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Story by Larry Freeman
‘MinX’ a new Xc 45, left her berth at Haderslev on June 1st 2018

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MinX to Malta

MinX to Malta

‘MinX’ a new Xc 45, left her berth at Haderslev on June 1st 2018 with her new owners Edward and John on board, accompanied by their long time friend Larry. Enjoying wonderful Danish summer weather, the destination on the first day was to be Sønderborg. A modest cruise but an opportunity to get to know the boat properly before moving on to the Germany and the Kieler canal.

Arriving at Sønderborg in the early evening, MinX and her crew enjoyed a pleasant evening ashore having had a lovely first day’s sailing on their new boat.

Leaving early the next day ‘MinX’ left for Kiel. We decided that we would stay overnight at the marina at Laboa as we wanted a full day to traverse the canal. Next day, June 3rd, we motored up to the lock entrance, paid our fee and then had the priviledge of being the only boat in the large lock basin. Much better than being squeezed alongside large ocean going ships.

Motoring gently down the Kiel canal was a restful and enjoyable experience. We decided to break the journey at Rendsburg and enjoyed the hospitality of that small town before eventually entering the German Bight and the North Sea via the River Elbe.

Our planned next stop was to be Ijmuiden as we wanted to explore the delights of Amsterdam and had a breakfast appointment with a friend on June 9th. Dodging wind farms, heavy shipping and gas rigs was an interesting experience! Add a bit of fog into the mix and this leg of the journey was one that we were quite pleased to complete as we entered Seaport Marina at Ijmuiden on Thursday June 7th.

The next day we caught the bus and train into Amsterdam for a bit of sightseeing. What a busy city! Throngs of international tourists many of whom were aiming to see the infamous ‘Red Light District’. It was an enjoyable day and a change from the challenges of the voyage over the past few days.

Leaving Seaport Marina at 1300 on Saturday June 9th we set off down the coast for our next target waypoint which was just off Dunkirk. Sadly the weather had become dull and cold with an uncomfortable sea and a following wind. Not ideal for sailing but we set the jib and motor sailed at a healthy 8 knots. Arriving off Dunkirk around 0600 the following morning we set off across the Channel towards the English Coast. It was an easy crossing as we only had a couple of large ships to avoid as we crossed the busy shipping lanes.

We made the decision to berth in the marina at Dover for a night before we started the last leg of our journey to our final destination of Plymouth. Three guys in our 70s …….. we do need our sleep!

Monday June 11th. This morning we set off for the port of Plymouth on the South West coast of England.

The weather continued to be kind to us and we had gentle seas but also an awkward wind which for most of the time was either behind us of non-existent! Once again the Yanmar engine was our favoured friend!

Passing by the Isle of Wight during the hours of darkness we eventually arrived at the Mayflower marina in the historic port of Plymouth at 2000 hours on Tuesday June 12 2018. ‘MinX’ was safely moored to the pontoon and we prepared for our journey back home to loved ones the following day.

This completed the first leg of the long voyage of ‘MinX’ from Hadeslev, Denmark to the eventual destination of Malta.

The next stage, crossing the Bay of Biscay and heading down to the Mediterranean Sea we begin in early July.

Read all about the European Boat of the Year 2009, the Xc 45