INTROONETWOTHREEFOURFIVESIXSEVENEIGHTNINE

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

Page 6 Tue 14 Aug, Vilsund to Kraghj (Yellow course)

Starting from Vilsund. Notice the absence of rollers, skids and other rubbish. The Mirror can easily be carried to the water by her crew.

Next evening we considered the option of carrying on southwest down the west side of the island, against the wind and thought how much nicer it would be to sail the other way.

At ten-past-six, we set sail eastward for Kraghj, some 28 km, 15 sm away, on the northeastern end of the island. Wind WSW 10-12 kn, 5-6m/s. The father has his hard-weather sailing-suit on. The braces make it possible to use it as just trousers. He’ll not have a wet arse on this trip!

The first leg is at 60 to get clear of Sundby Stone Ground, which hardly needs translation, then we go over to 80 and settle down to a pleasant evening trip. There are those, who, being good at mental arithmetic, despite the creeping moronification of the human race caused by pocket calculators and other such – we refuse even to mention GPS – have already worked out that at yesterday’s speed, it will be tomorrow morning when we arrive, but today we have decided to sail at more than 6 km/h, 3_ kn, at least most of the way.

The north coast of Mors is the highest part of the island. Salgerhj, at 88 m is the highest point. Hanklit, just to the right of the jib-sheet, is 60 m high. These are fairly high mountains in Denmark, most of which will disappear when the Antarctic and the Greenland ice-cap melt.

Running directly downwind, though it will take us just where we want to go, is both boring and slow, unless there’s a blow, when one might prefer something more boring. So we sail a point or so higher, uneventfully, goose-winged, munching quietly on our lettuce, passing the famous diatom-clay cliff called Hanklit.

Hanklit. Well, you can just about see the bands of black volcanic ash,
but the cardboard camera is having problems with the hazy evening light.

Hanklit is so famous and our first picture so poor that we have had to sail out especially to photograph it for this report. We carried half-a-ton of sand aboard the dinghy, and, from the top of a very high ladder lashed to the mast, with her SLR-camera held high above her head, the daughter took this rather fine picture showing northern Mors and the water beyond. Salgerhj is the hump at the far right. The vague white thing on the horizon in the centre of the picture, just north of Lgstr, is a gigantic heap of chalk, some of which will eventually be spread over fields on Mors.

North of Salgerhj, the island’s summit, we point 30 toward Skarrehage and sail up the North Mors coast, passing Lisbjrg and our starting point, Skranderup Strand, and rounding Skarrehage at 20.35.

Above: Passing Lisbjrg, left. Right, Skranderup Strand. Cat-litter Factory on horizon.

The single-use camera was annoyed at being asked to take these pictures in what it considered to be an intolerable lack of light. After making a sulky attempt at a photograph while passing Lisbjrg, it really saw red when it distinguished the cat-litter factory on the horizon while we were off Skranderup Strand, our starting point the day before. Unfortunately the human eye cannot readily distinguish the cat-litter factory in the picture, but it is at the end of the visible, wooded land. The BY-buoy marking the end of the ness, Skarrehage, is a good kilometer to the left.

There are no eel-crows at Skarrehage. Cormorants or shags are stinking animals and seem to like it, so the stench of deodorizer from Skarrehage Cat-Litter Factory must really put them off. We round the ness after two hours and twenty-five minutes, average speed 7 km/h, 3.8 kn, and turn toward the ferry inn. This was a mistake. We cut the corner off all right, and could gloat at the keelboats having to follow the deep water, but it took 55 minutes to get to the ferry, whereas if we’d followed our earlier tactic it would only have taken 38 minutes, all things being equal. We wasted the current, and the faster direction relative to the wind. So it doesn’t pay for dinghies to do things just to be able to thumb their nose at keelboats. By nine o’clock it was getting dark, so we summoned all the resignation we had and settled down to the long, dreary sail up the west side of Feggeklit and its appendages, and down the other.

At ten o’clock, as we round the end of Mors in the dark, the wind falls, and we contemplate the prospect of rowing the last leg south. It wouldn’t be the first time. The water east of the holm and spit at Feggesund is shallow, even for a dinghy, and we have to avoid the fyke-nets set to catch non-existent eels. There’s still enough gloom to see the markers against the sky, as there was to see the BYB (BlackYellowBlack, a buoy marking an easterly point), where we turned south. We see the flash of headlights where we imagine our transport should be, but she drives home without us.

The wind kindly gets up again and I check the intracranial GPS which estimates landfall in about 80 minutes. We sail southward, wasting height against the waves coming up from the south. But it makes for spectacular displays of cold fire from the phosphorescent algae at we hit each wave. At the helm, I watch the frozen light run off in the turbulence from the rudder. We are making better speed. After 50 minutes we change tack. There’s one good thing about the cat-litter factory, apart from the employment it gives in a deprived area, and that’s the floodlight above it.

This light leads us home when we’re sailing from the eastern side of Lgstr bredning in the dark. The light could be higher since the factory was re-created and the new, higher, non-polluting-well-at-least-further-away chimney was erected. It appears over the horizon, on the way from Rnbjerg/Liv and leads us to our beach. If it disappears again on that course we are too far south and will hit Ejerslev Rn, a small holm where one used to collect gulls’ eggs before landing was forbidden, now the home of hundreds of cormorants, and at high-water of seals. Hitting the sandy holm in a dinghy wouldn’t be that bad, but hitting the reef south of the holm would be naughty.

We landed easily between the boat-at-anchor and the bathing stage at 23.20, threw the sand-sacks out and carried Minnie Moltok up the beach to the grass. We quickly tied everything up, grabbed our gear, the daggerboard and the rudder, and set off on foot to meet our transport, which we did before long. That was an easy trip. We are back almost where we started, but on the other side of the island, and have got out of the way the somewhat pointless business of sailing miles up one side of Feggeklit and its associated bits, and then miles down the other side when one can throw a stone from one side to the other, at the southern end. But it was an easy trip, and sailing in phosphorescence is always uplifting. Speed for the trip 3kn, 5.6 km/h. What will the morrow bring?


INTROONETWOTHREEFOURFIVESIXSEVENEIGHTNINE