The Kiel Canal saves a very long trip around the top of Denmark. It is used by lots of commercial shipping, but yachts are allowed to use it too, for a bargain price of €12.
It is 97km long, and took us about 12 hours over two days.
While it did save us a lot of sailing, the relentless heat and monotonous motoring made it a bit of a gruelling two days. Luckily Catherine was less grumpy about it than me and did a lot of the steering.
Passing ships provided interest, and our dwindling fuel supply provided some tension to the first day, though as it turned out we had plenty to reach our overnight stop at Rendsburg.
Finally we reached the locks at the far end, and after waiting a couple of hours for some ships to go through we were allowed to lock through into the Baltic. The lock was massive (the small ones normally used for yachts are being mended) and we shared it with a small container ship and about ten other yachts.
We locked out into the Kieler Fiord and sailed the two miles up to the city of Kiel. It was so nice to be sailing again, with the motor off, and for once the wind was not against us! To complete a great sail, Catherine made a very neat job of mooring us up into a box berth.