Day 3-1. Hooksiel to Burhave.
Distance D 104.00 km Max 36.0 km/h Time 6.26:06 Average 16.1 km/h
Distance S 104.27 km Max 36.0 km/h Time 6.17:44 Average 16.5 km/h
"Early to bed, early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".
By half past seven we were up and about. Damae had all but packed in the bedding and we were waiting for the water to boil for our morning coffee. On taking down the tent I noticed that there was some discolouration on the joints of the largest pole. The other two sets of poles seemed fine and as I didn't have any suitable pole lubricant, I just put the tent poles away. A half hour later, as we were finishing packing, the sun managed to break through the high clouds. At first it shone weakly throwing long shadows onto the dew covered grass before becoming stronger and warmer. We packed up and headed out towards the exit leaving the campsite just before eight.
Looking at the maps over breakfast, we realised that could well turn out to be a bit hard. The route would take us round the Jadebusen. The important bit was 'round' as no matter which way the wind was blowing we were likely to end up with a headwind at some point during the day. At the moment there was little wind and that was the best we could realistically hope for.
After navigating our way through Hooksiel the signs pointed us to a bumpy cycle path next to a straight section of road towards Segwarden. We were not back on the NSCR proper and cycled through the cool, damp, morning air towards Wilhelmshaven. We stopped briefly in Sengwarden to admire St Georgs-Kirche, apparently worth a look inside, before the NSCR signs took us left, then under the L810 and onto a very rough concrete track through open countryside.
We then followed the signs to Altengroden climbed up over the A29 motorway, picked our way through town before following a path through countryside that took us to the outskirts of Wilhelmshaven. The route through this part of town was wide and empty passing through green tree lined avenues and it was generally well maintained. The signs continued to be clear until we reached this large square just off the Ebertstrasse. A couple of minutes later we found a large collection of signs and after some umming and ahing we cycled slowly south across the square. At the other end, after crossing a small bridge, we discovered some more signs that confirmed we'd gone the right way.
Two minutes later we popped out onto the edge of the Große Haven and were greeted with modern dockside development similar to that to be found all over Northern Europe. We were also greeted by a strong westerly wind and grey brooding skies. We cycled east towards the other side of the Große Haven, where we crossed over a rather nice iron bridge that could rotate out of the way to allow large ships into the harbour.