Segler hält Steuerrad von Segelboot in der Hand

Always a hand`s breadth
Water under keel

The ground rocks underfoot, a fresh wind blows through the gray beard, the gaze wanders over the horizon, where the outlines of the Kiel skyline can be faintly made out. Seagulls circle overhead and the water laps against the bow like music. Andreas Köpke is a passionate sea dog. He has been sailing the seas of the world with his traditional sailing vessel for 35 years. Kiel has a special place in his life.

The love for the sea

When a friend asked the then 15-year-old Andreas if he wanted to come along on the summer trip of the youth group of the Schwentinemünde sailing club, he was hooked: Life without wind in his sails was no longer an option. Since then, he has been on the water in all weathers.

His love is especially for historic sailboats. "I've had many different boats in my life, but they all had one thing in common: they were all traditional sailing vessels with a history," says the Kiel native, his eyes wide open on the water. He has already seen quite a bit of the world with them. He has particularly fond memories of the trip to the south coast of Samsø, Denmark. "We dropped anchor just off the coast and it was simply Caribbean! The water was so turquoise, I could hardly believe I was still in the Baltic Sea."

"You get on board and all stress is gone."

For the full-time musical instrument maker, sailing is a break from his often stressful daily routine. "I manage to stress myself out very well. However, as soon as I get on board, all the stress is history and I just focus on the here and now." No cell phones, no Internet. You start obsessing about the weather or the route. On board, next to the steering wheel, there's usually a huge nostalgic compass that tells you the direction in the event of a power failure.

For hobby and sport sailors, the sailing area around Kiel and its surroundings is the best place. Bad weather usually comes from the west and announces itself well in advance. The swell is moderate even during storms and not as unpredictable as in the Pacific.

Of sharks and goblin men

There are many myths about the Baltic Sea. From sunken cities whose bells can still be heard ringing on the Baltic coast, to Friedrichsort as a pirate stronghold, to the classic Klabautermann, who must not be missed on any sea voyage. Andreas can only smile about most of the myths. "Many years ago, there was a rumor that a shark was up to mischief in the Schlei, whereupon all sailors greeted each other only with 'Schlei-Hi'." In recent years, the Kiel Fjord has also received an increasing number of animal visitors. Porpoises and even dolphins have accompanied him.

The museum`s harbour

The impressive traditional sailing boats in the Germania harbor cannot be overlooked and characterize the cityscape of Kiel. Historic fishing boats, imposing Marstal schooners and quaint gaff cutters sway in the shallow wind. The association "Museumshafen Kiel e. V." was founded in 2003 and runs the traditional harbor. The goal: to create a harbor for all the historic traditional sailing ships and vessels of civilian professional shipping. Andreas has dedicated himself to the cultural part of the port. "I'm the culture guy here," he explains in a jaunty North German dialect. In the association, he also got to know First Chairwoman Leonie Föhring and her husband Nils. They sail the world's waters on their cutter "Freja" - and 15-month-old Paul has recently also become a fresh-faced sailor and won't leave their side.

Come on board!

Have you now also grabbed the desire to sail on a real traditional sailing ship? Whether short, day or evening trips, romantic trips alone, as a group or as a couple - here is certainly the right offer for you. Click here, if you prefer to look at ships from land. By the way: The permanent exhibition in the maritime museum is a real must for all ship fans. Experience Kiel's history in all its facets as a port city, as a naval and shipyard location and as a place of sailing in the listed fish hall.