A short run today, but one where we needed to get the tide right. Frum Cuxhaven to Brunsbüttel is only 15 miles or so, but with the speed of the tides along the Elbe, we wanted it with us and not against us. So, we had a leisurely start and left SVC Cuxhaven at 13.35 after lunch. A quick fill-up of diesel and we headed out into the murk. It wasn’t quite raining but it felt as if it was thinking about it, but being indecisive; grey, overcast and generally oppressive. With little wind initially we started out motoring but the breeze got up after an hour and so out came the jib. With the wind from the NNE and about a F3 we managed around 5.5 knots through the water which was over 7 knots over the ground. Just over two hours after leaving we were taking the jib in and heading straight for the lock. A single white occulting light showed that we were clear to go more or less straight in – the only hold-up being the number of other boats trying to do the same thing.
An occulting light somehow seemed an appropriate description as getting into the lock unscathed felt like it needed mystical powers. We squeezed in and were then encouraged to warp ourselves along one boat to try and squeeze another yacht in at the end. Somehow it all worked though it was a relief to get out the other side. The relief was temporary as we then started the game of dodgems required to get into Brunsbüttel marina. I waved at the boat behind that I was planning to turn and go alongside a Hallberg-Rassy but by the time I started the turn they were already alongside it …. The equivalent I guess of towels on deck chairs …. So, a quick change of plan and we went alongside a very nice Danish boat who it turned out was heading off down to the Mediterranean long-term cruising.