The Norwegian coastline is a beautiful one with a huge amount of islands and nice anchorages. However, the dominating wind is south-west during the summer period and when you come from Oslo in a sailboat you need to anticipate a lot of headwinds. This summer has proven this bigtime and the iron genoa has been put to the test down the coast as the kids are not exactly enthusiastic on heeling and tacking.
But it started beautifully the first days. The midsummer eve was celebrated at the old fortress Bolærne in the Tønsberg area. The temperature was 25degC and sunny and the fire was ready to go. We found a nice place that no one had occupied close the fire but fast realized why there was no one there, it was downwind from the fire. After a few sparks found their way to the captain’s bare legs we quickly moved to the other side to enjoy the rest of the fire. After a while, a guitar started to play and it was a great evening.
The next morning we left early, raised sails and the whole autopilot history started. Nothing to repeat on that topic, the new one still works perfectly. As all the blog readers already know we anchored at Sandø after we left the dock. This was also one of those evenings you take mental pictures of and save on your brain hard drive forever. No wind, a beautiful sunset and even the water had 25degC. However, the weather forecast predicted one more day of this and then….the end of the heatwave. The forecast proved irritating accurate again. But we sure did enjoy, what right now, seems like the last day of the summer for a long time. As always, the old folks (Jill and myself according to our kids), started early after a morning swim. It was light winds but coming from the northwest. We managed to sail with the gennaker for 2 hours and 2 hours more with wing-on-wing with the genoa and main. But then it died and we motored until we approached Risør, needing a rest, swim and a cold beer. We dropped the anchor at an anchorage called Pjolter Bay, a very popular anchorage. The name itself means something like “long-drink” bay and when in Rome….well, we made a couple of Gin Tonic’s just to blend in….yeah right. However, the forecast told us to enjoy as the wind would pick up big time to a gale during the evening and the temperature would drop 10degC. At around 21.00 the gale came as promised and as the anchorage was crowded and small we were a bit anxious. Our trusty Rocna Vulcan kept us nailed to the same spot and I admit it, I love our anchor! A 38feet Najad that came in a bit late and anchored with a bruce anchor dragged and almost crashed in a boat behind us, but the owner became aware of it just in time but chose to leave the anchorage.
The next morning, it was colder and windy as predicted. We said to the kids we could watch a movie and just relax. 45 minutes into Star Wars episode something we heard a familiar voice saying “Hello Ticora” outside. We popped our heads up and there were our friends from Kolbotn, Henning and Heidi Krosby, who have a summer house closeby. We quickly opened a bottle of white wine and then we all went in their boat to Risør for Pizza and beer. Tinius really wanted to test their boat and as Henning is more than willing to play, we went for a fast ride in their boat with Tinius at the helm. I’m sure I could see him grow an inch just standing at the helm and driving a boat. This was a great experience for him and I’m ever so grateful to Henning for this. The Krosby’s had a crab pot in the water and we got 7 crabs that we cooked and enjoyed at their summer house. It was really a great evening and then Tinius got to drive us home in their boat as a perfect end.
Monday morning, it was time for Ina, Eira’s friend who had been with us for a week to be picked up by her mother and sister in Risør. Ina assured us she’d had a great time, despite the time needed for repairs. We certainly enjoyed having her as crew onboard Ticora, and even though Eira said she looked forward to having the cabin for herself I know she was quickly missed. The destination for Monday was Lyngør and even though the distance was a mere 8nm the 14ms headwind made it log enough. Lyngør is one of the most famous places in the Norwegian archipelago. It’s an old fisher “village” where the main street is the sea passage between the two islands that the “town” consists of. The nr of places to moor here is very limited but we got lucky and could moor just outside the charming restaurant “Seilmakerens Frue” situated in a building with a sail loft above. We had lunch there and the fish soup was fantastic! The next morning we went for a walk in the rain that poured down. It was a lot colder and certainly wetter and the kids made it quite clear it was not their favourite activity but as good parents, we ignored them and made them go. “What doesn’t kill them..” and so on.
We wanted to get moving a bit towards Mandal so we left as the rain took a short break and headed towards Arendal in the same headwind as the day before. We anchored at Merdø, an island outside Arendal and it was a great anchorage. We fished from the back of the boat and the Captain (of course) got a nice “lyr”(don’t know how its translated bit it’s a fish in the cod family) that we enjoyed as an evening meal. Jill also got a fish but as the hook was the same size as the fish we let it go.
The next morning we woke up to….more headwinds and even colder weather and water, but that for the next blog entry as my beer is now empty…