Happy days on Bluejay in Arctic Norway
Posted in : Bluejay
The morning started with those that hadn’t been ashore last night getting kitted up to go off in ‘Bluetit’ to clamber up to the spectacular viewpoint. Views were contemplated along with watching oyster catchers and herons, but no whales for Holly.
We eventually set off from Gullvika to head north, under engine, to Ulvaagen where we ‘popped’ our noses in to reconnoitre the lie of the land for possible anchorages for future trips. We had made the right decision to stop at Gullvika as this fjord had settlements along the shoreline, so wasn’t as remote. It was then a trek further north to find Trollfjorden , a narrow fjord running west to east on the island of Austvaagoya. We couldn’t quite touch the walls as we motored through but those that go through on cruise ships wouldn’t be far off. I felt very small sitting on ‘Bluejay’ gazing up to the tops of the sheer fjord walls, watching sea eagles soar far above.
There were a few fishing boats on the water, the crew of one suggesting that we moored up as there was a pontoon and shore power at the west end of the fjord. There were also a number of large ribs carrying tourists from Svolvaer to see the majestic sights of Trollfjorden. As ‘Bluetit’ was being launched we were approached by a Coast guard vessel, two Coastguards and one policeman, who wanted to check that we were all wearing life jackets. Being a Rubicon 3 trip, we were! After a quick chat about our travel plans, they passed over some packets of sweets and coffee before departing to check the other boats in the fjord.
It was then down to Andy and Vince in ‘Bluetit’ to video the fjord and ‘Bluejay’. Those of us in the ‘Bluejay’ motored up and down Trollfjorden at different speeds as Andy’s drone flew around us. That done, two extra crew got into the rib and were treated to numerous runs up and down the fjord with the 360-degree camera out on a stick taking in everything around us. Personal interviews then followed as we were all asked about our Rubicon 3 experience; highlights, exploring, training and much more. Soon to be on a screen near you!
This was to be our furthest point north as we then turned south to head down to Svolvaer, the capital of the Lofoten Islands. With the main sail and yankee hoisted we tacked our way south. Puffins and oyster catchers shot past as we heeled over. Tacking caused great consternation down below as butter went flying, ably caught by Dave who just happened to be sitting in the right place at the right time. Fruit and garlic bulbs became projectiles as they were launched from the nets above the galley. The engine was only on for about 15 minutes as we passed through the lee of the islands on our way to Solvaer. The Fladden suits were taken out of their wrappings to be donned for the first time as the wind was cold and penetrating. What a great garment, though not sure if I would want to be in the water wearing one.
What a brilliant day – fantastic sailing, good company, sailing related games and quizzes as we pottered around Trollfjorden; fair winds, amazing scenery, no rain and, as always, good food. We reached Svolvaer and moored up alongside at about 2200. A long day capped off with a ‘nearly’ midnight feast of garlicky chicken and rice.
Thank you to everyone on board who is making this trip so special!
Kate – Bluejay