(Total distance of the Kiel Canal = 98.5km/53nm)
FROM: 54°21’54.8″N 10°08’46.4″E (Kiel-Holtenau northern lock)
TO: 54°18’40.0″N 9°40’59.4″E (Budelsdorf Yachtclub on the Ober-Eider river)
Mild to cool temps. Sun, clouds, rain.
It was time to take the famous Kiel Canal! Lucky for us, we got to take it for FREE since the machines were out of order!
The Kiel Canal is the world’s busiest man-made waterway navigable by seagoing ships. It’s length is 98.5km/53nm of fresh water. It is used by a similar number of ships as on the Panama and Suez Canals together. The canal links the North Sea to the Baltic Sea and provides a direct link for the North Sea ports to the Baltic Sea region, saving them up to 460km of circuitous route!
After watching tips from other YouTubers that sailed through the canal, it gave us enough confidence to not get stressed about neither the procedures nor the freighters. They said we might have to wait for up to 1 1/2hrs to be let in, but we had to wait for 2 hrs! Thankfully, we knew this, so we didn’t turn around, but waited it out. We waited together with about 15 other sailboats & 3 freight ships!
The process of getting locked in and out took only about 15 minutes, giving time for a little chit-chat with other sailors & their destination. (Sailors are really friendly!) It’s satisfying to accomplish something you’ve never done before, an interesting experience!
After getting locked out, we traveled by motor in single-file from the Kiel-Holtenau lock about 19nm to the Büdelsdorfer Yachtclub just down a side river, Ober-Eider, from the main Kiel Canal. It was raining & we weren’t allowed to travel on the canal after dark, so we decided to get in early to rest. We averaged 5.7knots and were on the move only 3 1/2 hours, but we had the whole day ahead of us the next day, and better weather waiting for us.