Blues and Blue Water 4

John & Susan Simpson
Thu 3 Aug 2017 21:32
We intended to stay one night in Halmstad, despite its attractions, and left next morning for Oslo.  The weather in the bay was absolutely atrocious – huge rolling seas and wind blowing SW 7-8.  After bashing away miserably for a while, the Tall Ships Festival seemed suddenly unmissable!  A quick u-turn and we were soon by our yellow banner, quietly putting the kettle on.  

Eventually, we abandoned now familiar Halmstad for the 225 mile trip to Oslo, during which lunch was caught!

The day dawned serene and calm as we entered Oslo Fjord, 

a stark contrast to weather earlier in our trip.  All around us lay enticing inlets and anchorages, but Oslo was tantalisingly close and we motored the final 50 miles to Aker Brygge Marina.  From there ‘the boys’ flew home and Casamara became a floating hotel for our son and young family,

who enjoyed the marina’s proximity to public transport and Oslo’s tourist areas.  It wasn’t the cheapest place we’ve ever moored – Norway’s prices are eye-watering in general – but ideal for location and access.

So how did we sail to the Notodden Blues Festival?  We didn’t – quite!  Notodden became Norway’s largest freshwater port in 1861 when the Telemark Canal connected the Heddelsvatnet lake to the sea.  However, Oslo was better for berthing Casamara and just 70 kilometres from Notodden, so we drove the final leg.  Our ‘Blues and Blue Water’ adventure was crowned by three days of tremendous music

and B&B accommodation where we were welcomed into a Norwegian house party in full swing, complete with visiting Blues Harmonica player Geir “the milkman” Bertheussen duetting with John on guitar around the camp fire.