Rally 1986 – Preliminary Programme – June 14th, 1985

Dr. med. Klaus-Gerrit Gerdts • Am Bürgerpark 2 • 2179 Neuhaus/Oste

To All members of ALCYONE CIRCLEJune 14th, 1985


Dear friends,

During the 1985 spring meeting in Amsterdam, it was agreed that we might work out a preliminary programme for a 1986 rally of the CIRCLE to Germany.

We have compiled our suggestions and ask you to have a look at the attached itinerary. We worked out two alternatives for Waddenzee-freaks as well as for those who prefer inland sailing. The occasional bluewater-sailor may find his own way, e.g. via the Delfzijl-Helgoland-Cuxhaven route.

We are prepared to meet the fleet at Delrzijl and sail with you through the Waddenzee- route to Neuhaus, so that also the less experienced may safely take this attractive and sheltered but sometimes navigationally tricky fairway.

We should like to suggest that we discuss the plan, dates and further details during SAIL AMSTERDAM ‘85. Perhaps you may make up your mind until then whether you (and your crew) should like to participate in such a rally or rather not.

We do hope many of you will come in 1986. See you all in Amsterdam in August.

Dr. Klaus-Gerrit und Elgin-Solveigh Gerdts, Klaus and Ingeborg Gerdts “HARMONIE VON NEUENSCHLEUSE”


Preliminary Programme – 1986 Rally Delrfzijl-Neuhaus

1. General information
During the spring meeting of the CIRCLE in Amsterdam 1985, we discussed the plan of a rally to Germany in 1986. It was generally agreed that this might be a fine idea. Further information is now issued to all skippers, so that definitive arrangements and dates can be fixed at the SAIL AMSTERDAM ‘85 meeting in August.

2. Destination
Neuhaus/ Oste is a harbour village of 1,700 inhabitants, situated on the banks of the Oste river, about three nautical miles (nm) from the Elbe river and about 14 nm from the port of Cuxhaven. The Brunsbüttel entrance lock of the Kiel Canal, the gate to the Baltic Sea, lies some 10 nm away. Neuhaus has a picturesque old port with a fine shipyard and a modern, but quiet, yacht marina providing all amenities to mariners.

We shall try to co-ordinate the rally dates with the traditional Neuhaus Port Festival with many sailing and social activities. In any case, we shall take care of adequate entertainment for all crew members during their stay here.

3. Routes
As our boats are designed for shallow water cruising, a route through the German port of the “ Waddenzee” would seem most appropriate. In general, the German “ Waddenzee” is smaller, narrower, and more sheltered that the Dutch tidal waters, and perhaps also easier to navigate. Furthermore, it is suggested that the fleet should meet at Delfzijl, and that we all shall sail as a safe convoy to Neuhaus, so that skippers who might hesitate to sail this distance on their own may be guided by the more experienced ones, if necessary.

Alternatively, there is a very pleasant route using the German inland waterways system, with almost no commercial traffic at all. Masts must be lowered at some points.

3.1 The “ Waddenzee” route

Day 1 Delfzijl-Norderney (33 nm)
Making use of the tidal currents, this trip should be no problem. The harbour of Norderney is usually crowded and not very attractive. Drying out for the night in the sheltered waters south of the island is a good (and cheap!) alternative.
Day 2 Norderney-Wangerooge (32 nm)
If the weather should be fine (as we hope!), we may sail through “Dove Tief” fairway between the islands to the open sea and make a fast trip on the 7 meters depth line north of the islands to Wangerooge, a quiet island with a fine, safe little harbour. If sailing in the sheltered waters south of the islands should be preferred, tidal problems will probably end our way near to the island Spiekeroog, which is a nice one as well.
Day 3 Wangerooge (or Spiekeroog) – Meyer’s Legde Anchorage (25 nm)
Having completed some tricky tidal calculations the previous night, we shall have a fine, fast trip upstream the jade river, cross the Weser river as well and enter the Weser-Elbe-Fairway for small craft. A very lonesome, very sheltered and idyllic route. Night at anchor or drying out. In case of rough weather, die Elbe-Weser-Canal at Bremerhaven might be entered alternatively (see below).
Day 4 Meyer’s Legde Anchorage-Neuwerk Island (15 nm)
A short trip in the chart, but due to the tide, it will take a whole day with one or two interruptions lying at anchor waiting for the flood to take us over some very shallow areas. A large part of the night should be spent in the wine cellars of Neuwerk’s 14th century lighthouse (still in use!).
Day 5 Neuwerk Island-Neuhaus (30 nm)
“Riding” on the tidal current, the flood shall sweep us to Neuhaus in a few hours pleasant sailing on the Elbe river.

3.2 The “Inland” route

Day 1 Delfzijl – Leer (25nm)
No problems to be expected. Dock in at Leer harbour for a quiet night.
Day 2 Leer – Elisobethfehnkanal
Masts must be lowered. Arrangements must be made 24 hours in advance with the Canal Authority (we shall take care of that for you), because a lock-keeper will escort the fleet on his bicycle all day in order to work the 14 locks and 12 bridges, all managed by hand. No canal fees to be paid, but a can of beer is usually accepted!
Day 3 Elisobethfehnkanal – Küsenkanal – Oldenburg – Elsfleth
At Elsfleth, you will enter the Weser river which is a rather peaceful waterway here, but with a marked increase of commercial traffic.
Day 4 Elsfleth – Meyer’s Legde Anchorage (see above Route “ Waddenzee”) or Elsfleth – Bremerhaven – Geeste River – Bederkesa
You may make up your mind whether to follow to Waddenzee route from here, or make it inland. In the latter case, you will sail downstream the Weser river from Elsfleth to Bremerhaven, enter the Geeste river there, (mast must be lowered) and travel inland on a very beautiful canal to Otterndorf on the Elbe river.
Day 5 Bederkesa – Otterndorf – Neuhaus
From Otterndorf Lock, it’s only a five nm trip on the Elbe river to the Oste river and 8 nm to Neuhaus.

4. Closing remarks

Detailed information on customs regulations (very easy), advisable nautical material (charts, etc.) shall be issued to interested skippers in Amsterdam in August. Hoping to meet you all in Amsterdam ‘85 and in Neuhaus ‘86.