Trip to Helgoland Dune
The Dune itself is an independend small island consisting mainly of sand, dune and some fortifications which are mainly the harbour facilities. The best view of the dune is from the main island, as you can see in the next picture.
Our second day on Helgoland was dedicated to explore the "Dune". Dune is also home to a colony of grey seals and common seals. Usually they roam across the island or swim in the harbour basin watching people coming and going. In July and August it is common practice to reserve some sections of the beach to the seals, meaning, visitors are not allowed to approach the animals. It is possible to watch the seals over a distance of about 100 metres.
Careless people be warned, seals can react extremely aggressive if man gets to close and than the best solution is to get as far away from them as fast as possible. Seals are much faster than their appearance might suggest. And they bite. So, the best we can do, keep our distance and enjoy watching them through binoculars.
People wanting to go to the Dune are ferried across the water by small boats as part of a day trip. The boats leave from Helgolands main harbour.
The boats can be senn below:
On the left you see part of the Harbour facilities. We went to the dune of Helgoland. The dune is, as the name says, a sand dune very close to Helgoland. Though, you will have to go there by ferry. The ferry goes daily from 0730h to 2300h and starts from the landing stages, every 30 minutes. From 1900h the ferry goes every hour. The last arrival is at 2300h at the landing stages. It is a medium motor boat that can take much more people on board than you can imagine.
On the dune it is possible to swim and sunbathe. However , seals and grey seals are also there. They lay idle at the beaches. It is said that you get close to them but no more than 30 metres distance. But do observe the orders of the guardian.
Which what happened, when we set foot on the dune. Yes, you can get as close as 30 meters to them and take a pic.
Excellent we thought and off we went along the beach in order to get eyeball of the creatures.
The Dune Harbour
The Dune posseses its own harbour with a substantial harbour basin. It is important to bear in mind that Helgoland used to be a Navy Fortress until the end of WW II.
Gulls belong to Helgoland. They are everywhere and the birds are always waiting for people to feed them with something. There are gulls wherever you go. Below an imature gull in the basin.
Sea birds accompany the visiter everywhere. Once you left the ferry and made your way to one of the beaches, the birds are there. They do keep a distance but let you come close enough to take some good shots with your camera.
Arriving at Helgoland in Style
There are only two major options to arrive on the island: One is by way of ferry the other is flying in. In the picture below the flying-in option is depicted. Over the summer planes arrive, at times, at really short intervalls . Behind the dune is an landing strip, which is rather short, a fact owed to the constricted area on the dune. Surely, depending on your luggage, flying could make more sense then using the ferry. Wenn arriving with substantial photographic equipment, flying is certainly the option of choice.
Helgoland Seals on the Island
And yes, we did see seals and grey seals. However the buggers had decided to get some rest at a very slippery part of the beach which was also to 99 % consisting of shingle and very sharp small stones. Not good to go there on bare foot and also not to get onto your knees for some good shots.
Then we met the guardian. She was quite nice but very insisting that we go behind the barrier and leave the seals attending their own business.
We were told the seals do have their own part of the beach and people also have a separated part of the beach. So everyone and every seal is happy.
Great. So we have only a few pics of the funny buggers. See below.
Helgoland Dune Beaches
The beaches are lovely, the water is good and swimming there is refreshing. The spot was not overcrowded when we were there. Not too many people. Though one should bear in mind that the beaches are mostly filled with shingle and small stones with make walking on bear foot a real challenge. However bathing there is real fun and enjoyable.