Okej, so sue me. I'm Swedish and what are swedes known to do? Well, they talk about the weather and that is exactly what I'm going to do right now. Cause it's a fact that being outdoors everyday, paddling on the sea, we are in the hands of the weather gods. We are under their spell and there is nothing we can do to make them do a better job. But please, why can't they just give us a break!?!?!?
Of course we knew we would get a great variety of weather conditions on a trip like this, but three weeks into the trip we both agree on that we couldn't dream the weather would be such a big issue. Cause we've had lots of rain, strong winds, clouded skies and even more rain. The sun has done some short visits here and there, but not often enough to make us fully satisfied with it's appearance. But of course, you always want more sun don't you?
But I think the east coast has shown it's worst side to us. The winds have been unexpectedly strong and almost always from the south or the south east. Don't get me wrong here, we do like headwinds, it's just that sometimes they can be too difficult to handle when they stop you from doing what you really want to do, to be on your way. So after an extra day spent in Asaa, because of the bad weather, the mist arrived the morning we left Asaa and it kept us company during the whole day. But that also meant we had hardly no winds at all. Tjohooo! At Als Odde, 52 km later, we met Hans, the fisherman that is known by everyone in the area and who, of course knows everyone that spends time down in the harbour. According to Hans we could pitch our tent on the wooden decking of the local waterski club and when Kasper, a member of the club, showed up we were invited for a cup of tea and some chocolate chip cookies. An offer two hungry paddlers just couldn't refuse.
Then everything was back to "normal" the day after, with headwinds already from 7 in the morning, even if the weather forecast had promised light tailwinds. It was hard work to get to Bönnerup Strand and finally there, we went to see if there was anyone at the sailing club who would let us spend the night in their club house. We met a very helpful couple in the harbour who made a few phone calls and a pizza later, we could get a hot shower, dry our clothes and we got to spend the night in a warm house. During the night we woke up by heavy rain, thunder and lightning that lasted for quite some time. That made me feel even more happy about being inside that night. The thunder started again in the morning but we left the beach anyway, cause it was too far away to really cause us any trouble.
Continuing down the east coast of Jylland we passed Greenaa and stopped just before a forested hill called Jernhatten. There we saw a big white outhouse building. Since we knew there would be more rain that night we kept our fingers crossed that the building was abandoned, so we could pitch our tent inside for the night. It turned out to be even better than that. The building was in use, with lots of hey and swallows inside and it belonged to the farm just up the hill. So we met Ida, who was living there and she gave us permission to use the barn for the night and she even came down with a whole pot of hot tea, the best coffee so far on this trip and a handful of Toms chocolate!!! Lovely!
The plan for the next day was to do the crossing of Kattegatt, from the island of Hjelm to Själlands Odde. A crossing of about 35 km. We got up 4 in the morning and headed for Hjelm with a pretty good forecast to deal with. But just after an hour and a half, we are starting to realise the winds are getting stronger and the white horses are more and bigger than we want them to be. Okej, let's at least get to the island we agree. But an hour later, and just maybe 2 km from the island, we once again have to change our plan. We couldn't fight the wind any more so we turned our bows toward the mainland and ended up in Dråby strand after an hour and a half in the crosswind. Sitting on the beach, looking at the island from a distance, I now know how the climbers who have to turn around just a few hundred meters from the top of a mountain feel.
So, we now have the gale blowing and the rain pouring down outside the window of the cabin we're in at Dråby strand campsite. And it looks like it will continue for a few days, so we better get our books out and just relax until there will be an improvement in the weather. And I also think we need to buy more tea bags...