Egilsstadir to Bodø and by boat to Helnessund and Nordfold

Honey Mooney HB-DVN
Flemming and Angela PEDERSEN
Thu 2 Aug 2007 20:05
67:44.88N 15:10.58E
While the weather forecasts for both Egilsstadir and Bodø were both pretty good, we knew from the significant weather maps that over the Arctic Ocean between Egilsstadir and Bodø we had to cross through a low pressure area with a significant amount of clouds, rain, snow and moisture and with tops up to around FL150. The freezing level was forecast to be around 4000 feet near Iceland climbing to around 8000 feet near Norway. We had filed a great circle route between Egilsstadir and Bodø with reporting waypoints every 5 degrees:
ES  N6550W01100  DCT  N6636W00500  DCT  N6701E00000  DCT  N6715E00500  DCT  N6720E01000  DCT BDO and the flight plan was accepted by Reykjavik the evening before our departure.
Egilsstadir AFIS had our oceanic clearance ready as soon as we asked for start-up clearance. We had filed for FL90 which was enough to get us on top of the broken clouds near Iceland. Soon the the tops went up to our level and we had to climb to FL110 and soon after to FL130 to avoid icing in the clouds. About 100 NM out Reykjavik lost as expected radar contact and about 200 NM out we lost VHF contact but had no problems contacting Iceland Radio on HF on 8891 kHz. Later we had to request FL150 and FL170, but in oceanic class A airspace without radar contact it can take up to 10 mins or 25 NM before the request gets approved so it pays to ask early for  level changes.
At 0 degree longitude, we were passed over to Bodö oceanic control with 4675 kHz as primary and 8891 kHz as secondary. After 10 mins we gave up and called then on the iridium phone and gave them our position report and got at the same time clearance to descend to FL130 as we were passed the high clouds. A few minutes later we also got HF radio contact with them on 4675 kHz.
After landing in Bodø (which had lovely weather, much better than forecast), a very friendly and helpful Norwegian 'jente' came in a car and took us and our luggage to the exit and called a taxi which arrived in a few minutes.
We had just enough time to go to Vinmonopolet and do some (very important!) wine shopping and get some Norwegian cash out of an ATM. There is no wine shop in Nordfold or anywhere nearby. We then asked to be driven to 'hutigbåten' mod Svolvær (Lofoten) and got unloaded at the ferry terminal so we had to take another taxi to get to the jetty in town where the speedboat leaves. Just in time to catch the only daily connection at 17:15.
We arrived at Helnessund as planned at 18:30 where our friend Lasse was waiting to pick us up for the 25 min drive to Nordfold where Lasse and Sibylle's summerhouse ('Skoglund' or 'Kanutran') is located.
They had prepared a lovely dinner for us and we met up with their friends David (Australian) and Pernille (Danish) as well as their sweet daughter Dea. Numerous bottles of red wine evaporated during dinner, and it was late into the beautiful arctic summer evening before we went to bed.