posted by Mischa from Vienna, Austria · December 23 2012 · Write a comment ·

The boat expert gave us a tip: There is a small respectable shipyard located Varel which specialized in steel boats and which also provides winter storages. After a few difficulties I contact the owner, and after he assured that “he is always there, just come around”, Schmalzi, my father and me are on our way to Northern Germany, without really knowing what to expect.

After an exhausting twelve-hour-long car ride we reach Nordenham, where we find BRÖSEL safe and sound. We plan to sail at first from Nordenham to Wilhelmshaven, across some interdidal mudflats and on the next day across the Jadebusen to Varel. For holiday-sailors like us is a completely dry falling marina a new experience, so I study the tides extensively and set the departure date to 4 am the next morning. We should then be able to leave the marina shortly after the high tide and sail down the river Weser until the Fedderwarder Priel. The alarm goes off on time, it is dark and very cold. Our engine is not used to low temperatures and we only get it running after several starting attempts. Mud pours out of the pressure control valve of the sea water cooling circuit, but this does not worry us, so cast off! In spite of high speed in reverse, BRÖSEL does not move at all, we are aground in the mud! Seems like I totally miscalculated the tides, or we lost too much time with our engine. A check with the hand lead shows just a few centimeters of water! This muddy water does not allow to guess the depth at all, at a croatian bay with crystal clear water this would not have happened….But we have no chance, we go back to bed an postpone our departure.

No water anymore…

Instead, we finish some small tasks like oil change, and hope that our nightime adventure wasn’t observed by anybody. Next morning, we get up even earlier and this time we make it out of the marina and follow the Weser until Bremerhaven. After reaching the Fedderwarder Priel we have to wait until the high tide and decide to anchor. The so-called anchor weighs around 1 kg and is made from aluminium, but there is nearly no wind, so we trust in it and go downstairs to wait.

What’s not to trust?

Everything is wet and cold…

Two hours later we assume that there is enough water and without running aground we cross the mudflat and reach the huge JadeWeserPort.


highly concentrated

After that, we just have to sail past the big Wilhelmshaven port and happily reach the small Nassauhafen.

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