Friday, 11 November 2011

Trip Around Sotra 2011

After many days of planning and preparing I finally have a kayak ready, trip planned for the days ahead.

Friday 4th November

I spent the morning finishing off some final preparations.. the all important getting maps ready making sure I had maps to cover the whole area.  Eating a good lunch of Lefse and tea yum yum.. I am finally in my dry suit ready to go.
I leave the shop god-tur in Bergen at 13:10.  The weather is good with a small breeze from the east and very little water state with a few ripples.  I clamber down the rocks with my kayak and settle myself in the seat for the next hours.  Heading south west following the coast I finally find a nice spot to camp, just under Sotra bridge at around 15:30.  Just before it started to rain my tent was up and I was well fed with noodles.. I climb into my sleeping bag for a night of some non existing Norwegian study.  Through the night as boats went by I could hear the crashing waves against the near by rocks.

Saturday 5th November

Had a great start left at 9:00.  Pretty straight forward trip followng the coast before lunch.  Winds from the north ish.. little wave action and rain all day.  I hit a nice little beach at a village called Espeland for lunch were a nice man chatted to me and kindly filled up my water bottles.  Navigation becomes a bit trikey turing to cross to Klokkavik.  Many islands not knowing which one was which.  first i get to Hejellestad where there are lots of people practicing in dingis who took some interest.  I then decide i have the right islands and decide to start crossing.  After an hour or two getting to Klokkavik I start looking for a place to camp.  I finally find a nice bit of grass next to a small river.  It stopped raining for at least five minutes wnough time for me to put up my tent.  Luckily I was close to a road where the was a bus stop so i convieniently converted the shelter into Ashley's hanging room for the night.  I knock at a door neer by an kindly ask the man in my finest norwegian if he could fill my thermos up with hot water.. he invites me in and offers me a drink... yes please.. i go in to find his wife happily sat at the table reading with just her bra on mmm.. and then he runs the tap ensuring the water going into my thermos is cold and refreshing.. ill have to check the word for boiling in my norwegian dictionary ha ha.  Never mind my awsome turbokkoker did the buiseness.  Lots of rain.. very wet night.

Sunday 6th November

After a night of rain it seemed to have cleared up for a good day paddling ahead.  Slight breeze from the north with a clear ski in the direct of my travel.  I head for Glesvær.  Passing some huge fish farms on the way and talking to a few fishermen out for the morning I reach Glesvær at 12:30 greeted by some kayakers heading out for a trip.  I enjoy the tranquility and relax to have some lunch.  After a while some people are curious of what I am doing.  I eet a nice lady who lives on some random Island 13th house from the end closest to Klokkavik.. im more than welcome on my next visits to fill my flasks with water at her place.. how very kind.  Glesvær is a lovely little fishing village.. beautiful cafe and atmosphire.. i notice they have a diving board too; ill wait until the summer for that though.  I set off at 13:10 winding through the narrow hollows to find some open sea.  Finally some decent sea conditions to do some playing before i navigate through some islands to find Tælavåg.  I had a lovely spot for camping right next to an ancient grave yard.. but i thought halloween was a few days aog so i should be ok.  It was a georgous evening after a long days paddle.  I relax on the rocks looking up at a moonlit sky filled with stars listening to the gentel trickle of the stream behind me.

Monday 7th November

After a lovely nights sleep a big breakfast I am ready and on the water at 10:00.  The wind has picked up a bit and is about 7m/s from the east.  The water is a little bit choppy but I head on.  Passing Svanaboen and Sovika were fine but then I get to the most exposed part of the trip; Stallen and Skager.. this was a little bit scary with waves and wind, water crashing against the cliffs with not many opptions for escape routes.  I quickly shovel in a "quick Lunje" to give me some energy and I paddle me hardest to get through it.  Paddling at a north west angle hoping to stay away from the rocks and go forwards.. it seemed like I was going nowhere..  eventually I escape the waves to a little beach Sevågen, fuel up again and take on lots of water... after the paddle I was lets say a little bit sweaty.   As soon as I got around Roksnest it becomes nice and flat.  Paddling the rest of the way to Langøyna in peace.  I get to Langøyna at 13:00 giving me the afternoon to relax in the sun and try dry my stuff.  I was lusting a hotdog and beer from the petrol station i thought was near by.. after walking for an hour and no luck I give up and hitch a ride back to my camp =(.

Tuesday 8th November

What a lovely morning on Langøyna.  I was determined today to get to an Island suggested for camping just outside Bergen.  So 9:30 packed and ready on the water heading towards Misje.  A straight foward paddle I find a bay to stop and quickly eat some lunch so I can get back on the water again.  Finally hitting the head of Sotra escaping through the first gap to the east side.  Using lighthouses to navigate I get to the first one and head on to the next... and keep heading.. keep heading and finally after what seems like hours I get there... not liking 1:100000 maps.. at least it was only for this streach.  Decision now... cross now or cross later mmmm... i keep going and decide to cross later... after passing so big industrial thing with lots of big boats ahhh.. I begin to cross to find the island for camping I hit a light house and suddely everything dissapears in fog.. ahhh.. so I stick to my bearing and hope for the best; heading into the mist.  Only being able to see the end of my boat i finally hit the island.  I then poke around to find its neighbour with a perfect site for camping.  Shame at this time its low tide and have to carry my kayak miles onto land.  It was reaching 16:00 so just in time before it got dark.

Wednesday 9th November

Last day of paddling!!  I wake up early after a cold night sleep; quickly pack up knowing it was only 16km to the finish.  After a foggy night everthing was damp; luckily it had cleared up and i could see where i was going.  Getting on the water at 8:15 I head for god-tur.  I stayed north of the fjord for a while fearing the crossing where big boats might run me over.  Finally i look both ways and start to cross avoiding the morning traffic.  After a strong paddle I get to the other side for a short break and a hand full of raisins.  Not long to go.  I could feel my eyes ready to close as I know i am almost done.  I can see the Bergen Awuarium yeah.. yet another half hour before I reach it.. then just around the corner was the shop; I was finished at 10:20.  Climbing back up the rocks with my kayak I relax.  After unpacking I finally release the smell from inside my dry suit.. not good.. then wash in a bucket of soapy water in the garage; getting some funny looks at passers by ha ha.. clean clothes, a cup of tea and a few bananas.  Amazing trip!!