Seek out new places and explore new things aboard Velvet Lady

This last week has felt more like a family reunion rather than work.  Every one on board had been with us before and some were on their third trip.  It was really nice to see familiar faces climbing aboard Velvet Lady, and hear them discussing what had changed since they had last been on board.  The new carpets, curtains, and bedding  were a topic of conversation amongst the ladies and the condition of the varnish amongst the men!

All were here to have a jolly good relaxing holiday and looking forward to seeking out new places and exploring new things.  With the weather and tides in our favour, as well as seeing a lot of the Lofoten Islands we managed to head north through narrow gaps and under bridges to the outer islands of Vesteralen. Here the scenery is so much different to the towering steep cliffs of Lofoten, with much flatter and greener land, we even saw sheep swimming! (or so it seemed but they were actually walking across a causeway that was just covering with the tide)

We visited 5 places on the north side.  Some anchorages are really tiny with no room for more than one boat, and the first anchorage we headed to on the north side in Nesoy was already occupied.  Fortunately there are so many pretty places and bays to visit we soon found another place to anchor for the night in Brottoya.

After a lunch stop in the town of Stokkmarknes on the island of Meloy, we continued north,  Alice carefully steering us through a narrow passage with the instructions ‘get as close to that red post as you can but don’t scrape the paint’!

We found a perfect anchorage in Nordvagan which was almost immediately renamed ‘jelly fish bay’.  We saw at least 4 different types of jelly fish and there were thousands of them as far as he eye could see.  A beautiful place and as it was a perfectly still night with fabulous reflections the photos all looked the same whichever way you looked at them.  Our 5th night on the north side was spent in the little town of Laukvik to wait for the tide south again.  Here we were able to see the sun at midnight on one of the last days before it started setting again.

The time went by so fast and as always it was soon time to head back to Bodo.  We rounded off the 11 days by visiting my favourite spot, a tiny wild anchorage on the mainland coast near the island of Vettoya.  Here we saw 13 eagles, 7 of them at one time flying amongst the trees.

Every evening, along with Gin and Tonic, Sara would get out her note book and write up the days events in diary format – she is going to enter a competition for the most interesting log of the season at her local yacht club – so much happened I hope they believe her!

Haversand beach

Our final tally was, 11 days, 250 miles, 14 new places visited, waterfalls in the majestic Trollfjord, a bbq in the sunshine in Haversand,  sightings of porpoises, a minke whale, puffins, guillemots, arctic terns, eagles and even a polar bear skin.

We were sad to see Sara, Gordon, Alice, Malcolm, Mary and Lynda go – but before they left we were really pleased to hear them discussing which trip they would like to do next and show them our ideas for the Danish Archipelago next summer.   We look forward to more similar ‘family reunions’ in the future.

3 beautiful new places on our Lofoten Islands Sailing Holiday

This week, in addition to John and Mary we were joined by John, Colleen and Joyce, 3 guests from Texas, who found the Arctic weather to be a little ‘cooler’ than they were used to. Sunbathing on the aft deck involved full oilies and Colleen one day commented ‘I’m practically naked’ when the sun shone and she came on deck without the ‘red suit’.

In fact the Arctic weather was again kind to us with blue skies and sunshine on more than half of the days, 1 day of rain and some perfect sailing breeze. We sailed 268 miles and in addition to some old favourites visited 3 new places.

Our first day, there was no wind and not wanting to motor far we headed off to Helligvaer, a group of small islands just west of Bodo which we have often sailed past but never stopped. There is a tiny harbour on Vokkoya and the friendly locals let us tie alongside their private pontoon for the night. The light was great for some fantastic photos and the water so still that the reflections were amazing.

Our route then took us to Vaeroy, and another new anchorage before beating across the maelstrom to Reine. After sailing along the coastline and visiting Nusfjord and Ballstad we enjoyed a long sail up to our third new anchorage in Hestvik on the islands of Store Molle.

This gave us a great starting point to head up to the atmospheric Trollfjord and let Richard do his party trick of motoring Velvet Lady very close to steep cliffs and so close to the waterfall that we got wet on the deck. We saw plenty of birds and quite a few eagles, Jonathan and John even found an eagle feather at the top of the hill in Vettoya.

Yet again a great trip in the Lofoten Islands, with stunning scenery and peaceful anchorages and more to come next week.