Saturday, November 15, 2014

Of sailing And Salmon

These days Twister and I live on the island of Askøy, near Bergen. Weekdays are spent sorting, butchering, autopsying salmon, as well as other activities related to production of fertilized salmon roe (which in turn becomes salmon for people to eat). Much of evenings and weekends goes to preparing Twister for new adventures. Around April, we plan to head north along the Norwegian coast, hopefully catching some fish and some waves along the way. 

As I work to make Twister ready for the ocean again, I would like to give a shoutout to the two previous owners of Twister, Scott (2nd owner) and Vlad (1st owner) who put together a boat that crossed the world’s big oceans (well not The Southern Ocean, nor the Arctic Ocean....yet) without a hitch, minimal preparation required by owner #3.

Here's my new favorite poem:

The Second Coming by W. B. Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


In June Alison joined Twister and LT for an exploration of the Hardangerfjord. 
Hardangerfjorden near Jondal
 A pleasant, 10-hour motor-sail from Sotra island (which had been Twister’s home since arriving Norway August 2013) to Rosendal gave us a taste of the pleasant sailing in the protected waters of Norway (which incidentally is whence the name Norway comes—the way north, ie the protected inside passage which allows one to sail a lot of the coast with only a few exposures to the open ocean. Or that’s my understanding of the etymology anyway ). One day is sufficient to explore Rosendal and the journey continued further into The Hardangerfjord to Jondal. Folgefonna glacier is a 15-minute bus ride from Jondal. There one can ski, walk, and climb on the glacier.  11.5 hours was the return journey to Sotra. Winds were variable but the final several hours we flew along with a southerly fresh breeze. The gear cable parted on departure from Jondal, so Alison stepped in to serve as a human gear shift, taking commands from the cockpit, allowing us to enter the slip at Fjell Båtlag under motor.

Viking Ship
July 4, LT joined Captain Kari on the newly purchased and renamed Pyxie Nautica (Pyxie Nautica being the new name) in Homborsund near the southern tip of Norway. She is a 32 foot Wauquiez Centurion (designed by Holman & Pye who also designed Twister) that it turned out, sails like a dream. The plan was to take a couple of days to leisurely sail the 100-some nautical miles to Bygdøy in Oslo. Pyxie has an electric engine which I had been pretty excited to see in action. An ~800 amp-hour battery bank gives a reasonable motoring range of 4 to 20 hours or more (we never got close to finding out for ourselves) depending on the speed.  Having no pressing commitments and winds being variable and mostly light made for an 11-day sail to Oslo, with many stops along the way (not night sailing as lights were not yet hooked up) and with numerous mackerell caught and eaten. On the final day, there was wind and from the right direction, as we ran up the Oslo Fjord. We were pretty pleased with Pyxie running at 8 knots or so when a replica viking ship leaves us in the dust, zooming along at 10 to 12 knots. Later we see the same vessel at Bygdøy Folkemuseum.  
     Emboldened by our success, we reprovisioned and set sail for Sweden.  We explored the archipelago that surrounds Gothenburg (somewhat reminiscent of The Bay Of Islands in NZ) for a few days, had a lovely visit with Mark and Maria of MareLiberum (who were now firmly settled in a lovely house in the country), then explored the city of Gothenburg which is a most boat-welcoming city. We were allowed to tie up to the public docks at Eriksberg in the heart of the city, for several days for no charge.
Next stop - Hals (Denmark) at the eastern entrance to The Limfjord that cuts Jylland in two. No attractions of note, but a good place to reprovision. Onward through a maze of gargantuan wind generators to Øresund and Copenhagen. There a fellow patrolled every morning to ensure that all boats had paid the harbor dues. Strolled through Kristiania, went to Tivoli, walked about town. Head back north after a few days. Duck into Torekov (Sweden) to avoid the worst of a gale then continue next morning to Bygdøy without stopping. . 
The End.

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