Faster than estimated we reach the border between Sweden and Germany. It feels good to set up the guestcountry flag and we are looking forward to enter the Swedish coast and meet its typical Northern inhabitants. As a tradition which already started in Denmark we celebrate setting up the guest flag by listening to the national anthem and thinking about the country we are heading to and its culture.
After two days of good wind and many nautical miles behind us, the wind is slowing down like every evening before. We start the night watches as usual. In our crew that means: about 1830 – 2230 Janos, 2230 – 0230 Leo, 0230 – 0530 Janos, 0530 – 0830 Leo. In the first watch a Cumulonimbus comes in sight. Those clouds are the mightiest clouds that are known in the world. They contain more than 100 million tons of water and are respectfully avoided by ships and planes. Turning winds much higher than 12 Beaufort can be found in and below that cloud. Next to that they can be the cause for a temperature drop of up to 20°C in a few moments. Especially dangerous are upwards winds which can be developed by the Cumulonimbus. Sometimes they are up to 20 kilometers high and look really frightening. In reasons of seamanship we reduce sails and keep sharp lookout for the cloud. After two hours it passes us many miles ahead and we can set up to full sail again and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
In the night the wind is giving way for a typical sunny windless day. We have about one Beaufort from the aft and we try the trade wind sails for the first time. This configuration works very well, we wish to not have forgotten the spinnaker-boom but even without we can sail up to 60 degrees to the wind direction at almost wind speed.