This morning, we left at 7 to get to the Otterndorf lock in time to catch the incoming tide up the Elbe to Brunsbüttel where the Kiel canal starts.
We have sort of teamed up with two other Dutch motorboats at least until Kiel where our ways will probably part.
The weather was pretty dismal today, the first 4 hours on the Geeste it rained and it was cold. When we got to the lock, the rain fortunately stopped.
By 12 we were through the lock and onto the Elbe, our last bit of tidal water this year! The Elbe is always a bit stressful as there is often a lot of seriously big shipping. Today it was relatively quiet, so that was good. The other 'problem' is that you have to float around on the river (in a prescribed 'waiting area') until you get given permission to enter the lock (a white flashing light on the lock is the magic signal). At times it can take an hour or more in a strongly flowing tide and some wind before all this happens. Our luck today however held and after less than half an hour we were invited into the lock. It's quite a big lock, with floating jetties that are just a few cm above the water line. And someone has to get off the boat to tie up as there are only rings, no bollards. This is when we wear lifejackets.
Just after the lock is the small 'pleasure craft harbour' of Brunsbüttel, where we are tied up now and will spend the night. On to Rendsburg tomorrow, two more days until we are in the Baltic!