Some call it pond, for others it is already an ocean. Quite a lot of folks hardly know where exactly it is, and some sailors never even dream of leaving its sailing grounds. The Baltic Sea can be described in many ways, some of them are “gorgeous, diversified, underestimated”. As for me: I love it.
The Baltic Sea is the largest brackish inland sea on the planet, covering 412.500 square kilometres. The deepest you could dive (theoretically) is 459 metres, the average depth, however, is only 55 metres. Along its coastline of 8.000 km something between 50-85 million people are living. That was it already with facts and figures, let’s move on to the interesting stuff.
Baltic Sea Sailing
One of the main advantages of sailing on the Baltic Sea is its tidal independence. Or, in a very different wording: you can sleep, get up, have breakfast, start sailing. Noo need to check whether there is enough water or not. Tides can hardly be noticed, it varies between absolutely nothing and something like 30 cm. Very strong winds can change that a fair bit, of course, and can cause quite some confusion and discomfort in old, romantic mini-harbours as well as in modern marinas.
Generations of sailors have used the Baltic Sea for making their sailing dreams come true. Be it with cruising, racing, family vacation or simply getting away from it all for a while. One of my big dreams, THE BIG ONE where I would certainly try to kick myself at the age of 87 if I had not done it until then, is to sail around (circle) the Baltic Sea. I would love to spend something like 4-6 months exploring countries, islands, soaking in local atmosphere, culture, tons of local food. Plus – of course – be on a yacht and do some sailing. Planned start date: Oh well…
Until then I will continue with smaller adventures. That includes long weekend with a small boat and e-motor (Varianta 18) or a week of sailing between the islands South of Fyn on a Dehler 31. To shorten the time until THE BIG ONE I might also do some canoeing along the coasts of the Baltic Sea. Every year I spend quite a few weekends and weeks on Als, savouring some friends’ hospitality in their summer cottage. This is the ideal location for getting the canoe in the water, get some exercise paired with lots of fresh air (and not a sunburn, hopefully).
There are, of course, lots of other options and opportunities between THE BIG ONE and weekend sailing. One fine example is Øvind’s three week sailing trip in the Southern part of the Danish Baltic Sea. This was not all about sunshine, swimming trunks and party. But it mainly included single-handed sailing with some navigational challenges.
Baltic Sea Hiking
Thousands of kilometres, hundreds of trails along or near the shores of the Baltic Sea. In addition to that, tons of beautiful islands and their ever changing scenery make hiking and exploring landscapes a very diversified activity.
After hiking on Fehmarn for a couple of really great days, my taste for walking along or near the Baltic Sea coast has increased dramatically. On the top of my list for hiking trails to be checked out is the so-called “Ostseeküstenwanderweg” (Baltic Sea Coast Hiking Trail). It runs from Ahlbeck to Luebeck, 400 km, mostly right next to the Baltic Sea. It is part of the E9 European long distance path – and I’d very much love to get this one done and tackle the entire E9 later on (5.000 km – I don’t think so…).
More islands and trails are on my wish-list. And the good news (for me) is: also the island of Als offers some fantastic trails. Lots of tiny roads, woods, beaches, villages are there for me to be discovered. I could really do with winning the lottery so work would not interfere with all those sailing, hiking and travel plans.
Baltic Sea – not finished yet
There are lots of topics I could continue writing about regarding the Baltic Sea. Same as there are tons of different activities to be followed along its coasts and countries. Sailing, hiking, cycling, diving, cleaning beaches, reducing pollution, old-timer racing, checking out the difference between Finish, Russian and Polish vodka… I guess I need to prioritise.
All of my articles with relation to the Baltic Sea can be found here. Just let me know in case you would like to add something yourself.
Have a great start in 2016!!