Bergen to Lofoten

This was our main sail of the year. We were a strong team with Phil Trotter and Rob Parsons. Phil has loads of big boat sailing but less Brimbleboat size exposure and Rob's an old timer with several thousand Brimble miles under his belt.

Our passage plan was straightforward. Provision and head northish for 5 days until we reached the arctic circle. Stop at an island called Traena , drink Aquavit and eat herrings; hop up a further hundred miles to walk up one of the biggest glaciers in Europe and then sail another hundred miles or so up to Reine in the Lofoten.

The good ship was in a marina, Bergens Seilforening, 10 miles south of Bergen. So we headed up to Bergen to provision and enjoy some more of the most expensive beer in the world. Sailing in Norway is absolutely stunning ... so is the price of their beer. However, we found this problem could be effectively dealt with by never, ever working out how much we were spending.

Bergens Seilforening - very handy for Bergen Airport and very well
protected. The Yacht Club was huge and uncannily empty. We used the
space to lay out all our charts and work out the passage plan

There is a stage on small boats as you prepare for a long sail when things
aren't quite as tidy as you would like!

We found a great spot on Bergen Town Quay. Visiting tourists stared
at the tiny British Yacht with varying degrees of confusion

The GSB now has three ensigns. The Storm Ensign, very small for extreme
conditions; the Working Ensign for day to day use and then the Dress Ensign
for use in Norwegian Harbours where quite frankly the size of your
flag matters!

This bar was dark and local - we spent a significant amount
of money in here .. I think

The crew and a fish

Phil T and Chloe who was the manageress of the restaurant we tried out.
We liked Chloe because of her blunt refusal to serve us food that we wanted.
She told us what we would eat and when we would eat it. Our invitation for her
and her friend to return to the Good Ship fell on stoney ground

Cruise ship departing Bergen as we departed Bergen. Crew conditions were
similar on both boats although in our case the crew were able to eat with
the Captain everyday

A gorgeous little harbour 20 miles north of Bergen that we
popped into as a little treat

Headwinds slowed our sail down so we decided to bypass Traena.
Nonetheless we celebrated crossing the Arctic Circle with
Herrings and Aquavit

Once in the Arctic is was pretty much daylight all the time. It was a bit
dusky around midnight but never really got dark. Great.

This was close to midnight!

The colours so far north are extraordinary

This was as dark as it got

We made land fall at Engen alongside one of the largest glaciers in Europe and
reputedly the closest to sea level. We walked to it the following day and it's
 further away than it looks

The Svartisen Glacier

Robs knee conceals the good ship in Holandsfjorden below

There were hardly any other yachts anywhere north of Bergen. We had
most pontoons to ourselves

Rob took one for the team and went for a swim. He said it
was surprisngly warm after a bit .. Phil and I declined
 the opportunity

We were welcomed to Lofoten by a pod of Killer Whales.
We were all delighted.

Our boys book of Whales proved invaluable for confirming albeit in hindsight
that our decision to sail straight towards the Killer Whales was a safe one

First sight of Reine which has been voted Norways most beautiful landscape

A very satisfied team on the pontoon just after arriving in Lofoten

A picture postcard and also the cover photo of the Norwegian Pilot

A couple of days after we arrived Selma, Jack and Ella joined us. They rented
one of the Fishermans Cottages you can see behind the good
ship. We all enjoyed a shower

A BBQ on the pontoon. Cockney and
Eider are nesting comfortably in Rob's hat after a hard few days sailing

The view down into the harbour from 800 m up

The walking was great with spectacular views at every turn

The short cut we took back down was a bit tricky and Ella
took a tumble on the rocks behind


No comments: