We have bought a ship

Our ship: The Lykke

9 tons of 40-year-old steel and 75 hp: The Lykke is our new ship and at the same time our start into a new adventure.

We discovered the ship in Hamburg at the beginning of June and already fell in love during the first inspection. The Lykke (Danish for "luck") is a Dutch steel displacement vessel and was built in 1980 by the Gruno shipyard. The model name is "Kruiser" but we have not yet found out the exact model number. Is it possibly a unique piece? We do not know.

From Hamburg to Castrop-Rauxel

The previous owner was a member of a motor yacht club in Hamburg and had a berth there which we unfortunately could not take over due to the purchase. Moorings are generally very rare at the moment which (like so many things) is also related to the Corona situation. This has brought a small renaissance to boating.

On Tuesday, June 28, the time had come: the right time window for the transfer was there. Weather and wind fit and low tide was set for 12 o'clock in Hamburg. We wanted to reach our first lock in Geesthacht with the rising tide. Peter from the yacht school R├╝nthe accompanied us the first leg from Hamburg to the lock in Scharnebeck, because we already had a lot of respect for the Elbe. The tides, water levels and professional skippers we did not trust ourselves alone.

Mit dem Boot ├╝ber die ElbeTo say it in advance: all our concerns were unnecessary. The section across the Elbe was very relaxed. The weather was terrific and far and wide not even a professional ship was to be seen. The incoming water "accelerated" the Lykke to a breathtaking 15 Km/h until Geesthacht.

After the lock in Geesthacht we continued on the Elbe for a few kilometers until we turned into the Elbe-Seitenkanal shortly before Lauenburg. After half an hour we had to take a forced break: the lock keeper of the Scharnebeck ship lift told us that we could not be locked until the next morning. So we moored in the underwater of the boat lift and prepared for the night. For Peter the trip ended here: he disembarked and went back to Bergkamen by car.

Unterwasser Schiffshebewerk Scharnebeck
Unser Warten im Unterwasser des Schiffshebewerks wird mit einem wunderbaren Sonnenuntergang belohnt.

A relaxed trip on the Elbe side canal

The next morning, at 7:30 a.m., the lock keeper called us by radio. We had to be quick: we were supposed to enter the lift right behind the next commercial ship. A little surprised, we left our breakfast, started the engine and cast off the lines.

The ship lift L├╝neburg Scharnebeck is a gigantic construction. If you stand in the underwater like we did and want to go up, this oversized ship elevator looks monstrous. The entrance gates, on the other hand, look microscopically small from a distance. If one would not see already the professional ship driving in with the approach, one would get surely doubts whether one fits at all with its boat in. But fortunately everything fits and as monstrous as the lift looks, it is easy to navigate: Drive in, dock, moor and wait. No hectic changing of lines and no current. The 20-minute trip can be used very well to lean back and enjoy the spectacle.

Blick aus dem Trog des Schiffshebewerks L├╝neburg Scharnebeck

We were looking forward to the rest of the trip on the Elbe-Seitenkanal: lots of nature, dense forests and small, cozy villages. Then there was the luck with the weather: we had sunshine throughout at almost 30 degrees.

A tip: Be sure to moor in Bad Bodenteich. There is a larger mooring for sport boats with very good infrastructure. For a few euros you can buy a card in the Edeka market in town to activate the shore power columns. You are on the canal in the middle of the forest and a forest outdoor pool is only a few minutes walk away. The pier has such a good reputation that you regularly find boaters from half of Europe there. On our passage there we met Dutchmen, Danes, Norwegians and Brits. A colorful bunch with interesting stories.

Schwimmpoller der Schleuse Uelzen

A floating roof on the Mittellandkanal

By the way, the picturesque idyll of the Elbe-Seitenkanal should be well remembered, because with the turn into the Mittellandkanal the peace is over for the time being. Here, one professional ship follows another. Overtaking is out of the question. Thus we chug here with only 8 to 9 KM/h behind the freighters.

By the way: the Russian war against Ukraine and the related energy crisis can be felt here very clearly: almost every second ship is loaded with coal and on its way to some power plant. We meander in between and enjoy our last day in peace, because the next day we get two new crew members: our daughters are brought and ride the then following stage from Hanover to Castrop-Rauxel together with us.

Citizenship - ein schwimmendes Dach

We encountered a curiosity between Hannover and Minden: Already from a distance we made out a strange construct on the water. In the binoculars we could already remember a wild wooden construction. It looked a little bit like a raft with a chaotic wooden construction. Maybe a party boat? It was moving quite slowly and even when overtaking it was not clear to us what it was supposed to be. The secret was not revealed until we got home: Citizenship was written on it and apparently it is a floating roof on the way to the Dokumenta in Kassel.

Across the Dortmund-Ems Canal to Castrop-Rauxel

The journey by boat quickly puts us in a state where we completely forget the time. Is it Tuesday or Wednesday? Noon or already early evening? The sunlight is our only yardstick: when it gets dark, we look for a place to moor. We cook, have a beer or two and go to sleep. It's the basics that define our day. Driving, eating, and sparking with a lock every now and then.

It's that kind of experience we're looking for. Dealing with basic things pulls our minds out of our daily routine with the first foot we put on board. The smartphone and daily news situation becomes soothingly irrelevant. As we turn from the Mittelland Canal onto the Dortmund-Ems Canal, we realize that our journey is entering its final stage.

Anna kocht an Bord

The AMC Castrop-Rauxel gives us temporary shelter as guest passengers. As a guest passenger because the AMC, like all ports in the Ruhr area, is fully occupied. Our hope: to get a permanent berth here in the medium term. The infrastructure of the harbor is super: there is a crane, each place is supplied with electricity and water, there are enough outside berths and not least by the club activity we hope for a little support and an open ear with questions.

One last turn, then we can already see the guest mooring in Castrop-Rauxel. Our 6 day trip comes to an end. 431 KM over the federal waterways. Sometimes exciting but most of the time very relaxed. We made interesting acquaintances at almost every pier. It was a special trip, which we had not made in the form before and which will certainly remain in our memory for a long time. It is the beginning of a new life.

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