Day 4: Heligoland – Brunsbüttel, 9.5 hours, 55 nm, departure: 9:40am
Day 5: Brunsbüttel – Giselau Kanal, 4.5 hours, 40 nm, departure: 9:45am
Day 6: Giselau Kanal – Kiel, 8 hours, 60 nm, departure: 9:30am
Leaving Germany’s only offshore island Heligoland, we head for Kiel. Given the roughly 100 km landmass in-between, boats have two choices. Either making a detour of about 240 nm (440 km) passing the northern tip of Denmark, or crossing the NOK (Nord- Ostkanal or Kiel Kanal). Rather strong winds made us go for the latter.
First, we sailed up the river Elbe which looks much more like a lake or a fjord than a river in the beginning. Strong tidal currents pushed the Maranea up the river at record speeds all the way to Brunsbüttel, where all boats have to go through a lock, or alternatively, continue in the direction to Hamburg.
We spent a night in a small harbor right after the Brunsbüttel lock. The propeller of many passing container ships made the water vibrate so that we could feel it On Maranea. The ships seem to say: Don’t get in our way…
Then came a long, leisurely ride to a side arm of the NOK called Giselau Kanal. We wondered whether we should spend a night there. But right after turning into the channel, an incredibly calm and peaceful landscape with exuberant bird chirping opened in front of us. We stayed.
After a good night of sleep on steady Maranea, we continued to Kiel, enjoying homemade chickpea curry on the way. We had one more lock to pass at the end of the channel and spent the night at the beautiful Kiel-Hagenau harbor.