We took longer than planned to get around Sweden so we shortened
the Norwegian leg. The net is that we've limited our exploits
to the south east coast of Norway. There are fjords on this coast
but they're pikers compared to the "real" fjords on
the west coast. Guess we'll have to come back again.
On the other hand this "southeast" coast of Norway is
as beautiful as anywhere we've been. It is similar to but different
from the Swedish west coast and the Stockholm archipelago. It
is incredibly rocky but large sections of the shoreline are well
forested. It is pretty densely populated, by comparison to Scandinavian
coastlines in general. On the other hand a lot of the population
is seasonal and there aren't a lot of people around in early June.
Their houses range from tiny cabins perched on rocks in the most
unlikely and coolest spots to major structures with concrete docks,
tennis courts etc. Looking at the houses while motoring at 3-4
knots ("knobs" in Norwegian) was as interesting and
fun as admiring the more natural scenery.
One can travel by boat for nearly the entire southeast coast from
the entrance to Oslo fjord southwest to "The Naze" (Lindesness)
at the extreme southern tip of Norway without spending more than
a few minutes, or hours depending on the speed of the boat, exposed
to open water.
A particularly beautiful section of this coast, recommended by
all the Norwegians we met, is called the Blindleia. I think it
means blind way. For most of 3 days we moseyed through narrow
channels and passage between beautiful islands which protected
us from the sea. We spent a night anchored in our own little sub-fjord
and generally enjoyed the whole trip ... almost.
Trying to ensure that we enjoyed the Blindleia to the max the
skipper chose to exit near it's southernmost exit. An exit more
suitable for smaller, particularly shallower, vessels than Sister.
We had successfully navigated our way through the Blindleia leaving
all the submerged rocks, not to mention Sister's hull and keel
untouched. Likewise, we navigated most of the way through the
tricky channel through which the skipper had decided to exit.
We were motoring at about 3 knobs nearing the open ocean and feeling
pretty cool when the rock struck with a sickening thud. Sister
shuddered, elevated a few inches, rocked slightly to the port
side and continued on her way moving a little slower than before.
Ever so briefly I just couldn't believe we'd hit. I slowed her
to a crawl. Jack scrambled below and began ripping up floorboards
from the cabin sole. One might have thought that he was trying
to salvage the nice teak and holly cabin sole but. Of course he
was looking for signs of leaks in the hull. No leaks. Just some
scared crew and crest fallen skipper. We threaded our way through
the rest of the channel out into the Skaggerak/North Sea and on
to the next harbor.
For the rest of the day we made jokes and laughed the way a lot
of people do when they've experienced something that scares the
*$%#* out of them. We checked the chart ready to report the rock's
position to Norwegian authorities. When we determined that it
was charted and it's charted position was pretty much exactly
correct we thought we might call the authorities to confirm that
they had the position right. We thought perhaps we should advise
them to resurvey the area in case we moved the rock. We knew they
could identify the particular rock by the blue paint that Sister
must have left on it. What a drag!!!!!!!
We've been in Norway for 10 days now. We're tied to a dock in
front of an ancient two story wood structure. The top floor of
the building is occupied by a sail maker's loft. The ground floor
contains the sail maker's wife's restaurant (2 item menu ... pizza
and fish soup). The dock is L shaped with one leg, about as high
as our decks, attached to and parallel to the shoreline immediately
in front of the restaurant. The other leg, sticking out into the
water, floats and is therefore much lower. The shore-attached
part of the dock serves as the walkway to the restaurant entrance.
We spent our first night here tied to the floating portion with
our bow pointed shoreward. In terms of the L shape our starboard
side was tied to the inside of the vertical leg with our bow facing
the horizontal leg. The second day the wind came up and the sail
maker decided that he'd prefer for us to move the boat to the
portion of the dock that was built on the shore (and immediately
in front of the entrance to the restaurant). This was a very tight
spot but he said he could get 50 footers into it and since Sister
is 48.5 feet long he declared she would fit. We kept the starboard
side of the boat tied to the finger pier ran long lines from the
port side to the shore side dock. Leaving the bow attached we
were able to "swivel" the boat by slacking on the starboard
lines and pulling on the port lines until we had wedged her into
position. We were now lying with the port side along the horizontal
leg of the L with our bow facing the vertical leg.
We had a good 11 inches clearance at the stern and 3 inches at
the bow. We were close enough at the bow so that when Sister pitched
a bit the bow struck the dock. We had to rig a "custom"
fender to cushion the bow from the dock. Now our decks were at
the same height as this portion of the dock and less than 6 feet
from the continuously open door of the restaurant. In actuality
the door was an approx 4X6 section of the wall that they lifted
out in "good" weather. One stepped from the dock over
the framework of the building into the restaurant. It was pretty
Essentially all the restaurant's customers arrived by boat. Several
sizable groups came in tour boats or water taxis ... sort of a
designated driver system. Most of the large groups were more interested
in drinking than eating, many arriving drunk and departing drunker.
Each and everyone of the drunks stumbled their way out of the
restaurant, negotiated the immediate left turn necessary to avoid
stumbling onto our decks and, somehow or other managed to find
their way back to their "ride" without falling in the
We spent two days like this, thankful to be out of the gale, not
getting to sleep until the restaurant closed and certain that
we were going to find drunk Norwegians strewn over our decks each
morning. It didn't happen.
Chuck, Andy, Bob, Jack and Peggy in Lyngor Norway