The new team headed first for fuel and then east from Stralsund under the opening rail bridge. With over 20knts of wind behind us we flew along with only the headsail following well marked routes. the approach to Peenemunde was very tight and very windy but with Chris's diligence navigating and Davy helming we made it into and tied up in Peenemunde harbour/dock.
Stralsund from a high point
Opening on time Stralsund rail bridge
Davy in full concentration mode
Peenemunde was a strange little place. The harbour/dock had abandoned old Soviet ships and a submarine which gave the place a bit of a derelict feel. Not all bad though we got onto a nice little pontoon assisted by a very strong and able lady who was painting her boat. She said "tonight iz not good iz big party wiz loud music. Sure enough some kind of festival/rave was kicking off which would last all weekend!
Undeterred we made off for the rocket museum which was overlooking the harbour. It was used to develop, produce and deploy the V1 and V2 rockets which brought terror to England and other cities in Europe. The V1 being short range was launched from mostly France but the V2 being long range was the later preferred option. The rocket only burned for 60 seconds reaching a height of 50 miles before going into a freefall towards its target 200 miles away impacting with 1 ton of explosive at 1800mph. These weapons were very technically complex with very advanced propulsion and guidance systems. This of course meant after the war there was a scramble between the west and the soviets for the rockets and their engineers. Many were taken to the states where they carried on their work developing space travel and modern missiles. Good or bad, technology is difficult to ignore when its there.
Anyhow enough ranting. It was a very interesting visit though as indeed the lady had predicted it was a very noisy night with boom boom boom being the recurring tune!
V1 on launchpad
V2 Chris checking it out
We left next morning for Sassnitz on the east side of Ruegen. A guy bumpy trip with the wind never in our favour. The weather brightened though as we approached town. About 2 miles out call for Aros More came on 16. On responding it was a police vessel who came in for a look. I thought we may be boarded but they only asked where we were from, where we had been, where we were going and crew numbers (more of later).
A lovely high footbridge in Sassnitz
Sassnitz was very pleasant but we headed off round the north of the island in light winds for Vitte in the Hiddensee on the west side. A lovely day with sun and a light wind though a couple of fog banks made for a bit of "peering". Another police boat hovered about then headed off. At one point we put up all sail but after a short while the wind fell away so we left up the main and motored on. After an hour a rib flew up astern with 2 officers on board. I though we were being boarded but no they stayed 5 yards from us. After having bought a motorsailing cone specifically for the trip to my eternal damnation I had forgotten to put it up. Never used in UK but I apologised for my crime and after I immediately got it out he said you must put up now. I did this and their mood was more friendly wishing us a nice stay in Germany.
Into the Hiddensee we tied up in post moorings in the lovely wee town of Vitte. A bit like the Channel islands with few cars, horse buses, and lots of people cycling in the sun. As Auto the pilot had stopped again we took out the drive motor and as suspected the brushes were stuck. There was plenty wear left on them so in it went and "Auto" is good again.
Vitte in the sun
A bonny wee harbour
We had over 50 miles to go from Vitte to Wernemunde so rather than go against a west wind we opted for a night trip when the wind was to be light and favourable. A lovely night made for a pleasant though always tiring trip. With sunsets and sunrises to keep us interested.
A new day
A few ships about but mostly further out in the shipping lanes. Yet another police boat about, where do they get all the money to run these quite substantial small ships. On approaching Wernemunde Rostock 4 ferries, a cruise ship, a cargo ship and us all heading in at the same time. We hung back as the parade went by. We entered Wernemunde hoping to tie up in the main Alter Strom town centre but this was full and at 6am one doesn't like to raft alongside. We made round for the huge Hohe Dune marina complex. Good choice as although posts there is plenty room. Facilities are great with shower suites, free electricity which does not trip out and good wifi all at a very reasonable price. Davy made a good breakfast and we turned in or an hour. Just as I got up yes you guessed 2 police officers arrived. I asked them on board but they just wanted to see our passports and ask general questions. They were quite welcoming and friendly though. Im certain we had been seen on AIS and they wanted to check us out so we could be removed from there vessel of interest list. In over a 1000miles we had never had any such interest. I have only though seen 2 UK registered boats so I guess we are unusual. Maybe I just look dodgy or maybe the inherent German efficiency, I prefer the latter as it belays my rising paranoia! We spent the last day taking in the town which was busy with cruise ship visitors.
Indiana Jones AKA Chris enjoys a last beer
Chris and Davy headed off to Hamburg and Ive been pottering doing wee jobs here and there. The weather has not been so good with over 30knts wind at times. I have to say a big thanks to Jessica from the marina office, very kind girl who has very good English who showed me how to work everything(didnt fancy another 4 hour laundry). Look forward to Jack and Ian Meechan arriving Monday night when the weather is due to improve.