Fairwinds arrives in norway

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jeffree
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Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby jeffree » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:25 pm

Just got a text, fairwinds got into norway at 1130 this morning. Good going!
Jeff

Johnsos5
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Johnsos5 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Glad to hear that, Nick the wind is here in shetland now! i hope you kept ahead of it.

Scott

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Alcyone
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Alcyone » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:26 pm

As we are fond of saying in Wales:

Tidy!

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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Booby Trapper » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:20 pm

Greetings and congratulations from the USA, as they say here " good job".

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Mark
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Mark » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:38 pm

Nice one, Nick.

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Nick
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Nick » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:20 pm

Friday 25th June 2010-06-19

A very full day. First job was to take the grabrail with the stuck screw down to the Malokoff, a most wondrous Lerwick business comprising a shipyard/chandlers/boat repairers and much more besides. A man kin a hat drilled out the remains of the snapped off screw for me and plugged the hole, then wouldn’t take anything for it. While working away he regaled me with tales of work he had done on Berserk, another well-travelled Vega that passed had through Lerwick.

“I told him to take it back to Norway”, he said.

I also bought 20m of 12mm 3-strand rope from them for £1 a metre, having found the ship a little short of longer lines during our Fair Isle sojourn. Perhaps it will come in handy for all this use a stern anchor and ‘take a bowl ine ashore’ stuff I keep reading in the Norwegian pilot.

Back at Victoria Pier I bought a case of lager and a litre of Jura from the duty free van, which was making a bulk delivery to some Norwegian yachts .Coe, the Dutch skipper and builder of the most amazing cruising boat I have ever seen, asked me if I could help him get his AIS engine working with his chart software as he had heard that I had had some success. I was delighted to as it gave me a chance to go on board Ulysses and have a look. She is a lightweight carbon fibre and Kevlar reinforced floating art object that is a sheer delight to look at. Down below the thought that has gone into her is astonishing. The keelbox for the lifting keel is incorporated invisibly in the longtitudinal heads partition, the nav area is chust sublime and everywhere there are perfectly proportioned curves and colour balances that just look right. It turned out that he was trying to get the AIS input to work with C-Map ECS, which has many possible NMEA inputs but AIS is not one of them. I installed OpenCPN for him, and eventually (not helped by working with a Dutch version of Windows) I got it working.

At this point I am afraid I took advantage by asking Coe if he was any good with electrics. I was still puzzled by the non-functioning starboard nav light, which showed 11V across the bulb terminals but would not light the bulb. He came on board, accompanied by John from the Vancouver 32 laying alongside Ulysses. By this time I had discovered some more dodgy wiring in the anchor locker, so to facilitate access I dropped the anchor and all the chain – anyone watching must have wondered what forecast I had got that they hadn’t. Kathy came back from Tescos in a taxi to find the boat in chaos and a strange Dutchman with his head in the anchor locker.

John is a director or partner with Rustler Yachts, so I gave him a BlueMoment card and suggested advertising. In return he showed me a village not marked on our chart or mentioned in the pilot which is just a couple of miles from the Marstein light, our waypoint for Norway where we would finally escape the clutches of the North Sea and enter the inner lead that goes all the way up fiord Norway. He recommended it highly as a place to rest and recuperate from the rigours of the crossing if we didn’t fancy the last sixteen miles or so to Bergen right away.

By this time the gas man had turned up to deliver an exortionately priced bottle of Camping Gaz and Scott and Hamish had turned up to take us on a wee tour, with the proviso that we had to be back in Lerwick for seven because we planned to sail shortly thereafter. Hamish proved to be a great tour guide, ful of interesting historical information interspersed with pithy anecdotes that really gave us a flavour of the real Shetland. On the way to Scott’s house at Brae I realised that one pre-voyage item was missing – we still had no Norwegian courtesy flag, and Norwegians are apparently very hot on such matters. Lerwick had been so busy that the various chandlers were all out of Norwegian courtesy flags, but I had seen ‘World Cup’ hand flags on sticks in the Western Pine shop, which would do. I phoned them from Scott’s and purchased one using my debit card, then asked if someone cojuld drop it off on the boat ontheir way home from work. No bother they said. The hospitality and kindness we have encountered in Shetland has been amazing.

I also used Scott’s internet connection for a last llok at the Gribs, then we went over to the marina at Brae where they keep Mistral. She is a Mk1 Vega in extremely good condition, with a recently fitted Beta and an excellent new topsides paint job that Scott did himself. At the moment she is mostly used for local racing, but Scott and his dad have plans to cruise her around Shetland. We were sad to be leaving what is obviously an excellent cruising area, but hopefully we will be back.

Scott was working night shift at Sullom Voe, so he dropped us off at Hamish’s house, where we had an excellent fish supper before Hamish returned us to Victoria Pier. Our neighbours on Evita, the wooden boat from Alesund, promised to come back at eight thirty to let us out and we were just getting ready to slip the lines when Ewan, a friend of our son Jeff’s, dropped by. We chatted for a few minutes then it was time. Evita cast her bow line free and manhandled us round her bowsprit and we were off. The time was twenty to nine. There was a moderate Norwesterly ventilating the greyness, so as soon as we cojuld we dropped the Navik down and hoisted sail. We creamed along close-hauled for a while then as we bore away on our course of 089T the speed fell away to three knots. The Navik was coping though and we were happy to take the speed hit in return for some stress-free progress under sail. After two and a half hours though the speed was consistently below two and a half knots. Kathy had gone off watch and was tucked up in the forepeak when I reluctantly bowed to the inevitable just before midnight. I retracted the Navik (no easy task in a seaway even with the boat dead in the water) and fired up the Beta. The main was slamming and rattling, but rather than down it completely I put three reefs in which allowed it to exert some steadying influence while not destroying itself or the gooseneck and associated bits.






Saturday 26th June 2010-06-19

The autohelm went on and that was bascally that for the next thirty-seven hours. Periodically the wind oujld get up enough to unfurl the genoa and add
Free half knot or so to our speed, then it wojuld start to collapse as we roled and it would get put away again. The swell stayed with us at 2m or so from the NNW for much of the crossing, only really going down as we approached the Norwegian coast.

By and large it was an uneventful crossing, marred only by the unceasing clatter of the engine. The off-watch crew slept transversly in the forepeak, a tactic that muffled the engine noise and turned the rolling into an easier-to-sleep-with pitching motion.

Highlights included listening to a Shetland fishing skipper managing to successfully decline a boarding request from the Fisheries Protection vessel, and being called up and asked to make a substantial course alteration to avoid a seismic survey operation involving a towed array several miles long.

I transferred the 22l of diesel in cans to the main tank after lunch, then we prepared and hoisted the Norwegian courtesy flag mid-afternoon and officially entered Norwegian waters at 16.35. It was still thoroughly grey and uninspiring when I went to my bunk at nine o’clock.


Sunday 27th June 2010-06-19

When I came on watch at midnight there was a full moon rising over broken cloud. This was followed by a glorious sunrise with the swell dying away and the sea becoming glassy. By six o’clock we were motoring in a flat calm and bright sunshine. As we came past our waypoint at Marstein light at about ten o’clock we dropped the main and I fired up the electronic charts on the netbook, We followed John’s instructions, passing round Store Kalsoy the long way under the 20m bridge, our air draught being too great for the 10m bridge over the shorter route. The netbook was up under the sprayhood and was a great help, although the screen was hard to see in the unfamiliar bright sunlight.

We came into the most beautiful little place – the epitome of coastal Norway - which we found out later is called Bakkasund. (Slightly embarrassing when you make landfall and have to ask the locals where you are). Quiet it was not though. A steady stream of Mobos of every shape and size were queueing for the fuel berth, with boats rafted out from the pontoon two or three deep. We were invited alongside a big Norwegian Dufour, although they told us they were leaving in a couple of hours. We watched the activity in amazement,with maybe thirty boats coming and going in the next hour. They ranged from 40ft Sealines down to 15ft fishing boats and even a few inflateables that would appear from nowhere travling at high speed then vanish rojund a corner. Many had whole families on board with tiny kids and dogs al at home on the water, and all the boat handling was exemplary. Boats hung and hovered on ly a metre from our windvane and we didn’t worry a bit – their drivers seemed as casually at home and spatially aware in a boat as most competent drivers are in a car. All the waterfront houses have pontoons or quays, and many have boathouses.

Our neighbours left and we went alongside the pontoon. We had arrived in Norway with no kroner , but fortunately we were able to pay for our berth and 20l of diesel by card at the quayside supermarket, which opened for two hours. (200 kroner all in – seems reasonable but at this point we didn’t know what the exchange rate is).

Having topped up the diesel we went for a short walk up to the first bridge. It seems unlikely that we have arrived by chance at the prettiest place in Norway, so it is all looking very promising. Back on board my shirt came off (no pictures, sorry . . . ) and we lazed in the sun and drank in and tonic. After two and a half weeks away it felt as though the holiday had started.

After a delicious meal of pasta carbonara followed by treacle sponge we chatted to our neighbours from the mobos opposite and behind. We discussed flag etiquette (the flag must come down at nione o’clock) and the Norwegian royal family. One of the guys observed that Norwegian women were very keen on kings, but did not like them in the home. Wrote up the blog then had a long-overdue early night, in bed before midnight Norwegian time (11pm UK). We are hoping to get to Bergen tomorrow, where I have been told there is a free wi-fi hotspot.


Monday 28th June 2010-06-19

After sleeping like logs for ten hours we woke to a thunderstorm with the wind gusting from the SE, very pleased to be here and not out in the North Sea hard on the wind and groping our way towards the Norwegian coast in foul conditions. It got very dark and the wind gusted up to 30 knots while the rain hammered down, lightning flashed and thunder rolled and the smell of frying bacon and mushrooms filled the saloon.
- Nick 8)

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Alcyone
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Alcyone » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:52 pm

in and tonic? Is that the Norwegian custom of going for a swim before drinks? :mrgreen:

Enjoying these. Keep em coming.

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Nick
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Nick » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:12 pm

.
Monday 28th June 2010-06-19

After sleeping like logs for ten hours we woke to a thunderstorm with the wind gusting from the SE, very pleased to be here and not out in the North Sea hard on the wind and groping our way towards the Norwegian coast in foul conditions. It got very dark and the wind gusted up to 30 knots while the rain hammered down, lightning flashed and thunder rolled and the smell of frying bacon and mushrooms filled the saloon.

By midday things were looking more promising, so we slipped our lines and headed North through the maze of channels that lead to Bergen. Clusters of brightly painted red-roofed houses clung to the rocky slopes, which have a greener and friendlier aspect than NW Scotland. Even the floating fish farm buildings look like traditional houses rather than the aquatic junkyards we are used to.

After one slight misidentification of an island which saw us 60 degrees off course we followed what must be the main shipping channel to Bergen, passing and being passed by a huge variety of ships and boats – we even saw a submarine. The wind was mostly well aft or dead aft and we spent a lot of the time sailing with no pole or preventer, easy to do in the calm waters of the inner lead.

After twenty excellent sailing miles we passed under the last bridge and Bergen hove into view. As we crossed the Puddefjord strong gusts funnelling down from the mountaoins that surround Bergen gave us an exciting run to the mouth of the Vagen, Bergen’s old harbour, and things flew about down below for the first time in a week or more. We tied up alongside a Norwegian Arcona with a family on board, right down the head of Vagen in Bryggen, by the fishmarket.

The couple on the Arcona were very friendly. They had just bought the boat in Bergen and were heading for Oslo, leaving early the next morning. We went and bought a berthing ticket for the boat from a machine (£10 per night under ten metres, extra for electricity, pay by credit card) then went for a brief walk round the Hanseatic wharf and its old wooden buildings, stopping on the way back to have a chat with the couple on Odile who we had seen in Lerwick. They had also motored across, but the boat next to them had left a few hours later and sailed all the way.

While Kathy went back to the boat to make tea I went to the tourist information centre to pick up a handful of free leaflets and enquire about getting a key for the showers. I had to wait for ages while a couple of Americans booked a complete holiday plus excursions then discovered It was six pounds for the key plus six pounds a day, which makes it very expensive if you are only there for one night but I thought the attractive girl on the desk would think me an unclean cheapskate if I backed out of the deal now so I took it. Back on board for spaghetti carbonara – checking out the prices here, £4 for chips, £6 for a burger from a fast food shack – we will not be eating out very often.

After tea we went for showers – the facilities are in the fishmarket building and are excellent, but the building is only open from 12 noon to 3am. There are free washing machines so we will try to do some washing tomorrow. The guy on the Arcona told us he had decided not to leave at six as previously threatened and would not be leaving until eight or nine, so we stayed up until after one before retiring with the Western sky still blue.


Tuesday 29th June 2010-06-19

We were woken at six thirty by our hyperactive neighbour knocking on the hull and announcing that he had woken up so he was leaving. We staggered out of bed and set a long stern line so he could slip out, then he decided he was going to wait until the bakery opened. When he left he offered us all his fenders as he had bought new ones for his new boat. His old fenders were better than ours, so we now have 11 fenders on board. If we can find a poorer yacht than us we will give some of our old ones away, but otherwise we may have to dump a couple as there is simply not enough space on Fairwinds for that many fenders.
- Nick 8)

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Nick
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Nick » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:41 pm

.
Done Bergen, heading off to a nearby marina for the night as although this is a very attractive city it is still a city. Wandered around at length today, and we are now in an internet cafe filing some end of year stuff with Companies House.

The blog is now up to date as far as breakfast this morning at http://www.znoy8.co.uk/2010 but I am afraid I still haven't has time to upload any pictures - though there are plenty to come.
- Nick 8)

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ljs
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby ljs » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:06 am

Hope it's fabulous.
Respect..

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claymore
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby claymore » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:36 am

now in an internet cafe filing some end of year stuff with Companies House.


Gosh - how jolly exciting and how important you must be. A true Captain of Industry.
Regards
Claymore
:goatd

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Alcyone
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Alcyone » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:29 pm

claymore wrote:
now in an internet cafe filing some end of year stuff with Companies House.


Gosh - how jolly exciting and how important you must be. A true Captain of Industry.



No, it's fairwinds isn't it?

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Nick
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby Nick » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:42 pm

claymore wrote:Gosh - how jolly exciting and how important you must be. A true Captain of Industry.


If you think doing some online filing is exciting then the hallowed halls of academe must indeed be going through lean times intellectually.
- Nick 8)

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aquaplane
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby aquaplane » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:17 pm

I have been looking at some of the Norwegan places you mention, it all looks very interesting.

I could say it looks like an award winning coastline.

Top marks for the blog, keep up the good work and enjoy.
Seminole.
Cheers Bob.

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lady_stormrider
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Re: Fairwinds arrives in norway

Postby lady_stormrider » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:40 pm

Slartibartfast has a lot to answer for - or be thankful for - before the Galaxy Recession.....
Became a full-time sailor at the end of May


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