The reliable south-west was forecasted also the next day so, as always, we started early. But the captain, as always, dove into the water for a morning swim..or a dip as our good friend Jon Ola would say. The water temperature had dropped to scaringly 9degC in the mid of July! WTF! Where did the summer go?

The co-captain had made coffee and we started to approach Mandal, sailing through the beautiful archipelago of the Mandal area, the area where I found my love for boating in my younger years, travelling around in our small wooden boat with a one-cylinder engine, first with my parents and then with my local Mandal friends, Per Olaf and Trond, who lives closeby our summer house.  Ugly and false accusations of me hitting the ground with our boat in those times still travel the area. Fake news I say! Anyway, we sailed outside Skjernøya and passed Ryvingen, the most southern lighthouse in Norway. Most people believe its Lindesnes, but its Ryvingen. Lindesnes is the most southern point of mainland Norway.

We had noticed that our friends onboard SY Emelin had anchored just west of Mandal and we made a plan to go and wake them up. But as we approached we noticed that there were quite a few shallow grounds in the area and since we didn’t want more fake news going around we decided not to go in. A good decision it should prove to be as rumours have it that SY Emelin touched something on her way out. This will not be mentioned again….

Docking in Mandal, my birth town was a strange feeling. We found a good spot, outside the local fish store, alongside the main quay and enjoyed the small-town life. The to-do list was big and we didn’t get bored. Among them a trip to a boat equipment store and as you see we did spend some money..

Saturday morning arrived and now the wind really picked up, gusting to 18-19ms inside the Mandal harbour. The seabed we will use for crossings was finalized and the captain was happy with the creation. We were safely docked and invited for dinner at our summer house. My mother had made a great barbeque dinner and it was a big crowd as my brother, his kids and one friend of my nephew was also present. My nephew Kristoffer and his friend Fredrik ensured, as always, that there was no food waste and when we went back to the boat we certainly had not lost weight.

We also enjoyed a great evening with our friends Per Olaf and Merethe, and Toralf and Eva Mette. The attentive reader will at once ask him/herself if this is the same friend as mentioned before and, yes, it is. Not only is Per Olaf still a close friend but now also his whole family who has moved into his childhood home, just on the other side of the road of my parents summer house.

The local newspaper Lindesnes was doing some dockside interviews and this was spotted by the co-captain who quickly hi.jacked the reporter. This resulted in a nice article, both on-line and in print. We became local celebrities for a while, with quite a few people coming to our boat and wishing us a good and safe journey. This was quite fun and enjoyable as both family and friends we had not seen for a long time came around to look at the local adventurers.

We enjoyed the company of our friends on SY Emelin the whole time. Walks, meals, an occasional glass of wine was consumed while we planned future sailing routes and solved technical issues. It’s good to have friends that will be doing almost the same thing as you when you embark on an endeavour like this. We look forward to sharing more experiences with them for sure.

 

The last day before the departure we were once again invited for a meal at the summer house. This time a “monster lunch” as my nephew called it. Crabs, prawn stew, meatballs, cured meat, scrambled eggs and even more. To top it off we enjoyed my mothers “lappekaker” for desert. They must be tested, just fantastic.

Going to be this last evening in Norway, we saw the symbolism in leaving from the town I was born in. Mandal is, by heart, my “hometown”, even though I’ve grown up in the Oslo area. Always good to visit and I will always come back! Next….Skagen!