63:07.076N 07:43.997E Kristiansund, Norway

Madeleine and Martin
Fri 29 Jun 2012 19:52
Sorry for long silence, due to a misunderstanding between The Skipper and The Owner!  
Sunday 17th June – with Pat (Ellis) safely ensconced on board we set sail for the big city, Bergen, via two frightening bridges, some high wires slung across the fjord, dodging ferries, fishers and tugs. Tied up in the centre of the Old Town. Returned from a trip round the sights and the fish market in time to chase off three Japanese tourists who had actually climbed aboard and were posing for their photographs !!**??
18th June – A grey day more than compensated for by great scenery as we sailed 30 miles further North and anchored (then re-anchored) in an unnamed bay in Fonesstraumen.
19th – Passed beneath two bridges barely 2.5 m higher than our mast...heartstopping! made worse by narrowness of the gorge and two high speed ferries barrelling past at the critical moment. Had a Glove Overboard incident, but crew reacted with great alacrity – we must have learned something over the years – and the casualty was recovered. Moored for lunch at Einvindvik; wanted to see the tenth Century church but there was a funeral going on which lasted from before we tied up until after we set sail. Up the Afjorden (cue inane quips about no-one can Afjord to live here) and anchored at the head of an inlet in a tiny bay between Vilnesfjordan and Sognefjordan for an incredibly peaceful night.
20th – Still heading North, a 60 miler; we entered our chosen anchorage at Hamnen but it was just a bit too tight for peace of mind so went on and found a small ramshackle harbour on the minute island of Silda. There was an honesty box on the quay and a notice informing us that if you want toilets and showers you go to the Schoolhouse...where there was a notice on the door giving a number to phone, and the phone is behind the white house, etc etc. We walked right round the North end of the island instead. Magical views in every direction.
Midsummer’s Day, and not a breath of wind. We motored round “infamous” Statt headland – according to the pilot book it is so dangerous that in the height of the season there are ‘escort boats’ to accompany leisure sailors on the trip. 46 miles, and we sailed, slowly, Pat on the helm, into Haugesfjordan and into another minute anchorage in Selvag...where Martin caught a respectable cod! Pat gutted it, Madz cooked it –super! The mountains all round the shores of Rovdefjordan all have snowy tops but we are in hot sun in teeshirts.
22nd – Up anchor at the crack of, well, midday meandering through various fjords until we tied up alongside in Saebo ; the jetty was a work-in-progress with forests of nails sticking up. The village was much larger than it looked from the sea, with a PO, church, old folks’ home and the obligatory war memorial. These make sad reading in small communities where there are often three or four names from the same family. Many of the houses had turf roofs and, charmingly, they were full of wild flowers.
Saturday 23rd tied up in Oye in Norangsfjord . Had a fabulous meal out in the victorian built Union Hotel. Every crowned head in Europe had apparently slept there. Highly recommended! As we wandered back to the boat the bonfires were lit to celebrate Midsummer, and the villagers had got together for communal suppers. Lovely.
24th A slow start...2pm. Up the seemingly endless Hjorundesfjord and entered a small boat and ferry harbour at Hareid. We boldly anchored right in the middle, clear of the constant ferries.
25th – Bit of a shock, back to grey cloud. Left the harbour under sail, Pat at the helm the whole way to Alesund entry, about 14 miles. Alesund is a long narrow harbour surrounded by Art Nouveau building from 1905. It was packed, and we had to raft up alongside a smaller yacht, with some difficulty; our huge mud covered anchor came perilously close to the perspex cockpit canopy of a motor boat owned by a rather excitable couple, but Madz smooths things over with fair words and kindly gestures.
We hopped on board one of those ridiculous brightly painted tourist ‘trains’ that chug ponderously through the town and heard an interesting commentary as well as seeing, from the heights, our next route through the islands to the North. The ketch which was moored aft of us in Hjellestad was rafted alongside us when we returned from supper, and the inside boat of the three of us wanted to leave at 7.30 am...
Tuesday 26th – Pat is ashore ready for her early bus to the airport, the ketch slips and waits to come alongside the quay, we have to slip too to let the inside yacht out, so we might as well make use of this early start on our journey to Kristiansund – and it’s only 7.30am! As we loiter out of the harbour we manage to wave to Pat before she gets on her bus. We’ve had a super ten days together and the photographs, if I ever learn how to post them here, will tell their own story.