Cruising Logs: 2006 - A Scandinavian Cruise
Click on a link below to go to that page.


Tourists for the Day

  We had always intended to explore the Lysefjiord  whilst in this area , but had been persuaded that the best way to appreciate it was by walking to the Preikestolen , the extraordinary ledge that juts precipitously over the Fjiord. Thus at 0330  we were up and gaining our anchor , to be rewarded by a wonderful sunrise as the sun peeped over the mountains to our East.  3 hours later we were moored in the Guest harbour in Stavanger , in good time to catch the first ferry and bus to the beginning of the walking trail.

  It was a lovely hot day with perfect visibility and we were one of the first up the 2 hour trail . Nevertheless there were about 20 people on the rock when we got there with more arriving every minute. The views  were vertiginous and stunning and well worth the considerable exertion required to get there. Actually it was a peculiarly Norwegian sort of tourist attraction , being well organised ( the track passed over some fairly erodable land which had been protected  by considerable quantities of rock to build a path) and requiring considerable exertion to get there , reflecting  a nation in which  mountain walking ,running , kayaking  and cross country skiing are part of the national psyche.

  On the way down we passed hordes of folk coming  up ; slim Scandinavians climbing easily , determined looking Germans striding out in  serious walking gear , and  some more portly folk who plainly looked in distress from  the heat and  perhaps unaccustomed exercise. It was going to be pretty crowded on that rock later on!

 Back in Stavanger the previously deserted guest harbour was now heaving , and the surrounding cafes and bars pleasantly busy – but we were tired and the thought of a quiet evening anchorage a few miles away proved irresistible . The only thing that spoilt an otherwise perfect day was  the autopilot which suddenly developed  terminal epilepsy , but a phone call was made to  JD and he posted a spare bit of electronics to Jaap who was due to join in 3 days.

Time to head South


Next morning there was a flat calm so the crew were allowed a lie in . By 1030 the wind had turned into the NW and we were off – but once out of the Stavanger fjiord  and heading South the wind  gradually petered out ,until off Tananger it disappeared  altogether and we reached for the engine. To our horror the starter motor was obviously defunct so we turned around and inched our way under kite back to Stavanger . The modern miracle of mobile phones enabled us to get in contact with John Cooper , who put us in contact with an Englisman called Steve and by 7 pm we were tied up in a little marina in a docklands area , the starter motor was off and Steve reckoned we could have a new one the next morning ( Saturday)  from the Volvo agent nearby.

 Alas it was not to be, and the next possibility of obtaining a replacement would not be until Monday. We decided to make a virtue of necessity, hired a car and had two splendid days of walking in the mountains , swimming in the lakes and picking the tons of wild blueberries that covered the mountainside. On Sunday night Barney left on the night train to Oslo and the rest of us turned in with all fingers and toes crossed that we could be under weigh again the next day.

  Second Time Lucky


Monday brought good news , a new starter motor and  a smiling Jaap bearing wine and the replacement circuit board for the autopilot . If he was slightly surprised to step straight into a 150 mile passage he hid it well , but to begin with it couldn’t have been more pleasant as the gentle reach gradually turned into a run , and at nightfall we dropped the kite , slabbed the main, poled out the number 3  and settled down  for the night . The forecast was for fresh winds round the Naze , and true to form the wind built until we rounded  at 0400 with the wind  once more at  35 knots  from astern, Ben at the helm. surfing at a steady 10.5 knots with a grin from ear to ear in the bright morning sunshine . It was a far cry from the discomfort of bashing in to the same wind the other way – but underlines the fact that this headland has a deserved reputation and needs to be treated with the utmost respect. On this occasion the wind was soon back down to 15 knots and by 0500 we were once more under kite in idyllic conditions. This was just as well as today was pretty special – Bryony’s 18th birthday – and out came the presents and balloons whilst we dribbled and eventually motored into the archipelago East of Kristiansand  , eventually tying up to a rock on the island of Steinsoya for the traditional barbecue ( we had been lucky with mackerel) and a welcome swim in the 24 degree waters.

  The SE archipelago


Sunrise and sunset  are  leisurely affairs at these latitudes and I usually woke quite early , so it was a bit of a surprise to wake at 1000 BST . I had wanted to arrive early at our next  anchorage to give us time explore so quickly roused the sleepy crew only to discover that it was really only 0600, and I had been looking at the timer on my new watch. There was much ribbing of the poor old duffer – but we set off along the spectacular Blindlea into the night time NE wind, scraped under a heart stoppingly low bridge (made all the more anxious by the Swedish boat behind us leaping up with a camera in hand just as we attempted to pass under it!) and called in briefly  to the charming town of Liillesand  before dribbling along offshore to the outer sjkaegard island of  Valsoya. Glancing inshore we were astonished to see a huge dark squaresail and the unmistakeably sinister  low  shape of a Viking ship sliding along inshore. Judging by the relative  size and number of her crew she must have been 80 feet long. Back in Stavanger we had visited a traditional boat building centre and closely examined a smaller inshore vessel. The impression gained was of a genuinely seaworthy craft that above all looked FAST- and one day I would love to come and sail one in a decent breeze.


  Valsoya was quite special – even the Norwegians who were there said so and our evening and the next morning was spent swimming (25 degrees C!) , exploring in the kayak and barbecuing supper on the rocks.  After a leisurely start next the next day , the trip to Risor   was predominantly under engine. At first we headed offshore to find some wind , gave up and took the ever fascinating inshore route , finally sailing the final 8 miles with a nice little Southerly evening  breeze.

Jaap was to leave us in Risor , a fine little shipbuilding town with many splendid traditional craft. He  treated us to a really nice meal whilst we contemplated a trip across to Sweden in no wind.



Page: [1] [2] [3] ([4]) [5] [6] [7] [8] [Next]

More Photos in the Photo Gallery


Other Cruises :