Wismar is a beautiful town with clean wide pedestrianised cobble or set streets and some truly fascinating architecture. Buildings from original designs have been rebuilt spledidly since the war and the whole atmosphere is one of afluence and confidence. The pictures in the album "In the Baltic" do a much better job of describing the wonder of it all than my vocabulary can.
Casting off this morning from the nice West Hafen in Wismar we set off down the long approach channel turning this way and that. The wind gradually increased and the visibility deteriorated. After an hour and about 7nm on the fog became thick and rather than face this for four hours we turned back. The fog gradually thinned and with improved vis it seemed fair to try again so we turned 180deg back to our original course.
A largish ship was approaching in the narrow entrance channel, visible on both AIS and radar, and finally loomed out perhaps a couple of hundred meters just on the port bow. We pressed on and as we made the next turn towards the north the seas became moderate, the vis deteriorated and the wind started to increase. With visibility down to less than 100m and 20kn of wind coming from where we wanted to go I felt we could do better than put up with a pretty horrid passage of some 30nm to windward so we turned once more and headed back. We had motored out 8nm and returned a further 8nm to our now familiar berth in Wismar West Hafen after 2:20hrs away.
We are no longer the only foreign boat here as a lovely wooden Dutchman we overtook in the Kiel canal last week has arrived. It was 15deg and overcast while we were out but the sky has now cleared somewhat and the temperature improved but thunder storms are predicted for tonight and the next few days are "not good for sailing" my new German neighbour has just confirmed.