Bluejay loving the Lofotens!
Posted in : Bluejay
Monday 17th June
As the last of the guests arrived aboard Bluejay the first day was all about boat familiarisation and choosing the space inside that would be rightly claimed as theirs for the forthcoming adventure sailing the crystal-clear waters of the Lofoten Islands.
With the crewmates awake and now gathered around the breakfast table the galley was alive with chatter as the team regaled stories of their already impressive journeys so far others of merely just getting to the boat, some better planned than others.
With friendships forming and breakfast washed down with coffee and tea the real safety tutorials began starting with foul weather suits, life jackets and a new selection of Fladdens handed out and adjusted to suit.
With safety briefs completed and stations assumed we cast off from the moderate confines of Bodo marina to the sound of ringing in our ears – apparently the local custom is to wish a Rubicon vessel a safe voyage by firing possibly the loudest cannon from the opposing headland, surprised we were… Luckily the Captain of the oncoming cruise liner seem less surprised.
With just a short hop across to Landegode the level of wardrobe activity was as unexpected as the recent explosion, with T’shirts swapped for coats or sunglasses and then back again with the addition of a hat, but thankfully there was no need for serious wet weather gear.
This was until Holly the skipper announced a full wet MOB training drill to put into practice what we had learned from our dry run.
As heads dropped and eyes averted Holly now asked for a fender; for this was to be the unfortunate casualty and suddenly all was well and with the attention of the crew regained a suitable mate was assigned the task of rescuer and fully equipped in every item of safety gear one person could possibly need and hoisted off the staysail halyard over the side.
With skills beyond their short time on board not only did Melanie rescue the buoy in a promising time should one actually fall in but was also return to deck dry!
We didn’t have much hope for sailing but persevered with putting the sails up to get used to how they work. John and Stephen set the bar high by sweating the main all the way to the top on the first day closely followed by hoisting the staysail but with less than a breath of air we settled to a leisurely pace with turns being taken all around the boats equipment.
By the time we reached our overnight anchorage in a secluded bay at the stunning North East end of Landegode shaded by the one of the many walls of rock that reaches for the sky in this beautifully landscaped vista the sun was still there in the sky.
With the promise of a possibly first experience of a midnight sun 5 intrepid explorers shunned the idea of an early night and set about turning a small square stowed in a canvas bag into a beach landing craft fit for five.
After a brief excursion with Holly at the helm and just a few crew onboard ‘Bluetit’ around the anchorage, controls were passed to our able 1st mate Vince who set about finding a suitable landing site amongst seaweed covered rocky shoreline leading to wooden pontoons that led to randomly placed red painted huts.
After many hours exploring and thousands of photographs later the five returned having witnessed the midnight sun to find the other half of the crew asleep and somehow managed to retire to their cots without waking anybody up.
Wednesday 19th June
A leisurely start to the day made all the better by waking to the smell of scrambled egg on toast! This was severed with style by a beaming Holly who herself seemed taken aback by the quality of the fare on offer even though she herself had cooked it!
With breakfast out of the way and house keeping chores done a coffee in the cockpit was made even more delightful by the visit of two magnificent Sea Eagles that feasted themselves in front of us on whatever the terns fought hard to protect.
A training session on the whys and wherefores of passage making followed with a handing over of the reins for tomorrows sail across to Reine in hopefully better wind.
Todays sail was again more of a hop with sail training and manoeuvres along the way with much instruction and talk of toerails in the water tomorrow and the need to get it right when reefing the main or hoisting a Yankee whilst not fouling the Staysail…
An afternoon of playing training complete we glided into Kjerringoy marina with all the grace of Bambi on ice holding a kite in a perfect exhibition of how not to let watching eyes put you off your task of mooring up steady and in control; preserving the condition of your paintwork.
With a night of R&R in front of the crew after another hearty meal in their bellies and a cockpit to enjoy watching the sun stay up; what more could you want?
David – Bluejay