Between freighters on the river Elbe

14.04. 21.04.2012 Emden – Hamburg

Skipper: Ueli, skipper II: Christian crew: Werner, Raphael, Bruno and Michael


Slightly cloudy and a fresh wind from the North: thus the weather, presents itself as we the rolling Swiss II take over. The crew go shopping returning with four filled shopping carts. Locals had sent us  a small neighbourhood store.

Then we practices the first manoeuvres in the old inland port of Emden. The boat  responds properly and the bridge is still intact!

The tour program will be discussed after the briefing by skipper Ueli. To accompany this there are pizza slices from the boat’s own oven and cool beer.

Christian then leads us to the restaurant The 3 Crowns: after the gurnard with crab sauce and potatoes, the stomachs growled.


0600 Tagwache! This is a strict day: starting first thing, and on a Sunday! The reason for the early is that we – without losing much time – get the old inland port on the River EMS.

Just in time at 0655, we pass the 3 bridges for pedestrians, road and train and leave the old inland port. 0735 We use the big sea port and follow a food carrier. Then there is the way free to Delfzijl, where we stop for refuelling.

Further on theway to Borkum we discuss whether the plotter should be set up  to run with north-up or head-up. Skipper Ueli then sets that would be north-up. Shortly before Borkum, we pass the Aida Mar, which comes fresh from the shipyard, now is stationed in Emden, and today performs her first commissioning test.

Around 1300, we arrive in Borkum. The anchor dropped,  Raphael  prepares the first food served today  - Focaccia. Meanwhile, the last clouds have moved. While Werner and Christian prepare tomorrow’s day, the rest of the crew is on foot walking to Borkum.

Shortly before the tower guard closes the doors of the old lighthouse at 17.30, Raphael and Michael climb the tower in record time. After a detour to the beach, a taxi drives us back to Rolling Swiss II. Later, Michael served salad and pasta with Zucchetti sauce.


By 0900, the last are up after a long night. Because the weather conditions are unsafe, we don’t know yet whether we will be going out. After extensive breakfast, everyone has a few free minutes.

About 1230, we gather on deck to the team meeting and decide that we do not want to take risks today. Instead, we leave from 1300 to practice manoeuvres in the port. Everyone helms Rolling Swiss II.

After a short snack, we visit the Alfried Krupp, a Seenotkreuzer a  27 m German search and rescue ship which is stationed on Borkum. We visit the bridge, the support vessel Glückauf, the engine room and the trade fair. In particular also the engine room with the 3 diesel engines, which share an impressive performance of 3’194 PS together.

Answering the question whether the conditions for the tomorrow’s trip to Cuxhaven are good, the foreman of the Alfried Krupp with the wisdom: “Kräht the cock on the crap, the weather changes or it remains as it is”. He has helped not really on us. For this, the Professional on the question of the crew out explains that he, of course, has setting with the north – up, by which he definitely finished yesterday’s discussion.

After 2 hours on board, we handed over a CCS flag and 50 euros for the DGzRS the crew. Then, we said goodbye and take our lunch, not on board as usual, but in the Hafenkneipe. The Alsatian tart tasted wonderful.

Back to preparing dinner on board: vegetable risotto with eggplant, Zucchetti and hot peppers. Then, we discuss tomorrow’s trip to Cuxhaven. We will get up at 0600 so that we 1 hour before the flooding tide turns.


After 0600, the alarm clock wakes us from sleep. After breakfast, we prepared the ship to travel. Around 0800, skip II Christian helms the Rolling Swiss II into the Vorspring and we leave in the direction Cuxhaven Borkum. Navigator Werner  makes up one watch with skip Ueli and Michael, while skipper Christian Bugnard, Raphael, and Bruno make up the second watch. Shortly after 1400, we enjoy the Pasta Casserole prepared by Michael.

In the area of the channel from Bremerhaven, skipper Ueli appears on the bridge, stops te engines, and gathers the crew on deck. What happened, asks the crew. Ueli takes out a slip of paper which states that Bruno, Michael, Raphael, and Werner had just achieved the 100m at sea, needed for the offshore licence for motor yachts. After a photo shoot, Rolling Swiss II resumes her journey.

After 1800, we’re in the fairway to Hamburg. Against 2100 we run into Cuxhaven, and moor Rolling Swiss II. Meanwhile the cocktails are ready and shortly afterwards Bruno serves spaghetti Carbonara. The crew’s hunger after the long, intense day was such that  from the spaghetti 1 kg only very little was left. The first ocean-going sailors go to their berths around midnight, whereas the others prepare tomorrow’s route Wedel to Hamburg.


After the breakfast, we depart around 1030 and continue towards Hamburg with tide on our side. On the way some large freighters cross us, but significantly less than we had expected. We arrive in the Marina at  Wedel after 1630, and hose down Rolling Swiss II. Then we walk to the Welcome Centre “Willkommhöft”, where we enjoy a beer. On the way back, we insert a stop for a snack of herring or Currywurst. At 2100 we arrive in the harbour restaurant, where we take our dinner.


After breakfast, Raphael arranged a spare part for the bilge pump, which had not worked properly during the handover. Around 1040, we pass the Welcome Centre “Willkommhöft” that greets us with a flag and plays the Swiss national anthem! A special moment for all of us and particularly for skipper Ueli, who then called to thank at Fritz Niemeyer from the Welcome Centre.

The last miles on our cruise go by unspectacularly. A single tanker overtakes us, a  few cross us. Shortly before the Hamburg harbour we pass Blankenese. Around 1200, we turn to starboard into the Süderelbe, and our harbour tour starts with our own yacht. Then we drive into the Elbe River a little further up, up to our destination. Shortly afterwards we contact and go to the City Marina, where skipper Ueli skilfully moors Rolling Swiss II. This was the last manoeuvre of our trips.

Around 1400 there’s a glass of white wine. Later, the crew meets for dinner and after a toast to the Reeperbahn or the great freedom we enjoy a nightcap in the lightship that is anchored a short distance from the Rolling Swiss II .


In the morning, the crew settles into the usual chores until Rolling Swiss II shines almost as new, while skipper Ueli  does the administrative work in the cockpit and with each Member of the crew discusses qualifying.

While skipper and Deputy skipper spend the afternoon on the rolling Swiss II, the crew makes for the city centre. But despite intense search, it finds no inexpensive salad servers! We will be leaving  some money for this replacement to the next crew in addition to some Cola zero.

The doors of Henssler Henssler, where we enjoy sushi and more at the end of our trip, open on time at 1800. On foot, we make our way home, visit the Elbe tunnel and return for a farewell drink in the lightship.

While skipper Ueli and skipper II Christian received Hamburg-pendant as mementos from the crew, they presented a Germany pennant with the exact coordinates where the four had reached the 100 m for your powerboat offshore licence each Member of the crew. Rafael handed over a sailor shirt which he had bought in the afternoon in return for the pennant.


While the crew members disembarked early in the morning and to make their ways home, the skipper passed the ship to the next crew. A reunion is certain. Plan it out at the next Interboot in Friedrichshafen?

Author: Bruno

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