It was interesting to see our lattitude decrease for the first time in a couple of weeks as we sailed south eastwards towards the old Hanseatic city of Wismar. Our departure from Burgstaaken on the island of Fehmarn was tinged with regret.
The marina we were on was an old boatyard add-on and a little tired, ashore was just an old boatyard but once out the small haven there was a bustle of activity with fishing boats unloading and yachts coming and going. Coming on low loaders from nearby sheds - huge warehouses - where the boats had been stored for the winter…over a thousand of them! Going because once reunited with their masts space had to be made for the next one. While walking around the fish quay I looked over the water and noticed a boat just launched called "Mixed Emotions". Having completed our walk and acquired a couple of cases of beer we went around to that boat, knocked, and asked the owner if he had owned the boat for long. He looked at me strangely and replied "about twenty years". I then told him he was in Lossiemouth five years ago and was tied up behind us on Armed Forces Day (we had a fantastic Red Arrows display that day) and the light came on. We chatted for a while and then he too left the quay and moored just behind us. That evening we had a convivial time over a drink and exchange of goods. He gave us his spare charts of the Netherlands and mentioned the only thing he had forgotten was his ensign, by odd coincidence I had a full size Dutch ensign which was duly handed over. He was thrilled and was flying it the next morning, once again properly dressed.
Our sail down to Wismar,through the U-Boat training area (22m deep), was cool but relaxed and as the wind fell behind us in the approaches some 18nm off shore we started the engine and motored the last three hours into the large busy port with a big shipyard, several wharfs unloading timber, and some very elaborate brick architecture all visible from our approach,
The West Hafen marina is a neat and tidy affair with very little immediately to hand but the books says we are but a short walk from the centre of interest which we explore over the next few days.