Adventure Sailing in Norway

Tranquil anchorages, coral beaches, snowcapped mountains, eerie atmospheric Trollfjord, millpond waters and billowing waves, whales, eagles and  even an otter were some of the memorable highlights this last week.  Not forgetting the sun at midnight and a traditional Viking ship chasing after us for the women!

We have just completed our first 10 night trip in the Lofoten Islands.  We were  lucky with the weather, with only 1 day of rain, and plenty of days of glorious sunshine.  We sailed 254 miles this week, visiting many harbours and anchorages along the way.

The favourite, its hard to say as they are all so different, but with mainly northerly winds, there was only one night when we saw the sun at midnight from the boat, at a fantastic new anchorage next to the tiny island of Skogoya.  The Norwegians celebrate midsummer on the 23rd June by making bonfires and we could smell the smoke drifting across the water as we watched the sun.  We thought it had disappeared behind a cloud, but just at midnight it reappeared with a fantastic reflection on the water.

After last year, when sightings of whales were scarce we were really pleased to see a huge pod of pilot whales, some of them coming within feet of the boat.

I wonder what next week will bring.  Thanks to all of our guests from last week for providing us with such great company and we do hope we will see you on board again.

Gales and Calms on the sail to Norway

Velvet lady on the pontoon near the glacier

On our arrival in Norway it was hard to believe that we had spent the first days of this sailing holiday delayed by gales.  The sun shone, the sea was glassy calm, the temperature 27 degrees and everyone went swimming from the boat, some even made it into the ice melt lake at the glacier.

We spent the first day of this trip alongside in Dunstaffnage marina as the wind roared outside at 40 knots.  We then had a great sail from Dunstaffnage up to the island of Canna.  With more gales forecast we set off north around Skye, fast reaching in 20 knots of wind, but it wasn’t to last, by midnight the wind was back at 45 knots and the seas were huge, we searched out shelter in Broad Bay, Lewis, and spent 36 hours there.

We had hoped to visit either the Shetland Islands or the Faroe Islands, but with 60 hours of delays already we knew we had to sail directly to Norway.  808 miles and 6 days later we made landfall.  As soon as we entered the inner lead between the islands, the weather became like the Mediterranean.  27 degrees, clear blue sky and burning sunshine.  We found a lovely little marina in the town of Nesna, and enjoyed both beer and dinner on the deck!

We set off the next day to cross the Arctic circle and after days of gales followed by beating to windward, motoring in amongst the islands was a pleasant change.  The scenery is so stunning the cameras were clicking away non stop.  A trip to the Svartissen glacier was next, it is always on the agenda for our trips north and south as it has proved immensely popular, and this trip was no different.  There is a convenient pontoon at Engen, and then it is a 2 hour hike/scramble to the bottom of the ice although you can go higher.

Our international crew , Jerzy from Poland, Per from Sweden, Valer from Romania and Howard from good old blighty set off with a packed lunch to see how high they could climb.  Jerzy made it up to 700m whilst the rest gave up earlier but were ambitious enough to take a dip in the melt lake at the base!!  Rather them than me.

The sun continued to shine on our last day as we continued north to Bodo arriving early afternoon.  The final log reading 1066 nm.  Not all of them were in gales or calms, we had great sailing past the Orkney and Shetland Islands and through the oil rigs.  We were regularly accompanied by Dolphins,  those with eagle eyes spotted a few whales and we even had the pleasure of following a whole pod of pilot whales for about an hour.

Richard and I are now getting ready for our Lofoten Islands season and the sun is still shining.  Our first guests arrive on Thursday for the Midnight sun cruise.

If you are thinking of joining us in Norway, we are just about fully booked for the summer, but do have one space from 30th June to 10th July and 4 spaces from 12th August to 23 August.