Velvet Lady in the moonlight

Bergen has a reputation for being the wettest place in Norway, no wonder then that it started to rain just as we approached!!

Our 601 miles sailed from Bodo to Bergen were filled with excitement and adventure.  We visited 7 new places on route, all of them different.  We saw eagles, dolphins, seals at rest on a rock, a very large whale, many large oil rigs, plenty of shipping and to cap it all watched the moon rise over a glacier.

We had a good mixture of strong and light winds which gave us the opportunity to go tacking through narrow channels.  At one point I looked out of the window and there were trees on both sides as we sailed between two very small islands.  As well as day sailing, we had one longer passage where we spent 2 nights at sea and anchored just before dark on the third night in Vagsvag in Vagsoy.  Our biggest problem that night was finding a place that it was shallow enough to anchor!

Everyone enjoyed this mix of day sailing and coastal cruising combined with the opportunity to experience a longer offshore passage.  I think it is all summed up in the poem that Paul wrote one night after watch

Warm and dry, fed
Not thirsty, do not need the head
My teeth are clean, I have not shaved
Not tired
Not on watch
Not seasick
I am happy

Henningsvaer Humdingers and Bodo Blasters!

With a shorter 8 night holiday instead of our usual 10 or 11 nights, we were all determined to fit in as much as possible in this our last week in the Lofoten Islands

We sailed 205 miles and visited as many places as we could. A long sail on the first day took us the 50 miles to the south end of the Lofoten islands, and we visited every island in the group! 15 eagles were the highlight of the trip, perched amongst rocks in narrow passages where we managed to get within 2 boat lengths from them.

Swimming in Haversand and walking up the 384m hill in Digermulen all added to the adventure. Guessing what was for dinner became the game for the week, as well as taking photos ‘good enough to go on the board’.

Our joining instructions say that we provide one large glass of wine with dinner and if you would like more you are welcome to bring your duty free with you. Early in the week, spells of seasickness meant a glass of wine was all we wanted. With 5 people swimming in Haversand, where it was really cold, Gluhwein seemed in order to warm everyone up, and after 3 litres of that the Gin still went untouched. None again the next night as we walked up the hill after dinner and it seemed prudent to leave it.

Henningsvaer Humdingers were created before dinner in Henningsvaer. Take a Paul measure of Gin, mix with lemon grass water and bitter lemon, add 2 cubes of ice and stir. One of these was enough to have us singing! To help understand a Paul measure of Gin, 1 litre bottle made 2 drinks each!!! I was cooking, luckily there was not much left to do.

Our last night in Bodo, we still had a bottle of Jim Beam – and so Bodo Blasters were invented. You’ve guessed it, take a Paul measure of Jim, mix with coke, 2 cubes of ice and stir. Thankfully the other half of the bottle was still there in the morning.

I know everyone had a great time this week, as it was conveyed in our guest book

‘Thank you for a truly memorable sailing trip that surpassed all our expectations.  You really opened the doors that all of Lofoten has to offer and more besides.  We especially appreciated your professionalism and expertise, along with a willingness to happily answer even the most basic question.  Hopefully we’ll be back before too long’

Its sad to be leaving the Lofoten Islands after 3 successful summers but we are really excited about our Summer 2012 programme which is now complete bar the polish and should be published at the end of the week.  Take a look at our schedule and join us in the future