Walk 15 mins to the airport to collect Willi & Shirley. It is so great to see them and to welcome them aboard Onegin again! Fantastic day, 25° and sunny. At 5.30 cast off from S/V Kalula and head for Surfugloya, Sandviken which is 20 miles south west of Bodo. Spectacular evening but no wind. Arrive at dock and tie up alongside, behind a Norwegian boat. Arrived around 9.30, have a calm start to the evening with no wind and enjoy fresh prawns that we had bought earlier in the day in Bodo from one of the fishing boats in the harbour. NOK180/kilo. We bought 1.5 kilos and they were delicious and worth every krone.
Morning walk through the local community on Surfugloya where the central meeting point is the coffee hut by the quayside, comprises holiday homes and a road that heads towards the beach. A great long beach, with no-one else there. The hanging valley is here too but that was going to be a full day hike up and down so we decided to cast off, but
where to next? We were initially slightly undecided but as the day was windless and the contour lines were beckoning, Geoff thought that we had to try to catch a fish. Several unsuccessful attempts made him more determined and once we chose the third spot, right next to the isolated danger mark he snatched a cod in no time. Willi & Shirley were very excited and watched on as Geoff moved the cod swiftly from line to chopping board. Hurray: we had supper organised!
Back to the ‘where to next ? question. The obvious destination was to go to Hollandsfjorden to the Svartisen glacier. We had been recommended a guide and decided that the forecast for Monday would be perfect for a hike up to and onto the glacier and booked Anneka for the following day. The best place to stay before heading into the fjord is Halsa, which was a tiny marina in the north fjord. Arrival around 9pm to tie up alongside, have showers and a delicious, line caught by Geoff, fish supper. As soon as our heads hit the pillow the calm evening turned into a breezy one with lapping water on the transom and gulls squawking near the bow to keep everyone awake and thinking about the following days adventure.
With a meeting time of 11.30am on the Engen dock in Hollandsfjorden, we were up bright and early and on our way by 8.30am to motor the couple of hours. From a distance you can see the vast expanse and extent of the glacier and the vast section that descends to the water - as you approach from the water the jagged edges of the ice are visible on the mountain side. It is the second largest glacier in Norway, 2000 years old diminishing by 70cm a month. Our group comprised 3 Dutch, the four of us and our great Dutch / Norwegian guide, Anneka. Equipment required: helmet, harness, crampons, ice axe, gloves, sunglasses. A fifteen minute bike ride to the start of the walk up the rocks, followed by a forty five minute hike to the edge of the glacier over massive rocks, smoothed by millennium of ice wear and rapid running streams. The view back down to the fjord was amazing. Between the fjord and us was a lake, which was filled with glacial water, and had until around the early 1900s been unseen the glacial cover. The intense colour of the glacial lake is extraordinary. Svartisen translates to ‘Black Ice’ so called because at certain times of year the glacier develops a very dark blue/black hue. With the sun beating down it was a little unnerving to be stepping onto this mass of ice alongside of the rocks especially after hearing how the glacier is diminishing so quickly and that pieces do fall off: the creaking we heard just prior to clambering on was most alarming.
With all the equipment on and full instructions to ensure we kept the ropes tied between us tight not slack, we set off. Geoff was given the responsibility of bringing up the rear and taking out any carabineer screws that Anneka had set on the way up and on the way down was set to lead the group. He did a great job as Anneka’s number two. It was a quite extraordinary experience, slightly outside of our comfort zones in some places we were all thrilled to have taken part and had the experience.
Our route down was speedy and we had a number of hangers on who had lost their way on the rocks, as well as encountering the cruise ship passengers who were walking to where we had cycled, it is hard to imagine any of them would had tried to clamber on the rocks to reach even the edge of the glacier. I really wondered how they dealt with their head count- and how many they would lose en route to or from the glacier that day. Perhaps it is part of their business model!!!
Back to the boat by 5pm and ready to cast off, we were all very excited by the day’s activity.
Where to next?
The forecast was for a calm night so we headed for a nearby anchorage off Omnoya, in a sound called Amoyhamn. The conditions were perfect for a stern anchor and tying bow line to a mooring bolt on shore. We dined, showered, relaxed and readied ourselves for bed after a big day. All was comfortable.
Around 1.30am with the click of a finger the wind was up and howling 180° different direction, fro the north west blowing us onshore. This place would no longer work and we had to get away immediately. “Bel, take the knife and cut the line to the shore at the same time as Willi releases the anchor line with a fender attached to mark it for pick up at a later date”. The maneuver was quick and we made a dash for a nearby harbour of Bolga (about an hour away) in ever increasing breeze. This wasn’t what we had expected and wasn’t in the forecast but managed to get away smoothly without mishap. All we left behind were the anchor and lines.
2am Bedtime,,,,,9.30am wake up to a calm morning with no wind and chat with local Norwegians about the curious weather phenomena. It is not normal and happens occasionally, describing it as a ‘fjord wind anomaly’, which is completely unexpected and not predictable. Today the wind is from the north and very light, ideal for heading a little further south into another beautiful spot on Selsoyvik, a former trading station offering locally smoked salmon. The location is perfect, a great dock to tie alongside with all facilities: loo, shower & washing machine. The locals are very friendly: the big white house on the hill is owned by a lady whose great grandfather bought the island and she now summers here with her family. They live in Oslo and drove 13 hours plus 2 ferry rides to get here and will spend the next four weeks on holiday. They have an 11 month old husky dog which they are training to be an elk hunter dog. He was very bouncy and very pleased to meet new people!