Last time we were at St Ninians Island, from there we went to Lerwick, were we spent a few days strolling around in the town,
but also spend some time on maintenance.
We had a leak from the raw water pump on our VP TMD22, I felt I had just replaced it, but figure out it was 1200 engine hours since it was replaced, hence I had not repaired my old pump! fortunately after walking around and asking different chandleries, hardware stores etc, I got a suggestion to ask a mechanical workshop who might be able to fix my pump. It was a + 40 min walk to ask if they could fix the problem (did not feel for take-off the pump before I knew if they could fix the problem). They could fix it, Great. So I had to go back to Kerpa dismantle the pump walk back with it, it would be ready after lunch time the next day!! (not usual this days with such prompt service).
Most of the day was spent walking.
The next day when I collected my pump, they said that the shaft was in bad condition, they had done what they could to fix it but could not guaranty that it would not leaking, not good. I asked them if they also could fix my old spare pump as fast, yes bring it in and I fix right away. Back to Kerpa put the pump back, luckily no leak, but did not know for how long, so I dug out the old pump, walked to the workshop again. Again, a lot of walking and time spent.
Also realize that our bilge pump did not work as it should (it must work not only for safety but water from sinks drain into the bilge and are pumped out), I had a repair kit so should not be any major issue, but it did not help, I had a spare bilge pump, it did not help!!! Ok I have to rely on my manual bilge pump, help! it did not work either, fortunately I manage to fix that rather quickly.
As we were heading for Lofoten and had found a good weather window, time was limited for maintenance . I had hoped for a day of rest after spending a few days working in the engine bay and walking back and forward to the mechanical workshop, but not, the day we cast off was spent from early morning to just before cast off to finalize the maintenance.
After finishing the last bit of work, we cast of 18:00, 9 of June, about 15 minutes of motoring then we could sail all the way to Röst, Lofoten. We had a fantastic crossing half of the time wind on the beam +/- 20 kn, so speed was very good the other half the wind eased down and came more from behind, but we were able to sail the full 564 Nm, first time ever for us to sail such a long stretch without the need for the engine.
The crossing was rather cold, but a very nice experience to notify that the nights got shorter and shorter until it became light the hole night. We celebrated to Polar circle crossing with an Irish Coffey much better needed than a glass of Champagne, which we probably will choose when we cross the equator one day.
It took us 3½ day to reach Röst, Lofoten,
First sight of Lofoten
We arrived 13 of June 05:45 in the morning a rather gloomy day.
We could not resist to have a short walk and was amassed about the vast amount of cod hanging for drying.
But it was a rather large number of fish heads also hanging to dry.
We were rather tiered after the trip, so we took a nap, when one is tiered the brain play games with you or at least me. When I woke up after a few hours of sleep, I went up in the cockpit and looked aft and found to my surprise and other Amel SM behind us, my first thought was, what is Kerpa doing there? and where am I? A few seconds later I realize it was not Kerpa, but just another Amel.
It was a French couple that we had meet before in Horta, The Azores.
Generally we did not found Röst to be a place worth spending to much time on, so a day later we decided to continue to Vaeröy.
On our way to Vaeröy there were not much wind, so we stopped the engine and put down the hook, in less than 10 minutes we caught a nice size cod.
Witch Kerstin was happy to clean
Approaching Vaeröy, we aimed for an anchorage just behind the peek you see on the photo
We had a very spectacular evening there, we experienced our first encounter with the midnight sun.
The next day we went into the harbour
And had a few days of walking the island
We had some very nice views and I saw a beautiful flower, that become one of my favourites it was very common in the northern part of Norway.
Called fjällviol in Swedish, or Viola biflora-Two-flowered Violet
It was down in this bay we anchored when we first came to Vaeröy
By chance we continue up to Reine, which showed to be a very beautiful place, one of our favourite
Approaching Reine a grey afternoon, but already at distance we were intrigued by the mountains and to se snow in the middle of the summer, somethings we would continue to see in rather large amount the whole time we spent in northern Norway, might be obvious for some, but it was not for me.
Reine village is surrounded by the most beautiful mountains, it’s like a dream
A trip up to Reinebringen is demanding but rewarding
Reine is really worth a trip on its own.
From Reine we took a short trip to one of the few “natural” anchorage, it was rather exposed, but weather is rather calm during the summer, not much wind at all, so it become a lot of motoring
Evening view from Kerpa at anchor
And the morning offered fantastic weather and view
Midsummer is sacred for a Swede, and one can’t find a better place than northern Norway who offer sunshine 24h/day during the summer, we ended up at Bjakröy
Enroute to Bjarköy
Bjarköy harbour, not many boats, and a very small harbour. This is common in northern Norway, few boats and not many guest moorings. But you will notice that Norway is a rich country, most jetties are very new and of highest quality, even at very small local boat clubs. Electric installation of very high standard, but showers and washing machine were less common, even toilets were not always to be found.
Pickled herring and beer for midsummer lunch
Nice view from the lunch table
Plenty of midsummer flowers
Another fantastic spot is Hamn on Senja, maybe we become a bit biased as we there had our first real midnight sun, one of my main objective with the trip was to experience the midnight sun.
The harbour in Hamn, so beautiful
Enjoying the evening sun together with our friend and crew Anna-Lena,
But it will become better.
It is fantastic to feel the warmth from the sun even that the sun has passed midnight.
Not too bad to trek around Hamn.
On our way to Nordkap, which is as far north as we plan to go, we passed Tromsö, a rather large village
Again, some time to be spend on maintenance so down into the Engine pit again.
I have a leak from the oil cooler, a bit irritating and the leak was increasing so time to fix it but might be easier said than done. It is the connection between the hose and the cooler itself, to make along story short I ended up putting in a fibre washer in the connection, and it held it tight for quiet some time.
Some paper tissues wrapped around the leak to identify from where it leaks
Drainage of the oil.
It worked so we could continue north towards Honningsvåg, Nordkap.
We had some amazing scenery on our way
But the highlight was sailing during the midnight sun
So fantastic, a dream came true for me
When close to Honningsvåg on Nordkap, the weather changed rather rapidly.
Gusting up to 40 k, and when approaching Honningsvåg, the rain came, further to our disappointment the harbour was very industrial and had no space for us, the small jetty they had was for a few days reserved for tenders servicing the cruising ships. It was only an exposed concrete quay covered with very large tractor tiers for us to moor at. To make matters worse, while manoeuvring in the harbour our bow thruster gave up. We tied up and decided next morning to head south again. All beautiful places we saw on our way south will come in next blog.
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