Fresh Cod for Dinner

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Do you carry any fishing kit?

We are asked this question on a regular basis. The truth is although we do carry a rod and some hand lines together with a box of assorted fishing tackle neither Richard nor I have much of a clue of how to use it! We simply point people in the direction of the gear and suggest they have a go. We are quite happy to take advice from would be fishermen and over the past two years the contents of the box have grown. Many people have tried fishing here in the Lofoten Islands, but in all honesty without much expectation of catching anything large – what would we do with it if we did?

Luckily this week we had Lynn with us to help out when with shouts of delight David pulled in a large cod big enough to eat. Not quite big enough for 8 so we needed another. The next two were deemed by Lynn to be too small to catch and were returned to the sea, but the fourth fish out of the water was simply massive. So much so that we had to get a bucket underneath it to pull it out of the sea.

From the sea to the table in 2 hours – you cant have fresher cod than that and it was delicious.

Yet again the Lofoten Islands did not disappoint. We sailed 335 miles during this 10 days and made it to the northern side of the islands. Wild and isolated but surprisingly more green. We spent three nights alone in anchorages before heading south again to the pretty and busy town of Henningsvaer. It felt strange to see other people!

Yet again we managed to visit many new places, each with their own particular feel. We were lucky enough to see pilot whales on three occasions, and added to that we also saw a fantastic basking shark who swam under the boat, an otter and many birds and eagles.

The weather was kind, and encouraged swimming on many occasions – we even managed a BBQ on the deck one evening.

We are now preparing for our last 11 night sail around the Lofoten Islands, which is again fully booked and looking forward to returning here next year.  Our 2010 programme will be on line shortly

Arctic Triathalon

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I worried a bit at the start of this trip, that after raving about last week in my blog I might have set the expectation level too high.  As the guests arrived it was clear they had all read and been enthused by last weeks events, and were looking forward to more of the same.

Luckily the Lofoten Islands didn’t disappoint.  We sailed 213 miles, and apart from the first day visited completely different harbours and anchorages to last week.  We drifted amongst a pod of long finned pilot whales – counting at least 40, watched birds catch fish that had been chased to the surface by the circling harbour porpoise, climbed a 384m hill to see the sun at midnight, anchored in a lush green cove amongst the skerries with a view of the sun at midnight from the boat, and spent hours with the bird book trying to identify the various types of birds around us.  Eagles, Oyster Catchers, Puffins, Guillemots and one as yet unidentified bird with a curved beak.

This was definitely an active week as we invented the ‘Arctic Triathalon’ , swimming from the stern in arctic waters, rowing to the white sandy beach in our anchorage and bog running around the edge of an inland lake!  The reward for finishing, enjoying a large Gin and Tonic on deck in the sunshine.  Dan swam all the way around the boat, and then caught 2 cod!

Not compulsory, although everyone took part in at least one of the activities. This group had come prepared with a good amount of duty free Gin, and our major concern was not running out of tonic.

The weather was brilliantly warm, and the sun shone most days.  Although the temperature was said to be 12 degrees on the forecasts, it felt more like 20 out in the sun. We spent most of the week in a high pressure so the wind was mainly light, but we still managed a top speed of 9 knots with Pauline at the helm on her first days sailing!

Cameras were clicking all week at the scenery and the nature, and I expect hours will be spent sorting through them.  I’ve just been looking at ours – too many to choose from for this weeks blog and so I have learnt how to make a collage!  Looking at the photos reminded me that this week I even went ashore in the dinghy to take a walk barefoot in the sand. Lovely!

I am running out of words really to describe the Lofoten Islands so have chosen some from our guests

Welcoming, safe, secure, helpful, superb, spectacular.  This week has given me memories that I shall cherish forever – the trip of a lifetime – WOW

A week of Wows

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe such wonders of nature

Thank you for introducing us to some of the most wondrous places on earth

How are you going to beat that!

The only way is by having more time, which is just what we have next week on our 11 night trip giving us the opportunity to sail to the northern and more rugged side of the Lofoten islands.We now only have 2 places left here in Norway before heading home, and these last 2 places are now discounted from £1200 to £950 see our website for details.