A new anchorage and white tailed eagles

Summer 2009 we had such a great season in the Lofoten Islands, that we just had to return for more. As always when you ‘revisit’ a favourite place, there is a danger that you will be disappointed.  After our first 10 day trip here in the Lofoten Islands, we are pleased with our decision to return and were not disappointed.

Norway’s coastline is as staggeringly beautiful as we remembered it, and the locals just as friendly.  The Lofoten Islands are 150nm north of the Arctic Circle, and as to be expected the weather is often mixed. Last week we had some warm sunny days, some cold windy days with bright blue skies, a couple of days of flat calm, and one day with a huge amount of rain.  We sailed 282 miles in the 10 days, walked to lakes, climbed hills, tried our hand at fishing and two hardy guests even took a dip in the sea off the white sandy beaches on Skrova.

We visited small fishing ports and had a close look at the cod drying on the racks.  We anchored in secluded bays and enjoyed the peace.  One night we drank gluwein and barbequed reindeer burgers, but ate them down below out of the wind!

We added 4 new places to our itinerary this week, the fishing villages of Aa and Sorvagen, and new anchorages in Ankersvagan and Breidvika.  Each week this season we will continue to revisit favourite places and search out new treasures.

Our favourite place this week was Ankersvagan, a new anchorage on the island of Engoloya.  As we arrived in this wonderful peaceful anchorage, the water was so still we could see reflections all around us, and up ahead on a rock sat two glorious white tailed eagles (sea eagles).  We silently crept up to them, cameras clicking away, and managed to get some great photos of them.

As we were dropping our anchor we could see fish jumping and knew that here would be a good place to get out the fishing line. We weren’t wrong, within minutes of casting the line, Miles had caught a large cod. The stillness was amazing and in the silence we could hear the tinkling of the bells around the necks of the local sheep, and the calls of two cuckoos talking to each other.

As we left the following morning, we again spotted our pair of eagles, and spent another comfortable hour, just watching nature in action, and before we left we also spotted three harbour porpoises!  No whales this week, will they come out to play next week I wonder.

Back in Bodo, midsummer celebrations were in full swing.  We arrived to hear a band playing over the tannoy and just as we tied alongside it seemed that the canon was fired in welcome!

Sailing North to Norway

We’re here.  We’ve arrived in Bodo in Norway and are getting ready for our summer season.  The sun is shining and the sky is blue, even if it is a bit chilly. We feel very at home here, no more so than when both the customs man and the owner of the garage where we get our gas both say ‘its you again, welcome back!’

Everyone who came on our passage from Oban to Bodo was looking for something slightly different.  So, when asked to describe their particular highlights, there was a huge variety.

For Keith, it was helming around Cape Wrath and past the Orkney Islands in strong winds, racing along at 8 knots – he did say he was both surprised and chuffed that we let him! (Of course we do, that’s all part of adventure sailing)

John’s highlights were the ‘Runs Ashore’, particularly Lovund, our first stop in Norwegian waters – and the best part, a fantastic Sauna.

For Malcolm it was ‘to be given hot crumpets while helming at 8.5 knots across the Arctic Ocean’

Clive’s highlight was the whole trip and the fact that it could be sub divided into so many different sections and types of experience

  • A day sail in the Sound of Mull
  • Beating against a near gale out of the Minch followed by 2 nights at sea on passage to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands (320nm)
  • A day stopover in Lerwick to recover, and prepare for the longer passage
  • The watch system on the 5 nights at sea as we sailed across the Norwegian Sea and past many oil rigs to Norway (570nm)
  • The intricate navigation as we took the inshore route to Bodo, sailing amongst the many islands and skerries, including a stop at the Svartissen glacier (200nm)

Relaxing at the Glacier with a hard earned Arctic beer, after a good sail and a climb right up to the ice

For Richard it was the seals and the Puffin Walk in Lovund even though the Puffins were not easily seen as they were flying in circles above our heads.

Other memorable moments not mentioned are Whales, dolphins, seals, eagles, crossing the Arctic Circle and logging 1000nm.

For me, my highlight is always when we exceed people’s expectations and they want to come back for more.

We’re ready now for our next set of new guests who are due tomorrow, and looking forward to more sailing in the Lofoten Islands.  Although we are now almost full for this summer in Norway, (one space on 14th August),we do have spaces later in the year, and are already selling spaces for 2011.  Check our our Schedule for full details