The Blue, Blue Baltic

An enchanted anchorage off Poel Island, Wismar.

An enchanted anchorage off Poel Island, Wismar.

Fortune has smiled on me since leaving the Kiel Canal and I now find myself in the charming little Hanseatic town of Wismar, in the old East Germany, or what used to be laughingly referred to as the Deutsch Democratic Republic. Adolf Cornels will be paying me a wee visit tomorrow as the gearbox is weeping a little oil. So hopefully he can remedy that before I leave towards Rostock.

And… has summer finally arrived? This morning Wismar awoke to hot sunshine and a light westerly wind teasing the Alter Hafen (Old Harbour) where I am moored up in the middle of the town.

The previous two nights found me exercising one of the last true freedoms on the sea, the right to anchor. There is nothing more liberating and connecting with the past than doing what mariners have done for hundreds of years. The peace and sublime connection with the elements, knowing that there is just a piece of metal securing you from disaster and drifting, is profound. I have enjoyed hundreds of free evenings under the stars over the years, with only the gentle lapping of wavelets and soft breezes to keep me company. Quite honestly, my anchor is worth over a thousand euros in the mooring fees I have saved.

After I left the British Kiel Yacht Club, I sailed in a glorious light nor’ nor’ westerly wind through the Kieler Bucht (Bight) to the Island of Fehmarn where I anchored of the tiny village of Orth. The following day was hot and sunny and I continued in the same vein this time sou’ sou’ east across the Mecklenburger Bucht until dropping my anchor off the enchanting island of Poel. The ground here is kelp and weed so a careful thorough approach is needed to ensure that your anchor is securely ‘in’. During the night a stiff northerly breeze blew up, revealing a glorious canopy of stars and I slept little, but I needn’t have worried for ‘Free’ held her ground and bobbed gently from her anchor chain until the morn.

Blue Baltic! At last at sea under full sail in the Kieler Bucht.

Blue Baltic! At last at sea under full sail in the Kieler Bucht.

Two free nights and many hours of pure sail have taken the sting off the previous expensive Brunsbüttel debacle and I am finally beginning to enjoy the sailing again here in what the Germans refer to as the Ostsee (East Sea). My plans are to continue the ‘Hanseatic Experience’ by visiting Rostock and Stralsund (once like Wismar, belonging to Sweden) and after that, sailing into the strange, mysterious waters of Rügen and the Peenestrom (where the Nazis developed the rocket).

My aim is to enter Polish waters via the Stettiner Haff before reaching the port of Swinojscie. If you are interested, I invite you to look up these places, as it will overwhelm you by me trying to explain the geography. All I can say is I am enchanted by this little known and visited part of Northern Europe. I have only seen one other British boat here so far and they keep her on Fehmarn Island for the winter.

Like me, they have been enchanted by this step into the past to the way sailing used to be…


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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17 Responses to The Blue, Blue Baltic

  1. Michael Murphy says:

    Looking up!

    Yours, Mike O’Lille

  2. Simona says:

    If this isn’t freedom, than nothing else is!

    I love your picture of the blue Baltic. It is the closest I will ever get to experience it, so thank you for sharing, Poppy.

    Simona x

  3. Viking Queen says:

    Never say never, Simona… Elemental beauty is a hunger for me, almost an obsession. It’s not for everyone though… I’d swap it all for one day with my son.

  4. Simona says:

    Well, you know me Poppy. I’ve always been a dreamer and a free spirit at heart.

    I thought of sharing this beautiful poem by Baudelaire with you.

    Simona x

    Man and the Sea

    Free man, you will always cherish the sea!
    The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul
    In the infinite unrolling of its billows;
    Your mind is an abyss that is no less bitter.
    You like to plunge into the bosom of your image;
    You embrace it with eyes and arms, and your heart
    Is distracted at times from its own clamoring
    By the sound of this plaint, wild and untamable.
    Both of you are gloomy and reticent:
    Man, no one has sounded the depths of your being;
    O Sea, no person knows your most hidden riches,
    So zealously do you keep your secrets!
    Yet for countless ages you have fought each other
    Without pity, without remorse,
    So fiercely do you love carnage and death,
    O eternal fighters, implacable brothers!
    — Charles Baudelaire

  5. Viking Queen says:

    Stunning Simona…. Thank you.

  6. Judith Brenchley says:

    Poppy, I’m so happy for you – in the Baltic at last. It looks wonderful and I’ve found all the places on a map (small scale!). Enjoy the sailing!

  7. Viking Queen says:

    Thanks Judith. Have you ever been in these parts? Unusual and very pleasant! Hope you’re enjoying Luxor!

    • Judith Brenchley says:

      I’m actually back home in UK at the moment. It’s so very hot in Luxor just now. When Peter and I were travelling in E. Europe we got as far as Gdynia and Gdansk but I can’t remember the sea. They were very pleasant cities. We were travelling by train. Hope all goes well with you.

    • Viking Queen says:

      That was pretty intrepid back then. Didn’t know you made Eastern Europe. Just arrived in Rostock… I can’t believe it… Amazing!

  8. lulu says:

    Wonderful news Poppy, you deserve to enjoy yourself from now on, you’ve earned every beautiful moment!

  9. Lynda Hulme says:

    Poppy, you never cease to amaze me darling. Much love to you. Lynda and Tony xx

  10. Viking Queen says:

    Just one day after another! Some up some down… Thanks as usual for the kind support from you both. It has been, and still is, good to know that you are thinking of me. It counts.

  11. Christine says:

    Hurrah for the Viking Queen….you are AWESOME!
    Love and Light, Christine xxx

  12. Kat says:

    Wow!…it looks stunning. Glad you are back under sail at last Pops and enjoying the delights that life has to offer you. Shit happens, but when you come out the other side the joy is even more beautiful to behold. You’re adventures inspire us all.
    love Kat (Karl & Ringo) xxx

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