28th of June Stavanger-Ognahamn 23nm
By 10:00 4 cruise ships were laying on anchor in Stavanger: Costa Fortuna, MSC Magnifica, MSC Opera and Seabourn Pride with maybe more than 8000 passengers in total. And while the passengers of Costa Fortuna emerged from the boat and fell over the city like a swarm of locusts, I nearly stumbled over a drunken guy, who was laying on the jetty - it was definitely time for us to leave! On the way out we picked up the new thermostat for our fridge, which has been sent to a shop near Stavanger - finally the fridge can be properly fixed.
With a lovely wind from South we sailed to Ognahamn. On the way a motorboat with two rednecks passed, music on loudly. Then we heard a shot! One of the guys was firing a gun! And we did not feel very comfortable out there with two rednecks playing with a gun!
The bay of Ognahamn looked very good in our harbour book. When we arrived we noticed however, that a busy street was passing near by. Luckily the traffic quickly disappeared and instead we could hear the birds singing.
For the middle of the night quite some wind was forecasted, so we insured, that we were lying very safely, with sufficient space under the keel. And the night was calm.
The rookie sailor's corner
I'm sooo bored!
Isn't there something to do?
If you throw a stick - I can fetch it for you!
The sound of rain woke us up, then came the sound of wind. Shortly after the captain suggested, that we should get out of the harbour while we can - the wind was steadily increasing.
Coming from S/SE it would press water into our the little bay and the waves reflecting from all sides, current and wind might make it impossible for us to leave later.
We did not leave one minute to early: in no time the wind increased to 45knots. The gale, which was forecasted offshore for the middle of the night, hit us completely unprepared in the morning in the inner fjord, were we should have had only a maximum of 20 knots - according to the weather man that same morning!
One more time this proved, that you ALWAYS need to watch the weather yourself and listen to your instincts.
During the winter the sails have been at the sailmaker, who was supposed to repair them. One of the days we had to found out, that the sailmaker had overlooked quite some holes. We phoned around, but the sailmakers in Bergen were on holidays and the one in Ålesund overbooked. The only option left was, fixing it ourselves. And this the captain did in Sagvåg - were we had a calm afternoon.
With a small windsurfers sail we raced along!
And here the captain fixes the sail.
Rain and rain today, the harbour is calm - normally it would be packed with boats, but the summer has not arrived yet!?
This island and the quay belonged to the first prime minister of an independent Norway, Christian Michelsen, and the ruins of his cottage can still be seen at the top of the island.
The chart plotter screen died today and the captain spent hours on the phone (the first mate had to do all the sailing and navigation alone) to find a replacement - no luck. After a chat with the neighbour, who experienced the same problem; namely loose connections or bad soldering ,the captain dismounted the plotter and took it apart, then reassembled it and remounted it and alas; it was working again! How long it will work remains to be seen.
The rookie sailor's corner
I am wet and cold - when do we go home?
The morning started with rain and thunder. Fantastic: a summer storm without a summer! During the day the weather improved and the South wind continued, takings us to Fedje. Later on that evening a new proud owner of Colin Archer replica boat arrived. The captain watched the last period of the European Football championship final with the local at the pub.
The idea was to take an outer route in order to avoid clouds and rainshowers over the main land. As we had wind from S for multiple days, we should be able to surf on long waves. - so much for the plan: Outside we found 2m ocean swells from west, hitting us on the beam mixed 1m waves from South so instead of surfing we were dancing!
Again the landscape has changed: along the costs are rough dark greyish-greenish mountains, which are baren on the weather (west)-side, but have trees, bushes and lawns to the side facing inland.
The Rock 'n Roll in the messed up sea made the first mate seasick. Even the captain was not feeling too well, so the only crew left was 2 dogs! We decided to find a harbour quick.
Bulandet is part of a group of more than 100 islands, some of them connected by a relatively new road: the North Sea Road. Next to the jetty are diesel station, a cafe and a shop.
During the night the wind disappeared.
The lee side is green and lush with beautiful flowers like this Heath spotted-orchid.
Above: To start with, we were afraid not to be able to get through the entrance. However, in the end it worked out fine. The picture above is taken, after the weather has calmed down.
As there was no wind, it was a day on engine. On the way to Årebrotvågen we stopped in Florø to take in supplies. Above a picture of the calm bay in which we lay on anchor. The first mate caught a cod and a big piece of ground!
The next morning departure was delayed, because the captain had to follow the live press conference on the Higgs Bosom from CERN.
And finally we have the weather (no rain, not to much wind) for polishing the deck. It has never happened that late on a trip.
To the right you see us zigzagging though an amazing fjord landscape: only 500m below keel, and next to us mountains of 1000m. Along the mountains there are endless waterfalls and it looks, like the mountains are bleeding.
Our last sailing boat was named "Sunniva" after the Patron Saint of the western Norway. Sunniva, an Irish princess had fled from a heathen king and took refuge in a cave on this island. When local forces tried to attack the intruders, God "saved" Sunniva by letting a fierce storm strike and rocks fall down on Sunniva and her people. Unfortunately, Sunniva died to , but her body was found fragrant and unharmed.
The ruins of the monastery build around year 1100 are facing the Atlantic and Stadtlandet. Under the rocks on the right lies the cave. The floating jetty at the monastery is not suitable for overnight stays. It is reserved for a tourist boat and at low water not deep enough for larger sailing boats
The winter storms moved this house away from its fundament.
Inside Sunniva's cave there is a small altar.
Stadt is one of the most dangerous stretches to pass in Norway, due to refraction waves and a lot of wind, but today it was very nice with southern winds up to 20 knots and only occasional 1m waves. Therefore we show you a picture of the landscape of Stadtlandet instead of huge waves!
Afterwards we were just greeted by more fjords - I know, I repeat myself, but the landscape is just amazing.
In 10-15kn SE wind we sailed towards Rosendal guest harbour. The harbour were spacious, with a lovely guest house. Sign making you aware, that you are monitored by cameras! And we met know one, how was in charge of the place. Just lets hope, that this is not the next level of Norwegian hospitality.
We took the dogs on a nice walk over Grøntua, Rosendal guest harbour in Sandshamn is down to the left.
On the way up you have to take a closer look at the tiny flower that grows here. They are tiny, but beautiful!
This is the view from the top of Sandøya. The island in the horizon is Svinøy lighthouse.
The navigation in the fjords can be quite challenging: Wind is changing from 0 to 10 to 20kn in no time, due to the tunnel effects caused by the fjords and valleys. The wind direction is mainly tow ways: from front or from behind.
Entering the majestic Hjørungfjord
Mountain tops are covered in snow, long thin waterfalls everywhere and woods, woods, woods. Today I read in the internet, that Norway has more forest than Germany! Considering that the number of inhabitants is only 5% of that of Germany, you might think, that plenty of game is available. Unfortunately the opposite is the case, there is much more game available in German shops and restaurants than here! So what happens with all the game in this country?
Sæbø lies at the end of the Bondalen and its river is famous for salmon fishing.
The Sagafjord hotel has just opened that week-end and it was very busy. Not very far away a small shop can be found.
Despite the fact that Norway has the highest living standard in Europe the availability (quality and quantity) of fresh, local fruits and veggies is very poor compared to much poorer countries - at least in the summer. How we are missing the crowded markets of Kaliningrad, Riga and Poland, were in summer forest strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, all types of mushrooms from the forests, herbs and local farmed fruits (currants, cherries, apples, pears, plums ...) and veggies are available in abundance at prices, most of the population can easily afford. Not so in Norway!
Local fruits, even if collected by cheap polish doctors during their vacation, can hardly compete with imported bananas, mangoes, grapes and pineapples.
Bearing this in mind, news like, Mediterranean cooking is extremely popular in the North of Europe, does not really come as a surprise. A varied, high quality diet based on local products is simply not available to most people.
The marina of Sagafjord Hotel is quite new and well organized, but we had a lot of swelling both from passenger boats and from the waves in the fjord.
The rookie sailor's corner
...and just exactly why is it that you do not want me to have a mud bath?!
The next day when we motored in the Norangsfjord, the fog was just lifting and revealed Slogen (1564m) - the summit on the left.
Another mountain top was covered in clouds, waterfalls streaming from all sides, so that it looked like an over boiling pot on a stove.
In the late afternoon we walked up the steep path towards Slogen, but we didn't go to the summit, as it takes 6-7 hours. Instead we found this viewpoint about 300m above the sea!
In the evening the fog came in from the sea again.
The famous Union Hotel, built in 1891, and still kept in the old style both inside and outside is just a couple of minutes from the harbour.
The harbour itself consist of one concrete floating stage and has all the facilities; electricity, water, shower and washing machine.
Same motif, same location - and you see: the weather makes all the difference! We are heading out the Hjørungfjord, hands are cold, feet are freezing and the ears about to fall of. This sucks!
Ålesund welcomes you with cold rain, fog and wind - just like when the captain was growing up here!
The next day, late in the afternoon we had a bit of sun in the harbour - and that was it!
Harbour day in Ålesund
We walked the dog along long forgotten paths that the captain haven't walked for 40 years.
We also noticed a small ship coming very slowly towards a quay when it suddenly started to split in two! The ship was dumping mud from a dredging operation further north!
Cannot be in Ålesund without visiting the city mountain - Aksla and have a view of the city's 3 islands and the sugar top mountain (just like Rio de Janeiro)!