Whilst Britain was basking in fabulous sunshine and watching Andy Murray win at Wimbledon, Velvet Lady was battling the elements in 40 knot squalls in Trollfjord!
The high pressure centred over UK giving you the nice weather was pushing a series of low pressures further north giving us some distinctly wintry weather!!
This was definitely a trip where the itinerary was totally dictated by the weather. Unsettled weather makes route planning difficult as we always have to think 3 days ahead to ensure we stop in places sheltered from the predicted gales and at the same time not get stranded too far north of Bodo.
It all started so peacefully with a flat calm motor to our favourite island Vettoya where we spotted several eagles soaring above the cliff tops. We continued north gybing downwind in Force 5-6 to a peaceful anchorage in Engeloya, reached across to Digermulen in a Force 6-7 and then headed north via Trollfjord to Lonafjord at the north end of Raftsund. By the time we were anchored in Lonafjord the wind was Force 7 gusting 8, and the following day was spent at anchor in the safety of Lonafjord as the wind blew force 8 gusting 9 outside. Sheltered anchorages are deceptive, you can never tell when the wind has gone so late afternoon we ‘poked our noses out’, only to be rewarded with a 40 knot squall and scuttled back to our familiar anchorage for a second night.
The wind was often accompanied by rain, and when we realised waiting for the rain to stop was going to mean no sailing the catch phrase of the week soon became, ‘same plan with coats on’!
As quickly as it came it went, and during the second half of the trip we had a good mix of Force 3- 5 before the grand finale on the last day and a short 9 mile beat to Bodo in another Force 6.
Despite the weather we managed to sail 305 miles, take photographs of stunning sea eagles, climb to the top of 3 hills, collect crabs and shells on the beach, pick wild cloudberries and one night even see the midnight sun. We also played a few card games, read a lot of books, laughed and joked about the weather and had a sing song with Tony’s song sheets.
So, when the weather is bad what do the guests think?
‘An unforgettable adventure amongst some amazing scenery. “Same plan with coats on!” became our mantra as the weather was wet ‘n’ wild. Our trip was memorable for the wild life and enormous seas as well as the laughs and smiles. Great food in good quantities. Thanks for being excellent hosts Lin and Richard and for getting us safely back to Bodo
Your consummate professionalism, very high level of sailing skill and primary focus on safety before all else are absolutely remarkable. There can be no better sailing skipper/mate combo on the planet. Whatever the weather (and unfortunately we had weather this week) was no problem
Add to all this the ability to conjure up hearty and fancy meals on a galley stove what more can one ask for – Better weather actually- Many thanks.