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April 2013 - England, Scotland, Germany

North Sea | Elbe River | Germany | Cuxhaven | Artemis moored in Cuxhaven Yacht Club Marina

April 28, 2013

Hi Everyone, We enjoyed our short stay in Cuxhaven, Germany. Some neat buildings, lots of pedestrian/bicycle walkways and we keep noting how squeaky clean everything is. Great supermarkets and boat chandlery. We found a boat hook type tool that when clamped onto a mooring ball it feeds the line through the ring. We followed the locals into a cafeteria style restaurant/butcher for lunch. I had a yummy hearty bowl of soup/bread and had his first Wiener Schnitzel in Germany. Now he's looking for Sauerbraten and pork shank like in Bulgaria:-)

North Sea | River Elbe | Germany | Brunsbuttel | Kiel Canal | Artemis in Brunsbuttel Locks

Saturday We left Cuxhaven and sailed 18nm up the River Elbe to Brunsbuttel where you enter the Kiel Kanal known as Nord-Ostsee Kanal in Germany. This canal is about 100km and connects the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. We left earlier than planned as we wanted to arrive in Rendsburg before dark. No problems the locks were open and waiting for us so we could head straight in. We were out and on our way in 15 minutes. We were able to motor sail part of the way. Lots of ship traffic in both directions and car ferries darting across. Other than that we just watched the walkers and bicyclist along the canal, cows, horses and sheep.

Germany | Kiel Canal | Redsburg High Bridge | Schwebefahre (hanging ferry)

Most interesting was the trolley car hanging ferry running on a track beneath the railway bridge near Rendsburg. Looked like a funicular but carried cars.

Germany | Kiel Canal | Rendsburg | Artemis in marina box mooring

We arrived at Rendsburg, Germany about 1930 (about 36nm). It was our first time using a BOX type mooring. You drive between two pilings and drop a looped rope on the windward piling. There's a hook on the piling that catches the line so it doesn't drop to water level. Unfortunately I missed the hook so we had to deal with getting it up onto the hook later after we had tied off the bow. The harbor had an extra long wooden boat hook that did the trick:-)

Germany | Kiel Canal | Rendsburg | Marienkirche

Sunday We enjoyed a brisk but sunny day on land:-) We walked the "Blue Line" to visit 30 different sights in Rendsburg. Some neat buildings, pedestrian/bike trails and parks. We visited two old churches St. Marienkirche 1287, and Christkirche, built in 1694 by order of Christian V the king of Denmark. We went to mass at St. Vincint a very modern USA type church. The Cultural Center is housed in the old Military Arsenal and had two museums, Historical Museum of Rendsburg (Danish for many years) and a Printing museum with old printing presses and typesets. Rendsburg has been a military town since 1690 when it became a fortress. Today two units of the Bundeswehr (contemporary German army) are stationed here.

Heading out of the Kiel Kanal tomorrow. We don't plan to visit Kiel as we will be there in August when we fly home and again in September when we return. We'll head east with whatever weather we get. Perhaps the Fehmarn area. We want to spend a few days in Travemunde so we can take a train to visit Lubeck. Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

April 25, 2013

Hi Everyone, We left Levington UK from Suffolk Yacht Harbor Tuesday 0600 and traveled across the English Channel and outside the Frisian Islands. It took about 54 hours arriving in Cuxhaven Yacht Harbor Thursday 1230. We had an uneventful but cold passage. The wind we anticipated never occurred so we only sailed 10 hours and motor sailed or motored the rest:-(

Fortunately "The Sally Heater" kept us plenty warm. Al installed a Heatercraft cabin heater this spring so it was cozy down below. Tuesday evening was clear and bright moon until early morning fog set in as we approached Den Helder, Netherlands. The winds picked up and the fog lifted. We were boarded by Netherlands Customs off the Island of Vlieland but no paperwork because we were not stopping. We had a misty evening with some fog (.5-1nm visibility) through the night lifting somewhat by morning. Al had a bit of excitement with a fishing boat with no AIS in the fog but the radar picked him up, closer than we would have liked. It's nice using both radar with an overlay chart plotter at night and in the fog as you get a clearer picture of what the vessel is doing. German Immigrations boarded us about 10nm before Cuxhaven. They were checking for immigration before arrival and then Immigration visited the boat in the harbor to stamp our passports. We are still waiting for customs. Our tentative plan is to stay in Cuxhaven for two nights then weather permitting go across the Elbe River to Brunsbuttel and lock into the Kiel Canel. The canal is 56 nm long so we will overnight in the canal at Rendsburg (35.5 nm)then complete the trip to Holtenau the next day. Going to catch up on some sleep and do a bit of exploring. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

April 23, 2013

Hi Everyone, We locked out of SKD and left London as planned last Friday and anchored in Stangate on the River Medway. Saturday we sailed across the Thames Estuary to River Orwell and motored to Suffolk Yacht Harbor. We stayed for 3 nights waiting for good weather window. Tuesday we are crossing the North Sea Heading for the Baltic. We may be one or two nights out. Best contact is using the kc0rmx email address to contact us. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

UK | England | London | Greenwich | Cutty Sark Museum

April 17, 2013

Hi Everyone, We had a busy week with Connie and Steve in London. Wednesday they went sight seeing in Greenwich area, Cutty Sark, Navel Academy, and the Royal Observatory. Al and I stayed behind and successfully got all of our sails on. We breathed a sigh of relief when our new staysail for our furler fit properly.

UK | England | London | Borough Market

Thursday we went to Borough Market to browse, eat lunch, and then visit the Tate Modern Museum.(has to be seen) We walked the Millennium Bridge and caught the underground to the Natural History Museum. We had a bit of a wait in the lines to see the Dinosaur Exhibit but it was worth it. We then enjoyed this beautiful building and the museum. Al especially wanted everyone to see the Dodo bird:-)

UK | England | London| Trafalgar Square | St. Marin-in-the-Fields | Lunchtime concert

Friday we visited the National Gallery again. Then had lunch at The Crypt at St. Martin-in-the-Fields before the Lunchtime Concert. Great cellist and piano. We walked down to the Halls of Justice so we could peek in the courtroom windows at the wigged judges:-) Enough! It was Steve's birthday so we hopped on a bus and went to Wetherspoon's Liberty Pub for a pint of ale!

UK | England | London | Portobello Road Market | Sally, Al and Steve lunch

Saturday we explored the Portobello Road Market. Lots of unusual clothing, antiques and great food vendors. We had Polish stew and sausages.

UK | England | London | Regents Canal | Little Venice canal boat We decided to walk the Regent's Canal to Little Venice down to Regent's Park. The flowers and trees were blooming and the park has a great bird sanctuary. Many blue herons nesting and most unusual was the bar geese. (we nick named them the zubba's as they looked like zebras)

UK | England | London| King's Cross Station | Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potte's trolley

It started to rain so we headed for King's Cross Station. We nearly bailed out twice as the rain came down harder but Connie so wanted to see Platform 9 3/4 where Harry Potter and friends pushed their trolleys of school luggage through the wall:-) The line was long for pictures so Connie snapped one of someone else posing with the trolley.

UK | England | London | Mansion House

Sunday we went to services at St. Paul's Cathedral as the Cathedral was going to be closed until after Margaret Thatcher's funeral. We walked to Guildhall and Mansion House then hopped on a bus to Ramsgate Town Pub. We had the Sunday Carverey (as opposed to the traditional Sunday Roast) The difference being you could have beef, ham, lamb or any combination you desired with your Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy. It was a beautiful afternoon so we walked the canal's and basins from Wapping to Shadwell and back to St. Katharine's Docks.

Monday Connie and Steve went to another concert at St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Soprano and small orchestra)They were touring about by themselves. Meanwhile Al and I tore their berth apart installing 8 new golf cart batteries and a starting battery. We also finished our sewing projects.

UK | England | Londong | St. Katherine Docks | Artemis moored in SKD East Basin

Tuesday sadly we said good-bye to Connie and Steve. We had great fun during their visit. But now we are busily preparing to leave St. Katharine's Docks on Friday morning. The locks will close on Sunday and won't reopen until maybe April 30th. I organized the v berth, emptied the anchor locker of miscellaneous stuff and organized cabinets while Al put the autopilot back on, installed a new cleat for the mainsheet, and finished the cockpit enclosure.

Today we had our last Wed. Coffee with our dwindling number of St. Katharine's friends. Then we gave Artemis a much needed bath. Jules our neighbor across the dock went up the mast and glued our dangling Tri-color light back together. Time for a new one after 27 years. Provisioning the boat is our plan for tomorrow.

Friday We'll lock out of St. Katharine's Docks at 0715 and head down the Thames River to the Medway River where we'll anchor for the night at Stangate Creek. Weather permitting we'll sail to River Orwell and Suffolk Yacht Harbor on Saturday. We hope all is well. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

April 9, 2013

Hi Everyone, We had a great week on the road in England and Scotland. It was a bit cold and windy but we had very little precipitation. We never used our umbrellas or raincoats.

UK | England | London | Royal Mews

UK | England | London | Buckingham Palace

Mon. April 1 Connie and Steve are off to the Churchill War Museum this morning and then we'll meet up with them to visit Buckingham Palace to visit the Royal Mews and perhaps the Queens Gallery

UK | England | Salisbury | Salisbury Cathedral

Tuesday April 2 we picked up our car at Heathrow Airport and drove to Salisbury. We had lunch and visited the Cathedral.

UK | England | Stonehenge

Then we drove to Stonehenge. This famous ring of monolithic stones still intrigue the archaeologists. No one has determined what drove the prehistoric Britons from creating this sight. Equally interesting was the massive stone circle in nearby Avebury. A large part of the village is inside the ring and unlike Stonehenge we could walk among the stones. The roads were quite challenging as they were very narrow and had no shoulders. We either hit a curb or pothole but thought all was well until later that night in Bath we discovered a growing bulge in both left side tires. The car rental company arranged for us to drop off the car on Tuesday while we explored Bath .

UK | England | Bath | Roman Baths

We walked by the Royal Crescent, the Circus and vi sited the Bath Abbey. The Roman Baths were an amazing sight. The audioguides and the museum/sight setting was excellent. We spent 3 hours there. We ate at Aio Restaurant and enjoyed roasted calimari and then a seafood pasta with monkfish, prawns..

UK | England | Bath | Prior Park | Palladian bridge

We picked up the car and drove up to Prior Park where we enjoyed a nice hike around the park lakes and famous Palladian bridge.

UK |England | Bath | River Avon |Pulteney Bridge by night

Later we walked back down by the Abbey and saw Pulteney Bridge, River Avon and the falls by night, Very cool! So glad we went out again to see it.

UK | England |Warwickshire | Warwick Castle

Thursday April 4

We drove through the Cotswells via Warwick Castle to York encountering snow flurries early in the day. When we first stopped at Warwick castle the snow became a bit more serious but by the time we finished our inside tour the sun was out. Warwick is a fun castle to visit. The rooms are decorated and Madame Tussauds(London Wax Museum) has donated wax figures to add to the impressions of each room. Plus they had many actors dressed playing different roles around the castle. The grounds are gorgeous and many shows occurring throughout the day. (jousting, archery, eagle, vulture bird shows. We climbed many steps into the towers and walked the ramparts. The views were fabulous. We had barbecue pork and beef sandwiches and enjoyed the peacocks strutting about:-)

We had a nice walk from our hotel The Queens in York to Masons Bar and Bistro for a fun yummy supper. One courtesy extended in UK pubs is ale tasting's. We sampled several ales before we chose the one we wanted.

UK | England | York | Clifford's Tower

Friday was a busy day for our poor feet. We began the day climbing the steps up to Clifford Tower then the climb to the top. The signs warned visitors NOT to congregate on the walkway's and to not lean on the walls. Needless to say we quickly snapped our pictures and climbed back down. We walked old town, the open market, and a medieval shops street called The Shambles before visiting York Minister. We joined an excellent tour before and after our climb of 275 steps to the highest tower of York Minister. About halfway up we exited one tower and walked the parapets along the rooftop to the highest tower. Fantastic view of York and surrounding countryside but our legs and feet began to protest as we climbed down those 275 steps.

UK | England | York | National Train Museum

Next we hit the National Train Museum which was enjoyed by all. It claims to be the biggest in the world with more than 100 locomotives and lots of "stuff". We are quite sure Thomas the Train and friends were modeled after several of these locomotives. Although our feet were pro testing we decided we needed to walk the city walls for awhile. We had spied a roast meat sandwich cafe earlier near the Shambles so we enjoyed a rest and a great sandwich before heading back to our hotel.

UK | England | Hadrian's Wall | Housestead's Roman Fort

Saturday April 6

We drove along Hadrian's 2nd century Wall that crosses England from the Irish Sea to the North Sea before heading into Scotland. We visited two sights. Vindolanda Roman Fort and Museum is a wonderful working archeological sight. They continue to find artifacts almost daily. Anyone can register to come dig and are assigned an area to dig. One of the men in our tour is digging there now and had already found several coins, arrowheads and pieces of pottery. The museum is excellent. One of their greatest finds was the "wooden tablets" These tablets opened the doors to who lived on the sight, what their jobs were, and what life was like. These tablets were sent to British Museum in London but many have been returned now that Vindolanda has it's new museum. We continued down the wall to another sight Housesteads Roman Fort and museum which was right on Hadrian's wall. We hiked through sheep fields and up some steep hills to explore this ruins. Fantastic views on this hilltop overlookin g vast countryside. We could see the wall disappearing in each direction.

We followed some rather small rollercoaster carriageways to Jedburgh and on to Edinburgh, Scotland. We stopped at a cute Pub B & B Gun's Inn for supper. We all had the Fish n'Chips and all but our driver Al had a Black Sheep ale to wash it down. Old shep wandered around the tables looking for an occasional pat from the customers.

UK | Scotland | Stirling | Stirling Castle | view from the castle

Sunday April 7

We got ourselves totally lost looking for the Cathedral for mass. We finally went back to the hotel and got the phone for GPS and headed for Stirling, Scotland for the day. Scotland is amazingly different from England. We noticed more single family dwellings and stucco exteriors. The language is bit thicker and more difficult to understand:-) both have beautiful countryside, lots of sheep and deer, many windfarms and frequent castles. We enjoyed Stirling castle. The rooms are fully decorated and the volunteers added to the excellent audioguides. We especially enjoyed the Tapestry workroom. They have two resident medieval style weavers one from California and the other Vancouver. This display gave us a new appreciation for the artistry and work that goes into these magnificent tapestries that adorn many of the castle walls. We had a fun Scottish guide who took us through the Argyll Lodgings and cemetery. We had a great pub meal at Porticullis Pub just across from Argyll's Lodging. Steve had half a cow burger w/chilli, onion rings and chips(fries). The rest of us had a flavorful steak n'ale pie with a fluffy pastry and vegetables.

UK | Scotland | Edinburgh | Holyroodhouse

Monday Apr. 8

We spent the day exploring Edinburgh walking from our hotel the Royal Terrace down Calton Hill to Palace Holyroodhouse. We had excellent audioguides again and explored this working palace for a couple of hours. The Royal family come every summer for a visit and entertain guests there. We walked the Royal Mile enjoying the cool old buildings and stopping to visit the Peoples Story Museum, St. Giles Cathedral, and Grassmarket. We stopped at The Oink for pork/stuffing sandwiches before tackling Edinburgh Castle. Great views of the city and interesting tour guide. We decided to hit a pub in Grassmarket before return to the hotel We happened upon The White Hart which claimed to be the oldest pub in Edinburgh:-) Again we tasted several ales before settling back and enjoying a pint. We had a nice walk back up Prince's Street through New Town to our hotel.

Today we are enjoying a sunny drive through Scotland, England back home to London and Artemis. We've been spoiled this week with spacious rooms, hot (in room)showers and huge English breakfast. Back to boat life but glad to be home. Love and God Bless Connie, Steve, Sally and Al


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