We can highly recommend sailing in northern Norway during the summer, The midnight sun is fascinating, the mountains with snow at the top looks fantastic, especially the days when the sky is clear and the sunshine gives bright sparkling colours, blue sky, some white clouds, green grass, black mountains with white snow at the top creates very strong contrasts all this surrounded by the blue ocean, it’s just amazing.
But you will find that there is not much wind so be prepared to motor a lot. We also found it difficult to find good sheltered anchorage, they were often small but deep and as we want to have at least a scoop of 5 time the depth, we would end up on the shore in many places if wind would turn. Further it is difficult to land a dingy as tide is close to 3 meters, the shore line is often hard rock or gravel so hard to pull up the dingy. Water is not very warm either just over 10C when we were there, so to swim the last few meters to shore was not an option for us.
Most harbours for pleasure crafts are small places, only space for a few boats and service are limited, showers and laundry is not easily found, but the jetties are often of highest quality, as most things in Norway. No doubt Norway is a rich country, it shows everywhere, from fish farms assisted by large boats in pristine conditions. Warehouses for the fishing industry most often looks new and of very high standard. Houses were of high standard and a lot of new development was going on. One draw back that comes with that, is prices, Norway is a very expensive country to visit.
We had both good and bad weather, from Tromsö and north we had excellent weather, sunshine most of the time, and locals claimed it was 20 years since they had such a summer. But south of Tromsö in the Lofoten area, we had not much luck with weather, plenty of rain and mist and also some strong wind keeping us from leaving our mooring for a few days. locals claimed it was the worst summer in 100 years?
After Nordkap we visited Hammerfest
Towards Hammerfest, and as always the scenery is breath taking
Kerpa moored at Hammerfest
Nice trekking close to Hammerfest
We continue south and found a safe anchorage at Söröya
But we fouled our anchor as we caught a rather big fisherman’s anchor tangled in our chain
It took some time the get lose, the anchor was rather heavy but half an hour later we were on our way.
We have had some times with good weather, much better than expected, but it was about to change
A front of bad weather is coming towards us
Svolver is highly recommended, the town itself is not special, but walking distance you have many spectacular trails to choose from, several of them within walking distance from the harbour.
The most well known is probably the Devils gate, but that trail was closed due to work on the trail, so we could not go there, but we found good alternative, maybe a bit more demanding hike.
I have “stolen” this picture on the web.
Our trail was not to bad
We had reasonable weather on the way up, but 15 minutes after we started to climb down the weather changed, mist and rain so we got totally soaked before we got back to Kerpa
Mist just came in
The top we climbed, just got clear of the mist
My son with family came the same day as it started to rain. And it did not get better when we came to Vaeröy
My son had really looked forward to visit Vaeröy, but the weather did not cooperate!
We had hoped that the sun would burn away the mist, but not.
The other day we walked across the island in drizzling rain and fond this interesting rockformation
Saltstraumen The world’s strongest maelstrom they claim
After Kristoffer and his family left, we had a few days before our oldest daughter with family should visit us, luckily we got one day of nice weather so we decided to take one of the Rib’s to visit Saltstraumen. (if you like to know more about Saltsraumen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltstraumen)
On the way we found this very special erosion on the cliffs
A short video from Saltstraumen, it was not extremely strong as it was between neep and spring tide, but still about 14 kn at the time we were there, it can be up to 24 kn at spring tide. The trip is well worth to do as the sorunding is very beautiful
Bolga from the sea
Emelie with Family at Bolga
As it was a bit demanding to get the kids up to the top, Kerstin and I decided to return to Bolga a few days later after they left during the few days before next batch of visitors arrived!
Kerstin is brave climbing down from this rock.
From Bolga one can see the glacier “Svartisen”
We would have entered the fjord and visit Svartisen if we would not run out of time
Ingrid looks like a happy crew
Alexander is a bit tiered, maybe due to sea sickness
A bit gloomy weather when at Söröya
The weather was grey and wet most of the time when they visited us, but it would become worse when next visitors came, my brother Thomas with partner Brita and our youngest daughter Linnea.
We changed crew in Bodö and when Thomas and the others came, the forecast was for southerly severe gale and rain, but we might get one day with reasonable weather and as Reine is just 50 Nm away and a very spectacular place we decided to go there.
We climbed the Reinebringen a rather demanding trek ca 650 m hight, the sun was up a few moments and Linnea really enjoyed the hike. But the day after the bad weather came. Not from south but from SW-W so we got the wind on the side, not the best situation with strong wind and very strong gusts the highest was 55 kn. I used most of that day to adjust my fenders to avoid damages to Kerpa’s topside, I managed, only a bent guard rail.
We had to stay for additional three days as wind did go down only slowly, and then of course no wind so we had to wait another day for the waves to go down as well.
On our way “Home”
Due to weather and logistics with all our visitors we were behind schedule it was now mid-August and high time to head south, at this time of the year strong south-westerly wind is common, luckily the weather was favourable with many sunny days and not so strong southerly, so we could often motor south in comfort. With several nice sceneries and a few nice hikes.
A very spectacular place is Torghatten
A big mountain with a natural tunnel right through it
Inside the “Tunnel” it is very large and high to the roof
View from the other end amazing
One of our stop was at Kristiansund a rather large village. We found a nice outdoor museum where they took good care of old boats.
Seeing all the hard work they put in to the old boats I got the energy to fix our bowthruster that broke when we were in Nordkap so we have been without a bowthruster now for more than 6 weeks. It is not that easy to moore an Amel SM without a bowthruster, so one has to choose a harbour which has enough space for manoeuvring and that is not easy to find in northern Norway, luckily the wind has been rather gentle when we had entering tiny small harbours so no mishap, and I want it to stay that way so now time to fix it. It is the gears that need to be replaced, I had ordered new from Amel and my son Kristoffer brought them to me, so no lack of spare part just lack of confidence that I could fix it.
The main issue is to get off the bearing and the cogwheel, when I put it together last time I had to force it together it was with a lot of tension on the spanner when forcing the cogwheel on with the bolt that also should keep it in place. After some result-less attempts to get it off, I thought maybe I can cut it off with my dremel and a cutting disk. It worked, Halleluiah, when putting it together again a smoothed the surfaces so it was a snug fit, the main issue was the wedge that had grades by file down the grades it should not be to difficult to take it apart again, something I hope I do not need to do the coming 10 years
From Kristiansund we had two stops before we went directly to Mollösund and Sweden the last stretch was 412 Nm, were off 2/3 was by motor as no wind.
Mollösund in Sweden has great sea food, we bought some delicious crayfish, they were perfect
Kerstin enjoying a beer in Skärhamn, a place were we lived for 8 years, and our kids went to school
A stop in downtown Göteborg, just in time to celebrate Linneas 30th birthday
Just passed under the Öresund bridge
We made a few stops on the Swedish East cost, and we found a fantastic place, Lisselön, a great place with sauna, hot bath and a bar all in a fantastic setting
Not often one can make Med mooring in the archipelago
We had a lovely day to walk the island
Fantastic to wake up and fine a cow grazing on the grass
Our Final destination for the season was Västerås in lake Mälaren ca 45 Nm from the Lock in Södertälje.
Fantastic weather but no wind
Strängnäs a small old town at lake Mälaren.
Kerpa on her way up worked very handy
Kerpa wrapped and ready for the winter, we had some logistical issues as we had no car and nearest shop is 5 km away from Kerpa, we managed, it took us almost a week to winterize, clean and pack things that should be taken off Kerpa during the winter.
All in all, we casted off from Lagos March 23, arrived Västerås September 21. 4942 Nm, half distance by engine as we have had very little wind.
Now we are home in beautiful Lagos
Will spend the winter planning for next adventure, which probably will take us over the Atlantic fall 2023