Flying Frank, fjerries, fjshing and fjords

Frank had phoned home on Friday night and as a result had booked a new flight home on Sunday, domestic matters calling him back. Here's a picture of him during our crossing steering by the compass (yes, he has got his eyes closed). Most of the time, the Force was with him, and he liked to steer by feel and intuition rather than use any instruments. It certainly made for an artistically curved pattern in the wake.

So on Sunday morning we decamped from our new base and scooted down to the south of the island with rather too much jib up and nothing else, touching 8 knots at times. Rounding the point, we had 3 miles of upwind to do, in 30+ knots of wind, with a fine 3ft chop to do it in. Perkins gave us that extra 10%, the prop shaft bearing groaned in agony, and we got Frank into a taxi at Kopervik just in time to get to the airport for check-in.

With Frank safely away, we broke out the case of Rose d'Anjou he had been eyeing up all week, had a pickled herring lunch, then had a short walk up to the heights of K. A fine vista of standing stone, church and telecom tower summarised the last 3000 years in Norway. Wild raspberries prepared themselves for summer. Bluebells and primroses blossomed, as did lilacs and rhododendrons.

The Churchyard told us that a surprisingly high number of residents made it to 90 years old in Kopervik - we resolved on the spot to eat more herring.

Passing by the town hall, we made it back to the yacht and set off for the far south (of the island of Karmoy, that is).

Skudeneshavn is the little town clinging to the tip of the island, much as the lighthouse keepers cottage clings to the rock on the corner. Industry (a large blue shed belonging to Karmoy Steel) sits happily 50 yards across the harbour from the old town built around the quays. Many streets are too narrow for cars and wind around the jumble of white wooden houses, fitted onto the granite bedrock wherever it is approximately flat for a few metres, or else built in to the cliff above.

We moored up behind the motor launch and went for a wander, sporting our Voltair hats. Immediately identified with the boat, we were engaged in conversation by several other boaters who had seen us arrive, thread our way up to the sailing association quay, decide there was no room and go back down the harbour.

Many of them had been doing the Round Karmoy race that weekend, but had decided it was too windy to go home for the moment and so were taking the ferry back to Stavanger.

With no decrease in the windy though sunny weather, on Monday we decided to head for the hills and fjord country. 25-30 knots of wind saw us exposing only a quarter of our jib and still making 6-7 knots as we headed for the maze of islands and rock gardens leading to Stavanger and Lysefjord. Voltair has a prediliction for yawing and rolling on a broad reach and we had quite a lot of that! You can tell when the safe limits are being approached when the jars in the food lockers whang from side to side and have to be stuffed with towels, the fruit starts leaping off the top of the cupboard and when the cooker jams in its gimbals and throws the grill-pan across the cabin. We had some of that too!

Superimpose high speed catamarans silently sneaking up behind you and huge Fjordline ships steaming out straight at you - its enough to keep any helmsman on his toes.

We stopped and lunched, getting our anchor into a Norse bottom for the first time, (and a very fine sandy bottom it was too), and then continued southeast for another 20 easier miles, (passing close south of one rocky islet, no more than 20 yards away but with the echo sounder registering 120 metres), to finish up in a delightful bay off the island of Aadnoy where we anchored for the evening. Herons fished and so did we. We caught nothing and so did they. Both optimists - but the herons kept it up longer than we did.

In the morning after breakfast JK popped over the side for a spot of disentangling of shrimp-pot rope. Propellor, rudder and anode were all ensnarled - I think it was the mermaids playing a joke. Needless to say, there was nothing in the shrimp-pot!

Best wishes to all, from the skeleton crew of Voltair: John, Robin and Vaughan

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