"JollenFlottille 2015" messabout and cruise over!

On Sunday 5th July, I returned from a week's sailing between Neuendorf (Hiddensee) and Gager (Rügen) in mostly glorious weather. Great cruising experiences and definitely worth re-doing.

About the JollenFlottille 2015
Former events (see the Documents page) involved two travel days and three days' sailing, but this year several participants including myself had decided to add a raid-type cruising part.
The base for the three day-sailing outings and start and end of the cruise was the Marina on the island of Dänholm between the city of Stralsund and the island of Rügen. Some of our members had arrived on Wednesday (traditionally the weekday for the road trip to the base) 24th of June, but the "official" arrival day was Friday the 26th of June. So we loaded "Puffin" on the car roof and drove up to Dänholm on that day.
Saturday the 27th saw the fleet of 7 boats ranging from a 470 down to the Mirror (I'm still the only one) assembled on the water and generally messing about in the Strelasund. Winds light to moderate, followed by a thunderstorm with torrential rain - luckily we were all back in port by then.
Sunday the 28th, the weather report forecast NNE 3 gusting 5 turning more easterly in the day. So we decided to head for Neuendorf on the island of Hiddensee - a hard beat to windward in choppy water.
Neuendorf on Hiddensee
Neuendorf marina and port on Hiddensee
Cold beers and a walk across the narrow island to the seaward-side beach as a reward. Easy sail back. Total distance ~ 27 naut. miles.
One of the participating crews had to work on Monday so they bade us farewell.
Monday, 29th: After yesterday's hard work, all except the 470 crew (who wanted to venture further to utilize their speed and do some spinaker training) decided on an easy course with northerly wind to Neuhof on the mainland side of the Strelasund.
They do excellent freshly-smoked fish at the small snack-shop & angling outfitter's there!
Total distance ~13 naut. miles.
As the next day was the "official" home-travel day, we'd ask the gent who runs the Marina Bistro to rustle up a barbecue for us, which he was happy to do at a reasonable fee and so we had a pleasant summer evening chatting about our sailing adventures.
Barbecue evening
Hungry crews
Tuesday, 30th: The crews of the 470 and the Laser Bahia packed up their boats for the homeward trip while the remaining 5 boats -- my Mirror dinghy, the "Lis" cruiser dinghy "Charlotte" with 2 aboard, the Laser 2 "Lümmel", the Oostzeejol "Mariejol" and the Windrider trimaran "Windwicht" -- were packed for the cruise.
I was taken aback at the amount of room my two bags and the cooler box ("eski" for the Aussies among us) took up in the Mirror, but somehow got everything stowed.
Full cockpit
Not much room left in the cockpit!
It being a warm day and only moderate winds forecast, I asked Ingo to take my drysuit aboard the trimaran and simply wore a t-shirt and shorts.
Our first destination was an "anchorage" (actually a meadow with a tiny beach 54° 17' 25.3" N 13° 24' 47" E ) on the Rügener Bodden. The sail down the Strelasund, broad reaching in a freshening wind, was easy, but as we rounded "Palmer Ort" at starboard buoy no. 5 we were met by a short chop and strong Northerly wind. I was happy to have a reef in and decided to beat up the "Bodden" a mile or so offshore to avoid having to tack too often. In the end, that cost me half a bucketful over the gunwale and won me last place at the destination as the others had kept closer to shore and been able to utilize the smoother water there. As the sun set, I started to feel a bit cold in my light clothing.
Meadow campsite
A very quiet lonely campsite for the night.
Distance sailed ~ 20 nautical miles.
Wednesday, 1st July: Had a leasurely breakfast as there was virtually no wind at all. Set off sometime between 10 and 11 when someone remarked that the cows were coming to see who was trespassing on their pasture. The Laser and the Lis soon had a good lead in the light northerly breeze, especially as Tim in the Laser was again experimenting with his spinaker and the Lis had set a Genoa. Ingo in the trimaran did not set all sail so that he kept me and Jan, who was sailing "MarieJol", an Oostzeejol 12 (also known as a Lynaes 12), company.
At some point the wind virtually died and it was so hot in the boat that I stripped and jumped overboard, gripped the painter in my teeth and swam a few strokes to draw even with the trimaran. After swimming, I entertained Ingo to an impromptu mouth-organ concert, but I fear that my musical skills were not welcome.
Perhaps it helped to whistle up some wind, though, because as we approached the area south of the island of Vilm, the wind freshened and started to swing a bit more easterly, kicking up a bit of a chop. This was NOT welcome because our destination of the day, Gager on the "Hagensche Wiek", was almost due Eas of our position. As it was, we ended up beating to windward again with the wind blowing straight out of the Wiek.
I did not get into Gager until after 6 p.m. 7 hours is not good time for a stretch of 10 nautical miles!
The harbourmaster and some friendly locals had already made room for us at the small boats dock and gave me permission to put up my tent there overnight. For a very reasonable lump-sum fee, we were even permitted to use the toilets and showers (which had plenty of hot water - with only a note admonishing users not to overuse the privilege of showering without slot-machine metering).
Gager moorings
After arrival in Gager
Dinner was pub grub in a pub in the village. Later on we finished off the beers that had been brought along by the other boats. Watched the sun set over the Rügener Bodden and had a peaceful night in the protected marina with the wind still blowing great guns all night.

(to be continued ..... )

pictures added

Sounds like another good event and with decent distances being sailed too. Fantastic place for exploring, and I'd love to take a Mirror there for a few weeks some day, ideally joining in with JollenFlottille as a part of that at some time when it's back in the right area. Not easy to arrange, sadly, but if I ever get the chance to do it, I'll certainly take it.

62816inBerlin's picture

Thursday, 2nd July: After a coldish night, the the sun rose over the cottages and heated my tent to sauna temperatures, so I got up and made use of the showers fairly early before the others started stirring. Upon returning to the tent, I saw two elderly gents (i.e. in my age group) leaning over the railing and discussing the trimaran. "Nice craft" they remarked rather loudly "- is it yours?"
I answered "No, that's mine", pointing at "Puffin". Almost simultaneously, an annoyed voice came from under the tent on the trimaran : "It's MINE!".
Our original plan had been to try rounding Rügen, but with the strong wind from E and NE there would be heavy seas on the long stretches with few safe havens, so we finalized our decision to remain in the Greifswalder/Rügener Bodden area. A beach round the corner at Palmer Ort promised to be a sheltered destination, just out of the wind, so we chose that as our next camp.
In view of the weather report - increasing winds turning from east to southerly, I put on the dry suit and turned a reef in the mainsail. It was still blowing strong as we left and I overlooked a mooring buoy (view blocked by the maisail) and bumped into it as I set off under just the reefed main. Outside the marina entrance, I raised the jib with some difficulty as I had to scramble across my gear with everything flapping wildly. Luckily here near the eastern end of the Wiek, the water was smooth as the wind was blowing offshore across the flat end of the island.
Off we went on a very broad reach , meeting several big yachts just coming into the marked passage, and soon we were out in the open water, bounced about by the following swells which were occasionally topped by a little breaker. This is what we looked like from the trimaran:
rolling to Palmer Ort
rolling to Palmer Ort
Rough trip
Once again the trimaran and the Laser were surging ahead, but the tri was really being given a shaking. We in the other three boats stayed together most of the way, allowing me, too, to take some pictures in spite of fighting to avoid an unintentional gybe in the churned seas.
rolling to Palmer Ort
"Charlotte" and "Mariejol" rolling west to Palmer Ort
Sadly, even dinghy sailors are not unaffected by the seas and by the time we reached the sheltered beach some 12 miles on, one of "Charlotte's" crew had started feeling ill. However he soon recovered and we were able to pull all boats up on the sand. The two inflatable "rollers" with which "Charlotte" was to be rolled up on the beach did not survive the ordeal. My two new fenders and our combined efforts got her high and dry all the same.
The cool, strong morning wind had convinced me to put on the dry suit. Now, in the mid-day heat after hauling up boats, I had great difficulty extricating my feet from the tight rubber ankle cuffs.
dry suit difficulty
Fighting with the dry suit
After dinner, I took the opportunity to deploy my unwashed dishes in a new "beach art project" work:
beach art dishes
Please wash up!
We sat up quite a while, enjoying cups of tea and swapping tales. I never caught up making my written log entries.
Friday 3rd July:The heat in the tent woke me up long before anyone else stirred. I opened the flaps on both sides, making sure to keep the insect netting shut. If one forgets that, the tent is immediately full of small flying insects of all kinds. Made myself a cup of coffee and filled a thermos flask with hot water to share, then sat and enjoyed the cool morning air.
Over breakfast, we decided to choose an easy day's sail up the Strelasund, stopping at Neuhof for a snack and then looking for a place to spend the night.

To be continued ...

TTS's picture

Super trip :-)

curlew's picture

Looks like a great cruise in an interesting area. You covered a lot of miles, mainly to windward!

62816inBerlin's picture

Considering the wind directions didn't change too much, we had some long runs with the wind on our rear quarters and some long periods of tacking upwind, probably about 40%/50% . Surprisingly few stretches (felt the remaining 10%) of easy reaching, however.
Of course one has to cover a lot more actual distance tacking upwind and the first outing to Hiddensee was quite literally a pain in the posterior (I know, one should shorten sail enough to avoid having to hike out). I fixed that on the following days by sliding some spare pipe insulation foam over the gunwales - makes a huge difference and costs a fraction of what the hiking shorts were advertised at. The shorts I saw at the chandler's were only padded at the thighs anyway and with a reef in, I only need to sit with my bottom on the gunwale, not on my thighs. I have fitted hiking straps now, though.
Other peoples' pictures are beginning to come available now.

62816inBerlin's picture

The wind had not changed much directionwise overnight, but had lost some of its strength, making for an easy run/broad reach trip westward up the Strelasund. Just after crossing the path of the Stahlbrode-Glewitz car ferry track, I spied a huge brown sail coming upwind:
What's that?
Old-timer approaching
Being a great fan of traditional ships and boats, I couldn't resist changing course to get a closer look. It was a sloop-rigged fishing boat with a registration number MK63 on the sail. I have since tried to get some information on this boat on-line, but have been unsuccessful to date.
Fishing sloop MK 63
MK 63 going upwind
I'm afraid I didn't sail to the south of her, so the picture is a little too dark. The helmsman and I exchanged a wave of the arm as a greeting and then I headed for Neuhof. The temperature had soared and my water bottle was soon empty. I'd failed to fill my 5 litre plastic canister with fresh water in Gager and that was now empty, too.
After I got into Neuhof and tied up the boat, I had to put on my shoes double-quick as the concrete jetty was piping hot underfoot. We all made for the bistro/anglers' outfitter where the smoke-curing oven was wafting a delicious odour across the grounds and a table in the shade promised a pleasant break.
freshly smoked
Food for hungry crews
The chap who runs the place said he'd put extra fish in because his seventh sense had told him we were coming. As they were not quite ready, we first took some anti-dehydration measures. Following the host's recommendation, I had a whole whitefish (Coregonus maraena), freshly smoked, with a salad - not cheap - but extremely delicious. It was the first time in my life that I was able to get freshly smoked fish, a big difference to the product sold over the counter or packaged in a supermarket.
Just to make sure we'd survive the rest of the day, we had some more anti-dehydration after lunch while the food settled.
taking it easy
Shady lunch spot
Of course we did heed the warning pinned on the tree in the background, whereby one must remember that none of our boats can fly anyway.
Warning to mariners
Over lunch we'd decided to spend the night somewhere on the Wamper Wiek, only 4-5 miles away, but the weather report had forecast "possible" thunderstorms and a sharp gust of wind shook the trees as we were walking down to the jetty and so we decided to set off. Overnight "wild" camping meant there would be no taps available, so I filled my 5-litre canister before setting off.
As we'd ample time, none of us took the shortest course. The Strelasund is fairly wide and the breeze was pleasant and some boats sailed towards the city first, probably to take in the view of the shipyard: a huge hall that dominates the landscape and can be seen from many miles away. A few dark clouds had built up but the thunderstorm (thankfully) failed to materialise.
The trouble with the "fleet" separating this way was that searching for and agreeing on a spot to spend the night became difficult. The Laser and the trimaran went into a little inlet marked as an anchorage at the entrance to the Wamper Wiek. Some weekenders with power boats had beached their boats about 50 metres apart and stretched a line between them, thus "reserving" the beach in true German fashion. When asked what that ws supposed to be, they retorted that they needed "spring lines" while their families sat on the reserved beach in deck chairs and grinned. The outer beach under a steep bare earth slope did not look inviting, so we went into the inlet, which was already occupied by quite a few cabin cruisers, and found a landing onto which we manged to lift my boat. Tim, the Laser skipper, went off along the forest-covered hillside to look for a possible alternative. There wasn't any, and by the time he returned my feet and bags were crawling with red ants. The whole hillside was infested, which explains why the landing had remained unoccupied!
So we relaunched and re-loaded Puffin, adding a few stowaway ants in the process, and then rowed / paddled out to the mouth of the inlet. We tried to establish radio contact with the other two boats but could only get almost unintelligible information that they were already in the Wamper Wiek. This was the only time that relationships in our group were beginning to be endangered. I found a spot to beach Puffin and the Laser followed while the trimaran ran aground gently some way off. Then my mobile phone rang. It was "Charlotte's" crew, saying they and Jan in "Mariejol" had found a tiny beach at the eastern end of the Wiek and would stay there. So we set off again in search of them. The wind had dropped but was blowing from due E, forcing us to tack in the extremely shallow water (I grounded twice) and the trimaran which, with its fully-battened mainsail, does not go upwind very well in light airs, dropped far behind. When Tim and I arrived at the beach, the others probably noticed that we were not too happy and Jan cranked up his outboard (for the first time ever on this outing) to give the Ingo on "WindWicht", the trimaran, a tow in.
Over supper and a bottle of red wine that I'd bought in Neuhof we forgot the incident and were treated to surprise entertainment as the sun set. A lady and a gent (category: landed gentry) on horseback came down the track leading to the beach and rode straight into the water, which is just about knee-deep in most of the area. They galloped and trotted to and fro between the boats kicking up a lot of spray.
After they'd left, I set up my tent in the tall grass and got things ready for the night before sitting down again to watch the sun set. To our surprise, our equestrian entertainers re-appeared, this time without saddles and clad in bathing suits. I secretely hoped to see one of them slip off as they charged back into the Wiek, but they were apparently experts and the horses were very well-trained. This time they rode quite a way into the Wiek where there is some deeper water (map says 1.8 metres) and actually more or less swam with the horses.
horses on Wamper Wiek
Equestrian evening entertainment
After sunset, the mosquitoes came out of the reed beds in big swarms and, to get as far away from them as possible, we all waded out to the trimaran which actually had enough sitting room for all six of us. The breeze over the water helped keep the level of attack down, but did not prevent the odd mosquito coming our way. I very very rarely smoke, but was glad to accept Tim's offer of a cigarette to help drive off the insects as we sat and talked.
Back ashore, I made a dive for the tent and its insect netting. Tried to catch up on log-writing (two days behind) but gave up - too tired. Slept very soundly.

to be continued ...

TTS's picture

The MK63 is from Holland ( Flag in top of mast ) and could be part of the so called "Bruine Vloot" due to the color of the sails ( Bruin = Brown )

I Asked our Dutch sailors about the ship:


62816inBerlin's picture

I've read some of the information on Peter Dorleijn on-line.
I am very interested in "traditional" shipping and fishing, having worked pulling beach seins in my youth.

Kelly's picture

Hi Gernot
Really enjoying your Trip Log - some great photos too!


62816inBerlin's picture

Saturday, 4th July: Early in the morning (I don't wear a watch - my mobile phone is my only timepiece) I awoke because some animal was splashing around in the water and then came sniffing at my tent - a fox, raccoons? (I'm not sure whether raccoons have already crossed over to the island of Rügen.) Cautiously, I unzipped the tent flap to be greeted by two big dogs and the couple that was walking them. There were no signs of anyone stirring on the boats, so after the dog-walkers left, I was able to get a bit more sleep until the heat started building up in the tent.
While we were having breakfast on our beach, we were again treated to equestrian entertainment, this time two ladies rode their horses into the Wiek and splashed around. The spot we'd chosen must be popular with horse-owners, particularly as it is the only "beach" (it's actually only ~ 20 m wide) in the Wiek, which is surrounded by reeds everywhere else.
The wind had turned northerly and was quite weak, blowing offshore here, but the forecast was good and after a bit of discussion, we agreed to sail up to Neuendorf on Hiddensee once more. Jan, who has a long road trip home, decided against participating in this final leg and said he'd leave the fleet as we pass by Dänholm in order to be able to pack up early and and get an timely start on the road, so we said our farewells before setting off.
A light breeze drove us westward under the Rügendamm bridges for the last time and gave Tim an opportunity to clean "Lümmel's" hull.
cleaning the hull
Time for some maintenance
After we'd passed under the bridge, we encountered a huge number of boats of all kinds on the sound between Altefähr on Rügen and Stralsund: police craft, excursion ships, motor and sailing yachts, lifeboats etc. Music and MC comments from a PA system in Altefähr could be heard over the Strelasund. It turned out that a mass swimming race across the Strelasund, which is about 1.8 km wide at this point, was due to start soon. In fact it was started just as I was crossing the line of yellow buoys that marked the 2.3 km course between Altefähr and the public beach in Stralsund. I could see a mass of green bathing caps in thrashing water coming in my direction as I sailed my course westward. The list of participants who finished contains 1009 names, so I assume that at least that number of swimmers had started.
The course west of Rügen to Neuendorf on Hiddensee follows a channel in the otherwise very shallow waters and it is advisable to observe the soundings on the charts, so we mostly kept to the marked channel, being able to stay on one tack for long periods as the wind had freshened and was steady from a north-easterly direction. A fairly large fleet of big yachts was sailing north ahead of us, heading for the open Baltic, and quite a few were returning south.
Yachts heading north
Charlotte and Puffin following the fleet heading north. The hill on the horizon to the right of the starboard shroud is the "Bakenberg" on the northern end of Hiddensee.
Most of those crossing my path were kind enough to keep to the lee of me even in conditions where they could have forced me to give way on a port tack, so that I was spared those annoying dead patches due to overlaps by a much larger sail. Some of the power-boat skippers, however, seemed to take pleasure in passing very close to me at high speed to see "Puffin" shake, rattle and roll!
After passing between the critical pair of buoys 35 stb / 38 port (rocks to starboard, shallow to port), there was no more danger of accidentally sailing into the "Vierendehlgrund" shoal in the nature reserve and risking a fine, so I sheeted off a little and headed straight for Neuendorf. The maps show depths of as little as 0.5 m in places, but as the sands shift and there are occasional erratic blocks of granite which the ice age left here, I pulled the centreboard half up, just to be on the safe side.
As I approached Neuendorf, I could see the other three boats already at anchor outside the port entrance, along with quite a few small motor boats and cabin-cruisers, in the shallow water. Some children were splashing around between the boats and there were many people out and about on the breakwater that protects the port, which was packed with yachts who probably intended to spend the night there.
last anchorage
Last anchorage, Neuendorf, Hiddensee on 04 July 2015 16:20
I asked Ingo to tie my painter to "Windwicht", the trimaran, since it didn't seem to make sense to string another anchor in these shallows where people were bathing and wading to and from their boats. Apart from that, because I'd had poor results with the little grapnel that I normally carry on Puffin, I was carrying a fairly massive folding grapnel with a length of chain that actually belongs to my 5.2 metre day-sailer "Anansi". Using that here would really have been overkill.
Fortunately, I was wearing swimming trunks under my jeans so I took the jeans off and waded ashore in the trunks, then donned my jeans and went off to satisfy some desperately needed human output and input requirements and nose around the docks. There was a magnificent mahogany-hulled "Sonderklasse" between all the GRP craft, but she was moored in such a tight space that it was not possible to get a decent picture of her. A bread roll with pickled herring ("Fischbrötchen") made for an afternoon snack, paid for by another member of our fleet because I'd left my wallet on board the boat.
In order to be sure of getting to our base in Dänholm before sunset, we did not stay in Neuendorf for long. Charlotte, the Lis mini-cruiser set off along the marked shipping channel while Windwicht, Lümmel and Puffin went across the shallows. Nonetheless, the Lis was still home long before me, although I was fairly close behind her for quite a while. At some point when we were entering the Strelasund, Markus must have decided to trim his sails better and put his foot on the accelerator, so to say. Of course the Laser and the trimaran were already far ahead by then, so I took the red lantern once more - red sails - "red lantern".
As I approached Stralsund, the setting sun reflected off the sides of the new Rügen bridge (not sure whether this is glass or aluminium cladding) making it look as if someone had turned on bright floodlights on the bridge.
bridge reflections
The gleaming new bridge, which actually crosses over the island of Dänholm
The city was bathed in a soft reddish light - sadly the photograph does not do the real colours justice. The wind was decreasing, allowing me to tie the mainsheet and get out my phone to call home and confirm we were back. Pam said that she'd try to get off early as it was due to be another day of sweltering heat.
Stralsund in the evening
Stralsund on a summer evening
The wind was now blowing straight from Dänholm, forcing me to tack backward and forward near the Stralsund port entrance. It must also have generated a bit of a current under the bridges because my tacking brought me very little headway in the rapidly dying breeze so that I gave up in the end and rowed the final 200 m or so to the delight of the crowd of people standing on and around our slipway waiting to see the sunset and take pictures. A family was barbecueing on the little beach where Windwicht and Lümmel were normally parked. I apologized for spoiling the peaceful sunset atmosphere, but most of the "spectators" seemed to consider my arrival as welcome entertainment.
Charlotte and crew set off under outboard power to look for a piece of equipment that had gone overboard in the morning, relying on the faint chance that it might be in the shallows near our last "campsite/anchorage". It doesn't get really dark until around 22:30 in mid-summer in this area.
Journey's end
End of the the cruise
The boats being safe ashore, Tim soon had a large pot of noodles going that was food enough for all. On top of that the folks who'd been barbecueing left us some grilled salmon to share - a perfect trip's end dinner - washed down with a few beers.
To reduce the amount of work facing us the next day, I took down Puffin's rigging and folded and stowed the sails before enjoying a hot shower and turning in - my last night in a tent for a while.
Sunday, 5th July: My tent was in a shady place behind the Bistro and so I slept well until around 7:30. It was still cool, but the clear sky and light breeze seemed to say that the > 30°C forecast would be correct. I boiled a can of water and made myself a coffee, keeping the rest of the water in the thermos flask. It seemed silly to sit without a view by the tent, so I took my coffee out on the dock and enjoyed the view of the city. After the others had emerged from their respective sleeping quarters we had breakfast and started packing up the boats.
Pam arrived in the middle of the action and Puffin was soon on the car roof. We helped Ingo get the hull of the tri on its trailer, he said the amas (outriggers) were no problem.
After a farewell chat that dragged on a while, we set off across Usedom to Glewitz to get the ferry: a wonderful drive through tree-lined alleys in the rolling countryside. On the mainland side, Stahlbrode, we had a snack - my last "Fischbrötchen" for a while - before heading for the Autobahn. Unfortunately we ended up in a huge traffic jam and spent 2 hours in a stop-and-go queue of weekend travellers returning to Berlin from the lakes and surrounding countryside.
Puffin had developed some paint cracking and the keel tape is coming loose at one point - probably the hot sun her black bottom and a week's continuous sailing have taken their toll, so we took her off the car roof at home, not at "Auf der Hallig. She'll be staying in our garage until that's fixed.
She behaved very bravely and deserves a little TLC!.

62816inBerlin's picture

In case some of my readers did not know, the pictures are all around 1000 pixels wide. For Firefox users: if you'd like to see them in a larger scale, click right on the picture and select "show graphics" or similar (in German this says "Grafik anzeigen") in the context menu that opens.
I assume that other browsers have similar mechanisms.
The persons who took the pictures hold the copyrights. Please send me a personal message (see "contacts" on the front page) if you'd like to use any copies.
Gernot H.

62816inBerlin's picture

After someone challenged me about the seaworthiness of Mirror dinghies and my boat in particular, I couldn't resist the urge to put up a quick'n-dirty video clip compilation. Here's the URL:


Gernot H.

Someday you must come to Canada in the month of August when many OMDA sailors are at Killbear Provincial Park. I will introduce you to Aleid Brendeke who enjoys cruising so much he often goes out for 4-6 hour cruises before returning back to his campsite. I am sure you would enjoy joining him on one of his long cruises in Georgian Bay.

62816inBerlin's picture

Ingo Duwe, the gent who always seems to sit in his trimaran "Windwicht", doing nothing in particular (it's steered by pedals), has now collected, compiled and edited our video clips to make a "feature video" of this year's do. Here's the URL:
Some readers will have already seen it via the Facebook link.