If I was his girlfriend.

I was supposed to publish this yesterday, but WIFI in Germany seems to be very hard to get. Some places do have it but then they don't know the password or don't understand English well enough to understand what I need. Today we have motored on the canal and are now in Rendsburg, moored next to Norwegian Lina 4, we have invited them for tapas and champagne in Cantare tonight.

Helgoland is a German tax free island and inevitably attracts a big tourist crowd. Most of them seem to be retired couples who stroll around on the few streets looking for bargains in the many shops. The village isn't very beautiful, it looks soulless and boring, yet it felt good to be ashore again. Since the trip from Brighton to Helgoland took four days we decided to stay in harbour a whole day. Yesterday we spend a lazy morning in bed before we took the small ferry to the neighbouring island which is a nature reserve. There we could swim with "seehunden", the seals where playing and sunbathing all over the island's beaches. They were even inside the for human reserved swimming area, maybe they couldn't read signs. We had a lovely afternoon on the beach, read, slept and walked a bit. Sandra and Erik actually took a short swim, but I only dipped my toes because it was freezing, how I miss the warm Caribbean water. When we returned to the main island we went shopping, the fore cabin is now full of bottles, some of them for the homecoming party.

We had dinner in the cockpit when our closest neighbour on the outside of us wanted to leave. He had two other yachts on his outside which now were to moor on us. A rope was sent over from the German yacht, when we weren't quick enough to attach it he yelled at us from a distance of 5 meters. We looked at each other and frowned, no need to shout. When it was time for the move I went on deck to help the German yacht tie up alongside Cantare. When the bow and stern ropes were secured I asked him to move a fender to the middle where our yachts were close. He then said to me:

"If you were my girlfriend you would be in big trouble, wearing no shoes, that's unacceptable. Your vacation could end quickly."

Like I would be his girlfriend, he was older than my dad, even had his grandson with him. He didn't say hello or thanked me for helping out with the ropes, all he did was criticising me for not wearing shoes on my own yacht while I was having dinner in the harbour. I don't wear shoes while sailing either but that's non of his business, I prefer to feel the deck under my feet. I told him I wasn't on vacation, that I'd been away for a year and that on my yacht we didn't wear shoes. He shook his head and muttered about crazy Vikings. Then I said that we would be leaving at 8 am next morning, he said in a grumpy voice that it was very early and went down to check his tidetables. Returned and agreed that it was a good time to leave for Brunsbüttel. Again, if I wanted his opinion I would have asked. I guess it's time to get used to the know-it-all-vacation-sailing men, who think they ought to teach the little girl a thing or two about sailing. Or should I start wearing a T-shirt with the text: I've sailed more than 10 000 nm, shut up!

Today we have motored to Brunsbüttel on river Elbe. The timing was perfect, thanks to another much nicer German neighbour we had the tide with us during the entire trip, sometimes we did more than 8 knots. Now we have passed the lock that leads into the Nordostseekanal and are moored for the night. Time for a beer ashore before it's dinner in the cockpit. / The Captain

Posted in |


  1. Ilya Jakovich Says:

    Ye gods, what an asshole! I also sail barefoot most of the time, and would have had a few tender words to say to the bastard were I in your "shoes"! ;D

  2. Nordenwind Says:

    Dear Maria,

    since you met two german sailors which I know on your arrival at St. Lucia I'm reading your blog almost daily. There are only two thing I can tell you. First: CHAPEAU, LADIES! (and the one or another bunny ;-) ). Second: I want to apologize for some of my silly fellow citizens. Shame on us, what happened to you on the liquor rock (that's what we call Helgoland). This sounds so familiar to me. I can remember the time when we were poor students. Each summer we chartered a small yacht and went for two or three weeks to beautiful Denmark and Sweden. I think we've had the best times of our life. And sometimes in the harbours we met exactly those elderly german guys trying to teach us good seamanship. And that's almost 30 years ago. Stupidity seems timeless.

    But we are not all like this. Wish you all a safe return to Hoganäs and a BIG party with your friends.

    Keep your smile,

    Gerald from Wingst, Germany