Norway Passage

Tuesday, June 16, to Thursday, June 18

Because north winds were forecast for the following week, we decided to skip the Shetland islands (our planned next port of call) and head straight to Norway, our ultimate destination for this summer. The winds would be good for for the next two days (direction and speed) then lighten up on Thursday but still favorable direction (west).

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So, early Tuesday morning we left Peterhead at 4 a.m. with our course set for Alesund, Norway. It’s not as far north as we wanted but at this point we’d be happy just to be anywhere along the coast of Norway.

And, I can’t leave this port town without, once again, commenting how exceptionally gracious and warm these folk are. From the town librarians who helped us with our wifi to the guy who saw us with our load of groceries and insisted on driving us back to the marina to Charlie the car rental man who shared some good road trips with us to Billy at the marina who made us feel at home just from his huge smile and Scottish Burr. These harbor towns are amazing in their hospitality.

The weather was beautiful Tuesday as we made excellent time, reaching seven knots with the wind directly perpendicular to our sails.

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And, I made sure I had my crackers just in case I got a bit of queasiness.

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Throughout the day Max doublechecked weather and course while we settled into our watch routines.

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Believe it or not, there is a body (Chris) hidden in that bedding. We have similar snaps of our crew Ricardo (to Flores, Azores) and Steve (to Falmouth, England) from our crossing last summer :)

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The few obstacles we had to avoid were the oil and gas rigs sticking out of the ocean waters. Like the wind turbines we saw off the coast of the UK, these large, metal, man-made structures just seemed odd to be poking up out of something so natural and fundamental as the sea.

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Because we’re so far north, night watches were almost twilighty, which always makes it easier for me to keep my eyes open.

Wednesday, our second passage day, dawned cool and gray; and, for those who want to know what it’s like, it’s like a whole lot of nothing at times.

But, then it’s pretty spectacular to be out there surrounded by the North Sea with two other people and your boat watching the steely waters. A few gulls come sweeping by eyeing you while continuing their soaring highs and lows. You’re part of a vastness that goes on and on and on.

And, it’s pretty wonderful to go below where the heater’s on.

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Once again we were thankful for our AIS as we were hailed by a ship towing seismic cables. He told us we needed to keep a minimum of two miles (from his bow and sides) and five miles (from his stern) to ensure we wouldn’t be in his way. Happy to comply, we tracked him and his accompanying ship via the AIS.

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On Thursday we were hoping to make Alesund by 9 p.m., and, we motored for most of the day as the wind slowly died.

We were excited to see our first glimpse of Norway in the early evening, and we were all thinking of hot showers (if you notice, we have the same clothes on Thursday night that we left in Tuesday morning), celebratory drinks, and a full night of sleep.

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Then, the engine starting acting up–no cooling water coming out of the exhaust. So we quickly killed the motor and unfurled the jib while Max began problem-solving. After an hour, he found the culprit:  the impeller wasn’t spinning. With a quick repair (thankfully, JUANONA has tons of spare parts), we were able to head to the harbor.

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Max raised the Norwegian courtesy flag and our OCC burgee as the three of us just gazed in awe at the coast appearing out of the clouds.

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We docked with no problem in this very protected harbor,

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then pulled out the bubbly compliments of Anne and Peter in Ipswich and used flags that Max’s sister Krissy had given us a year ago to decorate our cocktails.

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It was a perfect ending to a good passage.

And, with a visit from Frank Cormer, Ocean Cruising Club’s Alesund Port Captain, our first morning here, we feel really welcomed and oh so glad to be able to cruise in this lovely land.

Tomorrow night we’ll be celebrating Summer Sailstice (www.summersailstice.com) by watching a huge burning bonfire with a whole bunch of Norwegians.

At least that’s the plan :)


13 thoughts on “Ja!

  1. Allan & Marty

    Congratulations! I’m sure that Norway will never be the same………………………… Fantastic narratives, stories and pics, so far!

  2. Betsy

    I signed up for Marine Tracking and was so shocked to get an email! from them that Max and Lynnie and Chris had landed at Alesund! Then lo and behold I got a picture of Juanona. So cool. Am looking forward to more emails and pics as they head North those lucky ducks! Check it out, MarineTracking.com.

  3. Scott Kuhner

    We also love our AIS and have the same Vesper AIS. When coming north from the Bahamas we were on a colision course three times. We called the ship by name and all three times they altered course for us.

    1. margaretlynnie

      A friend Steve Keener says the world is a small ball and we just had proof of that yesterday when we took the Hurtigruten for a trip up a fjord yesterday and ran into someone who knows you! Beverly C. She said she took some art classes with you, that you wouldn’t really know her but might remember her last name :) amazing! xox

  4. Kjetil Poppe

    Hi.!! Thank you for the visit in Ålesund. Hope you enjoyed a few days in this “Hansastadt”. I have had the pleasure to meet three great persons i felt like friends from the first hello. Followed you on AIS to see when you left, and will follow the trip further on. I wish you all a nice and safe trip. Big hug with warm thoughts. :-)

    1. margaretlynnie

      Hi! We’re in Lovund after an easy passage up here. Thank you for making our first stop in Norway so memorable, and, we, too, feel we’ve made a friend for life. Sending big hugs back and here’s to meeting again! xox L&M&C

      PS watch out for next blog :)

      1. Kjetil Poppe

        Hi you lovely people!

        I am up and and go on net again.

        You have found one of the epic places a long the coast. Nice to hear the last days have been pleasant. I love your warm response.

        Now the summer is starting here, and it has raised about 5 degrees C. Did you get the wind westerly towards coast?

        The last days has been work and evenings with notice of race for the Norwegian Campionship in 12,5 sqear meter 20-23.08.15. If it match with your return you are welcome. We have also been asked by the Norwegian Sailing Union to arrange one of the qualifying series in J-70’er 2016.

        15 teams- 5 boats an changes of teams during the races. Lot of people angaged during the races. Due mid September. Do you need crew during your Norway trip or “any” trip please tell.

        Sorry about not fluent English. ;-)

        Big hug and love from me


        Fra: mllboi [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sendt: 26. juni 2015 13:25 Til: kjetil.poppe@mimer.no Emne: [New comment] Ja!

        margaretlynnie commented: “Hi! We’re in Lovund after an easy passage up here. Thank you for making our first stop in Norway so memorable, and, we, too, feel we’ve made a friend for life. Sending big hugs back and here’s to meeting again! xox L&M&C PS watch out for next blo”

      2. margaretlynnie

        Wow! You’re getting pretty popular in handling those regattas :) We just landed in Reine after a stop in Sanna, which was amazing! We thought of you when cruising those two places. We’ll let you know about needing any crew. You could be teaching us Norwegian while we sail :) Thinking of you and hoping your Sunday is a good one. much love, L&M&C

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