Apologies for the break in communications! Things went a bit quicker than planned and we had no internet connection:
We originally planned to stay another day in Rendsburg, but when we woke up on Tuesday it was actually dry after almost continuous rain for 24 hours. We needed to get diesel and that can't happen in the rain: diesel and water are enemies! So we decided to use the dry spell to get out of our berth and to the diesel jetty. Whilst filling up, we decided that now that we were out of the berth, we might as well go to Brunsbüttel. So we did 6 hours to the lock. It had started to rain again. Now it was almost hight tide on the Elbe, so we thought we might as well go through the lock and do the last 9 miles to Otterndorf. The wait for the lock was 45 minutes and we locked in the 'old' lock, which is a bitt smaller, together with a big ship that did not stop her propeller. Bad show and lots of justified complaining by the 8 or 10 yachts in the lock. But no harm was done and we all got into the Elbe. The tide was still running a bit against us but nothing to serious. We got into Otterndorf and found a place for the night.
The lock at Otterndorf, which takes you into the Geeste, operates according to the tide. Its quite a tricky arrangement: too close to low tide the harbour falls almost dry and too close to hight tide you can't get through the tittle tunnel that takes you through the dike and under the road into the lock itself. I 'phoned the lockkeeper at 7:30 and he suggested we come right over. Once in the lock, he told us that due to the incessant rain of the past few days (it was still raining at that time), the water level in the Geeste was over 20cm higher than normal. That would make the fixed railway bridge 7 KM up the river too low for us. But he was going to let water out and if we waited until 11, things would be fine. So we tied up just after the lock and waited. When we got to the offending bridge the water had indeed fallen and we got through without a problem.
By 3pm we were in Lintig and we stopped for the night: we would not make the lock in Bremerhaven in time and anyway we had planned to stop here. Soon afterwards the rain stopped and the sun came out, which was most welcome after four days of rain. The boat does not leak at all, but of course things get damp after a while!
This morning was still sunny and we did the last few hours to Bremerhaven where we are now.
The next two days are very good for the trip over the shallows to Wilhelmshaven. One could do this in a day (we have done it several times), but seeing that the tides are not very favourable and we have time enough, we are going to stop in Feddewardersiel, a small fishing village halfway where the harbour falls dry at low tide.
We are almost sure there won't be a workable internet signal there (but sometimes you are surprised), so don't expect news tomorrow. On Saturday, in Wilhelmshaven it should be OK.