Curising in Norway: Mainland on the Hamaroy peninsula: Straumhamn


Friday, July 10

We had an easy motor just down the coast a bit from Tranoy, snapping a shot of the art work and the lighthouse from the day before.

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Part of the enjoyment of the morning was thanks to some of those cinnamon buns from Sif and Roar. The night before they came by and offered us their last two of these precious finds. And, savor them we did.

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In a few hours we reached an anchorage described by our Maine friends Jon and Cindy Knowles on s/v ABRACADABRA as stunning, a sentiment echoed by Gus and Helen Wilson on s/v WINGS.

They were so right about the beauty of this spot overseen by jutting mountains and sea eagles (I saw six circling the waters as we turned into this bay).

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The scenery was a combo of movie sets switching from a “Jurassic Park” other-worldliness to a “South Pacific” paradise.

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Later, when in the dinghy puttering around yet-another-drop-dead-gorgeous Norwegian anchorage, much to Max’s dismay, a tune came to my head. I kept (trying) to sing the first few bars of the song, which, I believe, is from the musical “South Pacific” mentioned above? Our friends Sue and Don would know this proclivity as it happens when the four of us get together and launch in the ‘Rawhide’ soundtrack, a lot of the lyrics being ‘get ’em up, move ’em out’ repeated over and over.

Perched in the dinghy bow once again I felt moved to bellow, and the words ‘Bali Highhhhhh-IGH’ would come forcefully out my lungs accompanied by an ‘oh no’ from the stern. However, my notes drowned out the displeasure from aft, as my eyes swept back and forth around this bay.

But, back to the anchoring…

There were basically three places to anchor, all requiring at least two anchors out or lines tied to shore (which in Norway is so common you’ll often find steel rods sticking out of rocks for that purpose). Knowing Norway’s holiday season had begun in earnest (generally the month of July and into August) we had prepared ourselves for doing a sail-in and a sail-out if all spots were taken.

As we entered we saw a power boat in the starboard cove and thought we might not be able to anchor there.

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Looking further down the bay we saw more boats; but, Max thought we could anchor behind that small boat in the cove. Always being sensitive to not treading on someone else’s idyllic spot, we waved to the couple on the boat. They appeared fine with our being neighbors, so we proceeded setting both a bow and stern anchor to keep us from swinging around too much in this narrow cove.

Max rowed ashore and took some beautiful photos of the pristine anchorage into which JUANONA happily settled basking in the summer light.

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And, my favorite of his great shots…

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Gus and Helen had mentioned a lake where you could portage your dinghy across a short stretch then ride across the lake to a hike. With a packed lunch and swimsuits we set off down the bay. A gushing stream from the lake greeted us as we dinghied through a very shallow entrance into a deep pool of water where we tied up to scout out the location.

From the gushing stream into the salt water cove…

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to the tranquility of a calm fresh water lake.

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Low tide made the thought of carrying the dinghy up and over rocks dressed with seaweed seem pretty unappealing. Knowing we had tomorrow with a morning high tide we decided to just enjoy the fresh water (yes! another dip),

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the view,

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and the sun.

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Back on JUANONA Max noticed the view out of our porthole to the rocks, a proximity that was unnervingly close but fine considering our well-set anchors and the light winds.

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He also noticed another sensation, that of a fellow picnicker crawling around his midriff. Luckily the pinchers didn’t bite.

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Saturday, July 11

I woke early, and while making coffee saw someone else considering breakfast. The photos aren’t too clear but I managed to take one before it swooped off for better hunting.

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The still morning’s mist was still rising as I went out on deck, testing to see if it was warm enough for java outside (I retreated back to below-deck warmth.).

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I’ve mentioned the wonders of cruising in the midnight sun, and one of the tasks we don’t have to do while here is turn on our anchor light (when at anchor a white light at the mast top is suppose to glow) or evening running lights. Which means it’s also something I don’t have to remember to do because, normally, I don’t remember to do so until I’m reaching over to switch on the propane for coffee.

Not wanting to miss high tide, we retraced our ride down to the end of the bay where we portaged the dinghy over to the lake.

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Then motored across to another sandy beach, pulled the dinghy up

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and wandered first one way (no path but big hoof prints)

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then the other. ’The other’ was where we found posted signs pointing to two different paths. We opted for the one we thought would take us to a view of the Lofotens and set off.

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By now we knew paths could be squishy and wet and muddy. Our selection was all three, but we came prepared (for once) with our water sandals. For an hour we squelched our way around the lake and then headed inland a bit hearing both a cuckoo (which felt a bit out of place, to me, who associated them with German clocks, not the wilderness) and a calf of some sort crying for its mom (and her answering every now and then).

The spongy moss covered most of the territory, and I saw where one rock lost part of its hairy toupee.

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After an hour of walking up and down a wet trail while checking out vantage points whenever we saw a rocky clearing, we realized the other trail must have been the correct one, so we turned back, got to the dinghy and said ‘enough’. That’ll teach us for not having Norwegian hiking maps.

Back along the beach we spied evidence of campers, whether they were Sami (Lapps) or just vacationeers we had not idea except they had set up a pretty decent cooking arrangement.

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We motored back across the lake, hauled the dinghy back to the salt water cove and headed towards JUANONA. As we came around the rock we saw ISLANDER II, the sail boat that had come into Tranoy a few days ago.

Seeing Kevin aboard, we dinghied over and he and Sue invited us aboard.

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These were the folk who had left their boat in Tromso for the winter and were back for another summer of cruising Norway. When explaining about the lake and trails, Kevin said he had downloaded all the Norwegian trails on his iPad and kindly showed us the app. If only we’d been so bright. We immediately saw which path we should have taken. Furthermore there was that other, smaller lake Max had mentioned reading about, and, if we had known how close we were to its location, we probably would have explored that and possibly seen some elk (most likely the callings of the mom and kid we heard).

Seeing the afternoon slip by, we told Sue and Kevin to come on by if they’e out and about in their dinghy (they are very conservative on fuel usage, so they row everywhere, which, depending on the wind direction, can mean you get quite a lot of exercise). But, several hours later we hear a knock on the hull, and they had arrived!

We enjoyed several hours exchanging anchorage ideas and hearing about their sailing travels. They’d actually first been here in the mid- to late 1980s and shared some of their discoveries of favorite spots. Plus, Sue had kept notes on where one could find good showers and/or washer-dryer. This knowledge alone was like gold to me. We have been creating our own mountain in the aft berth, and the altitude of unwashed bedding and clothing has slowly taken on a slope of 45 degrees. A washer and dryer was just what I needed to find.

With just subtle changes to the light it’s difficult to discern the time, so it’s not unusual to think it’s early afternoon only to find out it’s much later. Sue and Kevin decided it was time to leave and began their row back. As Kevin said when Sue settled in for her turn to row, she always seems to pick the right wind direction for her spot at the oars. Sure enough, the breeze would help them to their end of the bay. We hope to see them again when we start heading south later this month.

Later that evening with sun still bright (9-ish) we saw another power boat come in. This time it was a family of five, three of them being small children. The parents’ testing out their anchoring was watched through a porthole by Max to ensure neither of our boats got too close. After what seemed like a half hour, they were finally content with their spot and had tied to shore with an anchor used at their bow. Max found out (via hailing them from the deck) they were from south of Tromso (that city keeps popping up) and enjoying a summer holiday.

It seemed we were getting enough signs about why we should go to this city, so, with that, we began thinking perhaps a quick road trip might be in order.

But, first, back to the other side of this waterway tomorrow…

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