Last day in the water

Headlines from today 
Kind Brit lent us the strap wrench we need to get the oil filter out. Result.
We moored in pole position on the harbour wall for the boat to be lifted at 9am tomorrow.
Worked like dogs to get the boat ready for lifting.
Good old car started first time after 5 months in a shed.
Fridge man sent us a repair bill that didn't break the bank. 
We are in our favourite fish restaurant the Golden Anchor and we can see the boat from here (see pic)
The season statistics- in only 33 days on board we covered 400 nautical miles. 
This is your last blog of 2018 - thanks to everyone who's read our blogs! 
Nic and Lesley

One Last Bridge

Still windy in Heiligenhafen this morning but it was time to move to winter quarters. A complex manoeuvre with ropes got us out of the box in a cross-wind without embarrassment. 
An upwind plug took us under the Fehmarnsund bridge with only 7m clearance above our mast top. As usual it looked like 7cm. L is looking happy on the helm.
We were both thrilled with the Autohelm because it is working perfectly again after Nic installed the new cable. The grumps returned this evening when neither of us could shift the oil filter which we wanted to change as part of the end of season winterising of the engine. It's one of those upside-down-in-the-locker jobs. There's always something.
The weather has switched back to v hot, with a high pressure sitting near us. With the rest of today's jobs completed we settled in Burgstaaken marina on Fehmarn to the routine of a large bowl of food, a game of cards, some reading,  and this.

Ice cold in Heiligenhafen

Today was a red letter day for SIRENA IV. After weeks without any proper cooling of our food,  the 30 year old fridge was repaired by a business-like German engineer called Karlsen. He happened to have old fridge bits which made it work. He's given us a control panel which looks like something from 1970s East Germany (see pic) but he told us it is a 'grandfather' whereas our old panel had been 'great grandpa'. He didn't even want cash payment but is sending an invoice by email. How very trusting of him. However much it costs it won't be the one thousand quid plus of a new fridge plus labour.
Once we had crowed with delight over the working fridge, we sauntered into town, past the harbourside, church and museum (see pics) and bought lunch from a sandwich place in an old trawler -:fish cakes with garlic sauce and potato salad.
Then back to the boat for the eternal list of Jobs. We despatched more spiders to the deep,  including some humdingers who were not happ…

Heiligenhafen jobs day

First a word, and pics, about last night (after y'day's blog was posted). We walked into town (all of 200m) to have a look around and bought some food for dinner at the first supermarket. Wandering on we came to the square and it was such a convivial place and a beautiful evening we plonked down in the nearest cafe and had a cocktail and a Guinness. Then as we admired the old Rathaus (town hall), some supper jazz started up from a stage in the corner. We then realised that most of the small stalls in the square were selling a bewildering variety of gins and gin cocktails. It seemed foolish to miss this ginfest opportunity, so we sat in the evening sun sipping something with a crazy name and enjoying the music. As we got back to the boat the sun was just setting through the forest of 1,000 masts.
Today was much more prosaic. We slept in. Porridge was not concluded until 11am! We considered the task lists for the next few days, and added some items that occurred to us. L cleaned …

Back to Germany

We folded away our red and white Danish courtesy flag and got out the German flag to fly near the crosstrees.(NB remember the black stripe is at the top...)
We were off at last from Bagenkop where we'd stayed stormbound, to Heiligenhafen on the north German coast where we have a date with a fridge engineer on Monday. We fully expect him to commit our 30 year old broken fridge to the tip. But we need to find out the cost of a new one fitted by him this winter.
As a last gasp, we got the main sail up right outside Bagenkop harbour and then the foresail too.. engine off and we were sailing with wind behind us and that sweet gurgle of the waves. (See pic for evidence) But it didn't last. The foresail fell in  as the wind died. We furled the sails and motored for hours.
Now we are in the mammoth marina at Heiligenhafen. We seem to be the only non German boat. Time to explore the town and savour our few remaining days afloat.

Bagenkop basking

The wind howled and the boat bounced all night, and in the morning it was still blowing though the rain had stopped. Our flag halyard snapped in the wind and the Danish courtesy flag landed in the cockpit, which is better than overboard! Outside the harbour the waves were still big with lots of white so despite the forecast for it to ease, and most boats leaving, we took the risk-averse decision to go tomorrow. We like Bagenkop a lot and it's our last bit of Denmark. When we reach Heiligenhafen in Germany tomorrow, in a sense the trip ends and the work starts to prep the boat for winter. It's a short hop from there to Fehmarn where she is lifted out ... in 5 days time.

We went for a walk through Bagenkop, which does not take long, and out into the countryside. The sun came out. We found a Loppe Marked - literally a flea market, actually more like a garage sale - that we had not seen before - pic. Later we saw a display of old water pumps and pails - pic - great for the garden…


Still in Bagenkop. Been raining cats and dogs for hours. Big winds are rocking the boat on her moorings as we sit here drinking hot coffee and making to-do lists for when we get back to Germany and lift her out. 
This place attracts beautiful tall ships. There's a couple of long pontoons where they can berth. See pic of two of them, one departing in the background. It's been interesting to watch their manoeuvres close-up. We were rapt the other day, to see one huge tall ship sailing out of the harbour silently,  on just one square sail and no motor. That takes guts. 
The rain has gone on so hard and so long that instead of seeing tanned people in shorts, all you see are bedraggled forms in full waterproofs, hoods up, like dayglo monks. Yesterday's swim in the sun seems like an age away.