Halfway along the canal we anchored outside Rensburg, alone in a peaceful little bay with forested shore and glassy water. It had been a long 36 hours and we collapsed early to bed. Such a familiar feeling for us both.
After the 180 mile trip from Delfzijl – down the Ems estuary into the North Sea, north along the string of offshore German islands and up the Elbe (speed 3 kts, against the current) to Brunsbuttel, and then 20 miles along the canal – we were tired. But I had forgotten the delight of passing so many great ships in the canal.
It was, as promised, a dry ship. My one solecism – during the long trip up the Elbe against the tide I had been scolded for having polished off a small bottle Sav Blanc. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
There followed a lazy morning – abed with coffee, reading and listening to the parade of shipping sliding past, before finally taking the plunge into the canal’s brackish waters and setting off for Kiel. BlueDove’s new windlass accepted her ageing 5/16 chain without demur.