Sister's Journal

Date: 19.June.1999
Location: Lyngor, Norway
Position: 58 degrees 37 minutes North, 09 degrees 06 minutes East
The Southeast Coast of Norway
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 informal.
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 water.
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

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