Monday, August 10
Lumpy day of rock-rolling seas got us to Haholmen where SILA also had decided to land. A shared dinner and laughs with Christopher, Molly, Porter and Jack, then back to JUANONA where we once again so appreciated our summer in Norway.
Tuesday, August 11
We awoke to a beautiful day and decided to stay to wait out a heavy forecast of winds on Wednesday. SILA’s friends on another boat had arrived the night before, and both boats took off for a more southerly harbor.
Asking about diesel got Max a ride on a Viking taxi, a replica of SAGA SIGLAR, a boat that was sailed around the world in the mid-80s by 37-year-old Ragnar Thorseth with a crew of seven.
Can you tell he was a happy sailor? :)
Plus, the nice guy who captained the taxi and looked like Daniel Craig also showed us the conference room, which told more of Thorseth’s adventures.
The ship’s design followed a 1,000-year old Viking boat that was found in 1959 at the bottom of a Danish fjord.
Not someone shy of challenges, Thorseth had also rowed across to Lerwick at age 20, sailed around the world in a fishing boat at age 28, and at age 35 led a Norwegian expedition to the North Pole.
We saw both that row boat hanging from the ceiling of a conference room
as well as the salvaged hull of the Viking boat that had sunk off the coast of Spain in 1992 (There had been several replicas of the Viking ship off cruising.). The life-saving zodiac was also on display as thankfully no one was lost during that storm.
This complex was a beautiful one, and had been sold some years ago to become part of the Classic Norwegian Hotels.
And, we weren’t the only ones enjoying the scenery and hospitality. Some ad folk were here to shoot a Ford commercial. Evidently an iconic bridge had become a popular photo op for car commercials. A Ferrari spot was being shot using the same bridge next week.
In addition to the television crew there were vacationeers wandering about and another boater named Kjetil who was sailing and rowing down the coast of Norway. He wasn’t the same guy we met in Tranoy in mid July, which leads me to believe this is a somewhat popular pastime. He joined us for a late night and just said he was taking some time enjoying the coast. I can think of other ways to enjoy the summer coastline.
Wednesday, August 12
We woke to a very windy day with rain off and on, which confirmed our decision to stay put.
Max said we might as well splurge on a good breakfast at the hotel (yogurt and fruit can be a tad bit monotonous), and so we did – our 2nd and last shoreside meal in Norway.
That meal was the highlight of the Wednesday as we drifted through the day and had an early night.
Thursday, August 13
The day dawned sunny and we headed off to Ona leaving behind this wonderful retreat.
Ona is a very small town with a pottery store and a gallery on the connected island, Husoya, and several light houses. We had first seen this island as we sailed by her the night we left Alesund to head to the Lofotens June 23rd.
We walked to the cemetery on Husoya where, along with some birds, appreciated the bright day and warm weather.
ALCHEMY had mentioned sea-tossed rocks, and we duly noted how strong the waters must have been to create such a pile so far from the waterline.
Back on Ona we climbed the short path to one of the lighthouses, then did some R&R in the sun.
Friday, August 14
Moving south we headed off to Runde and met up with Sila. We arrived a bit too late for walking around but did appreciate a shower at the new environmental center.
At night another sailboat came in and ended up rafting next to SILA.
In conversation with him a decision was made to stick close to the coastline when crossing the Stadt, a jutting fist of land just south of Runde.
The combination of current and winds around this infamous headland make it one of which all boaters are very respectful, thus we were planning a careful navigation of this part of the coast. Norway is even considering making a tunnel through the point, a reflection of how dangerous they consider it.
Back aboard we found a communication from our friend Kjetil in Alesund, asking if we wanted to go trout fishing at a cabin. Would we ever! Unfortunately, we were gearing up for crossing back to Scotland, thinking we’d be doing it any day now, so had to pass on the invitation.
We were so sorry to have missed being with him. Not only would it have been fun to go trout fishing but, more, it would have ben even more wonderful to share time with him. Thankfully, Norway isn’t too, too far from the UK coast, so we hope to see him within the year. At least we have a lovely reminder of him as his sailing club’s burgee hangs in our main cabin.
Saturday, August 15
We left Runde to head to our last port, Maloy, where we’d load up with diesel and provision for our crossing.
Fortunately, the forecasted wind wasn’t bad nor was the current for rounding Stadt.
We took snaps of SILA under full-sail while they took some of us.
We waved good-bye to Christopher, Molly, Porter and Jack as they continued on to another anchorage, and we stopped off in Maloy.
We took on diesel at the Shell station
then crossed to the marina and hopped off JUANONA to provision. Walking down the main street we noticed American flags interspersed with Norwegian ones. Wondering if today was some sort of joint celebration, we discovered it was ‘Elvis weekend’ here. And, as we mentioned to some friends, if Elvis is here, he speaks excellent Norwegian.
Checking weather and winds we were ready to bid Elvis good-bye and leave early the next morning for the UK.
Sunday, August 16
Hold it. Doublechecking the forecast we aborted our plan for starting the passage to Scotland due to a change in a low pressure heading from east to west. If it was behind us, that’d be one thing, but since it looked like it was now going to come ahead of us with 30+ knots of wind, we decided to put our passage on hold and head to one of ALCHEMY’s favorite stops, Rognaldsvagen.
But, not before I took advantage of the FREE, let me repeat that, FREE, laundry facilities!! Was I happy or WHAT? So, now that we weren’t heading off across the North Sea I headed across the pontoons and marched myself right up to those six, yes, SIX, machines (three sets of washer+dryer) and surveyed my domain. Ahhh. let me do the bear naked happy dance as our friend Shawn would exclaim :)
Since we still wanted to leave in the morning, I only had time for two wash+dries, and not all the time for drying; but, what a bonus to get some laundry done.
We motor-sailed to Rognaldsvagen and found SILA (it was getting a wee bit embarrassing to me to find ourselves constantly encroaching on their harbors, but they were always gracious about us popping up on the horizon).
Another check of weather and it seemed we’d be continuing south along the Norwegian coast until mid-week; so, we went to bed thinking of meeting the nice guy up at the cafe who promised some good stories and an easy way to cross to Kinn to see a 12th century church.
Monday, August 17
Whoops, scratch the plan. The weather forecast changed yet again and we’re off. Favorable weather windows have been few and far between, and we had to take advantage of this opportunity to cross the North Sea.
We passed the church, which is one of Western Norway’s best example of medieval buildings and was in use up to 1882, and took photographs, which, at this point, was the only way we’d see it.
Then turned to 224 degrees, our course towards Peterhead.
Scotland here we come!
Hoping you made a safe crossing and are now enjoying (again) the U.K. Seems to me a bit of your hearts were left in Norway, safe and snug in the embrace of the fine people you shared the land with. Be well. Enjoy!
You said it well, carolie. We definitely will miss Norway!
i have never seen someone so happy to laundry!! lol ( oops my boys tell me it is not cool to use lol…….and then actually see a newscast that says the same thing……a cool person must use Ha or He He or just a smiley face!! )
I use that stupid smiley face all the time so no problem here with LOL :)