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Old 06-04-2015, 03:56   #1
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Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

Well folks, as we get closer and closer to summer, the moss in growing under my feet, so it’s getting time to move on. As initially planned a few years ago, this summer will be spent in the Baltic.

The attached picture shows the tentative route from our departure from Waterford in late May to our return in early October.

As planned, this voyage will be about 4100 nm with 72 legs spread over 130 days. A bit ambitious, but that’s us. While some of the major stops: Holland, last two weeks in June; East Germany, 4 July; Gdansk, 18 July; Riga, 24 July; Tallinn, 30 July & 15 Aug; Helsinki, 6 Aug; are hard wired in, pretty much everything in between is open and will be determined based on weather, seas and moods.

Our usual mode of travel is about 6.5 knots, consuming 1.5 gal/hr. or 4.2nm/gal (2 liters/km) so the total cruise will need about 1000 gallons, 4000 liters, of fuel. So will need to pick up about 300 gallons along the way, to get back to the UK, Ireland with near empty tanks.

Normally we like cruising one day, then stopping at the same place for two nights. By cruising every other day, it keeps the batteries up and in hot water for about half that time. I am in the process of putting the water heater and washer on the Inverter circuit. Thus we’ll have hot water on the non-motoring days.

For charts, I am using the Jepp C-Map charts running on Coastal Explorer, plus Navionics on my tablet and smart phone. I looking for some large scale paper charts to facilitate the long range planning.

Though we will have cell phone coverage most places, I will have our Delorme InReach running and on Dauntless 24/7 to keep a running track of our trip. I will also attempt to take better pictures, videos and document the trip better.

I really appreciate the postings of Dockhead and Carstenb on Cruisers Forum. Their information and enthusiasm about the Baltic have been contagious.

As always, I’m open to suggestions, but keep in mind that some places are locked and loaded and that no trip is ever perfect.

If anyone knows the price of fuel at the Brusnichnoye Lock on the Saimaa Canal, I’d love that information, but I won’t need to know it until the very end of July. That far eastern jaunt will probably be eliminated in any case, unless fuel is 33 cents a liter, as I do need to cut down some miles.
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:41   #2
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

Richard,

PM me your home e-mail and I will send you a route suggestion through eastern Denmark, specifically through Grønsund, Ulvesund and Bøgestrømmen. This is probably the prettiest sail in the country, you can anchor anywhere you like along the way and there are perhaps 10 marinas where you can tie up and visit the towns.

You won't regret it

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Old 06-04-2015, 05:23   #3
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

That looks like a fabulous trip. You have made a great choice of routes, and you will have a summer jam-packed with adventure. Let us know where you get to, and we might cross paths at some point and have a sundowner.

For fuel along that route you've got three good places I can recommend:

1. Guernsey, at the Boatworks fuel dock. It will be about 30% or 40% less than UK prices. Only 68p per liter today. That's only about $4 per U.S. gallon.

2. Helgoland, in the German Bight at the approaches to the Elbe estuary. Price similar to Guernsey, and the fuel is WHITE.

3. Vyborg, in Russia. You can have fuel trucked out to you, and this is probably the best price and best guaranty of quality. As of now, it costs a little over $500 per ton (which I guess is about 1100 liters), so less than 1/3 of the price in Scandinavia. It's the best quality diesel I've ever had in my boat.

I've heard about a trick for buying fuel at the Saimaa Canal lock (from the Cruising Association people), but I don't know how that could work without clearing in to Russia. If you figure it out, let us know. But in any case, if you get that far, you shouldn't just go to the Saimaa Canal, buy fuel, and turn around. That would be a crime!! You should either go on to Lake Saimaa, or stop off in Vyborg, or both. If you decide to go to Vyborg (highly recommended), let me know and I will give you detailed information about how to clear in and get berthing, and I'll introduce you to the marina manager there.

If possible, you should avoid buying fuel in Scandinavia, which was more than 1.60 Euros per liter last summer.

Another thing to pay a lot of attention to are charts. Passage planning is very difficult with the very complex water. I would suggest thinking about buying the paper leisure folios for Sweden and Finland, which are not that expensive. And/or raster charts for your PC (do you use OpenCPN?). There's another thread running right now about raster charts of the Baltic; it turns out from one Swedish publisher you can get all of Sweden and Baltic Finland for about 240 euros -- a good deal IMHO.

There's also NV Charts, who do a set for the whole Eastern Baltic including Estonia for 200 euros, including both paper and electronic raster charts.

The German and Polish coasts of the Baltic are much less complex, and probably don't require all that cartography. But the Northern coasts are crazy -- and you will want serious cartographic tools. Vector charts on a plotter are not nearly enough.

Cheers and good luck.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:42   #4
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

At the moment road pumps in Finland are charging around 1,35€/l for diesel but I guess you can have it cheaper if you buy a lot.

Best is to fill the boat in Estonia (around 1.10€/l) or in Russia which is by far the cheapest.

And Saimaa is in Finland if we are talking about the same lake


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Old 06-04-2015, 06:27   #5
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

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At the moment road pumps in Finland are charging around 1,35€/l for diesel but I guess you can have it cheaper if you buy a lot.

Best is to fill the boat in Estonia (around 1.10€/l) or in Russia which is by far the cheapest.

And Saimaa is in Finland if we are talking about the same lake
Yes, but the Saimaa Canal is in Russia

At least, the entrance and first 12 miles
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:20   #6
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

If you need any assistance when in Finland, let me know. I can try help as much as possible.


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Old 06-04-2015, 09:09   #7
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

To avoid the NW corner of Netherlands, go the north part of the Stande Mast Route as I proposed for Dockhead. Enter the channel in Harlingen and leave it in Lauersoog. That will not be much extra distance.

Helgoland is a good start point when you shall go in to Elbe. It’s always good to time the tidal water, and it’s easy to do that from Helgoland. I high season there can be cruddy. Once I was there, I hade eleven boots inside of me and tree outside.

When you have entered the Baltic, Fehmarn do not have and harbours for pleasure boots on its northern side.

I can only agree with Carsten that it’s a nice route to go via Gulborgsund. It’s a little tricky at the entrance outside Gedser. Especially the northern part, Bögeströmmen, I quite shallow, I think it is only 2.0 meter deep.

When you have passed Starlsund, you can take south in the river Penne. Then you pass south of Swinoujscie and come via Wolin up to Dziwnow. Wolin have a bridge with a sailing free height of 12 meters, but that should not be any problem for you.

On the way back, when you comes along the Swedish south coast, I am sorry to need to say avoid Smygehuck. The harbour is a big methane production basin, which can explode at any moment.

Next you come through Falsterbokanalen, my home harbour.

An alternative to Helsingborg is Gilleleje.

Over Kattegat I usually take via Anholt to Skagen. Anholt can be cruddy. Once when I began to approach Anholt, it looks like there was fog over the harbour. When I came closer I could see that it was boot masts. I could see that there was some boots that have anchored outside of the harbour. In the evening, I counted how many there were for anchor. 70 boots.

The way up to Olso is long.

Southwest of Oslo they have a famous part of their cost called Bildleya. It starts in Lillesand and reach almost to Kristansand.

You can start the tour over the North see already in Egersund and avoid the sandy beach of Jaeren.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:37   #8
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

If you stop at Anholt - it is a beautiful island, but as noted the harbour can be very crowded in the summer. The good news is that if you get up early and greet the fishing boats coming in you can buy a shopping bag full of fresh caught langustines for 15-20 euros (5kgs). Buy a baguette at the store and have your champagne already chilled and you can have the most wonderful breakfast of langustines, champagne and bread in your cockpit - it does not get better than that.

At Falsterbo, there is a good restaurant on the marina - or sail around the corner to Scanor - there are some good restaurants there also. Both Falsterbo and Scanor offer free bicycles for your use and it is quite pleasant to pedal around the area.

The islands of Bornholm and Christiansø are very nice to visit - In Svaneke there is a microbrewery that also has a restaurant - fantastic spare ribs.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:42   #9
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

Thanks All,

I will be keeping all these great suggestions in mind.

I don't know what you pay for fuel, but in Ireland, we don't pay very much.

I'm almost afraid to say how much, as you know those guys in Brussels need every cent they can get for their bureaucracy.

The Cruising Association has been quite good also. I am going to do a rally with them in eastern germany, starting 5 July.. and they have given good instructions about going thru the Saimaa canal. One does not need a VISA for the Russian portion, BUT you CAN NOT stop in Vyborg, but you can get fuel at the first lock.

the Lakes are supposed to be even more gorgeous, but I am running out of time.

Remember, I also have to deal with the three month Schengen issue.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:49   #10
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

A clarification. At the tip of the peninsula at the bottom of the southwest corner of Sweden is a community named Falsterbo. At the tip of the peninsula, just north of, is the community Skanör. Skanör have a harbour. The peninsula is named Falsterbonäset. 8 km in from the tip the peninsula have its narrowest place. There is the channel Falsterbokanalen. The channel is also a border between the two communities Höllviken and Ljunghusen. The bay on the north side of the channel is named Höllviken. It on this side that the harbour is. Therefore it is completely wrong to say that the harbour lays in Falsterbo. Myself says that it is in Höllviken, but one can also say that it is in Ljunhusen.
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Old 06-04-2015, 13:54   #11
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntlessny View Post
Thanks All,

I will be keeping all these great suggestions in mind.

I don't know what you pay for fuel, but in Ireland, we don't pay very much.

I'm almost afraid to say how much, as you know those guys in Brussels need every cent they can get for their bureaucracy.

The Cruising Association has been quite good also. I am going to do a rally with them in eastern germany, starting 5 July.. and they have given good instructions about going thru the Saimaa canal. One does not need a VISA for the Russian portion, BUT you CAN NOT stop in Vyborg, but you can get fuel at the first lock.

the Lakes are supposed to be even more gorgeous, but I am running out of time.

Remember, I also have to deal with the three month Schengen issue.
Ah, yes, if you are going on to Saimaa, then of course you can buy fuel at the locks. I was thinking of their trick about going just that far and turning around.

AFAIK, you will have to tie up to the customs dock in Vyborg in transit and clear in, even though you don't need a visa if you're not stopping. So you'll at least get a look at Vyborg castle The customs dock is almost under the ramparts.

Either Lake Saimaa, or Vyborg, are absolutely fantastic destinations -- so if you manage to have time, highly recommended. Russia will stop the Schengen clock.

Concerning Schengen, you should also keep in mind -- and maybe consider it in your routing -- that the Nordic countries do not count days spent in non-Nordic Schengen countries. So you could spend three months in Germany, and sail straight over to Sweden, and then you've got another three months in the Nordic countries. Something to keep in mind. There's a thread on this.
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Old 06-04-2015, 19:09   #12
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

All those points on the southern coast should be harbour stops!?!...way too many, and boring, imo
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:10   #13
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

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All those points on the southern coast should be harbour stops!?!...way too many, and boring, imo
Thank you for putting my guess into words.

I'll probably spend more time in Holland, I'll see how it goes. I must pick up friends in Gdansk and Riga, so no real point in getting there too early.

Also, the Schengen clock. Big issue. Yes, understood about Norway and Sweden, BUT the BFP is that when flying out of the continent, THEY do not recognize that.

So, just like the guy in France forever, no problem, unless you try to fly.
At which point, I can be denied entry for three years.

This is exactly what's wrong with bureaucracies. Thousands are pouring over the southern borders, while they keep me out because i want to spend money in their country.

This applies equally to USA and Europe.
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Old 13-04-2015, 02:40   #14
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

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Thank you for putting my guess into words.

I'll probably spend more time in Holland, I'll see how it goes. I must pick up friends in Gdansk and Riga, so no real point in getting there too early.

Also, the Schengen clock. Big issue. Yes, understood about Norway and Sweden, BUT the BFP is that when flying out of the continent, THEY do not recognize that.

So, just like the guy in France forever, no problem, unless you try to fly.
At which point, I can be denied entry for three years.
.
That's why you have to fly out of Stockholm or Copenhagen There are cheap flights out of CH on Norwegian back to safety, I mean, the non-Schengen world like the UK.

You can go in transit through the Kiel Canal without clearing into Germany, by the way. There's some signal you have to show. That's in case you're leaving the Baltic that way from Scandinavia and have exhausted your Schengen days from the point of view of the non-Nordic countries.

Rather than spending more time in Holland, consider spending some time on the East coast of Sweden first.

Like someone above noted -- you will go crazy trying to daysail all the way to the Eastern Gulf of Finland. You will be much happier if you knock back most of the miles in a few long passages, then spend time to see a few areas in depth. This kind of a basic principle of tourism, anyway.

Some of the many areas in the Baltic most worth spending time in depth on, in my opinion, are:


Stockholm Archipelago
Archipelago Sea (the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia, between Sweden and Finland, including Aaland)
Whole Gulf of Finland, including the S. Coast of Finland and the Russian Baltic

The South Coast of the Baltic is sandy and relatively featureless. Southern and Eastern Sweden and Finland are rocky and places of awesome natural beauty.

So having only Schengen-rationed time, you might want to dawdle in the Archipelagos -- roughly from Kalmar all the way to Vyborg.

Then on the way back (or the other way around, if it's better for Schengen purposes), stop in just a few ports on the other side -- Tallinn, Riga, Gdansk, Luebeck maybe -- with long passages between to knock out the miles.

You will kick yourself if you see the Stockholm Archipelago for the first time and realize you can't stop and spend time there.

Then, the largest and most interesting city by far on the Baltic is St. Petersburg -- it's definitely a bucket list place to go, especially during White Nights (a couple of weeks either side of the summer solstice). And Vyborg is probably the most atmospheric port in the Baltic. St. Petersburg could be visited maybe not by boat, but by air some time, but Vyborg is really worth sailing to. You would rather skip something in Holland and do an extra overnight or two, in order to have time to see Vyborg, believe me.

Tallinn and Riga are both extremely interesting, but not all that much between them or on that coast worth seeing.

Copenhagen is one of the world's most beautiful cities, and there is supposed to be a lot to do on the various Danish coasts, but it's a little out of the way if you're trying to get to the other side of the Baltic and back.


There. For what it's worth. You're in a motor vessel, so you don't need to turn this into a grind of endless day sails. I would choose a few areas you want to see in depth, and crank out a few hundred miles at sea at a time between them.


By the way, in a smallish motor vessel you will find the short, steep head seas in the Baltic to be brutal and maybe unnavigable. So you should allow time for waiting it out when you have strong wind in an unfavorable direction. Or change plans and switch directions. The sea states in the Baltic in brisk weather are nothing like the high rolling seas of the Atlantic. I think there's usually a period of sustained high pressure and calm during the high part of summer, but by August you can have brisk weather or even gales every day; September even more so.
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Old 13-04-2015, 03:28   #15
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Re: Dauntless Cruise Plan - Baltic 2015

Just sailed from Copenhagen to Sønderborg (lying there now) got hit along the way with force 9-10 winds and 3 meter high waves that came so qujickly they simply ran over the boat.

air temp between 8-10 degrees - what fun

Finding the harbour where we had never been and docking at midnight was entertaining to say the least

smallish motor vessels can find the blatic wave patterns a bit brutal if the weather goes nutty, which usually occurs a couple of times per year
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