Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, June 22nd
With my son and his family we were now 7 people on the boat. That is more than we have beds so we solved that by having the parents sleep at hotels, which they certainly didn´t mind, rather appreciated. We left the Rhine and started to go upstream in the river Main – picture shows where Main joins the Rhine.
We had only one easy lock before we stopped at a marina in Raunberg into a little bay of the river. We managed to get in – it is always uncertain wether these marinas made for German motorboats are deep enough for a sailboat 1.7 m deep. We had a nice evening but ran into the first big ordeal of the trip in the morning when we tried to get out of the harbor. We could go a couple of meters and were then firmly stuck in the mud of the bottom. The water level seemed to have lowered during the night. We called for help from the marina and David dove into the water with ropes that could help drag us out (see picture where you also see the mocking signboard wishing us a good trip).
With the whole crew rocking the boat, dragging the line David had gotten around a pole in front and the engine full speed we moved a couple of inches but were still helplessly stuck. After an hour a man from the marina came with his big motorboat and made several attempts in vain to get us loose. At one point he got one of the towing lines into his propeller so David had to be a hero once more, dove in and helped the guy to disentangle the line. With a final towing effort, now with two ropes from our helping motorboat we moved slowly forward and – at last after three hours hard work we were LOOSE! We handed our helper a bottle of whisky and off we went.
The locks all went very smoothly. David and I have done Göta Kanal in Sweden many years ago and are a good team (see picture from a lock with father on the lines and three happy children).
Next day we passed the center of Frankfurt with its great gothic cathedral and an impressing modern skyline. We stayed the night in a marina outside Frankfurt and had a very nice meeting and dinner there with Jack, one of my childrens´ American cousins from Seattle, who happened to work in Frankfurt this very day. (See picture, Jack to the left). We have had some really good meetings on our way, a definite bonus of this trip.
The next day we had bad luck with the marina we aimed at as we came later than the harbor master had expected so there was no way to get the key to toilets and showers and to the gate in and out of the area. But also this problem was solved smoothly as we made friends with some Germans on the adjacent camping ground, who helped us get out to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant and in again to the boat for the night.
Then came the last day with David´s family, when we went to Aschaffenburg with an enormous 17th Century palace by the river, built by an archbishop and symbolizing the enormous power of the Catholic Church.
We had now left Frankfurt and Hessen behind us and arrived in Bavaria with rolling hills and vineyards. In Aschaffenburg we found a nice marina (Nautilus), and had as every night a good meal at a restaurant, seeing the parents off to their hotel and having a good night´s sleep with the children on the boat. The next morning we at last got the time for the traditional card game with the kids, a Swedish pokergame, called Chicago. This was another hot day, around 90°, with a lot of swimming for the kids before the whole family left in a taxi for the train to Frankfurt and their flight back to Sweden.
We were all very happy with the five days with this intense and fun family on the boat, the only drawback being the hot weather – every day had been around 90° F. All the problems we ran into were soved creatively and with a good mood. What a privilege for a grandfather to share an adventure like this with his grandchildren and their parents!! Picture: father and son:
Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, June 22nd