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by Eija Rissanen
 
When I met two kitesurfers from Denmark on Maui last Christmas, I did not know I would get an invitation to go sailing with them for two weeks in Denmark the following summer. However, there I was waiting for my luggage at the Århus Airport, without knowing where to go from there, clutching a piece of paper with a phone number in my hand and hoping to see a familiar face. When I saw Jonas Troense waving at me, I relaxed. The adventure, sailing around the island of Fyn for two weeks, was beginning.

Tanistan, a 41-feet sailboat, and Frk. Himmelblå III, a 49-feet motorboat, were waiting for us at the harbor in Horsens. And so was part of the crew, although we would still pick up more people on the way from different harbors. After spending rest of the day repairing the propeller of the motorboat, we were ready to sail out next morning.

Sailing is an excellent way to relax and to spend days doing practically nothing – with enough wind, trimming the sails and changing course with the winds are the only physical tasks. In addition to that, days are filled with conversations, reading good books, listening to music, and tanning on the deck. However, after two days we were all ready to do something else.

We had kitesurfing equipment, two surfboards and a banana boat aboard, and a dinghy trailing behind the motorboat, so when boredom struck we anchored and played in the water. We could wave board behind the dinghy, enjoy the speed and splashes of cool water while lying on the banana boat, jet ski, and just swim. Even when moving full speed with the engine running on the sailboat, we would tie fenders to the extra ropes and tow them and any volunteers. The possibilities turned the group of 20-year-olds into children again.

“ The most memorable thing for me was when I was hanging on a rope behind the sailboat,” said Arnt-Andrè Dullum from Norway. “However, I was disappointed about the wind conditions. I really hoped for stronger winds, so that I could try kitesurfing. And also do a little more sailing.”

The harbors, where we spent the nights, offered another way to add activity into our holiday. After a full day of sailing, feeling land underneath our feet was a welcomed change. After handling the necessary tasks – such as grocery shopping, laundry, taking a shower, and using a regular toilet – we were ready to get to know the towns surrounding the harbors. Short sightseeing tours with our Danish hosts, checking the little harbor shops, camping on the beach, hitting at least 200 golf balls all over a golf course in the middle of the night, and enjoying the rides at the carnival were a fun change to sailing.

However, living on a boat for two weeks also has its down sides. Space is always tight leaving everybody with very little privacy. Our only private moments were in the bathroom – after spending couple of days figuring out how to lock the door – and asleep. The cabin I was sharing with another girl was so small that we both could not stand inside the cabin at the same time and close the door, and every night we had to move our bags outside to have enough legroom to sleep. In addition, the bunks were so narrow that I kept hitting my knees either on the side of the boat or the edge of the bed every time I turned. Because of the tight space and limited privacy, the crew needs to get along very well with each other.

“ It is not easy to find people that just have your sense of humor, and you just click with from the first moment on,” said Marieke Bülow from Denmark. “I would have maybe expected one or two, but two boats full of great people. I will never forget that.”

“ It was amazing that so many different people who did not know each other in advance were able to get everything run so smoothly,” added Tue Andersen, also from Denmark.

Nevertheless, if you are willing to give up your privacy for an adventure, sailing is an excellent option. And sometimes taking the leap of faith with people you do not know very well, is worth every moment.

You do not need to know someone with a sailboat to experience Denmark from the sea. Organized, everything included Sailing Holidays, from a couple of hours to several weeks, are offered all around Denmark. For more information, visit www.maritimtcenter.dk or www.sejlskib.dk.

 

Sailing Lingo 101

• Bow: front of the boat
• Check: to ease a rope a little and then secure it
• Cleat: a metal fitting to which a rope is secured
• Coil: to lay a rope down in circular turns
• Dinghy: a small boat, usually carried on or hauled behind a bigger boat
• Fender: a cushion used over the side of a boat to protect it from chafting when alongside another boat or dock
• Furl: to fold or roll a sail and secure it to its boom or yard
• Gasket: line used to secure a furled sail
• Galley: kitchen
• Head: bathroom
• Rigging: lines holding up the masts and moving the sails
• Stern: back of the boat
• Tack: to change the course of a boat by sailing against the wind and forming a zigzag course
• True wind: the actual direction from which the wind is blowing



All photos courtesy the crews of Tanistan and Frk. Himmelblå III


Tanistan with all the sails up, the crew aboard, and tacking for the first time. We were very lucky with the weather, only two days of rain, but our luck with the wind was just the opposite. However, when we had enough wind to have the sails up, we enjoyed every minute of it.


Sunset in Brundshuse. Apart from Brundshuse, where we stayed in a private pier, and Rævekrogen (Fox Corner), where we camped out on the beach, we spent the nights in 11 different harbors.


Sitting at the bow gave a change to check out the scenery or just have a brief moment by yourself.


Our days were spent on seperate boats, but it was always a priority to eat dinner together. After picking up the last three crew members from Fåborg, the now 12 man crew celebrated the arrival of the new members with a delicious meal and a glass of wine.


While staying two nights in Sønderborg we took a short sailing trip close to the German border during the day. Being able to steer a 41-feet sailboat was the highlight of my trip. It was very hard to stay in course because I could not feel how much the boat was going to turn when I steered, and sometimes the fog made me lose my focus point in the horizon.

 

 

 

 

 

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