Second Leg, From Lista to Bergen, our jumping off point for the Shetland Isles.
Monday 18thto Wednesday 20th June
The little harbor at Lista for fishing boats turned out to be a friendly place, and two people came to chat wit us on the pier during the evening. Th first guy had been watching three football matches during the day and wanted to escape from that for a while. The second had a white poodle and he had been with the school ship, and was waiting to go to Bergen on Wednesday to join the ship, which was leaving for Capo Verde, Brazil and South Africa. So perhaps we will meet them later! He really liked our boat.
From Lista we had a long rather uneventful sail north to Skudneshavn, right at the southernmost tip of Karmoy Island. Not much wind until later in the day, so too much use of the motor.
Karmoy is the long island off Haugesund, and the sound between, Karmsund, between is a safe and deep passage for large and small ships heading up or down the Norwegian coast. There is a high bridge at the north end for traffic between. Skudneshamn was a fishing harbor, but is now heavily engaged in oil servicing and ship repairs. It was a very white little fishing village with a shipyard, and many houses along the canal, like a small northern Venice, in converted warehouses, and with their own place for mooring boats. The small guest harbor had noi space left for us, so we tied up on the cabal behind the shipyard. Later Thomas discovered that he could not leave this area to take a alk (well, if he did, he could not get back in again) because it was designated as the international harbor! Not a great deal to see there! However, we had safe shelter fom the rising ind and sea, a great meal of fish chowder with a nice white wine, and a good sleep!
On Tuesday, we took the morning off while waiting for the nights storm to die down, eventually casting off at 2.15pm , and exiting the harbor in moderate seas from the south, and a strong enough wind to propel us along at a brisk 7-8 knots.. We decided to sail as long as we could, because the boat was behaving perfectly and we were getting towards our destination with the best sailing so far!
Reaching Haugesund at 1645, we passed straight out into the area of rough seas between Haugesund and Bømlafjorden. Bokenafjorden is in between the two, and here we had strong gusts and fantastic waves up to about 3m, rolling in from the West. We tied up in sheltered Leirvik guestharbour at 2145, and had pasta with a sauce of tomatoes, onion and chorizo sausages. Turned in about 0100 on Wednesday after chatting.
How cold it is here after our summer sailing to Denmark, and hot days there preparing the boat. Alas, our boat heaters are still not working, so it gets rather cold, especially at night.
Wednesday was a lazy start, around 9am, with cold rain.Thomas went off to look for a bakery he remembered and get fresh bread. Alas the bakery, and many of the other small shops he remembered, had closed…., as in so many other places. However he eventually found bread, and we had a good breakfast together.
After sending some files off to Karen, ands writing some of the blog, we set off for Bergen in full rain gear. Hoping to catch a meaningful south wind that had been forecast, we were disappointed. All day the wind remained light and variable, and the sails came up and down several times. It also rained a lot,so everything got wet, although mostly dried again later.
Norway is a very beautiful country to sail in, especially the West, and we are both happy to be back again. When we reached Bergen around 2100, we had to move the boat several times because the tall ships were arriving today and tomorrow for some event, and all the quays are reserved. Now we have a space in the noisy spot at the eastern end of the harbor. Here we will stay until Hege and the girls arrive on Saturday, or until we get a good weather forecast to sail to the Shetland Islands, which will take up to 40 hours, depending on wind speed and direction, and sea state. Now we are trying to catch up with other things, do small repairs, trying to get the heating going (it is now 10 degrees C here!), do the laundry etc etc. Indeed, Thomas is now on a Skype call for work!
We are just about at mid summers day, so we should have no real darkness when crossing to Shetland at this latitude.
Remember, you can track us through the regular satellite uplinks of our position at https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/SYSvalen