Heading south – join us to sail in Lanzarote 2018/2019

Time has flown since our last blog in Norway – we hardly seem to be able to keep up with ourselves.

Our season in the North came to a grand Finale with some fabulous sailing from Lofoten to Kristiansund and then Kristiansund to Plymouth – we sailed many miles and visited lots of new harbours – always with the focus on heading south.

Once in Plymouth it was straight into maintenance mode –  we had our work cut out to finish the jobs in time – especially as we also needed lots of equipment servicing and our annual MCA survey.  In addition to the regular jobs we added to our workload by:

Removing old batteries, cleaning the bilges and then fitting new batteries

Fitting a new solar panel

Fitting a new mainsail

Fitting some new curtains and carpet in the saloon

Going to a ship captains medical course and when everything else was finished doing all the prep work to cross Biscay!

Biscay – well it was all about the weather, missing the two big low pressures and finally dodging storm Louise.  We had a plan and after a pit stop in Camaret (see arrow) we took a big detour right in to the centre of the bay – it seemed to work, the max wind we had was 35 knots.

We are now in Marina Sada, phew, resting and preparing for our next legs south to the Rias and Portugal before a full winter programme in the Canaries.

No room on the way south but there are spaces to join us January, February ad March 2019 in Lanzarote – just before Brexit!  As with everyone else in UK we are not sure how that will effect us.  Just to let you know – planning for next winter – we are unsure of what the sailing in EU rules will be after Brexit so we are taking the opportunity to have a winter off for maintenance and rest before summer 2020 when the dust has settled.  If you were planning  a winter sailing holiday break with us in the future come in 2019!

See the full Canaries programme here

Of course – summer 2019 we will be going to Norway again and as they are not in the EU it will be business as usual.  Some great trips happening there, why not join us

See Norway programme here

That’s all for now folks – a great week in the Rias awaits us and the blog will reappear regularly from now on

Happy Sailing

 

Heading South – Bodo to Kristiansund

With 330 miles to go between Bodo and Kristiansund the weather forecast was not kind to us – there was likely to be a southerly gale on day 3 so we needed somewhere secure to ‘hole up’!

Our first day sail took us to Inndyr, and then on to Ornes with stunning scenery and snow still on the mountains.  Then in  Ornes we sat tight for 24 hours as the barometer fell, the wind howled and the rain came down in sheets!

Ready to dodge the next gale we set out on a long passage to Berg, which we made even longer when we realised the next gale was ‘delayed for 12 hours’ and anchored just north of Rorvik.

The wind had eased to a 6 and shifted more westerly as we set off south from Rorvik, but there was a nasty – new wind old sea sea state – so after 12 hours having tacked south to clear the rocks of Bulholmrasa we entered into the inshore passage again for a bit of a rest.  Stunning Scenery, narrow fjords, lots of traffic and thankfully flat sea allowed us to make a lot more progress south than if we had stayed offshore.  The south west wind continued and so it was a beat all the way to the finish – when the sun came out and the wind died!

Thanks folks for a great trip

 

Farewell Lofoten

We’ve just finished our last trip of the 2018 season in the Lofoten Islands and in fact, probably our last trip there at all. Next year we will be based in Bergen and sailing in the Fjords further south.  This was our 9th summer here and in that time we have visited over 60 different harbours.  Even last week there was time for one last new harbour – Brettesnes, although there was no room on the pontoon for us so it was rather a short stay.

Yet another Minke whale joined us on our journey last week as well as many eagles and porpoises.  We have very fond memories of all of our trips here – surrounded by stunning scenery and often in beautiful weather.  We have had 24 hours daylight until this week, and now it gets dark for about 1 hour.  We’ll certainly miss the light.

That said we are really looking forward to exploring Sognefjord and surrounding islands – even further off the beaten track than Lofoten!  Think about joining us next year.  Getting there is not easy and may require more than a day travel, but the rewards will be worth it.  Look forward to seeing you on board.

A reminder of our times in  Arctic Norway and the Lofoten Islands

 

Midnight Sun at last

Well it was worth waiting for.  After many a night with overcast skies we finally found an anchorage with no mountains to the north on a night with a clear sky.  Stunning.

We had some days with beautiful clear skies but no wind

and days with wind but no sun!  We still managed to travel 200 miles and visit 3 places new to us!

On our last evening we anchored in Landegode and for company had Mariette of 1915, what a stunning looking boat

and she made for a fantastic photo in the glow of the midnight sun.

 

Midnight Sun

Had to share this – this was last night at quarter to midnight – flat calm with glorious light gave these great reflections of the bridge.  You can still see the snow on the hills, so it is still chilly, but WOW

In search of the Midnight Sun

Henningsvaer – one of the magical places we visited last trip, tucked in behind the rocks it is protected from all wind and sea. (We are the black circle in the centre, the white triangles are AIS positions of fishing boats.

‘A great experience sailing in the far north – pity there was no sign of the midnight sun but we saw plenty of wildlife- including a very playful minke whale!’

This comment in our guest book sums up our first trip in Lofoten and Vesteralen entirely.  It wasnt the wettest week we have ever had, nor was it the coldest but it was definitely the greyest.  There was some great wind and plenty of ‘moments’ of clear sunshine but never at midnight.

The highlight was the hour we spend with a very inquisitive Minke whale who must have been feeding, and in between mouthfuls kept circling around us to see who we were!  Lots of camera snapping ensued.

Now we are moored in the tiny town of Stokmarknes and looking forward to our return trip to Bodo next week with sunshine in the forecast!