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Hamm, 23/6/2019



Half year's report about our sailing season 2019



Dear friends



We are already in the middle of the sailing season 2019. We said goodbye to Potsdam with a heavy heart and left on 2 April 2019 to explore the Emsland. A hot weekend gave us some time for a half-year review and this newsletter to share with you our recent experiences:

It was not easy to say goodbye to our three-time winter location. For a whole month, we said goodbye to the friends in Potsdam and Berlin. Every time we walked through a street, every time we visited a shop or museum, church or castle, jogging through the parks of Sanssouci and Babelsberg: everywhere we realized that it was the last time. Remains the hope that we will have the time to see these beautiful people and places again.



On the way from Spandau to Brandenburg we were accompanied by Hans and Sabine, our friends from Eisenhüttenstadt.

In the old port of Rathenow Michael as harbor manager surprised us with a particularly friendly reservation of our reserved mooring.

To our great regret we had to acknowledge at the end of the year that Michael died on December 2nd, 2019.


We said goodbye to the friends we had met one year ago: Michael and Monika having a barbeque in their home together; Hans, Karin, Dirk and Dorothee coming for a brunch on the terrace of Dagens 2. Also Ralf and Gisela from Hohen Neuendorf near Oranienburg came by for a farewell visit, which ended in the nearby restaurant "Alter Hafen" with a delicious evening meal.

During our stopover in Bülstringen Brigitte and Hans-Georg as well as Heinrich and Karin did not hesitate to take us in their cars for a day trip to the historical cities of Quedlinburg and Eisleben Lutherstadt, before we had a brunch next day on board of our ship on the way from Bülstringen to Wolfsburg where we said good-bye. On the way, Brigitte took her professional skills out of the box and rejuvenated Bernadette's haircut.

For the sailing season 2019 we have set two goals. On our journey we wanted to discover two regions of Germany that are still completely unknown to us, namely the Emsland and the Ruhr area. In September, we will participate in the Friesland rally of the Swiss Club of inland hobby skippers in Woudsend / Heeg (south of Sneek) and then sail comfortably via the Randmere to Amsterdam, where we have reserved a winter mooring place in the yacht harbor Twellegea north of the central railway station "Amsterdam Centraal".

The Emsland is already behind us and we are on the verge of diving into the Ruhr area. Here are a few impressions and experiences from the Emsland:


The Emsland is located in the northwest of Lower Saxony and is bordered to the west by Holland. The course of the stream Ems forms the backbone of this region and the catchment area of its tributaries the spread in the area.

Flat marshland with intensive agricultural use pairs economically with a strong connection to the seafaring industry.

It is the land where the rhododendrons bloom. Especially in June, ramparts of flowering rhododendrons line the houses, gardens and borders of the streets.


Our friend Gabriele from Potsdam and her sister were on board when we sailed from Bremen over the two tidal waters Weser and Hunte to Oldenburg. The following day, Gabriele took us by car to her parents' house in Varel, to let us see where she grew up. Her retired father as a longtime local pastor led us personally through "his" church. Together with her mother we drove to Dangast and looked over the Jade Bay, which had fallen dry at low tide, as far as Wilhelmshaven. Finally, Gabriele surprised us with the Rhododendron Park of Westerstede. On 70 hectares, it is not only Germany's largest rhododendron park, but is also considered by experts as one of the largest and most beautiful in Europe. On the 2.5 km long circular path we moved three of us - under the umbrella - from one flowering tree to the other. Here are some pictures:




On the onward journey from Oldenburg over the coastal channel "Küstenkanal" to Papenburg we were warmly welcomed in the marina Surwold in Börgermoor for an overnight stay. We had to use all our driving skills with Dagens 2 to get the curve in front of the marina. To the astonishment of everybody around, we managed the entrance without outside assistance and we spent a very quiet night. Actually, we would have liked to stay longer with these nice people, but our curiosity about the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg let us travel on.


Papenburg has a tide-dependent system for the lock-up of pleasure boats. On our arrival in front of the sea lock shortly after 2 o'clock pm we had to wait until 7 o'clock pm for the next entry into the lock. The water level at the waiting pontoon for sport boats at low tide dropped below 1 meter. Dagens 2 with draft of 1.4 meter would fall dry and be tilted sideways. With a spacer on a large dolphin we saved ourselves from it and could remain in open water.


95 km away from the coast of the North Sea, the Meyer shipyard in the interior of the country builds the largest cruise liners for global shipping companies. With the continuous modular construction, the shipyard manages to assemble 2 to 3 of these ships per year in its halls. Together with its suppliers, it is the largest employer in Emsland.


For an outlet of a fully built giant the Ems water at high tide must be kept inland for 48 hours by the barrage at Gandersum. The cruise ship must be pulled and pushed backwards to the seaport of Emden with powerful push boats. The Ems transfer attracts thousands of spectators each time. To minimize the draft during the Ems transfer, the ship will not be equipped before Emden with all movable utensils and furniture. Then it is handed over to the customer.


From our berth in the Papenburger Deverhafen we first visited the city of Papenburg with its handsome brick town hall, the two city churches, the Dutch windmill and the parks, including the Stadtgracht, which is spanned by drawbridges as a course of various construction techniques.





The tour through the Meyer shipyard was professionally organized from start to finish. All you had to do was book a start time at the tourist office and be on time for the shuttle bus. It was an impressive show and a memorable insight into the pampering and entertainment world of the big cruise ships. The "Spirit of Discovery" stood in the final assembly and provided a clear view of the working world in the ship yard through the spectator window. The ship was transferred on the night of 26 to 27 mai 2019 from Papenburg to Emden, which was captured on film and is available on YouTube for the interested reader.

Interesting detail: Only new cruisers are being built in Papenburg. For repairs and maintenance the transfer over the Ems back and forth would be too expensive.

Despite all the positive impressions of these luxury liners: We stay with our Dagens 2 and continue to enjoy it.


Our next destination was Leer, where we spent the rest of the month of May in the well-equipped City Marina, well looked after by harbor master Haijo Akkermann. Leer is one of the most welcoming cities in our current experience horizon. Even the caretakers of the public space came, shook our hands and welcomed us to Leer. In and around Leer, we let our eyes wander and visited many interesting places.


The castle Evenburg surprised us with an exhibition of historic bicycles from their invention to the present and with a spring festival in the park.

While Bernadette traveled to Switzerland for mother's day, a dragon boat race took place in the harbor basin in front of our berth.


On the bike we visited the Fehnland, where for decades peat had been dug up for heating purposes and which is crossed by a fine-meshed network of small water channels for the purpose of peat removal. On this tour, Bernadette successfully tried out an e-bike, which we were able to rent at the tourist office in Leer for a reasonable price. It was a fresh day, what you can see on our clothes.


Leer is a picturesque town with numerous historic houses, such as the house of the wine shop Wolff in the middle of the pedestrian area. On the ground floor, wine and schnapps are still being sold in the historic shop. The animating Low German wall phrase is called:

Söte Melk is för de Kinner
Sweet milk is for the kids

Sure Melk is för de Swien
Sour milk is for the pigs

Water supen Peer un Rinner
Water booze horse and cattle

Doch för ons gaff Gott de Wien.
But for us God gave the wine.

On the first floor, the company shows the former private rooms of the merchant family. The entry hereto can only be found when entering the business premises. Hidden, but fine!



With a day trip by train and ferry we got to know the East Frisian island Borkum. We climbed up the 308 steps to the observation deck of the New Lighthouse. It was worth it and on the way down in window niches on picture panels we learned about the beacon technology in the area of the Ems estuary.


From May 30 to June 2, 2019, the Matjestage took place in Emden, a tradition of more than 450 years of Emder herring fishing, with many historic ships from home and abroad, with shanty choirs, fairgrounds, the Matjes run competition for all ages, and much, much herring in all types of preparation.

Together with our friends Wilfried and Elke from Berlin / Minden we strolled together on Saturday through the fair, visited a historic Seenotkreuzer (rescue ship), had a look at the Kesselschleuse (lock with in and outs in four directions) and tasted in the museum restaurant Matjes-filet with potatoes and salad.



On the way back to Leer, we visited the Ems barrage at Gandersum, which keeps the storm flood out to prevent floods in the Emsland, and on the other hand keeps the water on high tide in the inland on demand of the Meyer shipyard, as soon as a big cruise ship has to leave Papenburg and reach deep waters of the North Sea.


With the tasting of an East Frisian tea mixture from the trading house Bünting we rounded off our visit to the tea museum of Leer. We were astonished to note that the tea-bag with which we make our tea in the most natural way today, was first invented in the fifties of the last century, that is about the same age as us.

Oh, there is so much more left to tell about Leer!

On June 4, 2019, we saw for the last time how the lift section of the Dr.-vom-Bruch bridge, which crosses the harbor in Leer, took off. We said goodbye to the Seeschleuse Leer. From there we seek for our next destination: the Ruhr area. We are happy that several of our friends share our interest and will travel with us for a few days this summer.


Curious about everything that awaits us, we greet you warmly.

On October 1, 2019, we expect to arrive at the Marina Twellegea in Amsterdam and will stay there for the winter months.






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