connection to see what Swedish SMHI had to say about it.
It was difficult to connect and I only got a short glimps, but they were more optimistic than their German colleges, so I decided to leave Schilksee immediately.
And I had a very pleasant crossing from Kieler Förde to Maasholm. Some wind and waves when I crossed Eckernförder Bucht, but nothing compaired with the German forecast!
But the crossing was very interesting in another way!
I heard frequent warnings on the VHF-radio about an underwater explosion. Saw that the German navy had at least 10 ships standby in an area that is prohibited for other mariners, so I wundered . . .
And 12:15 the countdown started: "10, 9 , 8, . . ." and at "0" I saw the water rising not so far away, followed by a black cloud.
Never seen anything like it. And I got a photo of the black cloud.
Continued to the entrance into river Schlei and moored in Maasholm. A small fishermans village with a very big harbour for pleasureboats. In the afternoon I strolled around and bought smoked fish for dinner.
I had a pleasant afternoon and evening.

The German navy detonated an underwater bomb while I passed by! The entrance to river Schlei seen from the sea A tree on the small tounge of land by the entrance to river Schlei


The museum train in Musselkanaal
on August 7th.