Sailing all of Norway

It’s now exactly a year since we decided to sail north in favor of following our actual plan to become part of the Kingdom of Sweden. I suppose it’s all cooking down to grabbing the opportunities and for our sake we acted on an impulse, hence doing this sail that most sailors would swear belong to the summer. Somewhere inside of us I guess there was a dream to sail the entirety of the Norwegian coast and as we are now a whole year in, and only a few weeks out from completing the return. There is still quite a stretch left, and according to the forecast we will have to take our time for the journey around the southern part of our country. But as we are awaiting our third crew to return from her job tomorrow we have had time to reflect on our adventure.

The Captains dressed to impress

The hardest part of sailing during the winter is of course the icy cold and the unpredictable weather. I have a feeling that this notion have been reflected in the blog, but it does for sure demand a great deal of extra planning and care for every day of sailing. It has never really been a problem, but in many cases it has torn on our patience, whenever we’ve had to wait for storms to pass or winds to pick up. Winter also calls for shorter days, both due the lack of daylight and to the fact that it’s hard for the body in general to work through long, cold and sometimes wet days onboard.

One day at the time, and by keeping up a good spirit has done the trick. Despite sometimes waiting weeks for a good warm shower and having to carry fresh water on the back since all the guest harbors close down their faucets from mid-October we have stayed warm and cozy inside FF Ella, who on her part have proved to be a stable and reliable ship. The only things we really miss onboard is to have our own shower, a cockpit-tent and of course more space, of which you can never get enough.

But then there is the people, the Norwegians. They have been great the entire way. We have met a whole bunch of them – and maybe it helps to be a Norwegian in Norway but they have all been extremely welcoming and easy to deal with. As everywhere it is somewhat harder to meet the people of big cities, they tend to be a bit colder until you get under their skin, but once they warm up to you, they explode into the roots we all have.

Then the nature; Norway and the Norwegian coast is famous all over the world. And although we have not tapped into the deepest of the fjords, but the rough and almighty coastline has shown us it’s best.

All the experiences counted I am so happy we did this journey. I suppose I’ve learned a thing or two about myself, and also a great deal about the country that have given me my life and culture. Having been lucky enough to have made some travels around the world I can vouch that although cold and seemingly self-centered, Norway offer something very special. It’s a deep culture unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. Also, in a way, one of the richest.

FF Ella in preparations for sail

By the end of this journey, by the time we return to Fredrikstad we will have completed somewhere in the neighborhood of 2800 nautical miles along the coast of Norway. That equals to about 5200 kilometres. It didn’t really break the bank either, but it has of course not been a totally free ride. Diesel and Harbor fees, and of course the food have been the posts we’ve had to balance. A rough estimate (without really having kept the tabs) is a cost of about 25.000 Kroner/2500 Euro, which is pretty good. Amusement and other perks are not included of course but thinking that we have been sailing through the entirety of a world pandemic where the country have been partly closed down this is not bad at all.

As for now, the days are getting brighter, and just since we left Åndalsnes a few weeks ago we have two hours more daylight. These days there is a huge cold-front covering all of Norway, so ice and snow is part of the day, but it is getting warmer, also due to the fact that we have moved hundreds of kilometres south.

Trollfjord

It’s far from over. We are about to continue on the original plan of taking FF Ella to the inland waters of Sweden where all of this started, a good three years back.

I just got word that the Goddess missed her flight from Oslo, but have rebooked for a later arrival. The forecast have promised storms this week and we are unlikely to make huge progress. I am however hoisting the sails tomorrow morning and are setting course for Egersund.

Captain Jack

Long cold sunny days

In Bergen, the Goddess ran off minutes after securing FF Ella to the quay. She was set on getting a shower at some old friend’s house, while the other crew-members had their eyes on a good old roll on the electric kickbikes to find a decent kebab. Showers are after all not a neccecity in cold weather when we are being Corona-prevented from hugging anyways.

Bergen hadn’t changed much since our last visit, on our northbound journey. The street May have been a bit more quiet, and all the bars were closed. Only the places that derved food were allowed to stay open, making the thirsty people of Bergen buy small cheap sandwiches next to their trays of beer. We were however tired after a long day of sailing, and turned in long before the Goddess returned from her showers.

Our plan in Bergen was to vist the aquarium. It was on Captain Simen’s to-do list and we finally had the chance to do it. The place is well worth a visit, and allthough a bit expensive it was a great activity.

To nights later our plan was to go on to Fitjar, a good 35 nautical miles down the coast. But once again the engine stoppes working due to the fault on the cooling-system. We had no choice but to find a safe harbour for the night while working out a permanent fix to the problem. Florvåg ended up being the place where we were allowed to stay for free through the night to solve the issue. Captain Simen worked his magic and cleaned out the whole system. It was clear that a good cleaning hadn’t been done in years and the next morning we felt confident to carry on.

Balto waiting for things to happen.

My originale plan was to pick up some lost time and sail quite a bit further than originally planned, but as darkness fell upon us and the ice cold winter presenter itself upon us, I decided that Fitjar was a good place after all. And as luck would have it they even had showers, it was a completely clean and well-smelling crew that woke up the next morning – just to learn that the boat was surrounded by ice.

FF Ella is built in Steel, so I wasn’t too worried about her as we spent the first hour pushing our way through a fairly thick layer of ice. Eventually we broke free and presented ourselves to the City of Haugesund, which is a great place to arrive in. You have the feeling of sailing straight through the city and they have pretty good prices for leasure-boats during the winter.

The next morning we sailed off early. The Goddess was once again deserting us and had decided to spend 24 hour on the car-ferry Stavangerfjord. Why to spend this much time on a ferry that run back and forth across a fjord is question only she can answer, but we let her ashore before continuing on toward Stavanger.

We are now secured in Dusavika where we will spend the next week. The Goddess have to go back to the inland to take care of something they call work before returning by an aeroplane on monday. We will then spend the coming three weeks to sail the southern part of Norway.

FF Ella resting in Bergen

Thanks to Chris who let us use his lot in Dusavika harbour for our stay in Stavanger. And please excuse the grammar in this post as it is written on my phone. Until next time,

Bon voyage, Captain Jack

Back from vacation

We’ve had a good stop, leaving the ship behind in Åndalsnes and ventured inland to tack down the Goddess. Balto the Great got to ride the infamous Rauma railway and to discover snow for the first time. The Captains finally had the chance to rest for a day or two in the winter-town of Lillehammer where Santa was busy working the streets. While waiting for the Goddess to finish up some undone business, like hunting down wolf-hunters and starting a new job, we had the luxury of hot showers and a full sized bed.

Balto missing the sea.

Finally it was time for us to return to our belowed vessel. Unattended for weeks FF Ella had accumulated a thick layer of heavy snow. We got enough shuffled off before darkness came upon us to get a good start the next morning.

FF Ella upon our return

There was of course a concern that the frost or someone had done some damage while we were gone, but we quickly learned that noone had touched the ship while we were gone. Not long after we got started the next morning there was however an issue with the cooling-system that had us power down for a good hour leavi g us in the faith of our sail while Captain Simen worked the problem.

Captain/mechanic Simen doing his thing.

One we learned what the problem was, we where soon back and running. The day had presented us with little wind, bud the sky was clear and at times the sun peaked down at us between the mountains. Our goal for the day was to reach Ålesund, some 50 nautical miles through the Romsdalsfjord and Midtfjorden.

We also spent the day cleaning off most of the remaining snow.

We reached Ålesund, got onto the mission of finding suitable drinking-water, made dinner and quickly turned in for the night. The next day was yet another long leg, the second on a row, but neccesary in order to stay ahead of a minor storm heading our way. Our plan for the day was to sail one of the most dangerous parts of the entire Norwegian coastline, the supposedly horrific Stadt; where winds and waves cross paths in all directions. But just as last time we crossed this sailors nightmare we couldn’t be luckier with the conditions.

We cruised through, and allthough we once again was delayed due to a faulting cooling-system and therefore completed the voyage in the dark, we reached our destination – the monestary on Selja, that noone know when was built.

There was of course no electrisity on the island, but we are prepared for condition like this and fired up the old alchol-stove for heating. After yet another long day and the Goddess’ awesome potato-stew we quickly turned in to prepare our bodies and soul for a whole day exploring the monestary and let Balto roam free for the first time in weeks.

In order to get moving and to fullfill our wish of drying our clothes, we made the two hour journey to Måløy in the afternoon. This allowed us to prepare for our next step to prevent ourselves from getting held back by the weather – next day by making our way to Florø, where we will be resting up and waiting out the worst of the icy rain that is currently washing off the rest of the ice covering the boat.

It’s great to be back and to make such good progress every day. Strange enough I guess since there is no concrete plans to how and when this adventure shall end. For now we are having Bergen and Stavanger on the list of ports to visit, but other than that.. Who knows..

Captain Jack

Leaving Troms and Finnmark

It’s been a while. Since arriving in Tromsø and leaving the Goddess behind the remaining crew have been in need of getting used to be back on the water and enjoy the way of the seas. It has been quite a journey and as these words are being hammered down we have already sailed south of Lofoten and is setting course for Bodø. Let me take you back a couple of weeks.

We spent a few extra days in the great city of Tromsø. An amazing stranger heard our cries for help and offered us a place to stay while the first storm on this side of summer raged across the country. Before we left we made sure to get ourselves a half day at the city’s new water world. Having had the best five showers of our lives we were ready to set sail again.

As the nomad-sailors we’ve become we had invited ourselves to dinner with our new friend Morten a few miles down the coast. Like many places in the North, finding safe anchorage is not always as easy as it sounds. But after introducing Morten to one of his neighbors that conveniently had a strong mooring we could safely take the small boat ashore and settle in for a great evening with great food, company, and a large collection of out of date beer. We also had a good chance to finally do some laundry. The party was so good we stayed with Morten for a whole extra day. The next day was a good relaxing day where we played instrument, painted pictures, built Lego and played the playstation. Ulf, Morten’s friend came by in the evening to talk about herbs and interview us for the radio-station he works at. New friends made, we once again hoisted our sails.

Photo by Morten

In our hunt for new places to take a shower we made the long trip to Finnsnes, with a quick stop in Gibostad to let Balto get his wishes fulfilled by hunting some birds and pee. Finnsnes, a town of which we visited on our journey North is a good place to spend a day or two. There is really not much going on, but they do have diesel, showers and NAV, a place good to visit if you need cash for the food and diesel to continue on. After a quick meeting we had once again restocked and bunkered for our journey forward.

We made the long journey to Harstad, a City we skipped on our way North to save time. Now we arrived right in the middle of a boat-party in the guest harbor. We were late for the sale of alcohol, but since my father studied in this city a few years back he pulled some contacts and we had him go to the store for us to secure a few beers to celebrate the weekend. It was a beautiful chaos of a weekend and we are happy to report a great stay in Harstad, so good that we also here stayed an extra day. To complete the stay we treated ourselves to a huge pizza at Milano restaurant and got up early next morning to leave before the harbor-master caught up with our missing port-fees.

We have not been blessed with good sail winds, so far, and on the next leg we also had some major currents against us. For an entire day we engined toward Tjeldsund, making only a few knots with max engine power. A waste of diesel of course but I had been misinformed regarding the direction of the tidal current, and well, it is what it is. We eventually made it to the place we had picked as our next port of call. Too late we realized to have entered a military area, I was in the middle of reefing the Jolly Roger when a couple of uniform came storm in toward us, explaining that we had passed way to close to one of their submarines and were to leave the area at once. Even we, don’t argue with the military, and even though it was already pitch dark outside we had to explain to the dog that his planned land-leave was pulled and it would take another couple of hours before he could get his evening walk.

Making dinner as we went, we had to cross a fjord in order to find a suiting place to stay. On the way there we finally had some good winds, sailing upwards of six knots, harboring for the night in Skarstad. Here however there is not much to see, but it was a nice quiet place with almost no cars on the road and only a couple of visible houses. To let Balto have some more shore-time we played the new norm and stayed an extra night.

Again, we are starting to look for showers, and a place to get coffee and therefore sat course for Korsnes. A small community, once the home of Knut Hamsun, with a nice little artistic village and a store. We were here for a couple of days, but soon enough it was time to go on, since Even the best places don’t always have showers for sailors like us.

That’s about the update I have for you this time. We are once again sailing and as the darkness once again is upon us we have sailed the entire day, and are now passing Steigen. We have found a harbor on the map, and it says there should be a shower there. Only time can tell.

Captain Jack

Thank you for this time

It’s been a few weeks since the Goddess left FF Ella for this part of the journey. These are her words to be shared with our followers. You’ll have to excuse the translation of the text as it is mostly done by Google. We of course know that we will see her soon enough, and the crew would like to thank her for her joining the start of this new adventure south.

The downturn that the journey is over has meant that I have spent an unbelievably long time formulating something this time. I have in many ways gone from one adventure to another. Because on my journey back to the future, I am now in the process of completing 10 weeks of student internship, which I need to get my further education approved. So it’s really forward-looking. It is my springboard into the future and away from Lillehammer.

I have been very aware that I will not be living in Lillehammer, but then there are situations that arise then, which one actually uses as excuses, then one becomes anyway. Be it children, work etc … For my part there are children … But they are big and independent, and not dependent on me in the same way. I have no contact with Yngstemann (the youngest) at the moment….. Therefore, I find the assessments even more difficult. But I’m afraid that it’s perceived as a total rejection if I move to another part of the country, that I make a bigger gap in the relationship than it is… It hurts, I feel sad and sad to feel rejected in this way. At the same time as I know that it is his detachment, his experiences to do, his way and go, with or without me. It helps little, and only comforts a little, because I am still his mother. Therefore, I use what is now difficult between him and me as an excuse not to move away from Lillehammer. Although I feel that there is not a single cell in my body that will be here.

The new is always a bit scary, that I have the opportunity is also something new..

With the last trip, I got the even stronger and stronger confirmed fall. So now there is no way back for me actually, I MUST go north, I MUST get to the sea! I MUST to the light in the dark, I MUST to the northern lights! Easily..

My dear wonderful brothers, you are really bringing new dimensions into my life! To have this honor of being their big sister touches me deep in my heart. You will ALWAYS have your place in my heart! Balto has his own aunt’s heart, no more to say about it.

This anniversary journey back to the future, has been magical simply!
It was great to travel to land north, magically to be on water with you again, and now in the air with, by me taking a plane home. To you other travelers who follow Harryfloats.com, I can really recommend this. Start a new trend, a “travel slow trend”. Then you get much more experiences on your travels.

Back to my anniversary tour, 25 years since I moved from Alta and 25 years since I moved to Lillehammer. It was absolutely fantastic to be back in Alta, I have longed for it … Oh now it happened.

It is not possible to pick out one highlight from this trip! Because NONE of them can be measured against each other! They are all unique in their own right, but it was unbelievably funny that I managed to surprise you, by arriving one day earlier than first said. I really should have had their faces and reactions on film. But they are well preserved in the heart.

To be able to join the drydock in Kåfjord, and help maintain FF Ella, I think gives my trip a special twist. Because it is easy to forget that maintenance is important, if you want many more experiences.

Bekkarfjord with its dazzling green mountains and a fantastic large mountain birch, is an experience worth seeking out for anyone who likes nature a little or very much.

Hammerfest with the urban, lots of great people we came in contact with, and in addition meet someone I know from life in the south, drive the light boat across the strait to get me a shower at a hotel, reindeer as a local lawnmower in a garden.. Absolutely wonderful!

On to Vinna, where I was on a summit trip in a life jacket, because that summit trip was only made because I was so in contact with my own flow. MAGICAL! Wonderful experiences with sky in fire and flame literally. Hasvik with skiing on NAV, turquoise sea and a fantastic sunset. Øksfjord where I really became one of the guys, host as close as I can get without surgery.

Personal hygiene and showering in the Barents Sea on the way across the Lopphavet. Sail into the sunset, end up in a harbor the gods know where, to get the most amazing northern lights fireworks no one can dream of after 12 hours at sea.

Then my thoughts suddenly began to swirl around as I began to approach Tromsø. Because there I had an eager soul who wanted to visit. I already had the apps for buses from my trip north. So it was as far as easy to follow. But finding out where the bus stops were in relation to marinas in unknown places, it was not as easy …

Then brother Jack comes out in the cockpit, where I sit at the helm in my wonderful “Tubbie Goddess suit”, “Maybe we should just sail to Tromsø tonight?” I felt it cheering inside me and the suit tingled. We set course and Tromsø became my last port for this time.

Leading FF Ella under the Tromsø Bridge, with strong currents between the buoys and a strong current that pulls southwards, is probably the boat technical highlight of this trip for me. Coordinating that the mast must hit as much as possible in the middle of the middle light of wood in the lower edge under the bridge, as well as following boat one in the currents gave me a level of tension I have rarely felt before. To then also play Kim Larsen’s song “This is my life” on speaker in the cockpit, at the same time as his eager soul sent messages and wanted to follow when we arrived at the port, it was just completely WILD.

  1. I hit with the mast just below the middle light
  2. I managed to feel the boat through first the current between the buoys.
  3. I also felt Ella in the southbound current right after the bridge, at the same time as I had a relatively good overview of depth, because the entrance to Tromsø marina is relatively shallow.
  4. The man with his eager soul came and brought me home to visit him.

I became really ill when I came ashore after 10 hours of sailing which ended in the evening darkness. Dizzy, rocking all the time and the light in the shops was as if you put 1000-meter headlights for a car 5 hm from my eyes … Really disgusting and strange. I felt weird, this is completely normal .. The lights in the shops are normal, the ground, the floor and the ground on land do not rock … It was me who was weird in that context. But I’m generally well used to it, and no one but his eager soul knew who I am, in that part of the country, so that was very fine.

I had some wonderful days visiting, where I literally came back and in contact with Bakkejorda again. Cuddle me! The return to the future was completed on September 18, birthday weekend for my oldest son and change content in the bag to start my internship period of 10 weeks Monday, September 21st.

This is my ticket away from Lillehammer in the form of approved further education after finishing my internship, which allows me to apply for many different jobs and apply north 🤩

My life’s back to the future is now a reality; CHECK ✔

Never give up your dreams, they will be real. I know, I’m living ​​mine 💜

Until we read again;
Ship o’hoy from the Tubbie Goddess

Under the Northern Lights

We topped our tanks of diesel and had a great evening with visiting recruit Marirus and his Juliet in Øksfjord. Next morning while Captain Simen was still sound asleep we started on our voyage toward Tromsø where the Goddess is supposed to fly out from sometime this week. The day was among the best we’ve ever had onboard. The sun required t-shirts, sunglasses and happy faces. Although there was no wind and we had to engine our way, passing the island of Loppa and the infamous Lopphavet, which supposedly offer some hard to handle weather at times. We know nothing of this which the Goddess can swear to as she took a bath in the dinghy, towed behind the mother ship.

By the time sunset was on the schedule, we had anchored in a small bay with an open view to the Barents Sea outside. Dinner was made and also the decision to continue due to an uncertain weather-report of strong winds both to our North and South. We don’t kid around when it comes to weather, besides the crossing we had to do wouldn’t be much pleasant in rain. Therefore, once we had re-attached the anchor, we set course into the night. The moon is skinny these days, and offered an amazing view of a starlit sky above us as we made our way through plankton-sparkling water. Then, out of the darkness around us, the most amazing Northern lights set fire to the sky in green, purple and all in between. It continued into the night as we found a small harbor, and we could rest after a 13 hour voyage, leaning into the Troms part of Troms and Finnmark county.

We made the choice to sail directly to Tromsø. The forecast for the coming week is building up toward some serious indoor-time. According to the weather gods we are welcoming a new great flood this week, and needless to say this do not comply with great enjoyment at sea. As we sailed toward town, or engined, I should say, as we had headwinds and currents against us the entire day – we got a message from a great guy named Rikard, offering us a place to put our ship since his boat would be gone for the coming weeks. We gladly accepted since we, to be honest, is on the super-budget part of this journey.

This is our second visit to Tromsø, and the city is proving to be much better without snow and everything closed down due to pandemics. When we arrived, we were met by Morten, the doorman that has offered to take the Goddess to the airport, also offered the two Captains a couple of brews at the bar he makes his living. We like beer and let Balto stay behind to contemplate by himself for an hour or two.

We have already had time to do a bit of sightseeing and are rapidly approaching the coming days of rest onboard. There is also a few plans to clean up the ship, ourselves and get some new fixes in order before we continue. But I am also looking forward to reset and prepare for the continuation of the expedition next week.

Captain Jack

No more plans

In the afternoon of one of these days in history we left Hammerfest behind. We had eaten well, saved up some energy for our journey forward and was ready for new adventures. As we started the engine we had ourselves a nice little picnic in the cockpit. We had no intentions of stressing our leg. And so we sailed into the island of Vinna a few hours later.

Balto taking a breather

At Vinna there is some old ruins, speaking of previous inhabitants. According to our sources in Hammerfest, there used to be plenty of buildings here, even a school at some point. But all that is left now is a few concrete walls and a very well built molo protecting the small little bay where life used to prove it’s worth. I must commend this old time people. They brought back the wood from the houses, shipped them back the way we had just sailed and rebuilt their houses on mainland. Life at Vinna wasn’t sustainable then – but I picked a whole bucket of blueberries. New seafarers had planted a mooring-buoy for visitors as ourselves and besides the ruins, the island can pride itself with a nice rock-beach we spent hours looking for nice shiny rocks between tons of ocean plastic and other trash, way to much for people like us to even start cleaning up.

The ruins at Vinna Island

Our next destination was across Sørøysundet and onto the island of Sørøya where we had set our eyes on a sweet little place called Grunnfjorden. I must admit, when we had checked this place on the map it looked like a much smaller bay, being way more protective for winds other features the world is presenting us these days. It was of course beautiful, but as Captain Simen climbed his mountain and the Goddess hiked to better grounds for internet-services – while this guy was oiling teak and sneezing his ass off, we had silently decided that Grunnfjorden was no place to be anchored in the forcasted gales heading our way.

Pipe up life!

Balto the great sailor puppy is settling into his new life at sea. He now jumps fearlessly between our ships and have left the curse of seasickness behind (at least on the calm waters we have been journeying lately). He is even starting to accept that the deck is a perfectly acceptable place to take a shit. He doesn’t mind spending hours on the water, but has no problems with running around the wild nature that these part of the Norwegian kingdom offer to the world map. Balto now have a passport, and once his rabies-vaccine is fully operational in about 3 weeks, he can travel anywhere in the world he want as a free pirate puppy!

The Goddess that have just moved into her new pink city apartment, desirable smaller than her previous house, told us proud great stories of how she has rid herself with her many boxes of rocks. I’m happy to report that she has indulged in now creating an entire now collection of shiny rocks of many colors. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she choose to catalog the entire selection of northern Norway’s minerals. Time will show how many rocks the airline will allow her to carry onboard. I’m picturing a hell of a fight at the security check-point, nobody should come between a Goddess and her precious stones of magical powers.

Besides sailing a bit further South to hand the Goddess over to the airline in a week’s time – this ship has no longer any planned route for the future. Sørøya was as far as our planning made it. From here it will be sailing without a destination for many days to come, and in some ways I suppose this is where the adventure can go in any direction (except North).

I’m happy and a bit scared. Mostly scared about not having completed the installation of our diesel heater that is our only real source of heat when winter comes around. I believe the problem is how to get the exhaust out of the boat. In short we need a longer exhaust-pipe which is not to be found amoung trash on any amazing beaches, as it need to be metal and fairly bendable, and yes it would sink. Once this part is in place, and as far as I know everything should be working just fine. Captain Simen has done a great job installing the whole escapades of cables, machinery and pipes. May I remind you that FF Ella was already a hot mess of things, stuff, cables and wiring in all and every direction.

That would be it for this little update, I wish you a pleasent day and would appreciate if you shared our travles with one or two of your amazing friends!|

Captain Jack

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Prospecting for gold

Exploring the great green mountains of Bekkarfjord, Seiland have given this expedition to nowhere an exploding start. With no cellphone or internet coverage, green as far as you can see and a perfectly round moon raging in the sky above us we had the most amazing visit. This Captain even climbed a steep mountain requiring me to make use of all four limbs in my hunt for gold and diamonds.

Balto was of course ecstatic to have this great huge playground to himself and was not to stop up the steep hills. The Captain’s had their work cut out for them following this wild animal. The first evening was spent with freshly caught fish and vegetables prepared by the Goddess on the fire while we stargazed and enjoyed the full moon in the sky. Even the Northern Lights paid us a visit as we were warming up for a day in search of gold and diamonds.

Bekkarfjord is an entrance to Seiland National Park established in 2006. It contains a rich variety of minerals that makes this island an truly green and rich of species-island. It is capped by a glacier and I couldn’t visit this place without climbing at least one of it’s many peaks. So after breaky the second day I packed my bag and took on the supersteep climp up the hills behind the boat. The tall grass made the hike a hard one, but after and hour or two I could enjoy the wast landscape on top.

There was blueberries as far as I could see and even some cotton-fields I wandered around for quite a long time, hiding from the worst of the wind between the different hills surrounding me. I had a snack and enjoyed the little bit of time to myself while the others enjoyed a slow awakening down by the water.

The decent was just as steep, but equally beautiful. I would like to recommend anyone that have the chance to visit this place. It is truly an experience.

Down at FF Ella, life went on as usual. We caught a fish and had ourselves a fairly quiet and calm afternoon in the windy sun. The fjord is somewhat famous for it’s wind. But we didn’t find it particularly problematic, since the winds were even warm enough for this captain to try out our new USB-shower. Saving fresh water onboard I concluded this mission with a salty scrub from the ocean.

The next, and what proved to be our last day, in Bekkarfjord was great. We had decided to spend the day prospecting for gold and possibly diamonds. But although this place is packed with minerals there was no signs of either. We started by checking four small waterfalls in the bay next to the boat, but the water-flow here was not enough to get a good trial of our river equipment. Instead we relocated to the other side of the fjord, where the large rivers ruled.

The prospecting Captain Simen

To get there we had to make use of our dingy and it’s cute but amazing electric motor and concluded that this part was an adventure in itself. Herders had passed by all morning but we felt safe to set up a prospecting camp up river. Also here, we ran into no luck. The black volcanic sand made it hard to work with the dirt we dug up. We had to conclude that if there was any gold on these locations it was just specks and not worth the man-hours we put into it.

To leave on a high note we decided to move on. We packed our stuff and set off into the sunset. Catching the evening breeze in direction North.

Captain Jack

Getting FF Ella ship shape

It has been a long summer and it is obvious that FF Ella have missed seeking out new waters. Its also honest to say that the Captain’s may or may not have accumulated too many things (again) during the course of this summer. Lucky for us we have been prepared for something like this to happen and have made all storage-space onboard dry and secure for all our belongings. When practising holistic research it’s hard to know ahead what kind of equipment will be needed, we are therefore stocked up on most of it. What research vessel wouldn’t require a soapbubble-machine, a heavy mineral sluice for gold prospecting or a gastronomic fruitdryer? Getting all things in order is how we will spend the coming week. As for right now we hav concluded the 85 nautical mile relocation voyage from Burfjord to Alta.

Yours truly enjoying the sail

We left Burfjord with the winds in our favour. Most of the time. The area offer some pretty chaotic crosswinds due to the high mountains surrounding the fjord. No big problem for avid seafarers as ourselves, and we made a nice long passing to our first planned stop; Sandland. However it proved that this harbour had not finished their guest harbour yet. The harbour master himself explained that their plans of completong the masterpiece was stoppe by a certain pandemic virus and wished us welcome back next year.

Instead of dwelling on this problem, and to Balto’s frustration we fired up the good old Penta and spun off to the other side of the fjord where we arrived in Bergsfjord just as the darkness started to swallow the surrounding nature, and the glacier raging high above us.

Balto enjoying “freedom”

We agreed on a bit slower pace for the good of our belowed puppy and ourselves. We had a bit of a realization on how much you use the muscles in your legs swaying back and forth all day long. Allthough we had not lost our sealegs and only reqruit puppy Balto had a tiny issue with seasickness, we felt pretty nackered and fell easily to sleep after a nice bowl of pasta with creamy homemade mushroomsaus.

The next morning was fairly wet. It had been raining all night and the fog was heavy as I sipped my morning coffee, waiting for Balto to do his morning business. Despite the weather we decided on a go-ahead for the 25 NM passage to Øksfjord which would place us in a great position for the last part of the relocation. The weather people had promised that the wind would bring us all the way where we needed to go and as the goodhearted people we are, we believed them.

What can I say?

It actually wasn’t that bad. But we had hoped for a tad stronger winds so we could let the poor quick fix we have made on the prop rest for the remaining voyage of this part to Alta where we will be awaiting the new parts and our imported crew that will start her voyage North from Lillehammer on Wednesday.

As for us, we will be enjoying the ammenities of Alta Guest harbour while we get the rest of Ella ship shape. A few things are still in need of completion before we leave civilisation behind and set off the explore the arctic wilderness.

A window of hope or something.

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Sail safely, Captain Jack

Our own time

Although this expedition don’t run on an harsh schedule compromising our enjoyment of it, we will be hoisting sails into the hands of the Arctic weather Gods. The tide up here frequently hit a difference of 2,5 meters and the cold northern wind gusts will put extreme pressure that could break our old sails if we are not playing it careful. Adding this to us not having the correct parts to fasten our propeller (yet) our first week back at sea will have to be a careful one. First port of call will be Alta, about 80 nautical miles from here.

Don’t worry, we won’t use Google Maps for navigation. Swedish sea rescue taught us that was an not so good idea.

Balto, our newest family member, will have his first real run onboard on this leg. We are still working out the details of his bathroom situation, but I think we have researched our way to a viable solution, more about that later. But due to this being his first long trip we will take it slow and steady. Lucky for Balto, all measures are being taken, and there is no reason why our water-loving puppy won’t find his place onboard. In fact, we are very excited to present him for his new home.

Apart from being the bestest puppy ever, he is growing superfast and just hit the 14 kilo mark. This of course hurts our little baby in muscles and bones but he is a great sport about it. I believe basically running the entire Norwegian coastline will be exactly what will build his pirate character.

Balto enjoying Captain Simen’s side of the bed.

Another issue we are focusing on is how in bell we’ll be able to fit all of our old and new gear in the boat. We are in for some serious packing logistics. Got to admit that the task is not proving to get easier with me stocking up on long lasting food like the worlds going to end in a few weeks, which very well may be the case according to the internet. If it’s not, we should be safe for another couple of months.

Because of the gear, the food and an over all comfort we are planning some minor rebuilds to the inside of the boat. This will be taken care of as soon as possible after departure. At latest before we leave Alta. In short we are in for some busy days starting on our departure the day after tomorrow.

Captain Simen checking out our new speaker.

Summer in the North is over, we do have hopes for an extra warm autumn month of September. The signs are good, and with any luck we will get to experience the great North that we hoped for when we sailed Northbound in the first place. As you might understand, I’m pretty excited! I’m ready for my freedom, and to exploit our time on the planet as our own.

Captain Jack