And, so it begins. The days were getting shorter and sadly so was our time in Norway. Knowing we wanted to be far enough south to take advantage of good weather and a short passage back to the UK within the month, JUANONA’s bow pointed to lower latitudes. Some key places to visit still remained, but these stops were balanced with a focus on getting some miles under our hull.
Saturday, July 25
After Betsy boarded the ferry for Bodo we returned to JUANONA and left for a small anchorage down the coast a bit. The day was a bit gray but still an easy motor to this cove, which, if the temperature had been truly summery and the sun out, we’d be swimming for sure.
It was a gorgeous anchorage where we were soon joined by two other boats.
A walk up the hill and back for the JUANONA-at-anchor shots followed by a dinghy ride (with Max carefully emptying out his shoes)
to a sailboat wearing a British flag. We figured out that the friendly couple aboard must have been paying guests to the one-answer captain standing behind them. She, the captain, didn’t seem eager to have us trolling around her boat, so we rowed back to JUANONA and left her in peace.
Sunday, July 26
When we were in Tranoy, Elisabeth, the young clerk at the grocery store, told us this small town was a must-see; so, we were looking forward to our stop here.
Along the way we spotted one of the few foreign cruising boats we’v seen, with hearty waves exchanged as we noticed the Canadian flag.
Here I learned yet another lesson on how I should NOT be handling dock lines. As the wind was blowing her off the pontoon as Max was landing, I jumped off with the bow line while leaving the spring line (mid-ship one) staged for a quick grab. Well, I got the bow line on but in grabbing the spring line I had managed to have it over, not under, the lifelines causing the lifelines to flex unnaturally. Max by this time had hopped off to handle the stern line but not before I saw his disappointed look as he turned away. Oh boy. Another fun time with Lynnie docking. But, all was well after we secured her, just lesson number 283 in what NOT to do. (Max edit: Lynnie got her comeuppance a couple days later when I managed to hop off the boat with the stern line… oops!)
The town itself is small but well-preserved. We were welcomed by Arthur who ran the municipal dock. He and his wife had moved to this idyllic spot after years of vacationing here from Sweden on their sailboat. They now owned a house as well as several of the holiday rorbus or cottages, which he said were frequented by family and friends quite often.
The clubhouse with the usual showers and head also had excellent wifi access as well as a washer and dryer and a sitting room with a kitchenette. Heaven for hanging out while clothes and bedding are cleaned.
Monday, July 27
We had read about the living museum and had asked Arthur about it. He told us Kjerringoy had earned the reputation of being the most important trading post in the area during the 1800s. This mercantile heritage was thanks to four people: a father, a daughter, and the daughter’s two husbands; and, our morning destination was this museum. But, first, a treat…
The day before I had also inquired about any bakery selling cinnamon buns, whereupon Arthur smiled and told me there was an excellent one up the road. So, armed with warm and fragrant rolls, we strolled towards the museum.
Anna Elisabeth ’s father, Christian Lorentzen Sverdrup, began the business of brokering fish in the early 1800s, buying cod and herring from Lofoten and northern fishermen, then salting/drying the fish and selling them south. When he died in 1829 his daughter’s first husband, Jens Nicolai Ellingssen, built it up as fish profits rose.
As the trading boomed, Kjerringoy and this merchant family created a small economic community with a ship’s chandlery, provisioning store, as well as all the services required to run a large estate (bakery, laundry, etc.). They even even hosted visiting judges for settling legal matters.
When Ellingssen died in 1849, his widow took up the reins and continued growing the business. She eventually married a young clerk, Erasmus Zahl, who had been assisting her with the business, and Kjerringoy continued its commercial prominence, riding a boom in herring prices.
Although Zahl and his wife managed to acquire huge wealth, his later investments in other enterprises weren’t as successful. Anna Elisabeth died in 1879 and Zahl in 1900. Yet, what they accomplished in and for this small port town is remarkable, and our time spent at this open-air museum was well worth the visit.
After an hour we headed back to JUANONA following a path through the woods
passing an unusual sculpture, more testimony to Norway’s efforts to bring art to everyone,
and coming to a display of what made Kjerringoy such a vibrant community in the 1800s.
Untying our lines with a lot less trauma than when we arrived, we left for our next port, a small anchorage just 13 miles away.
Tuesday, July 28
After an easy motor the afternoon before, we had anchored in this remote cove and woke to a day that slowly grew into a bright blue sky.
Again, if it had been warmer weather we would have easily considered swimming. And, later, I would gladly have traded a dip in these cold waters over what we did end up doing, which was finding our way across the ridge to the tiny port on the other side.
As my sister once said during a hike many years ago ‘you may not realize this but i stopped having fun awhile ago’. That statement summed up my experience of tramping over marshy lumps while battling pesky flies as we searched for the path to the other side of the hill.
Like the chicken crossing the road, because ‘it was there’, in my opinion, that was not a good reason to cross.
Max later said it’s the most he’s ever heard me swear. Fortunately, I found my stomping so ludicrous all we could do was laugh, for it was a beautiful day, it was a gorgeous anchorage, and we were in Norway. Only the ‘walk’ sucked.
Back to our shore we gazed again at the pristine view and then boarded JUANONA for our next destination, Bodo, a major city in this northern part of Norway.
We reached it easily and found a clear spot along one of the pontoons (we had been expecting to raft most of the time at these pontoons due to July and early August being many Norwegians vacation time).
This time I was ready to perfect my docking technique, so as Max neared I hopped off with the bow line and, after securing that, focused on picking up the spring line correctly. Max Jumped off to tie the stern line only to see it slip off JUANONA. He had forgotten to cleat it to JUANONA’s stern cleat. No harm done as the weather was calm and no other boats in our way. Lesson number 284 was learned, and both this docking experience and the one in Kjerringot only reinforced that both novice and experienced sailors make mistakes.
We had two errands here, which is really why we stopped: getting to a Net.Com store to figure out why our wifi wasn’t working; and filling our propane tanks used for cooking.
Both were accomplished with Max doing the propane and my doing the Net.Com; and, both of us had found the Vinmonopolet in the mall and both had purchased bottles of wine to atone for our docking trials.
Wednesday, July 29
With nothing left to do in the city we left for a town that Dick and Ginger on s/v ALCHEMY and Sue and Kevin on s/v ISLANDER II had said was a great place for both hiking (to a hole in the rocks) and boat facilities (laundry and showers :).
As we motored through a glassy sea
and by picturesque coastal homes
Max noticed (we were constantly checking transmission fluid leakage) a larger puddle than normal under the transmission.
Fortuitously, Bolga featured a noted marine repair shop, and, once there, Max managed to find the shop just as it was closing. No problem. The daughter-in-law called the owner who immediately came to his store to help Max.
Thursday, July 30
Not only did the man help Max at the shop on Wednesday, but, in pouring rain the next day,
he came over to JUANONA and helped Max re-tap the threads to the dipstick.
The conversation was interesting because he didn’t speak English and Max didn’t speak Norwegian; but, for some reason, the back-and-forth seemed to make sense. There is something refreshing and earnest about just carrying on as if each understands the other.
In short order, the transmission was repaired,
and as Max followed him back to his shop, you could definitely tell who was used to the rain.
Yet, another example of how Norwegians offer visiting yachts amazingly warm welcomes. And, another reason why we’ll miss this country when we leave.