Today we reached Kjerringoy after leaving Rorvik on June 14th . This is the beginning of our summer adventure in Norway and eventually crossing to the Scottish Isles in August.
Our first night out we anchored at Leroya, Risvaer a tiny secluded spot with nothing but rocks and birds for company. We dropped anchor and tied a line to the mooring ring on the shore: an anchoring technique frequently used in Scandinavia. It was not such a restful night as the wind came up although we were stuck fast and going nowhere.
After a late start we had a fabulous 30 mile sail to Moyhamna Hole in Mountain, Torghatten, (which you can see in the slideshow below). Legend says the hole was created by an arrow shot by the king of the mountain after the capture of one of his seven daughters by a bad Troll. He was a good shooter - the arrow went right through the bad guy's hat and the daughter got away to join the other six who became a range of mountains called The Seven Sisters a bit further up the coast. Arriving back at the boat mid afternoon we were able to take the lines from Kevin & Sue, Islander II from Cowes. They joined us on board for drinks along with Norwegians Per Tura & Gunn, who were sailing south on their fishing boat Lisa II. A fun evening of Norwegian tales, Aquavit and promises to keep track of progress on AIS.
Set off around 10am in drizzle and poor vis but a great sail in decent breeze. Another 30 mile day to anchorage on Hjartoya, a settlement that the locals were forced to abandon in the 1950s. Also a Viking burial ground, there were signs of previous lives in derelict cottages and old farm equipment. The excitement of the following day was to cross the Arctic circle, luckily as we passed the monument we were able to capture the moment!!
Our destination was Rodoya, a 40 mile trip. We could see the island miles ahead because of Rodoylova, the Red Lion, a reddish tinged mountain which rises up 443metres. The bay is quiet and protected and tying up alongside the Klokkergarden restaurant pier at 8.30pm we were enticed into the dining room for a delicious fish supper (note to James, Logan & Rolf: we've yet to catch our own fish....). The building used to be the old school house and had been restored in a period style- well done, if a little kitsch. Next morning was gloriously sunny as forecast, so a perfect day to explore. Hiked partway up the mountain then a 2km detour to the beach with the Per Inge Bjorlo steel sculpture which is part of Artscape Nordland, an outdoor exhibit of 35 pieces across the municipalities of Nordland. It was great to stretch our legs, find sea urchins and crabs along the shoreline and the slightly incongruous sculpture. The on shore activities meant we left quite late, but here it doesn't matter as it never gets dark. Started out sunny with a 15kn breeze from the north.
Wind picked up and 30kn squalls blew through so we ran for shelter into Stott, a tiny bolt hole south west of Kunna. There seemed to be no signs of life in the harbour then we realised the guest pier had an amazing building that is now a restaurant/bar but used to be the central store for the island. It still has the old wooden counters and drawers and has been lovingly restored: Stott Brygge. North wind is due to keep blowing for the next few days, so we made good tracks beyond Bodo today. Our original plan was to go anti clockwise to Lofotens but with this weather we've changed the route so will explore Kjerringoy and wait for the wind to ease.
The week has been extraordinary, as we travelled north there was a sense of something hidden in the clouds in the unseen the mountains. We were told 'the mountains wake up' the further north you go and as the clouds lift and snow capped mountains appear inland or peaks emerge from islands it is easy to understand where the legends of Trolls come from.