INTROONETWOTHREEFOURFIVESIXSEVENEIGHTNINE

MINNIE MOLTOK GOES ALL THE WAY AROUND THE ISLAND A STORY FROM DENMARK

Page 5 Mon 13 Aug, Skranderup-Vilsund (Green course)

21. CircumnavigationThisted Bredning

On the thirteenth of August in the afternoon, we set sail from the western coast of the north of Mors, across Thisted Bredning, toward Thisted. The wind was a little south of WSW , 8-10 knots, with the promise of more wind in the sky, so we set off with a reef in, since Minnie had not yet had jiffy-reeng tted, and it is easier to reef on land. Reeng means rolling the sail round the boom. There are disadvantages to this system – the sail tends to get too at, the boom’s after end hangs if you just roll up, and unless the boom has the right ttings, the boom has to be taken off the goose-neck and both sheet and eventual topping lift have to be loosened from the boom.

22.Skranderup Strand – Rigging MM Rigging the dinghy on Skranderup Strand. Looking north.
To the right of the sailone can see Sennels Plantation, behind which lies Hov and the entrance to Lnnerup Fjord.

These disadvantages can be minimized by tucking the after end of the sail before rolling, or as we do, attaching the tack to the boom with a suitable length of line and just rolling – which saves creasing the sail – while pressing the forward part of the sail to keep it hollow. Forget the attachment of ttings for roller-reeng, t jiffy-reeng, which is what Minnie Moltok will have “when I get time.” Being only little, she may well get single-line reeng. The boom-vang is also attached with a suitable length of line, when roller-reeng.

Sailing toward Sennels. Note the promise in the sky of more weather.

After half-an-hour we let the reef out, the weather having shown some patience with us. We are on a tack toward the northern coast of the Bredning, between the former monastery village of Sennels and the plantation of a collection of labelled exotic tree-species at Eshj. The monastery is long gone and at this distance we can’t tell one exotic species from another.We are sailing 290, and then 200 on a tack to get off the coast again.

After nearly two hours’ sailing it starts to rain and the wind gets up a bit to 14 kn. An unavoided crest has slid a cupful of cold water on to my bench with the intention of showing that the repair on the seat of my dinghy-salopette will leak, and my arse is wet, but I put a brave face on it in order not to weaken the crew’s morale. We see someone ying a strange kite-wing-thing on the shore. Then it takes off across the water at high speed – it’s a wind-surfer! Our tack away from the coast was too short, with the increased wind, so we take another to be able to get into Thisted harbour . We tie up and think about food. (Font above is Vacation MT: bcbc, 12)

Some of us think about repairing our seat, but despite much drying and rubbing even the impressively sticky gaffer-tape from the repair bag can’t really make the connection. As I work on the tear I can hear pigs going to slaughter across the harbour in the Tican slaughterhouse (the country’s most protable), selessly giving their lives so some poor Brit doesn’t have to have a baconless breakfast. Though it’s six in the evening these pigs are still doing their bit. I borrow a mobile phone to ring home. Will we really have to buy one of those things?

We spend too much time in Thisted, as is our wont, and leave reluctantly at about 19.30 on the next leg, toward Vilsund. The wind has increased to 16 kn, gusting to 20 kn, but we don’t reef, hoping for a more favourable wind-direction, smaller waves and some shelter, under land. We have rung home to say we’ll be at Vilsund at 21.00, after advice from a local. Just outside the harbour a young dinghy-club member raises shouts of glee from his competitors as he rounds the mark with his dinghy on its side but manages to climb out on to the board and right the boat while remaining quite dry. Unlike my arse.

On land, cyclists are training for the Tour de Denmark. They have a following wind and will soon be home and dry. We have the wind against us and must expect a wet trip as the chop, bent along the coast, bashes against the bow, causing spray which the wind picks up and tries to sneak inside our waterproofs (well, partly waterproof in my case). The daughter packs her sailing anorak’s neck-opening with more clothing and buttons tighter. I’m not helm for nothing.

As conditions get harder the self-regulating sand-sacks suck up water and increase stability. Though we can keep high on the short tack toward land, 280, with the waves on the beam, the other tack has to be due south because of the opposing waves. This tack takes us eventually out to where the waves affect our progress too much, and we change tack here. (We took more tacks than the map shows.) It rains hard for a while, and we drink fresh water. The boat is now lling both from down here and from up there – there is a waterfall running off the loose-footed sail – so the daughter bails diligently. The rain-mist means we can only see the Thy coast, which on the other hand is magical, even close to. Occasional farmhouses, with lit windows, hang among trees above the cliffs. Nearer Vilsund and much later than 21.00, I nd that at the end of the tack toward land I’m sailing 30 in relation to the southward tack, so I risk going closer to shore for the advantage of the bent wind. I had hoped we’d have some such all the way, and maybe we have on the one tack, but only 10, while losing 20 to waves, and maybe current, on the other.

As we come into the sound we sail directly toward the lookout on the bridge. In the dark they can’t see we’re ying the chequered bridge-ag, N, and we’ve given no signals, but they might just think they should let us through, anyway – where else would we be going, but to the little marina on the other side of the bridge? (We could in theory drop our gunter-gaff and come under the 4 metres if the water were low enough. One always thinks the mast will hit the bridge, whatever the boat and whatever the bridge, but 4 metres is low, so in practice we let them open the bridge for us.) But we’re landing on the sandy beach by the hotel, on this side, and by pinching we can avoid the embarrassment of stopping all that trafc for nothing.

Twenty minutes past ten is not the same as nine o’clock, so our transport is nowhere to be seen, despite the daughter’s looking on both sides of the sound. We put Minnie Moltok to bed on her side with a sand-sack on the mast-top. It was satisfying to tip most of the water out. Next time we shall remember to remove it all before we leave.The rain has stopped and there’s not much wind here either, so it isn’t too miserable to wait till eleven, when we see our transport drive over the bridge. We’ll really have to get one of those mobile-thingies. It has taken us six hours of sailing to get here – that’s pathetic – it’s only 15 km, 8 nm in a straight line and we’ve sailed 21 km, 11.3 nm. 3.5 km/h, 1.9 kn. The current against us shouldn’t have been very strong on our course. I shall have to see what it really does between Vilsund and Thisted, one day. At this rate it will take four-and-three-quarter days of six hours a day to get round, at least. What fun!

I sit on a sheepskin on the drive home to protect the car-seat from my wet trousers.


INTROONETWOTHREEFOURFIVESIXSEVENEIGHTNINE