Crossing from the Kiel Canal in Germany, our first stop was Bakenkop in Denmark where we were met by our friends Per and Sherrie Jensen. Not much to see here, but we had a great meal. On to Faaborg for a lunch stop and walk about the lovely town. We overnighted at Svenborg where we met the crew of s/v Tara and were over served. Before the night was out, we found a local policemen returning a guest to our boat….he is the first one we have seen in Denmark.
A 50 miles run brought us to Vordingborg where we were met by Per’s second cousin Jantz, great to have friends in foreign ports. Inspection of the engine room reveals an alternator that has torn itself up and needs to be replaced. While we have a spare, getting the pulley off the old one turned into an adventure. Finally, with a gear puller in hand, the job was completed. The weather convinced us to stay in port for another day, together with the celebration of the the 800th anniversary of Denmarks flag and a visit by the crown prince.
Another 70 mile run brought us to beautiful Copenhagen, arriving at the Yacht Club at the Tuborg Marina were were met by Per’s cousin Peter. After our first day walking the city, we decided to move the boat into the Nyhaven Canal in the center of town as we planned to stay here for a week. Among our adventures here, a tourist lost a bag off the dock with phones, keys, wallets, etc. just behind our boat. Launching the tender and borrowing some long boat hooks, the bag was miraculous recovered. After a few celebratory glasses of wine with Jose and his friend, we were off to dinner. Finishing dinner, we ask for the check only to learn that the nice young couple next to us had picked up our tab just because they wanted to. Comes around goes around?
Marcia and Dan’s guide to Copenhagen can be found following this link.
Waiting for a weather window, we rented a car and drove north to Kronborg Castle Gronnehave along the coastal route featuring some very fine homes built in an era of less equality, then on to Frederiksborg Castle. This is known as the Nordic Versailles and houses the Musuem of National History. On to Roskilde were we spent the night and visited the Viking Museum the following morning. Museum tells the amazing story of these adventuresome people. Distances are quite short in Denmark so we had time to go over the bridge to Sweden and visit the fast growing city of Malmo, third largest in Sweden.
After one more day in Copenhagen we headed out on a hundred mile run to the island of Anholt in the Kattegat Sea between Denmark and Sweden, from there we continued on to Frederikshavn. With beautiful weather, our plan was to cross to Kristiansand in Norway the next day. As we approached the marina in Frederikshavn, we lost propulsion on the port engine and that ended a fine plan to meet up with visiting family on the boat in Norway.
This seems to be the summer of unplanned events. While having a transmission failure on an American boat in a foreign country would be a seeming disaster, our bad luck seems to be matched with some good luck. The transmission is actually made in Italy by ZF and there is a ZF dealer just 50 miles away who actually showed up at the boat the next day. More bad news, the part we need is not available, in fact not even from the factory. Good news, we have a an old transmission from an earlier disaster still at Philbrooks in British Columbia. The part we need is stripped off and shipped to Denmark, new seals and gaskets are ordered from Italy.
Time for some more road trips while all of this comes together. We are thankfully in a private marina with water, electric and a nice restaurant where they are delighted to have the income from the American boat. It’s a bus ride to town where there are trains and ferries. Aalborg is our first destination where we book a hotel for a couple of days. From there a train ride to Aarhus one day, and Hirtshal on North Sea for another. Back to the boat in Frederikshaven and another day trip to Skagen with it’s wonderful art museum. Why not take the ferry to Gottenborg in Sweden to get a look around in anticipation of our visit by boat at we prepared to cross Sweden. Nine days after arriving in Frederikhavn, we are ready to go on the boat again. That’s the good news, bad news is it’s blowing gale force winds for the next week. Plan z…..leave the boat, fly to Oslo to meet Kristi and Katherine for a week, then Tony, Julie and Leah for a second week.
While Norway is rated as the happiest country in the world, Denmark is right behind. Denmark developed a very strong social welfare system after world war I and has prospered despite it’s ‘socialist’ bent. The country is only 5 million people, mostly blonds. The minimum wage is about $30 US, a beer costs $7 and there are no visible police. Renewable energy, primarily wind, supplies 43% of the energy for the country and this percentages increases each year. The population is very well educated with a high proportion of advanced degrees, almost everyone speaks Danish and English plus a couple more languages. As in the US, only 2% of the population is involved in agriculture; however, the country side is very well till and Denmark is famous for its dairy products and fishing. We love this place.