Schooner Sailing: Oslo to Copenhagen

After last year’s great holiday sailing the schooner Trinovante from Bergen to Stavanger in Norway, we were both keen to do it again and waited eagerly for the publication of the 2012 schedule. With various other commitments, the leg from Oslo to Copenhagen suggested itself, and a tentative query to Su somehow turned into a firm booking without our really being involved!

The previous two posts cover our journey from London to Oslo, taking the train as far as Copenhagen and then the ferry to Oslo, plus some exploration of museums of Oslo.

Tuesday 21 August 2012: down Oslofjord

Trinovante, our home for the next ten days, moored in Oslo, with our ferry from Copenhagen behind
We got underway as soon as the other four crew members were on board, as we had sixty miles down Oslofjord to do, so wanted to get part of it under our belts on Tuesday evening.
We had a “crowded” anchorage with several other boats here too, something almost unknown in more northern Norway where Trinovante always has the place to herself. There is even another three masted ship here!

Wednesday 22 August 2012: to Fredrikstad

Getting ready for the rest of Oslofjord
Spray coming over the deck as we get ready for mooring
Lucy at the wheel, with Ben and his Kindle plus John and his tea
Ben cheerfully points out where the large amounts of smoke emerged from the base of the diesel pump. The woman in charge emerged carrying a fire extinguisher and making a frantic phone call, but later assured us it was just steam, a consequence of us draining the tank dry. Although only 22 August, it is already out of season here, and the unleaded tank is already dry, and apparently neither tank will now be filled until next year.
We moored in Fredrikstad, near the border with Sweden, and went for a walk around the old town. This is Frederik II, king of Denmark and Norway and duke of Schleswig from 1559 to 1588, who founded the town
A bridge over the moat which surrounds the old town on three sides (the fourth being the river on which we moored).
The river at Fredrikstad, looking across to the new town

Thursday 23 August 2012: towards Denmark

Although the briefing for this holiday hadn’t included mention of an overnight passage, the weather meant that a run down to Denmark was sensible and so we left our mooring here in Fredrikstad and headed south
Heading out towards the Skaggerat among islands
Lucy and Julie taking it easy as we motor initially
Lucy has put her oilies on since the last photo as we head out to sea – almost time to put up the sails.
Bye bye, Norway
Sitting on the leeward side was a comfortable place to be, though as more and more water came onto the decks it required vigilance to make sure you didn’t get a wet surprise.

As the seas of the Skaggerat became “a bit lumpy”, first Lucy and then I were struck with seasickness, and we were forced to retire to our bunks. As we were on opposite watches, the double bunk had been divided with leeboards to prevent too much rolling about, but all the shoes and bags were on one half, making my reclining somewhat lumpy too. As the boat was tossed around, our cabin in the bow was perhaps the roughest place to be, and as it ceaselessly pitched and rolled and crashed into waves with a bang which made the whole boat vibrate, it seemed the rough weather would go on forever. John told me I should stay in my bunk for the 7pm watch, and the extraordinary effort required for a trip to the toilet suggested at the time that trying to get on deck would be a step too far – though with hindsight I wish I had given it a go.

Friday 24 August 2012: to Anholt

Around 1am I reached a decision that I would be on deck for my watch at 3am. The sea state settled after we cleared the northern end of Jutland, and this plus a double dose of Stugeron and two anti-migraine tablets may have helped too. Emerging on deck at 3am, the Milky Way was arcing overhead, and in the distance to the east and north was a series of green and red lights showing the locations of ships using the main shipping channel. Su soon appeared, followed after quite some time by the other two members of my watch. Five of the six members of the crew had been sick, plus Su who repeatedly has to remind herself why she puts herself through this. Even at three o’clock, the large number of stars meant that it wasn’t fully dark, and in time the sky in the east lightened, slowly gaining colour, until eventually the sun burst out somewhere over the Swedish coast.
Lucy felt better as the sea continued to calm, and made it on deck for her 7am watch. We continued our progress down the Kattegat until around 1.30pm when we reached the island of Anholt
Fishing boats in the harbour at Anholt
Having followed instructions and moored at one pontoon, we were asked to move elsewhere, so I was left behind to help remooring while Trinovante left the harbour to turn around more easily
The marina at Anholt. It being now out of season, the marina is almost empty, but apparently it is heaving with boats during the summer.
Part of the beach from the harbour wall. The sandy beach stretches for kilometres, and even when the island is busy, there must be plenty of space on the beach
Time for a swim!
After a shower, our party split up. I got an ice-cream then led Chris and Mike on a short walk around the western end of the island. This is the view across the northern side of the island. The headland just visible at the far end is about 9 km away, and apparently home to a seal colony.
Descending from the small hill back towards the harbour where Trinovante can be seen on the right
The view from Trinovante after dinner

Saturday 25 August 2012: to Jutland (almost)

Next morning the beach looked very inviting again, and while John and Su decided the plan for the day, there was time for another swim and shower.
Once the weather forecast had been considered, we set off quickly. Even at this distance from Anholt, the sea was only about seven metres deep and we could see the bottom from the boat.
Mike and Ben taking it easy
I coil the mainsail peak halyard after hoisting sail
Tieing a bowline as we prepare to hoist the fore-fisherman
Julie and Lucy with a Titanic moment.
The fisherman safely up, Mike watches the world go by
The view back from the bowsprit
Later, Stephen in his oilies on the bowsprit
There was a sudden squall and we had to get some sail off very quickly. After that it rained very hard, and most of us sheltered inside while Su and Chris maintained our progress.
Sailing goose-winged, with the foresail (slightly overpeaked) and mainsail out on opposite sides of the boat with the wind dead aft.
As the wind dies and our speed falls, Julie and Lucy try their hand at a bit of fishing off the stern
Our spot for the night, anchoring offshore

Sunday 26 August 2012: to Ebeltoft

Very light winds the next morning
More fishing has produced this, a weaverfish, which is apparently tasty but has poisonous and very painful gill-sacs and spines, and as a result was thrown back using some thick gloves.
The view back from the bowsprit as we motor down the coast
I sat and lay on the bowsprit and took about 120 photos, mostly without being able to see the viewfinder, in an attempt to get a decent one: this is the result, showing Trinovante carving through the water.
Ahead, the sea is very flat
Having started the journey with a courtesy Norwegian flag, we flew the Swedish flag while coming down the Kattegat, but now have our Danish flag up, in addition to the red ensign at the stern.
I poke out from behind Chris, while Mike looks on
Flaking the mooring lines makes sure they won’t tangle when needed
Coming in to the harbour at Ebeltoft
The traditional boat harbour contains many wooden boats, including the huge Jylland, and although the steel-hulled Trinovante doesn’t quite qualify, she is welcomed.
Ben tests the footing in front of the glass museum
Exploring the town and its fittings after dinner
Looking across the harbour
A sculpture of an apple (Ebeltoft meaning apple town)

Monday 27 August 2012: Ebeltoft

The frigate Jylland (i.e. Jutland in Danish).
The ship is the only surviving screw-propelled steam frigate and one of the largest wooden warships ever built
The deck is enclosed, which means that when the gunports are closed, the man at the wheel cannot see the sea at all
This cannon will be fired at noon, not quite pointing at Trinovante
The capstan, which continues below deck
The impressive wheel
One of the impressive staterooms added when the ship was used by Danish royalty, notably when travelling to Iceland
The propeller could be disengaged from the engine and lifted right out of the water up this tube.
Despite the size of the boat, the configuration of ropes from the wheel and blocks here connecting the wheel to the tiller is the same as on Trinovante
Dining room, with the tiller ropes running overhead
Lucy takes a break in her hammock while not on watch
Deep in the ship, the wooden construction can be seen
On the outside, the copper cladding over the wooden hull is obvious. Julie and Lucy give some scale to the propeller and rudder
The full visiting crew: Stephen, Lucy, Julie, Ben, Mike and Chris
The firing of the cannon captured in the instant when the flame of the gunpowder is still visible
In the afternoon, five of us went for a bike ride to explore the Danish countryside.
Meanwhile Lucy explored the glass workshop, together with the results in the shop
…and exhibition
Meanwhile the cyclists are travelling along a disused railway line, which was flat but a very narrow gravel surface between grass which made for quite tricky cycling. Here we stop for a little drink.
Playing Pooh-sticks, something we did in Norway last year.
The countryside looked very English in many ways
This church was labelled AD 1139 on its tower, but looks much more recent
The sea on the other side of the peninsula from Ebeltoft comes into view. The woman at the bike hire shop had said that while we wouldn’t get a coffee here we would get an ice-cream, but when we reached the beach we found it closed as the season is over – most frustrating as it is still beautiful weather. Reduced hours are one thing but complete closure in August seems very strange.
We then took to the track running along above the beach, passing lots of holiday homes as well as a few naked bathers
We eventually returned to Ebeltoft where we explored the delights of a delicatessen before sampling the pleasures of a bar/café with perhaps the best chocolate ice-cream I’ve yet had. We had a long chat with a Norwegian couple from Stavanger on holiday here.

Tuesday 28 August 2012: to Isefjord

A last visit to the centre of Ebeltoft to post postcards, looking here at the old town hall. During the season there is singing here every evening with soldiers marching, but once again we missed out as it is out of season.
We had a motor south into a head sea with the wind running at over 30 knots apparent, things calming down when we got the sails up and turned to the east. We had to travel further than we wanted to reach Isefjord as there were said to be naval live-firing exercises going on. John radioed to check whether we could proceed, was initially told to “proceed with caution” (whatever that means in practice), but when he pressed them, further advice was eventually forthcoming that we must not enter the area.
The sun sets as we cross the western part of Isefjord
On deck after dinner at our anchorage. This picture is very over-exposed as it is dark, but it is an interesting demonstration that the sky is still blue at night!
This is much more how it looked to the naked eye: that white orb is the moon not the sun as it might have appeared on the previous picture, with a navigation mark showing on the left of picture.

Wednesday 29 August 2012: to Helsingør

The view before breakfast
Julie has been ranging the anchor chain in the forepeak and her hands are a bit dirty.
Despite the very calm conditions, we got the jib, fish-aker and aft fisherman up. At first the fish-aker hung dead but it then gently billowed, turned the boat, and powered us along, eventually reaching one knot.
We later got the sails down and motored out of Isefjord, but when a sea-breeze picked up got the sails back up again. Just visible among the waves are the fins of several dolphins.
Getting the fish-aker up again
The low speed sailing offered the opportunity for more fishing. Lucy and Julie caught more weaverfish, and just one mackerel, seen here in the bottom of the fire bucket. It made a welcome addition to lunch, just one hour after catching it.
Tieing up the jib
Sweden on the left, Denmark on the right as we head along the narrow part of the Øresund
Kronborg, the castle in Helsingør which featured as Elsinore in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
An interesting sign on the entrance to a Danish port – in English and measured in feet.
As an over-fifty-feet vessel, we went into the main harbour, dodging the very frequent ferries which link Helsingør to Helsingborg in Sweden on the other side of the Øresund. The beacons that mark the entrance are very brightly coloured.
Trinovante moored in Helsingør harbour with the Kronborg behind
After a shower, there was time for a rapid exploration of the grounds of the Kronborg before dinner
The entrance from 1735
The same entrance from the other side
Some of the barracks within the wall
From Kronborg looking across the Øresund to Helsingborg in Sweden
From the wall of the Kronborg, the harbour with Trinovante on the right
A panoramic version from the same place, showing some of the town
The cultural centre next to Trinovante

Thursday 30 August 2012: to Copenhagen

The water of the harbour reflected in the walls of the cultural centre
Houses in Helsingør
A woman Julie spoke to, from Copenhagen as it turned out, said we must come to this famous ice-cream parlour where the cones and ice-cream are home made. Very nice they were too, if not quite as good as that in Ebeltoft.
Julie checks out the statue of the naked man sitting on a rock, before we make a late start, with just an afternoon needed to get to Copenhagen.
Initially we motored, and it looked as though we might have to motor the whole way, which would have been a shame, though things were enlivened a little by two spottings of dolphins.
After this morning’s cooked breakfast, lunch was some bread and cheese on deck
In light winds, Julie experiments with steering with her feet
Fortunately the wind did pick up a little and we did put up our light-wind rig of jib, fish-aker and aft fisherman.
Approaching Copenhagen
Three of the cruise ships in Copenhagen, all scheduled to leave at 1800. It was quite entertaining listening in on the radio to them agreeing who was going to go out first
Passing the Little Mermaid statue, a very little one indeed
Coming in to our mooring, a look at some of the sand sculptures. There were a few minutes before dinner to look at them properly but they wanted five pounds which didn’t seem good value when we had very little time.
Once again we had a splendid mooring in Ameliehavn among some nice boats and impressive buildings.
We moored opposite the opera house (and so our holiday was sailing from the opera house in Oslo to the opera house in Copenhagen)
Looking the other way, the view is past Frederik XIII’s palace to Frederik’s Kirke
In the square surrounded by the palace, looking towards the church
Some of the soldiers protecting the palace
Looking past some of the palace buildings to the opera house on the other side of the dock
After dinner we had farewell drinks on deck, with the opera house lit up.

Next morning we said goodbye, caught a bus to the railway station, a train to the airport and flew back to London. A great holiday, but all good things come to an end.

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