Since leaving Middelfart, at the top of the ‘Lille Baelt’, we have moved on to sample life in the ‘Store Baelt’, and the ‘Smalands Bight’, as we have progressively travelled south and east.
The Lille Baelt was as busy a piece of water as I have seen; boats criss-crossing from every direction; harbours and anchorages aplenty; and very much geared to the yachting business. Yet again, we failed to work out the recent bank holiday, as we arrived at an idyllic island setting to find it packed with yachts, and not a spare spot to be had. We had better luck when we headed further south to the island of Aero, and in particular, Aeroskobing; a picture postcard, living museum of traditional architecture.
From here we threaded through the twists and turns of one of the many interconnecting channels, up into the beautiful Svendborg Sound. Svendborg itself is a peaceful little place with (of all things) an amazing cemetery! It was not unlike Kew Gardens; complete with British RAF war graves.
The next day brought us out into the Store Baelt, as we made our way up to Nyborg. This is a town which sits at the western end of the spectacular Store Baelt bridge – from which the town has suffered accordingly. Before the bridge, Nyborg was a busy terminus for ferries between the two main Danish islands of Fyn and Sjaelland; now, of course, there are no ferries, and the place has had to undergo a transformation; nowhere more so than the water front, where the redevelopment is not unlike that of Southampton. 30 years ago, not a million miles from here, Louise became the sole survivor of a tandem accident; this one was for old times sake!
It was hard to find playmates in the Store Baelt, as it’s a pretty big stretch of water, with less emphasis on the the leisure industry; but the Smalands Bight had us, again, looking for starboard tackers. This is an interesting stretch of water at the south eastern end of the Store Baelt; it’s very shallow, dotted with a multitude of islands, and it narrows at it’s eastern end into a couple of very skinny channels; one leading up into the Oresund, and Copenhagen; the other south into the Baltic proper. We stopped at the tiny island of Omo – about the size of Hamble car park – we arrived at the harbour (about the size of Hamble post office) with 23 knots up our chuff, having to do a handbrake turn, and stop in one of the aforementioned ‘boxes’ – gripping stuff – when it comes off! The journey to our second island, Femo (about the size of Hamble), was far more controlled. A leisurely, downwind potter, and when we arrived we had the place to ourselves; although we should have rumbled that the sign cordoning off part of the harbour was there for a reason. Later that evening we were joined by 27 large German cruising boats, taking part in a week-long Sunsail-type event. I’ll leave it to your imagination to work out how the rest of the evening unfolded – it doesn’t need much! Needless to say, we were up and away before them this morning, to wend our way to Stubbekobing. We plan one more stop in Denmark – Mon has always had a degree of sentimentality for us both – before striking out for Sweden.
Denmark has been a ‘nice’ place. The people are pleasant, the sailing is pleasant, and so are the places we have visited. There is nothing remarkable about the place, but after a couple of weeks you can begin to feel the calmness of the Danes rub off – nice.