We eventually left the very nice (but unfortunately-named) town of Middelfart and headed south.
The wind in the narrow Snævringen channel was gusty and sometimes very strong, so we stopped to pull in a couple of reefs which reduced our angle of heel to something a lot more civilised. We managed to find the un-buoyed small channel past the island of Fænø, at least close enough not to run aground, even though it wasn’t exactly where the chart shows.
Twenty minutes later the wind was down to a steady force three and we were hardly moving, so we took the reefs out again and had a nice sail down the rest of the channel.
Once we hit the more open water of the Bredningen we were hard on the wind, which was back up to a solid force four/five and sending sizeable and steep waves in our direction. The sailing was uncomfortable for the first couple of miles because the waves kept on nearly stopping us – we kept lots of sail on to power through them which meant we were heeled right over once more.
As we reached deeper water the waves died away and we had a much more pleasant sail, and the wind later freed so that we were almost able to point in the direction were were trying to go.
The original plan had been to head for an anchorage a couple of miles up a river on the west side of the channel, and then head across to Assens (on the east side) the following day. The waves picked up again as we neared that area, so we abandoned that plan and headed straight to Assens.
The last few miles into Assens were hard work – we were close hauled again and heading into some steep waves. The channel and sandbanks are not marked by buoys, but Catherine managed to pilot us straight into the harbour very accurately. We paused in the lee of the breakwater to get our sails down, and motored in. As soon as we were inside the water was flat and the wind seemed much lighter, leaving us wondering whether we had imagined the conditions outside.