We started out tacking against the wind, but when approaching the currents in Raftsundet we had to start the engine. once through the sound the wind had disappeared and left some old sea for us.
In Sortland we picked up an extra deckhand, that proved to be a handy waterproof helmsman! Just the thing we needed for wet, cold and rainy days! Here he is , taking us through Raftsundet.
Below our deckhand is trying to get a shot of the snow covered peaks in Trollfjord.
Lovely sailing across Andfjorden in a near gale, but when entering the current in Risøy sound we had to use the engine and the sea got a bit more choppy.
The coastal steamer Trollfjord passed us in the narrow sound.
Once through the current we got rain and gusts up to fresh gale.
We were happy when we moored at Sortland and could turn on the heating and get out of the wet, cold clothes!
Left late today - did some shopping for the weekend, chatted a bit with the crew from the German boat on the pontoon before we headed for Grøtavær on the next island, just to be closer to our destination on Sunday - Sortland.
The strangest thing happened today - a pair of Arctic Terns became very busy around the top of the mast! It didn't look like they were going to land there, but to catch the little ball at the end of the VHF antenna!
Arriving at the harbour, the wind had picked up and made some swelling at the long guest pontoon of the boat club, so we went a bit N to a smaller, somewhat more sheltered pontoon called Rassmussenbrygga.
Hamn i Senja-Bjarkøy
Left the harbour with a forecast for nice sailing wind, but the direction and the strength changed all the time! In the end we had to motor the last 6nm miles to Bjarkøy. Despite the forecast for a rainy day we had sun the whole afternoon/evening.
Observing a Puffin trying to take off with the belly full of small fish, always makes us laugh!
The boat club has gotten a new concrete pontoon with power and water since last year. Diesel is available on the quay in the background.
Sommarøy-Hamn i Senja
Finally under sail again, close-hauled along the island Senja towards the open sea!
Senja from the seaside. The island is a hikers paradise with numerous mountains and peaks.
Moored at one of the three guest pontoons, they are quite new and still lacks power and water. We noticed a tiny bit of swelling, which is supposed to be worse in stronger westerly winds.
From Hamn i Senja we could view the Midnight sun at midnight.
During the morning it was blowing and again: raining!
Rain, current and narrow straits caused us to motor again and when the straits opened up into proper fjords - the wind was gone. The first mate is wondering if this sailboat has turned into a motorboat...
Passed Tromsø and noted that there can be some wind there too! Well, it is actually the Polaris aquarium!
The rookie sailor's corner
It is soooo boring with the engine on the whole time!
We moored at Ketil Voll's pontoon. He runs a fishing camp and a lot of nice cods and haddocks were brought on land during the evening by eager sports fishermen from all over the world. The floating stage in the background turned out to be hard to moor at due to a lot of current in the sound under the 6m bridge.
A rainy day, with not much wind, so it was engine all the way...
Above; Due to the sea fog, this view was the best of today - needless to say the alps of Lyngen were again hidden!
We passed Karlsøy, where there is a small pontoon with enough water, however it is unprotected and with the swells from the westerly weather it look too bumpy for us.
In the end, we ended end up at the end of the boat club's pontoon in Hansnes. The dogs had some fun on land - chasing birds. It was not so funny for us, when they turned up - wet and covered in mud - at the boat again.
Harbour day in Skjervøy
Woke up to a sunny and warm day in Skjervøy. In the afternoon it was too hot to work in a T-shirt!
Yesterday evening the captain asked around about where to repair the alternator and 50m from the quay there was a workshop specializing in alternators and starters.
This morning the alternator was taken out and brought to the shop, where Torbjørn had a look at it. He is a 70 years old pensioner and has worked with alternators his whole life. It didn't take him long to find the fault - a bad soldering in the regulator - he had never seen that fault before!
The rest of the day was spent in the sun
- making a pattern for a "raintop" (above)
- washing the deck - washing clothes - shopping
- walking the dogs - swatting mosquitoes......
During the night it was raining. We woke up to a grey day and had to motor the first part before the wind finally arrived at Loppa. The visibility was not too good, but we had this nice view of the island Silda!
Tired of all the waves from the hind quarter, that made the boat roll a lot, we entered the breakwaters of Skjervøy just in time for some rain!
We moored at the local boat club's pontoon, where there is water and power.
Last evening the wind turned south - which usually means warm weather here. When we woke up this morning we had 23 degrees Celsius. As the city had no visiting cruise ships and most of the locals were sleeping in on Saturday morning, we took the hike up to the viewpoint over the city.
There are many of northernmost things in this area - Hammerfest claims to be the northernmost mainland city in the world, Skarsvåg the worlds northernmost fishing village, Honningsvåg the worlds northernmost city.
After the walk we left the harbour and headed for Hasvik. The wind arrived too and we could enjoy the warm weather and the views:
Reaching Hasvik we moored on the pontoon for the ambulance boat, keeping away from it's landing area.
We also discovered that our alternator is not charging our batteries anymore!
After eliminating some sources of error, it seems most likely to be the diode bridge. The regulator was exchanged last year and the alternator tested in a bench.
So it looks like we have to change our plans and go to Tromsø to get it repaired - luckily we have power here to charge the batteries for tomorrow.
The sun and the warm weather stayed around for the evening! Below is the midnight sun bathing the glacier on Øksfjordjøkelen in the distance.
The rookie sailor's corner
Don't laugh - it is not easy to eat a bone with your legs tied!
After motoring though Magerøysundet with a 4.5 knots current with us, the wind finally picked up and we could set sail in a nice SE gale and surf along towards Havøysundet.
Since leaving Trømsø 8 days ago we have seen only one sailboat - why doesn't more sailors want to enjoy this beautiful and untouched area?
Entering the sound we met this formidable flock of seagulls feeding on a school of European sprat!
As the wind kept its strength we decided to continue to Hammerfest and enjoy a safe harbour for the night.
Just a couple of nautical miles outside Hammerfest, not far away from were we saw dolphins a week ago, the captain heard a swoosh a meter from the boat, and there they were; the two White-Beaked Dolphins.
The smaller one surfaced a couple of times close to the boat, and the bigger one, with the white mark behind the dorsal fin kept its distance!
It was like they came to say hello again!
Here is the link to our last encounter with probably the same dolphins.
We took a walk with the dogs up one of the hills around Skarsvåg, on the way through the village we saw this reindeer walking through the streets! It looks a little bit ragged because its loosing it's winter coat!
According to the locals this deer is an outcast from the flock in this area.
On the other side of the hill we spotted the rest of of the flock.
After the walk we headed out to the Barents Sea again and continued the circumnavigation of the island Magerøy towards Honningsvåg.
Below - the view of the village.
The sea was quite calm and no wind to speak of, so the iron genoa had to do the work!
Just 2 nm before entering the harbour, we stopped 10 minutes to catch 2 nice cods for dinner!
In front of the boat are two signs with the following text;
ISPS TERMINAL - RESTRICTED AREA and WATERSKIING IN THE HARBOUR IS FORBIDDEN!
We didn't see any water skiers, but some RIBs arrived at the pontoon to pick up tourists from one of the 3 cruise ships that visited the city.
These ribs had 2x300 HP outboards, and could do more than 50 knots!