The Kiel Week – a sailing trip

A day at the Kiel Week

The invitation of a supplier made it possible for me to visit the Kieler Woche for the second time in 2014 and experience it from the water. What the navy does at Laboe and how I was sailed through the fjord, I describe here.

Kiel Week – first visit

A family member did his military service in the navy and was stationed in Kiel as part of his studies, where he worked in the field of public relations. So we came to an invitation to the Kiel Week – that was at least nine years ago. Large frigates and warships from all over the world were on display at the harbour. For us it was soon "boarding" on a naval speedboat. An impressive 4,000 hp then pushed us out of the harbour onto the Kiel Fjord at idle speed. After a guided tour of the ship, we sat with three marines in a cabin. You described your journeys with shining eyes. A marine concluded with the words "Speedboat riding is awesome!". He would be right – but I didn't know that at the time. The captain then explained that he was only allowed to travel in the fjord and in the English Channel at a time in "idle throttle". Then the crew began to show us landlubbers what the boat is capable of. Gradually, three more machines, each with 4,000 hp, were added. With every machine a jolt went through the whole ship. Finally, we drove – no – flew with 16,000 hp through the Baltic Sea. At the entrance to Kiel, I witnessed how the entire crew on deck and all members of the navy saluted at Laboe. I asked the Navy what it was all about. I got a really extensive and detailed information:

"Ships/boats pass through the naval memorial in Laboe Flag salute. At the same time, warships carry the tribute "Front!" through. For this purpose, a signal with the horn or the battery whistle and the subsequent command "Front to starboard" or "Front to port" is called. "Front to starboard" is given by the one-time horn signal or by a long and a short whistle with the battery whistle, "Front to port" by two horn signals or one long and two short whistles with the battery whistle.

At the signal and the command to pay tribute "Front", all soldiers individually on deck or on the pier stand still in the basic position with front to the ordered side of the ship. Officers and NCOs greet with portepee ."

This moment when visiting the Kieler Woche has burned itself into my memory, because at that moment there was absolute peace on the boat. If you deal with the history of the navy, this memorial still has a current reference, because it stands in honor of all naval personnel who lost their lives in service – first for the countless submarine crews who did not return home in the Second World War. The second custom that I remember very well is the so-called Einlaufbier. Here, each crew has its own ritual. During our excursion, a very long Proooost was celebrated on deck at the end of which the crew opened the beer bottles together and at the same time – with a strong plopp. This was the end of an eventful first visit to the Kieler Woche.

Visit to Laboe

I "garnished" my second visit to the Kieler Woche with a series of appointments in the vicinity of Kiel. In the evening I had a lot of time for a trip to Laboe. As ordered, the sun should set over Kiel – i.e. on the other side of the fjord. Thanks to the twilight calculator, I knew I had until 20:02. The sky showed its beautiful side, but also made it clear to me that I will not see the sunset, as a thick rain front pushed itself in front of the sun. Kitesurfers and the surrounding area offered more than enough motifs, so that my motif search was successful. Here for you the pictures of this evening excursion.

We set sail – sailing through the Kiel Week

After a very relaxed and restful night we went to Kiel the next day. In a yacht club a breakfast was waiting for the whole group and then we went on board. From now on there was only wind, water and a lot of ships and boats. So we sailed past big and small sailors and passed the naval port of Kiel. Memories of the first visit to the Kiel Week were awakened. At that time, a Russian warship was in port. During my visit in 2014, warships from all over the world lay there. In the front part of the harbor was an impressive warship of the U.S. Navy because of its size. We cruised with our sailboat out onto the Baltic Sea. We passed a lot of big and small boats, ships, steamers, sailors, etc. The camera did its job and I also managed to create a selection for you from the large number of pictures.

And how does the story continue?

Well, the story of my visits to Kiel Week ends here. If I once again get the chance to experience the Kiel Week with a boat or ship, I will be happy to let you know. Until then, I will certainly have more topics for further contributions.

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