Posted by: travelrat | December 26, 2012

Waiting at Kiel

Vegetable Sculpture

Kiel Canal: 24th November 2012.

The morning found us anchored at the entrance of the Kiel Canal. You’ll like the views, we were told. You can look through the port hole into peoples’ gardens – even, occasionally, through their windows. We could have … if the visibility hadn’t been down to about fifty metres, and if we had been able to enter the canal on schedule.

But, because of the fog, there was a considerable backlog of shipping to be dealt with. Then, at 9 a.m., we were listening to a port lecture about Helsinki when the Captain came on the loudspeaker announcing another delay. Two ships had a ‘slight’ collision in one of the locks, and we wouldn’t be permitted to enter the canal until late in the afternoon.

So, we would have to miss out the call at Copenhagen, and sail directly to Tallinn … amid groans of disappointment, until a lady pointed out that nobody had been hurt, and the ship was still right way up.

We passed the time watching a demonstration of vegetable carving. On just about every cruise we’ve been on, there’s been at least one chef aboard with this skill. I remember one man saying wasn’t it a waste of food … and receiving the reply that today’s sculpture would probably finish up in tomorrow’s stew.

The evening was considerably brightened by a very good comedian. Take a bow, Bob Webb, you have overturned my conviction that, nowadays, ‘funny comedian’ is a contradiction.

Just before we turned in, came another announcement from the bridge. The lock was temporarily closed, because of a police investigation … we found out later that that a German shore worker had been arrested, and there was also something about a drunken Russian Captain. I’d love to know if these happenings arose from the same incident; was it a cause or a result of the two ships colliding, or something more sinister? Still, it’s not my problem, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Let’s see where we are in the morning!


  1. Those fish have been carved from veggies? That is awesome. Bit of skill involved there, alright!

    • I spoke to a Filipino chef on the ‘Costa Atlantica’ who did similar, He said his father was a wood-carver, and he’d learnt some of his skills. But, he chose cooking as a career instead … and found, almost by accident, that carving vegetables was much easier … and joked that, if his father couldn’t sell his work, he couldn’t eat it instead!

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