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Rolling thunder: Starling heads east in the Baltic

Posted in : Starling

There’s not much that makes one feel as insignificant and powerless as being on the open sea when thunder and lightning is all around the boat. The loud boom and menacing rumble never ceases to send a shiver of anticipation down a crew’s spine and the sharp white scar of a lightning strike a couple of miles away hitting the sea is as good a reminder as any that, out on the open ocean, Neptune and his fellow gods rule the roost and we can only sit tight and take what’s coming. The mix of warm air and small low pressure systems coming through is leading to quite a few electrical storms, but this time we were lucky and it passed a few miles ahead of us. It came with near gale force winds however, which coming from behind gave us a wonderfully fast sail around the German island of Fehmarn and down to the old Hanseatic port of Rostock. Having set off in airless hot sun, the driving rain and wind came as quite a contrast and with 40-50° wind shift as mini front after mini front went through, the crew were learning the art of heavy wind gybing apace. With reef 1 in the main and yankee 1 and a good 30 knots of wind, Starling was as happy as could be and we sped along at great speed, with a flat boat and flat seas. After 7 or 8 hours and a hearty spaghetti dinner just before arrival, we found ourselves at the entrance to Rostock port. Big container ships and Ro-ro ferries passed all around or were at the dockside bing loaded and unloaded, and we motored the 7nm down river in the last of the evening light before docking in the town quay. A crew trip ashore was most definitely called for after such a great day of sailing and we soon found a lovely little German hostelry for a cold beer. Last night, the crew slept as soundly as they ever could and it is only now at 0900 that everyone’s up and about, ready for a day of touristing in Rostock. Happy days on our Baltic Explorer 2019 expedition!