Rugen on the wind…

The voyage from Rostock to Stralsund had everything… Over fifty miles of pure sailing in growing adverse conditions and an approach, in a near gale, into the backwater channels to the east of Hiddensee, where the water shallows up to only two metres in places.

Approaching the top of Hiddensee Island with a big sea pushing me off.

Approaching the top of Hiddensee Island with a big sea pushing me off.

Somehow I managed to keep my nerve and sail as close to the wind as possible until being forced to start my engine to round the top of  Hiddensee Island into what I hoped would be a safe anchorage. I should have known better with the wind roaring at thirty knots out of the southeast… Not a chance.

Big angry seas forced me to put on my engine in an attempt to round the headland into the backwaters.

Big angry seas forced me to put on my engine in an attempt to round the headland into the backwaters.

Big angry seas forced me to put on my engine in an attempt to round the headland into the backwaters.  The only alternative was to carry on all the way to Stralsund and put in a massive seventy mile day.

Here comes the huge storm. If you look closely you can just see the lateral buoy marking the channel up ahead.

Here comes the huge storm. If you look closely you can just see the lateral buoy marking the channel up ahead.

This in itself would have been okay if it hadn’t have been for another massive hammer blow as a storm roared across the backwaters, turning the visibility to nothing and producing large, angry waves that rolled across extremely shallow mud banks. If you look closely you can just see the lateral buoy marking the channel up ahead.

The channel winds tenuously across the backwaters, marked by lateral buoys which must be followed to avoid grounding.

The channel winds tenuously across the backwaters, marked by lateral buoys which must be followed to avoid grounding.

I fought to follow the tenuous channels with their lateral buoys, praying that ‘Free’ wouldn’t take the ground, and somehow managed to fight through into the final approach to Stralsund, another of the Hanseatic towns on my passage.

As evening fell I dropped my anchor again for the fourth time in the past few weeks and collapsed into an exhausted, fitful sleep.  What an amazing day it had been With everything possible flying from all directions. It put me in awe of those great sailors whose genes I carry, and what they used to do back in those great days of the old tall ships. Rugen has everything and demands the highest vigilance and respect.

I have now been at anchor for three nights off the town, which is a little too touristy for my taste with more ice cream shops than Naples. It is pretty in an Hanseatic way, but lacks the reality of Rostock. The old town resembles a building site at present and I soon tired of the noise and tourists, pining for the peace of my little ship as she bobbed at anchor.

Anchored off Stralsund. Far from the oppressive tourism.

Anchored off Stralsund. Far from the oppressive tourism.

Tomorow I shall leave for the midday opening of the bridge and sail south eastwards toward Wolgast. The Polish border becomes ever closer and Swinoujscie is only fifty miles away.

Helgoland seems such a distant memory now!

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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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12 Responses to Rugen on the wind…

  1. Viking Queen says:

    Sorry for the duplicate post everyone…

    Much trouble with the iPad mini…. Very difficult to publish it the first time!

    Poppy.

  2. Viking Queen says:

    Please consult the above text which has been partially rewritten after a disastrous first attempt. Hopefully it should read better than the first copy you all received!!!!!

  3. christian says:

    wonderful photos as always and the words that fly across the keyboard brings the locations alive till the next one enjoy sailing with free as you both go forward to poland
    C

  4. Viking Queen says:

    Thanks Chris… Made a bit of a mess when I wrote it. I hope to ok now!

  5. Simona says:

    I always look forward to the next instalment of the Viking Saga. Superb photography and beautiful prose make a perfectly good read.

    Not far from Poland now!

  6. Viking Queen says:

    You’re welcome Simona… Always a pleasure to know you are with me in spirit. Poland… Yes I’ve never been there in my life… What a way to visit!!

  7. Michael Murphy says:

    Thanks for that Poppy.

    Michael now looks at some of your blogs : he’s amazed !

    He is 21 tomorrow.

    Through a friend (a kind of uncle – from Iran) Michael has an interview for an art gallery just outside Paris : he will probably be there for three weeks or more during the summer. He is “passionate about” art (and quite knowledgeable). The gallery is a very beautiful site (luxury inside, garden outside).

    Soon, I will be thinking about what I might do this summer.

    I might go to Madrid for a week, then back to Salamanca.

    Yours, Mike

  8. Viking Queen says:

    Please wish Miko a wonderful birthday. What an age!!!!
    Or…. You could hop on a cheap flight for a visit to Scandinavia/Baltic?

  9. D says:

    Nice to see that you making progress.
    Whish you fair winds.

    Danny boy…xxx

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hey Danny! Happy mid summer to you and Caro! Just arrived in Poland, at last! Have a great sail to Goteborg! Px

  10. Whitt88 says:

    These sea stories are so real. They carry us out on the water, expose us to the elements, show us around the vessel, and then gently bring us back to anchorage. You have the communication skills of an artist, gal.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thank you for your kind words and validation. I wish you were an agent or publisher!!! However, your comments and those of real people are far more valuable and add to my love of writing.

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