Go East, old girl

Maps and nuts

It was on Friday evening, our second day of sitting it out in Kvitsoy, that a sleek white 38-footer with the lines of a Swan arrived to share Kvitsoy gjaestebryyge with us. Sven and Irene had popped over from Stavanger for the weekend, and we were delighted to make their acquaintance. They were both experienced at sea and had several times crossed over to Scotland and cruised the Caledonian Canal and the Western Isles. Having hailed from the southern side of Norway, they also knew the coast we were planning to sail extremely well, and made several recommendations as to harbours along our route.

Over drop of Ardbeg in their large saloon, we learned that in five years time, they will be old enough to retire, and their plan is then to sail across to the Caribbean, thence to the Pacific and to cruise right across the southern archipelagos to New Zealand, returning by way of Mauritius perhaps and South Africa, Brazil and the crossing back to the Azores.

The W entrance, click to enlarge

Saturday was equally blustery as Friday had been, and we made do with another walk around the dry bits of Kvitsoy. JK had hoped we could make it to Rott or Tanager, a couple of hours to the south, but the seas looked huge, and the wind was on the nose all day, so we stayed put, but had a reciprocal cocktail hour with our neighbours at lunchtime on board Voltair, and then another visit to them in the evening.

On Sunday, after three days of adverse conditions, a favourable breeze arrived from the west. We nosed out from the western entrance into a sea which was still extremely lumpy, set main and jib, and were soon bowling along southwards at 6-7 knots, albeit with a major roll and pitch as the southerly and south-westerly swells interfered with eachother. Millie and Laura unfortunately succumbed to mal-de-mer early on and occupied the lee rail, while JK, whose stomach was a little unsettled by roast chicken from the night before (which had been avoided by everyone else on the grounds of its rather "gamey" fragrance), joined the party but made do with the washing up bowl.

Mike and Trevor held to the course, Laura was cocooned on the saloon settee berth, Millie preferring to stay in the cockpit, to which a somewhat slimmer JK soon returned. The wind held steady and the seas eased a bit as we began to get some east into the course, and headland after headland appeared, was recognised and passed by. Egersund came up after about 9 hours but we took the advice of Sven and Irene and kept on while the conditions were favourable, making it to Farsund 14 hours after our departure from Kvitsoy. Everyone felt much better immediately, and JK and Mike enjoyed chicken curry, vindaloo, just in case any bacteria thought they were going to get away with it!

The visitors berth in Farsund was just outside the coop, so we replenished a few stores and motored around to the Statoil garage to swap over a gas cylinder which had proved empty on day two. Ninety miles covered the day before - the longest day's run of Voltair on a coastal section - and only four gallons of diesel burned since leaving Haugesund.
Southern Norway - click to enlarge Now our postcard is taking a new direction: to view the photos from Farsund, click here, for the ones from Vaare, click here, for the ones from the wild anchorage at Sovrinskilen, click here, for the ones from Mandal, click here, and for the ones from the surprise anchorage we stumbled on by mistake, at Olavssund, click here.

If it doesn't work, it means I haven't posted the page yet - sorry!

Wednesday brought a fine morning with blue skies, but the forecast easterly wind had now arrived. We didn't feel it much, tucked up in lovely Olavssund, but we got it on the nose as we crept out of the narrow entrance. So it was no sails, and Perkins to the fore, and we got to Kristiansand around lunchtime.

Good news: the beer here is delicious! Bad news: it's 8 a pint. Even better news: Mike treated us all! Thanks, Mike!

Thanks for reading our postcard!

Laura, Mike, Millie, Trevor and JK

P.S. - the winner of the "Spot the mistake in the photo" competition from the last postcard was Vaughan Jones. Vaughan wins first prize in the lottery for the fore-cabin for the next two weeks! See what you missed by not entering - you could have been in there with him!

Click here for our previous postcard