Adventure Norway by Multihull! 2010
A fine time had by all on the Norway trip. Here’s a few photos to wet your appetite
Thanks to all for joining me on a great adventure. As I remember it a fairly easy day to Salcombe and anchored in Sunny cove. Geoff in for a swim already.
Over night anchored in Frogmore creek.
0600 Light airs of 2 to 3 out of the west and south west took us over to Portland and thence with the kite up to tie alongside at Yarmouth IOW about 2200
Caught the tide early next day for a run through the Solent. Spinnaker run all the way! Ran out of east going tide at Littlehampton so Chris took us in and alongside. Hell of a tidal run through there! A couple of hours kip then off again with loads more wind! a bit of reefing practice and a flat out run towards Beachy. Good sailing until about 1900 when wind fell out and we were motoring into the night. Caught the tide perfectly and carried all the way to Ramsgate. A good baptism for our new watch keepers with all the Dover traffic in the dark.
Waiting for tide the following morning was taken up with practice in coming alongside techniques then away for Harwich. Impressive wind farm arrays of the Thames estuary. Flat seas and light airs out of East and South east. Some Spinnaker work again but also motor sailing. ( got to get there on this trip) Made Harwich on the tide and had a peaceful night moored up the Stour. Time to kill in the morning so mooring drills sailing on and off. a bit of shopping at Half penny Pier then off again for lowestoft. Huge tide, perfect wind , kite up again.
Day off in Lowestoft waiting for gale to blow through, “Big” shop and Harry up the mast to fit some more baggy’s.
Colin joined us and Geof left and we are away across the North sea. Short sea for a start and force 6 so fast and furious but made good progress over shallow east coast sands with huge tide against the wind. Once we were 20 miles off things got easier and we just flew! Memories of the crossing for me? Spinnakers, Dolphin, Huge lightning show. Didn’t get dark, red sky all night. Tired. Oil rigs everywhere! Generally good weather and wide horizons. Sleeping in ear defenders grr!
Fish every day!
Of course it had to turn sour on landfall. Yes wind was up at force six drizzle mist and huge ships anchored out there in the dark. skerries (scary’s!) everywhere. Really good training session on night entry though! Bad vis big sea and strong winds even had me a bit jumpy. So 435 miles by the log from lowestoft saw us tied up in down town Stavangar at 0300 UK DST (0500 Norway time)
We thought we had the time wrong. Stavangar was still awake! cafes open , folk strolling. Harry just had to go off immediately and buy a Norwegian ice cream sandwich! Noisy nightlife but I suspect we all slept like babies anyway!
Stavangar is an oil town and huge rig supply boats sit incongruously with beautiful clapboard houses and cobbled streets
Customs cleared we hit the fjord and wow! Huge. Cant describe them you just have to be there! I simply remember spectacular scenery and grins on faces. Waterfall showers! Fish every day!
These are my thoughts and memories of the trip
I was apprehensive of the 2 week trip as I did not know what to expect, but felt at home fairly soon. It was a great bunch and considering the diversity we all got on really well.
I felt comfortable and learnt a lot of hands on practical sailing with out ever feeling out of my depth. I think meal time was great with everyone contributing. I cannot recollect any disagreement or ill feeling in the whole group
The 3 day north sea crossing gave a great sense of adventure and achievement and as hard as it was, it did give a feeling of wanting to do something like it again.
Things which stick out are being in the middle of the sea which looked like a large pond with nothing else in sight but then being on a collision course for about 10 mins.
The 4 metre waves with the amazing feeling when the Cat surfed down the waves and feeling the power of the sea, passing under the huge ship just out of Stavanger in the dark and force7 as it got bigger and bigger, seeing all the ships in the shipping channel in the night, the calmness at dawn just before the sun rose – the fjords. The lunch where we shared the 2 mackerels by the waterfall
To recap it was a great way to get my day skipper practical and would definitely consider doing it again in the future
Cliffs are immense
Jim had set off from Plymouth bound for Lowestoft where I was due to take over from one crew member leaving the boat there. I set off from Cornwall the day before our planned rendezvous, and waited in London to get my final instructions as to where we would meet. “Lowestoft” said the text so off I set the next morning. I finally found Mago in the further corners of Lowestoft harbour being buffeted by a force 7. But it was from the south and due to stay that way for some days so we felt relieved that the passage to Stavanger, pretty much due north, was looking good.
We were so lucky. But a restless night’s sleep not a great start. The hairiest bit was the first couple of hours out of Lowestoft the next morning. Still strong winds, big swell behind us, new unfamiliar boat, new people to get to know, a slight feeling of apprehension as I had never done a four day passage before. Well, so good were the conditions that we sped across the North Sea in just over three days, running most of the way. I was able to slip into the pattern of watches that Jim and the crew had developed on the way to Lowestoft. I was reminded soon, as one crew member suffered badly from seasickness, how miraculous is my electronic acupuncture band. Gradually the rhythm of life on board took over. The sun came out, the sea turned blue after its ugly brown near the coast, the dolphins visited us twice causing a mayhem of photo opportunities. We ate well. We sped along. Mago was in her element carrying us comfortably at a brisk trot towards our destination. For me the most extraordinary sights were the big oil rigs at night, like floating cities eerily emerging out of the dark as a blaze of lights. As we neared the coast, we passed huge tankers moored in the slight mist like great monsters alive with light. And finally into Stavanger late at “night” (it was beginning to get light). A friendly welcome from a guy rolling out of a nightclub. Sleep for all. We did it…..and enjoyed it!
Then off to the fjord in search of the massive Pulpit Rock in all the tourist brochures. But what I had not understood was about the inland sea and islands that preceded the mouth of the fjord. This was I thought the most beautiful part of the trip. Wonderful inshore sailing, flat open expanses of water dotted with islands, dotted in turn with holiday cabins tucked into little bays and inlets, blue sky, healthy winds….the perfect location for Jim to put his crew through the finer points of their RYA courses. We all seemed to find excuses as to why it was not practical to make the big climb up the rock. We caught mackerel, and Chris cooked them in a curry masala paste. A gastronomic highlight…….so much so that the crew ordered the same for the next day. Luckily we had more mackerel. That lunch in the sunshine under the shade of the bimini was a perfect ending. Anchored in a tiny inlet surrounded by small cabins and the sounds of happy kids on holiday. Perfect sun. And we all witnessed a major first in sailing history…….Jim having to acknowledge even he at times cannot sail a boat into a confined space with zero wind!