“They call it the Caribbean of the North”…where you can have buckets of liquid sunshine and imagine coconuts growing on city lights. Welcome to the magical experience that is sailing a cargo of 19.000 bottles of natural French wines to Denmark.
Telling a story about the last two weeks is not easy. So many beautiful experiences were crammed into this short period of time and every day brought memorable moments of its own. They mostly involved but were not limited to awesome sailing, friendships old & new, bright Baltic summer nights, music, top-quality natural wine, delicious feasts, freshly brewed beer, and obscene amounts of ice cream.
We had a fun and intense day unloading our cargo in Kopenhagen with Sune and his team from Rosforth & Rosforth, with the traditional lunch under the bridge at the Knippelsbrogade and the equally traditional sampling of the treasures. We were not allowed to leave the immediate vicinity of the ship and as a consequence became (almost) famous street musicians: Tres Hombres crew presents “The Bilge Leftovers” & friends. Our shoreside supporters supplied us with everything we could wish for, from fresh laundry to famous Danish pastry. We accidentally ordered Pizza the night Sune arranged a Dinner delivery from his wine bar. Super fancy Georgian inspired lunch at sea en route to Bornholm anyone? We sailed Kopenhagen – Bornholm in 23 hours and discovered that there actually exist other courses than full & by…20 knots in the butt hip hip hurray!
In the port of Gudhjem, we were invited for delicious feasts at Provianten every night. Maria and Thomas did not only open their restaurant to us but also their home. The Bilge Leftovers kept rocking and we had a hard time finding our way to bunk with the sun never completely setting. Which of the many local ice cream shops is really the best? Only one way to find out. We went for an excursion to Svanneke brewery. In turn, brewmaster Jan went for an excursion all the way up to the royal yard. Sune came sailing and shared our life aboard for a few days, experiencing first hand how much hard work and pure happiness flow into the transport of his cargo – and how tranquil life can be without a phone. During our stay in Bornholm, his family stayed in the cargo hold, which doubled as a wine tasting parlor in the daytime. His kids were a welcome addition to the Tres Hombres team on the football field, where sailors who are used to walking (no running on deck!) a maximum distance of 28 m have lots of fun but lose their breath quickly.
Leaving a place like Gudhjem is not easy, but ships and sailors rot in port and we are eager to return to the sea. So one last icecream everybody and we cast off our lines to the sound of Ursula singing opera and half the village waving us farewell.
This has been my third wine run to Denmark. The generosity, the heartfelt welcome, and the shared enthusiasm for our cargo sailing mission we encounter there leave a deep impression on me every time. Thank you, everybody, for making this happen together, the crew of our beautiful ship and the crews on land, in Kopenhagen, Gudhjem, and Den Helder.