Day 4-1. Burhave to Wingst.Distance D 104.50 km Max 30.5 km/h Time 6.20:02 Average 16.5 km/h
Distance S 104.98 km Max 37.0 km/h Time 6.08:40 Average 17.0 km/h
The day started early, at six twenty-five for Damae and wet, very wet. We put away the bedding and inner tent and then sheltering under the outer tent, made breakfast. We were glad of the extra headroom in the Gimle today despite finding a small leak on one of the seams. After breakfast we packed everything else away and at a quarter past eight ventured outside. We broke camp and put our (fully waterproof) Ortliebs on our bikes.
We passed Keith the Skateboarder's tent and a few minutes later he packed it up and got himself ready for the day. It was really wet, even though the rain had abaited a little. At half past eight we parked up by the facilities to use the loos and cleaned our teeth. A few minutes later we were back outside, wondering what lay ahead of us today. The sky seemed to be telling us it was going to rain all day. We said good-bye to Burhave and the noisy, wet and dirty campsite and headed off into the rain.
The rain continued for the first hour, all the way to Blexen where we stopped and waited for the ferry. We'd been battling a side wind since we started so we were looking forward to heading North past Bremerhaven where we expected to get a tail wind. In Blexen there was a small shelter next to the ferry terminal which was big enough for our bikes and stood around dripping. It wasn't too cold but we were glad of some shelter. Here, we bumped into a German who had been off for a gentle week long tour in his local area and was heading home. He asked about our trip and we told him of our ambitious route. We asked him if he'd heard the weather forecast for today. He told us that it would be a day of showers and sunshine so we prepared ourselves mentally for a day of getting wet.
Twenty minutes later we were on the ferry taking in the moody views of the Weser and Bremerhaven on the other side. The cranes at the port were clearly visible as we approached the dock. Once off the ferry Damae, Stan and the German cyclist all had a bit of a run around trying to find the cycle route signs. It was still raining quite heavily and some of the cobbled surfaces were uneven and and/or slippery. We eventually found our way, crossing to the Ship Museum and following the 'shared facility' past the Atlantic Sail City Hotel, which looked inviting and modern. Well, it was certainly more inviting than the persistent rain outside.
Heading north, our navigation problems resurfaced as we picked our way through the large dock area. Signs were in short supply and the usual trick of going straight on in lieu of signs was made difficult by the geography of the port area. On the plus side the rain was easing and fifty minutes after arriving in Bremerhaven we were free of the town. We were back to cycling up against a dyke surrounded by green grass and increasingly blue skies.
Just after eleven, a good time for elevensies, we noticed a church, that looked very old, just off the cycle route. This was quite unusual for an ancient Frisian church in that the tower was still standing, whilst the rest of the church had disappeared. As we had been going since half past eight it was high time for a snack. We stopped for fifteen minutes or so, standing around, eating and trying to decipher the information about the Ochsenturm. Stan cycled back to the dyke first to take a look at the view. Behind us the cranes of Bremerhaven docks and in front of us lay more pastoral dyke scenery.