After our stay in Helsingør, we sailed north out of the Øresund into the Kattegat and westwards along the north coast of Zealand. Weather dictated we sail just in the mornings, so we stopped over at the fishing port of Gilleleje and then tucked into the large Isefjord for a pleasant afternoon at anchor.
The wind was forecast to strengthen the next day and we had prepared the staysail for use. It certainly makes things easier in a blow. We reached the port of Odden, which lies on the long thin spit jutting out from Zealand. There were joint Danish-British naval firing exercises off shore and we had to creep along close inshore to avoid the closed areas.
From Odden we passed though a narrow gap at the end of the spit and had an excellent sail 42nm westwards to the city of Aarhus on the Jutland peninsular. With lighter winds in prospect, we had de-rigged the staysail, so we were able to set the spinnaker for the last hours when light SE winds called for it.
Aarhus is an ancient city, dating from a Viking settlement in the 8thC. Today it is Denmark’s second city and its largest port. It has taken a rather different approach to its heritage. In the early years of the 1900s it moved its old buildings (many dating from the 1500s) into a new area now known as Dem Gamle By “the old city”. Here they have been joined by old buildings from elsewhere to form an open air museum. It is a very popular visitor attraction. During the day, there is a charge for admission and the crafts and businesses represented in the buildings are manned. Out of hours, the whole area is left open and we were free to wander around and peer into the windows.
We berthed in the sailing clubs harbour – there are two sailing clubs, a motor boat club and the Aarhus International Watersports Centre. There was sailing activity every day we were there, with racing each evening – no doubt making the most of the light summer evenings.
The move of the old buildings has left the city free to develop in a modern way unencumbered way. The waterfront is undergoing major developments with large areas for taking in the sun or swimming. Close by the harbour where we were berthed, a vast development of apartments is taking place. Although some apartments have roof gardens and even greenhouses on their roofs, concrete dominates, softened by a few trees. It is a brave experiment, but a far cry from the wooded suburbs and the famous Danish hyggelig – in our opinion.
Northwards from Aarhus
Aarhus lies in a deep bay and getting out and to the next port over 40nm northwards was something of a challenge, given the weather this spring. However, this season we have access to the forecasts from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) through the Windy app and it is proving very good. Not only does it help us to determine which day to sail but even the time of day. On the passage from Aarhus we were able to arrive off the Sletterhag headland just as the wind turned SE and we then had a three hour spinnaker run up to Grenaa, where we stopped overnight.
The next day was another good passage to the Mariager Fjord. This fjord runs some 20nm inland. We picked up a visitor’s buoy not far in and settled down for a pleasant evening – but thunder rain drove us below into the cabin.
Next day we had a good sail to just off Hals, where we picked up another visitor’s buoy in an anchorage protected by some flat sandbanks. This is at the eastern entrance to the Limfjord, which we will enter tomorrow. Thus we will, reluctantly, be leaving the Baltic and the Kattegat. Once through the Limfjord we will emerge into the North Sea and our first tidal salt waters for three years!
Our track this season can be seen here.
Tony & Ynskje