Tracing my roots

Some of my (Tom’s) ancestors come from Marstal, a shipbuilding town on the small Danish island of Ærø.  This happened to be our first port of call in Denmark too, so it was very exciting to visit.

After the sea finally arrived back in the Kieler fiord (see previous posts) we refloated and were able to leave and sail up to Denmark.  To begin with we were very wary of shipping traffic because of the Kiel canal entrance and the nearby Traffic Separation Scheme, but in fact we saw very few ships.  After negotiating the TSS we passed three ships at anchor near Kiel lighthouse and then we set off away from the shipping lanes directly to the Danish islands.

We had a great sail in nice conditions, though gradually the wind strengthened and some rain showers came through.  We made it safely into the large harbour at Marstal, very sheltered behind a long boulder breakwater built mostly by local volunteers in the 1800s.

Once moored up, Catherine and Skip sheltered below from the rain while Tom explored the town.  Initial findings:

  • Public barbeques next to the marina pontoons, so that you can grill the fish you have just caught.  These are a common feature of Danish harbours.
  • Large shelters next to the marina pontoons, with barbeques under them.  So that you can grill the fish you have just caught without getting rained on.
  • A sea-kayak club and a rowing club.  Also both common features in Danish harbours.
  • A large maritime museum.
  • A small but nice town with narrow streets, pretty buildings and lots of hollyhocks.
  • Several shops selling stylish Scandinavian homewares.