On a sunny afternoon in May 2014 it got a little crowded in a Dehler 31’s cockpit. That was, however, exactly what we had in mind. It was the start of a wonderful sailing week in the Danish South Sea.
The idea was quite simple: Two days of getting to know the boat, family sailing and relaxing on the water. Then reducing crew size and heading off to adorable Danish islands, enjoying some brilliant sailing in Denmark. Simple plan, simple actions (one tends to think).
We started off with the usual activities when chartering a boat: Handover, shopping food and drinks for the week, unpacking bags and playing around with the electronic equipment. Luckily – and that was exactly what we had been looking for – availability of this electronic paraphernalia was very limited: GPS, radio, small fridge, lights. Nothing else. Perfect.
When spending time sailing an old “15er Jollenkreuzer” (wooden dinghy cruiser, P-Boot), and that in a beautiful setting like the Havel Lakes, you can very easily forget the noisy and fast living high-tech world.
What is it that makes sailing in an old, wooden boat such a pleasure and joy? Maybe its history, being older than the sailor itself. Or the material it is made of, wood, a renewable resource that has been used for centuries. Those are just two reasons out of many for choosing to travel with an old wooden dinghy cruiser.
Here is the beauty I had the pleasure of spending two long weekends with. This type of boat that keeps me dreaming about longer journeys in a dinghy cruiser, in a simple fashion:
Class: 15er Jollenkreuzer (aka P-Boot, cabin dinghy cruiser)
Length: 6,50 m
Beam: 2,50 m
Draught: 0,20 / 1,15 m
Displacement: 550 kg
Wind almost perfect, lots of sunshine, good company and excellent food. There is hardly anything else you can ask for when sailing a 18 ft boat in the Lübecker Bucht (Luebeck Bight) for a very long weekend.
How is that for starting a sailing weekend: air temperature 28° C, wind 2 bft, blue sky, and the forecast not seeing any major change coming. The only unknown for us (two chaps) was the boat, a Varianta 18, which we both had not sailed before.
A couple of days sailing in Denmark can make such a difference. And being on a tiny sailing boat while cruising the mighty seas of this planet automatically brings a major danger along with it: You could get addicted to this kind of sailing.
Capriole had been my sailing boat (well, enlargened dinghy) for three years already before I went on this trip along the beautiful Danish island of Als, near the fjord of Flensburg. For sailing on the Baltic Sea, or rather sailing along the coasts of Germany and Denmark, Capriole was a rather tiny example of a sailing boat.