Cruising Norway

Cruising Norway

Postby Frode » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:41 am

This summer has given us a chance to do what has been on our "bucket list" for a very long time: cruising the coast of Norway. Vincent, whom most of you will know from this discussion board as Vikendios, has brought his brand new Aleutian RPH-53 (production number 1), named "Morrowind", up from the Mediterranean to cruise this gorgeous country. After overwintering the vessel in The Netherlands, and bringing her to Denmark this spring, the last several weeks have been spent cruising Norway, from Sweden in the south-east, through the Oslo fjord, around the southern end and up the west coast to Trondheim. This is where my wife and I embarked, together with our son, for a slow exploratory cruise down the coast with a target of Copenhagen, Denmark.

With us onboard, besides Vincent and his wife, is a childhood friend of Vincent's, with his wife, and a "yacht girl", all of whom provide the absolute best of French hospitality and a fantastic platform for lasting friendships. The other couple onboard leave us after a week to do a little sightseeing by car and then travel to Spain. At the same time our son goes back to the Norwegian military to defend the country against the often violent and totally unpredictable Swedes, who have for many years tried forcing Norwegians to eat more herring.

The weather this summer has been exceptionally cool and overcast, but the low hanging clouds certainly add to the mystique of ragged mountains framing the fjords with their often totally flat waters. When viewing this landscape from the sea and hearing the rolling thunder reverberating amongst the mountains, one can understand how the stories of Trolls were conceived.

The Aleutian 53 is quite a different animal from our little Classic 36, but the lines are very definitely Grand Banks, and the handling is very similar. There are fore and aft thrusters, but no stabilizers (none needed). We run from the lower helm almost all the time, but the flybridge is very spacious and nice when the weather is agreeable. With a huge generator and a water maker onboard this yacht is fully equipped to make long stays at sea, but the number of idyllic anchorages along the entire coast makes this an option we don't rely on for this cruise.

For some introductory photos check out the Grand Banks site. Most of the photos are of Vincent's boat. More photos are coming and specific cruising routes & places will be covered and entered any time I gain internet access (which is quite sporadic along the coast).
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Postby GB42-267 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:46 am

You make me envious and homesick, photos please :D

Bjorn M
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Postby Mahalo Moi » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:53 am

My bucket list includes just stepping on a RPH-53 :D Have a great trip and hope to see photos upon your return.
Ray Muldrew
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Postby Frode » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:53 am

As mentioned, our cruise started in Trondheim, Norway's third largest city (pop. 175,000). Trondheim was the original Viking capital, referred to as Nidaros up to the 16th century and every Norwegian king since Harald Hårfagre (Harald the Fairhaired) has been crowned there. Many of the kings are also buried there, starting with Olav Haraldsson (Olaf the Holy) who was killed at the battle of Stiklestad during the campaign to impose Christianity on the Norwegians (The Vikings preferred their Valhalla and prospect of everlasting battles to the boring religion with just a single god, and fought fiercly to maintain their current belief system). A supposed series of "miracles" after Olav's death led to his canonization and a church, Nidarosdomen (Nidaros Cathedral), which is still one of Norway's most impressive cathedrals, was built over Olav's grave and was a site of pilgrimage in medieval times.

A small island, called Munkholm (literally "Monk Islet"), immediately outside the city of Trondheim, was a Viking execution place before becoming a Benedictine monastery in the 11th century and then a prison and fort in the 17th century. Trondheim is located about 26 nautical miles inside the Trondheimsfjord. At the entrance to this fjord is the beginning of a passage between the mainland and a large island, Hitra, called Trondheimsleia. Within this passage was our first stop, at a bay called Kongsvoll in a small fjord called Imsterfjord.

Morrowind at dock in Trondheim
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A couple of cruising photos
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Postby Frode » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:54 am

Continuing down the Trondheimsleia to Edøyfjord we cut inland through the Aursund, a narrow north-south fjord connecting to the east-west fjord of Strandafjord, ending up at its approach, called Talgsjøen. Form here we headed south towards the city of Kristiansund (pop. 77,000), located on the islands of Kjerkeland and Gomaland. We cruised right through the city to the outside of the island Averøy, which is home to what has been referred to as the most scenic highway in the world, Atlanterhavsveien (The Atlantic Road). We had driven this road just the week before so I will attach a few extra photos from the land side as well as the new photos from the sea side.

On Averøy our cruise continued through Hustadvika, an extremely intricate passage through a myriad of skerries, often very narrow, to our destination of the narrow sound of Sveggesund.

The view on the chart plotter going through a part of Hustadvika
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Typical view in many areas along the coast - this one from Sveggesund
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Taken from the bridge over the sound, in the following photo you can see one of the many ships making up Hurtigruten (lit. The Fast Route), which traditionally has been the only connection for many small fjord settlements to the rest of Norway. These days the primary function is tourism, but the ships still carry mail and goods between ports along the way.

Sveggesund with a Hurtigrute ship in the distance
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Postby Frode » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:29 am

The next day we rounded the mainland through the north-south passage of Julsund, passed the city of Molde (pop. 18,500), known for its highly popular annual jazz festival, and stopped at Dragvåg, another delightful anchorage, at the east end of the island Bolsøya.

By cruising just a limited number of hours each day one has to find activities for the rest of the time. Even the fantastic scenery can only keep your interest for so long before there is a need for diversions. Eating, of course, is always a welcome activity, and there is no way I'm getting away from this cruise lighter than when we started. Vincent's wife is a fabulous hostess, and I'm sure I'm eating three times as much on this trip as I would otherwise do on land. Well worth it even if I have to live on oatmeal soup for the next few months.

I've also had a chance to brush up on my bridge (card game also known as Contract Bridge) playing skills, realizing that the bridge I used to play (last time in junior high school) was not real bridge, but an abbreviated version more fitting for never having the same partner, having to finish games in breaks between classes, etc. Vincent is not only a pro at this game, but an excellent teacher, and we've already gotten into advanced bidding conventions.

As some of you have already noticed, Vincent is a history buff, and his knowledge of history makes for absolutely fascinating conversations (as long as you're interested in history). In fact, we've hardly had to discuss religion or current politics at all, focusing instead on leaders of the past who were, to a large extent, far better suited to their positions than today's leaders. We've been invited to cruise the Greek isles in a couple of years, and I am very excited about the idea of hearing the history behind the various places we will see.

Anyway, some pictures...

Typical place for a Norwegian to build his "getaway" place, but a particularly nice one in this case
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More of the hobbit-like buildings, with sod roofs, molded neatly into the environment
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Some of the narrow passages we passed through. Yes, it really is as narrow as it looks - sometimes there was less than a meter/yard of open water on either side of the boat
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Postby Frode » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:12 pm

After a few technical issues involving an external hard drive I now have access to the additional photos from our trip and will post a selection for those interested.

Morrowind at anchor in Frisvollbukta, Rødvenfjord:
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Last edited by Frode on Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Georg Daniel Reuter » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:45 pm

Keep them coming! Those are fantastic pictures!

Thanks!
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“Believe me my young friend; there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (1908)
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Postby djleu » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:23 pm

Beautiful photos, Frode! Thank you for sharing them. The last one is a stunner!

Goodness, Vincent! Such a beautiful boat! My wife and I fondly recall our time together in Alaska and BC and the fishing trip together in Petersburg.

Be well!

Don
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Postby Vikendios » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:37 am

Here are a few more pics. Frode and his wife have been the best of possible companions.

Vincent
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Postby Georg Daniel Reuter » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:39 pm

I love your dog! Is that a Wire Hair Fox Terrier? We had a Wire Hair Fox Terrier named Jack for 13 years and he loved to go out on the boat for about his first 10 years. That is him below with our daugter when they were both the same height :) Unfortunately during the last two or three years he became very nervous about going out and we had to often leave him with friends when we went out on the boat. We now have a Welsh Terrier puppy and so far he is a great "sea dog".
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Postby Frode » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:40 am

Ogo, and his "brother" (pictured below, with my son), are Lakeland Terriers, and were excellent sea dogs with humorous personalities. Very much at home on the boat, though Ogo tended to get uncomfortable when things were really moving.
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Postby Vikendios » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:42 am

Frode" replied faster than I did, but don't get the impression that Ogo and Babour are his dogs ! They are mine, and they loved Frode and his family...

Lakelands are very similar to Welsh terriers, only a bit smaller, only slightly larger than fox terriers. Ogo was born ten years ago in Egremont, in the Lake District of North England where the breed originates. Babour was born a few miles to the North into Scotland, in Gretna Green, famous for its weddings churches and facilities, as english lovers in days gone by could elope and get married in Scotland without parental consent...

All GB owners love dogs !

Vincent
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Postby Barry L » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:27 am

Georg
Being Southern White Trash we have the obligatory mutt. He is the best dog there ever was. Like yours he used to enjoy going boating with us but lately he has become more and more nervous on the boat. Like you, we no longer bring him with us. Being the good mutt we just put him out be fore we leave home. Being such a likeable dog he will just wander over to one of my neighbors and spend the day sleeping in their house. Everyone lets him in.
I am guessing that as his strength, eye site, and balance decline he is just becoming less sure of himself in general, particularly on the boat. Dogs have such a short window on this world, it can be a little sad.
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Postby Vikendios » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:54 am

Barry :

We also have a wonderfull mutt called Dick. He is huge and guards the farm, being an unreconstructed landlubber, and won't set paw on any boat. In fact he hates swimming, which is unusual for a dog.

A pet to all our dogs.

Vincent
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