Segling 2018
onsdag 15 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Repose in Lerwick
Lerwick is built of stone. Very solid and most British

Leisure day.  Morning coffee in solitude while other walk off to the showers at the local yacht club.  This is a fancy place with excellent facilities, showers, pub with darts, an upper level with a restaurant and pool table. Outside a terrace with a floating pontoon.

Skipper reports at the customs control and we are properly let into the UK after which we can lower the yellow flag.

We have joint second breakfast at an Italian eatery and then wander off to the local museum which is extraordinarily good.  It goes to show that Lerwick, these days, is a pretty affluent community with huge incomes from the oil industry.  Especially interesting we found the very early history about how these islands came about, sitting as they are on the same fault line as the Caledonian canal.  There are rocks 2,5 billion years old sitting next to young ones of 300 million years.

After lunch at a local hotel skipper sets out to change the oil in the main engine. We have reached ? 200 motor hours from Halifax.  This is a simple but messy procedure after which we take our full environmental responsibility by having a taxi take skipper to the local waste dump, where the waste oil (8 litres) is correctly deposited.

We top up provisions, some wanders the streets with a camera and finally we have a last dinner in Lerwick.

Tomorrow we leave for Stavanger, Norway, 220 miles to the ESE.  We are expecting excellent SW-winds of reasonable force and the going should be good.

 

 

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Segling 2018
söndag 12 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Next to last passage, from Faeroys to the Shetlands
Dawn over the norther seas

We wake up to a grey day with very little wind.  Quick breakfast and we are of at 0745 hours.  Motor out and set course to 110 degrees.  After an hour and a half we have wind and hoist everything we have got.

This steady easterly wind, about 15 knots, keeps with us for the next days, actually all the way to the Shetlands.  It does, however, veer to our disadvantage and we find ourselves being pushed progressively more to the south.  At midnight, we have a gigantic oil rig on our nose.  A monster that spits fire and smoke.  Ken, the geophysicist on board explains that the “flare” the gas the find which is considered a waste product.

We decide to tack but the new tack is no good with swells that stop our progress.  So remains to motor 80 nm into the wind.  Boring and tedious!  Not exactly “sailing” but we need to make time to avoid the first autumn storm that is forecasted into Stavanger on Friday…..!  Need to be there before!

Moored in Lerwick at 2300 hours on the 13th of August after an informative exchange with the Port Control over the VHF.  Not many boats here and we are probably at the end of the season.  At the Albert Building, where the Port Control is situated we immediately get a “welcome package” including keys to WC/Showers at the Lerwick Boat Club.  Harbour fee is a moderate £15/day.  We roam the streets at midnight.  Buildings here are “British”, grey stone hewn from the very rock they are standing on. Buildings that will stand forever.  Very much different from what we saw in Torshavn.  We finish the evening with a pint at the “Flint”, the closest Pub that we could find (very close).

Log 14406 nm.  Motor 21 hours.

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Segling 2018
lördag 11 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Beautiful Faeroy islands. Stunning !!
Crevises and gorges everywhere. A natural harbor that provided foothold for a community for ages....before cars came

We rent  car ( little Kia Picanto that is really tiny and provided with an outboarder-like engine…) and drive around for two days.  These islands are overwhelmingly strange and beautiful.  Not a tree in sight outside towns.  Huge hillsides in lush green and dotted with sheep(“like small white clouds on the chlorophyll”…as the popular Swedish song goes).  Cliff faces that dive vertically hundreds of meters straight into the sea.  One sees geology at work; erosion, land slides, caves...  Water floods down the hillsides, in creeks and sometimes into water falls.  We see tiny settlements perched on promontories into the wind. They are often based on access to a natural “harbour”, where goods were landed and hoisted uowards by cable cars or steep staircases hewn from the rock itself.   Farming is everywhere, even in the remotest and most inaccessible valleys – sheep “farming”.  The islanders seem to thrive.  Houses are well kept.

It is all hard to describe adequately.  Recommended visit !!

Torshavn is a quaint place with an old part, narrow alleys, thatched roof everywhere.  Special indeed.

Tomorrow, Sunday, early morn, we head for the Shetlands

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Segling 2018
fredag 10 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Reaching the Faeroys
The FAeroys display spectacular cliff faces

The meteorological situation is weird.  It is as if Vestmannaeyja is at the origin of a coordinate system of the winds.  They stop here or the start here, both in an east-west dimension as well as in the north-south one.  The Gods of winds honour the Gods of fire here, it seems….(?)

Today, starting at 0400 hours we have tremendous gusts of northerly winds (40 knots) that push us hard to the trawler we are moored to.  These winds sweep down from Eyrafjattlajökull and reach a bit out at sea. Further south-east we should have fair winds. Clear sunshine helps.

We are cleared out of Iceland and aim for Faeröys.  Should be 2 days and a bit.  The difficulty I to get out of the corner of the harbour we re stuck in.  With a coordinated action and paying attention the the wind gusts we manage very nicely and set out into hard winds from the north. We are going south east and with  jib only we make good speed.  The following 24 hours are mixed.  We take turns in 4-hours watches and do 147 nm. in the first 24 hours, 162 in the second 24 hours.  Predicted wind patterns do not match reality and instead we are plagued by a stubborn westerly that do not give us good speed into the Faeroys.  The last 8 hours we motor in and enjoy a spectacular landscape with gigantic cliff faces in the setting sun.

Moor in Torshavn harbour at 0100-hours after 2 days and 14 hours from Vestmannaeyja.  Captain’s welcome ensues (crackers, cheese, beer and “Gammeldansk” (a Danish concoct that we regard as “strong” medicine).  We sleep like babies.

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Segling 2018
måndag 6 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Vestamannaeyja, a most special and somewhat spooky plaqce
Aquaryd at Vestamannaeyja. The ridge behind the harbor is all "new", from 19783

We had a long motoring session.  No wind or some wind from the wrong direction made us motor around the Keflavik peninsula.  At 0400 hours the wind had veered from east to north-east, precisely as predicted and precisely what we wanted.  We set sails and had a great sail in the early morning.  Just in front of us rose Mount Eyafjattlajökull, infamous 8 years ago for stopping air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere.  On the very same fault line, further south, lies Vestamannaeyja and, upon approach, we realize that this must be a cousin to Mount Doom.  Rocks of strange shapes stick out of the water here and there and the harbour entrance is encroached by a lava field (that threatened to block the entire entrance in 1973).  The islanders saved the day by sprouting copious amounts of water to cool and divert the lava flow.  The harbour is actually better protected now than before the eruption.

The harbour master instructs us to moor outside a trawler, whereby we do not have to worry about the tide (2 m).

Log 137823.  Motor 16 hours.  From Halifax we have now motored 168 hours.

Afternoon in Vestmannaeyjar.  The harbour is crowded with people who have attended the “end-of-eruption” festival, that is celebrated every year and is the biggest one in all Iceland.  It celebrates the end of the 5-month long eruption of Eldfjell in 1973.

We go up to the memorial they have built.  This box-like structure is build around a house that was buried under 15 meters of ash and pumice and later excavated so you can now have a look at it inside the memorial. 

At 02.00 in the morning January 24, 1973, a kilometre-long rift opened in the mountain above the city and started to eject ash, pumice and lava. Numbers and human stamina are staggering.  Serendipity saw the island through this. By chance the entire fishing fleet was in the harbour due to a storm the day before.  5000+ individuals could be evacuated the same day. The eruption lasted 5 months with lava relentlessly pushing over house after house.  Only one (1) individual died.  200 houses were destroyed.  The power plant was pushed over like a house of cards….

Today Heimeyja (the main island) is as thriving as ever.  The biggest fishing port in Iceland.

We have dinner at Tanginn where they have come upon the gorgeous idea to mix blue cheese with the meat loaf of a hamburger before frying it.  Extremely testy.  We go to bed early, we have a long haul ahead, 2,5 days.

 

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Segling 2018
söndag 5 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Last daty in Reykjavik
Extremely extravagant opera house. Prpbably projected before the bank crisis when all of the island had a collective hubbris (?)

Last day in Reykjavik.  After a slow morning we go to the grocery store and spend some money.  Food prices relatively OK and not as exorbitant as the restaurant prices.  We top off the water tank and some days ago we boarded 505 l of diesel fuel.

We have our final Croque Madame at the Sandholt restaurant.  This is Ken’s find and we have had a number.

Afternoon coffee and we are off.  We will sail during the night to Vestmaneya and arrive there in the ´morning.  We all look forward to see how they restored the town/harbour after the devastating volcanic eruption in 1973.

We have had a fantastic and restful time in Reykjavik.  Now time to move on….!

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Segling 2018
lördag 4 augusti 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Some days in Reykjavik
Italian navy runs a beautiful full rigger......

A gorgeously crisp day.  Sunshine but now particularly warm.  Enjoyable.  We have a leisure day.  Washing, cleaning the boat, walk about learning the city.  We are positioned right underneath” the fancy concert house HARPA, an astonishing construct in green glass.  The old harbour area has been turned into a tourist environment but the city itself struggles to achieve some architectural style.  Sprouting in all directions.  Quite expensive, too!

Next couple of days not so nicce.  Weather is very varying, it seems.  Some rain.We enjoy the “Swimbaths”-  Icelandics love swimming, indoor and outdoor.  This place also has a gym and a sauna/spa, both are outstanding and we enjoy them tremendously.

We also join the “Haunted walk” one evening.  Olí is a historical teacher at the high school and he has put together a 2-hour promenade in central Reykjavik telling us folkloric tales, about elves, about criminals and haunted places.  Ghosts and mediums.  Crazy but quite enjoyable.

The museum on Volcanic Iceland was impressive.  Two films about 1) Vestmaneya eruption in 1973 and the 2010 Eyrafjattlajökul eruption that stopped air traffic in Europe for a week. Especially since we will be going to Vestmaneya, these films were interesting to see.

…and the whales at their museum. Wow.  Some animals!  The Bowhead, aka as the Greenland whale, supported the entire eskimo world throughout history.  One animal sufficed for an entire village for a whole year.  Then industrial whaling all but drew them to extension. They were banned in 1976 and are slowly recovering.  Can be 200 years old !!  …and the Blue, huge (up to 200 tons), LONG but relatively slender.

The new crew has arrived. First Calle on the 3:rd.  He is a first time traveller on Aquaryd.  Then, on the night into the 5Th, Ludde arrived.  He has been on board many times.

 

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Segling 2018
tisdag 31 juli 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Arriving
Reykjavik at our feet. Lovely sight!

Only 75 more miles to Reykjavik in the morning. We have a lovely ride that gets even better when we approach the Keflavik peninsula and get away fro the swells.  We thunder on at 8 knots under 15 knots of wind, rather close-hauled.  Not bad at all!

At about 1600 hours (local time, we haver advanced our clocks 2 hours from Greenland time) we double the northern tip of the peninsula.  15 more miles into Reykjavik…!  According to instructions we contact Iceland Coast Guard and announce our arrival.  Further instructions include contact with the Reykjavik Pilot and eventually we are guided to a berth at the Brokey Yacht Club.

Brokey Yacht Club was recommended to us by Chris, the skipper on the UK Army yacht that we met in Qaqortoq and skipper got the impression of a pretty cold and fancy yacht club.  The reality was quite the opposite.  Brokey is piled together from a bunch of construction site containers.  There is a sort of a bar, one shower (yes, with cold and hot, sulphur smelling warm water) and not much more.  After a second thought one realized that yachting might not be the biggest sport on Iceland so, OK, the people were very nice and we had a good time there.  They did have a washing machine that we crucially needed.

We end the evening at the Icelandic Bar where we had traditional Icelandic food  

Log 13665 (636 nm to Iceland which is pretty exactly as the crow flies) Motor 3 hours.

Segling 2018
måndag 30 juli 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Approaching Icelend
Only 20 nm left into harbor

We keep on going in th same in wind, that, however, eases up a bit in the morning.  Duing the entire day this very constant north-easterly.  We cannot reach up to the Keflavik peninsula but keep on a due easterly course in the hope that there will be some kind of change in the next 24 hours.  Close-hauled, almost, the same 15-20 knots.  We suffer from the big swells that keep rolling in from the gale yesterday.

 At 1330 hours we decide to start the motor and go straight into the wind when the swells have subsided so that we can make reasonable speed without burning too much fuel (diesel engines have a “capacity” to up the fuel consumption considerably when the resistance increases).  We make progress in exactly the correct direction but only slowly so, 5 knots.

At 2330 hour at last there is a wind shift and  we hoist and carry on under a south-easterly, about 15 knots.  Wonderful to shut off the engine!

Early morning we cross just behind a big Icelandic trawler.  First sight of Iceland

Log 13595 nm (100 nm during the 24-hour period).  Motor 10 hours.

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Segling 2018
söndag 29 juli 2018 - Skrivet av Leif
Third day to Iceland
Setting sun over the weather station part of the Sound

The wind keeps constant during the day but increases to 30-35 knots in the night!  This is not at all according to the forecast that foretold a calm night and then southerly winds.  A bit disconcerting beside we do not know what weather system we are now in.  Has the low behind us moved faster or has a northerly low moved to the south?

The night is tolling. Lots of wind and bumpy waves.  Loads of water sprays into the cockpit where we huddle behind the spray hood.  The autopilot does the steering.

The wind eases up a bit in the early morning, down to 15-20 knots but still in the same north-easterly direction, precisely the direction in which Reykjavik lies (!)  We keep on due east and hope for a wind change in the coming 24 hours.  If not we will have to tack up round the Keflavik peninsula….

Log day 3 13495. (131 nm  during the 24-hour period)

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