Dear family and friends, We have had an eventful week above the Arctic Circle. It seems as though the temperatures dropped and rainy days began as we sailed past the Arctic Circle Monument on Vikingen last Saturday. The low 40's and barely reaching 50 for a high.
Norway | Stott | Artemis moored at old fishing harbor
We had a nice spinnaker sail up to Stott, an old fishing harbor. We stayed a couple of days, did laundry for free and had dinner out at the restaurant. One family pretty much owns the village. They've a restaurant, several renovated fisherman houses, fish processing plant, and guest pontoons.
Monday we had beam wind and sailed 45nm to Bodo. We bought groceries and decided to move on. We sailed another 6nm to Landegode Island. Our anchorage at Sandvig was tucked back into this small mountainous island and had lovely sandy beaches with good holding. The next morning the winds had switched and we had choppy seas and gusty winds as we pulled up the anchor. Just as the anchor broke the surface the windlass quit working!
Norway | Lofoten Islands | Austvogoy Island | Svolvaer
We had a beam wind again as we sailed 55nm to Svolvaer, on the largest of the Lofoten Islands Austvagoy. The winds were a constant 25kts gusting 30-35. Fortunately once back into the harbor at Svolvaer they died down. We were backing into a pontoon in calm conditions when the gear shifter broke. We quickly fended off the boat alongside and the tidal current pushed us over onto the pontoon! Al took the windlass apart first and discovered one of the brushes was stuck. He cleaned it up and it appears to be working again:-)
Wed. morning he tackled the gear shifter problem He needed to tear half the boat apart to get at it. We then found a shop in town that had the right size cable and connections. So Al has us all put back together again! Our Swedish friends Carin and Lars on "Ymer" arrived in the afternoon along with 4 other Swedish boats. We are joining them for a week or so cruising the Lofoten Islands.
Norway | Lofoten Islands | Skrova | Carin and Sally read for Swedish MidNight Sun celebration
We went to Skrova yesterday about 5nm from Svolvaer to celebrated MidNight Sun Swedish style last night. (herring/sour cream, schnapps, and strawberries) Carin and I went out to pick wild flowers earlier in the day and made crowns of flowers to wear at the celebration. Today is very windy, rainy and quite cold again. We are hoping to get a hike in later in the day if the weather improves. Al bought a Norwegian wool "moose" cap and I bought a very warm Norwegian sweater and headband to help keep us warm while in Svolvaer! A warm front is coming so we are looking forward to some nicer weather again. Hope all is well. Enjoy your weekend and hopefully much warmer weather than we are experiencing. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
June 13, 2014
Dear Family and Friends, We've had a wonderful first week cruising Norway. We are making longer passages when possible because we plan to get to Lofoten Islands this week. We'll cruise there for a week or so and then start heading south back along this coast we sailed by so quickly.
Norway | Bud | View of Bud and Artemis alongside
Our first stop after leaving Alesund was a place called Bud. We just had to stop as that was Al's Dad's name. It was a nice village with a museum and fort. We walked the hilltop along the WWII German fort but the museum was closed. It was very picturesque around the old fishing harbor and kids were in swimming. BRRR...
We stopped Sat at Hamnebukta anchorage off Tronheimsleia but didn't go ashore. Left early Sunday on another long passage day to Langstrandbukta anchorage in Bole Fjord.
Norway | Bjugnfjorden | Kjeungskjaer Lighthouse
Monday we were in the town of Rorvik at a visitor pontoon. It was a religious holiday so nothing was open. The museum looked new and interesting. Perhaps on our way back through. We bought diesel for the first time since leaving Suffolk Yacht Harbor. Far cheaper than UK we were pleasantly surprised. ($6.75per gallon)We also took far less fuel than we anticipated.
Tuesday was a beautiful day but no wind. We saw two Sea Eagles fishing for bait fish swimming on the surface. We took a slight detour from our track to Moyhamna to take pictures of Troghatten from the sea. The legend is that a giant troll Hestmannen became besotted with a beautiful ogress Lekamoya when he glimpsed her bathing in the sea with her six sisters. When he saw Lekamoya escaping he decided if he couldn't have her no one shall. The king of the mountains deflected the arrow with his hat. When dawn broke the seven sisters had become the Syv Sostre range on the island of Alsta. The kings hat became Torghatten a 260m mountain with a giant hole (35m high, 15-20m wide, 160m deep) through it on the island of Torget. We anchored in Moyhamna near Bronnoysund and hiked up to the hole in Torghatten. The views out over the sea were spectacular. It was about 2.5 hrs round trip hike.
Wednesday we had a great sailing day as we turned the motor on for less than an hour all day. We had another great anchorage, Hjartoy, all to ourselves with nice views of The Seven Sisters. Unfortunately it began raining so we didn't go ashore.
Norway | Sjona Fjord | Artemis in Silavagen anchorage
Another great sailing day Thursday but a bit misty in the afternoon and the fog rolled in as we approached Sjona Fjord. We anchored below spectacular mainland mountains with cascades produced by the still melting snow. Silavagen anchorage is just off the mouth of Sjona Fjord. We were snug in our anchorage with N winds howling. We decided to stay at anchor rather than motor into northerly winds all day today. Good choice! It was a beautiful sunny day. We packed a lunch and took the dingy to shore. We tried hiking to the cascades but ended up in various backyards so we decided to hike to the mouth of the harbor we were anchored in. We had a nice picnic on the rocks then headed back to the boat.
We saw a sign to Silavatgen 2km near the dingy landing and decide to see what was there. Great choice we followed a quiet one lane road along a stream through the valley for about half hour passing a B&B along the way to a small lake below the mountains. We saw our first Norwegian Fjord horse:-) We crossed over a little bridge and followed a Turisti path that looped around back behind the B&B down to the main road near our dingy landing. We did pass another trail that went to the Hatten (hat) one of the mountains above our boat. But it was late in the day so we skipped it. I think if we had walked this loop earlier in the day we would have skipped the other two hikes. It was much prettier up this trail and off the busy road that looped around the bay.
The wind has continued to howl from the north all day but our forecast calls for NW to west winds for tomorrow. If the sailing is good we'll do a longer day and we'll cross the Arctic Circle.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to my Dad, our sons, our brothers, and all of our father friends. We have not had good internet to skype so far. So we are relying on emails and facebook for our news:-) The last two days we didn't have internet at all. But we could use the SSB and get email on our email@example.com We only get emails from firstname.lastname@example.org when we have internet. Hope all is well with all of you. Love and God Bless Sally and Al
Scotland | Shetland Islands | Sumburgh head | Visitor's center viewing Puffins
June 5, 2014
Dear Family and Friends, We really lucked out on our two day car rental in Lerwick, Shetland Islands Scotland. We had sunshine both days though a bit windier on Sunday. We drove to the south end of the mainland Sumburgh head and visited the lighthouse, visitor's center, and Nature reserve. Great viewing areas to observe the Puffins, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars breeding and nesting in the cliffs. Puffins are so cute and curious. I think they were observing us as much as we them and some were within 20 ft of us! They only come ashore between April and mid July. Otherwise they stay at sea
Scotland | Shetland Islands | Jarlshof | Old Scatness Broch
We then visited Jarlshof and Old Scatness Broch, 4000 year old archaeological sites. There were six main levels from a Stone Age hut, through an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses to a sizeable Viking village and medieval farmstead. We drove just for the fun of driving the countryside stopping when something caught our interest. We visited 1860's Quendale Mill with it's nice museum. It was a powerful watermill that replaced traditional click mills and hand querns for grinding cereals. We enjoyed visiting with the curator and his wife about old Shetland and tracing ancestries. The Shetlanders are very friendly and love to talk as much as I do. We went to mass in Lerwick and headed back to the boat.
Sunday we drove to Northmavine the northwest peninsula of North Mainland. It was very picturesque and rugged coastline. Spectacular red granite cliffs and standing rock formations in the sea. (The Drongs)One island has an arch that looks like a Drinking Horse, (Dore Holm). We had a wonderful Sunday roast lunch at Braewick Cafe over looking these lovely rock formations. We had a great two hour hike to wear off all that good food. We drove out to Esha Ness Lighthouse and walked a very dramatic coastline. I couldn't get near the edges as the drop was over 130ft to the sea. Beware of the blow holes! One huge hole is 300 yds inland from the cliffs edge.
Norway | Alesund | Artemis alongside
Monday was a rainy day and we stored provisions and made ready for our early departure Tuesday morning. Passage Lerwick Shetlands to Alesund Norway 255nm We left 0430 Tuesday morning for Alesund. We were expecting strong winds and seas and the first part of the passage was Ride 'em Cowboys. We had 2-3 meter seas off the beam and a steady 25mph with gust to 32. We were flying along 7-8kts for 12 hours. Luckily the swell off the Atlantic was behind us! The next 12 hours things quieted to a pleasant 12-18mph and decreasing swell. The rest of the trip was light winds and we had to motor or motor sail at times. We arrived at Alesund Thursday morning at 0400. What I forgot to mention was that we have 24 hours of daylight up here. So doing an overnight was a piece of cake! We rafted off another boat on the visitors pontoon and went to sleep. Alesund is a pleasant town. It's fun to see the snow tipped mountains and trees!! Orkneys and Shetlands had very few trees. We spent an hour at the Police station getting out passports stamped and then wandered about time. A local man stopped by recognizing a Mason 43. He ended up driving us to a shopping mall a Norwegian mile (10km) away to research sim cards for internet. We plan to head out tomorrow and wander up the coast. Love and God Bless Sally and Al