I have finally reached Swinoujscie in Poland, having had a wonderful engine-free sail from my anchorage on the west side of Stettiner Haff (the inland sea that divides Germany and Poland) to the breakwater and eventually the town itself…
Marvellous stuff indeed!
I left Stralsund and sailed south through a beautiful part of Germany known as the Peenestrom, arriving at the sweet little Hanseatic town of Wolgast. The whole area to the west of Rugen down to the Stenniner Haff, form the German version of our Norfolk Broads, but on a much larger scale. It is possible to lose oneself for weeks if desired.
One has to sail with real care as there are channels all the way through, and any deviation will bring you to a grinding halt in the soft oozy mud! Peenemunde is where the Nazis developed the rocket during the last war and the whole area has a strange sense of isolation. I have to say that it has been a wonderful experience after the awesome approach to Hiddensee and its storms. Now it is ferociously hot and still, with just enough breeze to sail.
One of the great advantages of the Peenestrom are the wonderful anchorages, allowing me to blissfully fuse with the elements and meditate on peace and quiet, away from the madness of the modern world with all its grasping materialism and time-keeping.
After living off my anchor for a while, I decided to fill up with provisions at the delightful Wolgast. I had found the over-touristy Stralsund quite disappointing and was glad to swing off my anchor there, saving more and more money. One night I spent a while calculating how much money I have saved over the years by using my anchor and it runs into the thousands of pounds!
Eventually I arrived on the western edge of the inland sea, leaving me just enough distance to reach Poland in one day, approximately thirty nautical miles. I dropped my anchor by an old destroyed railway bridge near Zecherin (A relic from the last war destroyed by the allies in a raid.) The holding ground was excellent, but if I had known what would happen later, I may have opted to find a harbour somewhere… but hindsight is always easy.
At about two in the morning I was awoken by a massive thunder and lightning storm, with forks hitting the water and the trees all around. I didn’t know whether to be scared or exhilarated! I decided on both! Memories of being hit off the south coast of Italy back in 2008, left me praying for salvation.
The following morning greeted me with a stiff Sou’sou’easterly and soon I was sailing as close-hauled to the wind as possible at a good five knots, quite fast enough for two old ladies like us!
And so to Poland… Thirty glorious nautical miles under sail!
Well done ‘Free’!