Minnie Moltok goes all the way around the island. An adventure from Denmark
Page 2 The crew & location.
Tony, the father, helmsman for the most part, and author of this piece, is just on the right side of sixty (or was when he started this), so he should know a bit about it by now, having done it for longer than he can remember, though given the state of his memory, that may not be saying much.
On the all-important subject of anemometers: Here at left the father, and author of this piece, demonstrates the use of a multi-functional, hand-held device with real-time directional facility.
Left: The daughter and owner with her boat. Respect for the boom is an admirable quality in the serious sailor.
The daughter has also been sailing for years, but nothing like as long as the father. In her Optimist days, though she never got one of the good sails, being only a girl, she did at least once win second prize in hard weather while the others capsized around her, having the advantage of a girl’s extra weight against the like-aged, clever boys with good sails, and the hard-weather experience from having dinghy-sailed The Limfjord for years in all weathers, with the father and the other two nuclear family members.
The other two were good ballast then, in hard weather. They only really enjoyed conditions where the father would perhaps rather have been in the shade on land, with a cold drink. The mother has given vital logistical support on this trip. Without her transport we’d still be walking home.
Left: Mother and daughter at Nessund. Looking SW toward Doverodde. On the water is a homemade clinker-built dinghy.
The delay meant that the circumnavigation was accomplished in a series of evening trips, in conditions varying from oily calm to 30 knot-gusts, which meant that we were able to conduct a realistic trial, though thankfully we were spared the jib-as-mainsail part and the concomitant cold sweat and butterflies in the stomach, though I have heard that this can be good for one. It just doesn’t feel so at the time – like visiting the dentist.
Talking of dentists, perhaps one should give a short explanation of what Danish orthography represents in English, to avoid the embarrassment of pronouncing “j” as in “didgeridoo,” for example. “J” is actually pronounced as “y” in “yaw,” whereas Danish “y” is produced by looking as if you’ll say “oo” but actually saying “ee,” a fine party-trick
“Æ” is like the “ea” in “head.” “Ø” is like the “u” in “furl” and the “e” in “the.” “Ø” is in fact the most common vowel in English, even though there is no letter for it in English. The alphabet’s last letter, “å,” enables recycling, in that it is pronounced “aw” as in “yaw.”
Left: Pushing the boat out to try the balance of the completely reefed main with the reefed jib.
The Geographical Location
The + on the map to the right shows where Mors is in relation to the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
The bit at the bottom carries on for miles and is called “Europe.” Though we do our best to ignore it, it is quite big … The large map below shows The Limfjord, not in its entirety, but the bit beyond Aalborg, Langerak, isn’t very interesting and couldn’t fit on the page anyway. However our part is interesting and is a popular sailing area even for visitors from Germany.
The island of Mors lies in the western part of The Limfjord (Danish:Limfjorden), in northwest Jutland, between 20 and 35 km from the North Sea, and 700 km east of Scotland. There is some doubt about the origin of the island. Some say that God had made a model before constructing Jutland, found this model so charming that he didn’t have the heart to throw it out, and placed it in the western end of the Limfjord. Others are sure that in the first days of christendom, a giant living in Himmerland, who liked to sleep late and early, was so annoyed at having this sleep disturbed by the sound of bell-ringing at the new church at Vestervig in the south of Thy (pronounced as French “tu”), that he filled his gauntlet with earth and waded out across Løgstør Bredning to dump the earth on the church. Don’t ask why he used a gauntlet.
Sadly his gauntlet’s stitching was rotten and a little earth fell out, then some more, then even more, and just before Thy the bottom fell out of the gauntlet and all the earth that was left splashed out into the water. This enraged the already angry giant so much that he burst into a thousand pieces. Thus the islands of Livø, Fur and Mors were created, along with the odd, round hill at Rønbjerg.
To be continued