Over the top of Norway to Russia.
Front Click on pic. to enlarge  
 
  During a W-meeting in the Oslofjord spring 2004 we told Ken Jensen (W1348) that we planned to paddle the coast around Norways North Cape to Russia in kayaks. Ken replied: “But you must sail Wayfarer! I can drive! We can use my car – and my trailer!” We changed plans – here is the story:  
     
   Trip up. Oslo – Hammerfest, 2000 kilometers.  
 
         
Finnmark, summer 2005   KVALSUND, midnight sun   Kvalsund   By fam. Holmgren after 30hrs drive   REPPARFJD.    "Good morning skipper Jon!"
 
  Long drive through Sweden and Finland. As all four drivers (Ken and Ken jr (W6141) + us two) were equally keen, we reached destination after 30 hours with lots of histories and laughter.  
 
                 
Launch HAMMERFEST Sjøsetting i Hammersfest
 
     
  Day 1 Hammerfest – Gjesvaer on island Mageroey. 50 nautical miles.  
 
         
"We have started!"   Dep. HAMMERFEST   "Trim that W.!" Coach on mob.   Par timer ut fra Hammerfest   Jo i hans skute   Jo
 
  The coast from Hammerfest to Russia is, contrary to the rest of the Norwegain coast, mainly  deserted without protecting islands and very few places that give shelter. The harsh climate gives almost no vegetation. The Barents Sea and East Sea comes right on the coast. There are also considerate tidal currents. It is therefore with some nervousness we empty the ‘schnaps’ at noon and set out. But we get a good start, with Beaufort 4 from behind. Finally on our way after two years of  planning and brooding. A little jumpy crew soon results in one reef as the wind increases a bit and grey weather is closing in. After 2-3 hours a short pit-stop in Havoeysund, a quick dinner at the local, empty hotel we reach on towards the big island Mageroey at 71۫۫۫۫° N and Gjesvaer with the worlds northernmost small-island archipelago. Ken and Ken jr have during the day driven around the coast and are waiting with dinner and beds.  
 
         
By road twds. N.Cape Tunnel to MAGERØY At GJESVÆR awaiting W4935 - same -  plus dry fish(stock-fish) Gjesvær anduving fra V Gjesvær på Magerøya
                     
           
W4935 arr. at 23:10 lt. after long day!   - same - drifting in   Shore crew i Gjesvær   Getting harboured hungry for dinner   Well tied up    
 
     
   Day 2 Gjesvaer – Kjoellefjord. 47 n.miles.  
 
         
Early dep, for bird-safari+N.Cape   Light airs - bird-isles in backgr.   About 1 million of sea-birds   20 pairs of sea-eagles spotted here     Rich feeding *grounds*/waters here   Our overnight-cabin in long barrack
 
  We wake up to sun and light winds from east. Set out early, past a small and tall island which is home to many sea eagles and several hundred thousands of sea parrots. Impressive! The seriousness starts; the plan is to sail past North Cape and take harbour in Honningsvaag. The wind soon picks up and the next 4-5 hours we hike out with small sails and B5 from east. Under a bright sun we round the cape. Just a tiny cloud can be seen – and that cloud sits right on North Cape tourist center where people probably are struggeling to see anything. Not a boat to be seen anywhere, we are alone.. The wind dies out after some hours and we’re left outside Helnes lighthouse where the huge Porsanger fjord comes out. Tide is falling and we find ourselves in amusing seas. The outboard engine is in Oslo. The current takes us out on the Svaerholt Sea and we wave goodbye to our destination port. After some time the wind comes back and we decide to just continue. Long and comfortable tack past the big mouth of Porsanger fjord and Laksefjord to the entrance of Kjoellefjord on the Nordkinn-peninsula. Wind dies completely and a cod is fetched from below. Warm coffee. We have time. The only important thing is to reach harbour before it gets dark. And that’s not until September. After some time a fishing vessel comes by and offers a tow and we reach small town of Kjoellefjord around midnight. “Bris” is transformed into night-in-harbour-configuration with boomtent and we feel like kings in warn sleepingbags.  
 
       
*Bird Safari*-boat   N.Cape HORNVIKA   Looking E-SE.   KNIVSKJELLODDEN   N.Cape monument
                 
       
N.Cape Panorama-building   Forbi Nordkapp (litt tv. for midt.)   Deilig kryss over Sværholthavet   Høy sjø ved Blodskuttodden   Morgen i Kjøllefjord
 
     
  Day 3, Kjøellefjord – Gamvik. 33 n.miles.  
  Three-four hours out Kjoellefjord again in light headwind, sun and 15 degrees. Warmest hours of the whole trip. Along towards Kinnarodden, mainland-Europe’s northernmost point. A sudden drop to 7C again and we settle for many layers of wool, rain gear, boots, wool-hat and gloves, double reef, B5 on the nose and feet in the footstraps. The combined sitting cushions/fenders a la Ken are nice to have. The weather feels unpredictable, the coast high and steep and the boat small. But the rounding of this cape goes well, the wind dies away and again we find ourselves drifting around. This time outside the little town of Mehamn. It suits us well, were hungry. Around midnight the cook enters the sleeping bag and is soon beyond conversation. He is awakened after two hours and with both reefs set and no foresail we race by Slettnes lighthouse and reach the molo of Gamvik at 03 hours. A fox forms the welcome committee, checking that we tie up properly.  
     
   Day 4 Gamvik – Berlevaag. 22 n.miles.  
 
           
    Kryss mot Berlevåg   Liten kuling imot kl.03 mot Berlevåg   Like blid    
 
  After some hours good boatsleep, morning coffee is prepared. We stroll around town, bunker and set out again. Today past mouth of Tanafjord and on to Berlevaag. The sail starts again  comfortably with light tailwind. It soon dies out and grey weather reduces sight to 100 metres. Time for fishing and dinner. It never takes more than a 1-2 minutes to get enough fish. Couple of hours later the wind comes back, this time on the nose. Pleasant tacking in light rain some hours – with reading aloud from exciting crime-book. After some time the reader has to hike out. A little later the reading has to stop, too much spray. The coastal cruiser “Hurtigruta” sails by and we call him up on the VHF. “King Harald, King Harald, King Harald, this is Bris on 16. Over” “Who is calling King Harald?” “Sailboat on your starboard bow. Over” “There I see you. How big are you?” We answer “15 feet”. “Are you completely mad?” This is a normal reaction when we call up ships or radio stations, but we receive a forecast from him and good luck. Well past the Tanafjord the wind really picks up – still from east – and the last hour we bite along with all reefs set and very little foresail. The current is with us and with B6 the other way the seas quickly become steep. But helmsman Jo is doing his business perfectly and the boat sails very nice. Last ten minutes we get a fantastic surf in between the moloheads of Berlevaag. Soon Bris is tied up, tent hoisted, inside wiped off, sleeping matresses laid out and the beer produced. The watch shows 03 after 12 hours at sea.  
     
  Day 5, Berlevaag.  
  The wind is howling outside the tent and we are stuck for the day. In the museum we get a two hour guided tour that ends with a long video about the building of the molo. It went on for about 100 years, 44 of them with a railway from where they got the stoneblocks through town to the moloheads. Only one senile lady was hit and killed by the train. Not bad  according to the guide. By night the wind dropped and we celebrated midsummers eve with campfire, beer and a swim (somewhat cold water) – under the midnightsun.  
     
   Day 6, Berlevaag – Hamningberg. 38 n.miles.  
 
         
Forbi Makkaur fyr Rett før hvalen dukker opp Forbi Makkaur Sandfjord Etter Makkaur fyr forbi Syltefjord Tiltagende vind mot Hamningberg om natta Gjestesejler fra Hamningberg i kuling og tryseil
 
  Its sunny and calm and the report says NW 5 increasing to 7 the following night. Good for us, we fill up with this and that and leave in light tailwind. The sun is soon replaced by rain. In return, the wind drops to nothing. We drift outside Baatsfjord 5-6 hours in slightly chilly rain  until the forecasted breeze starts to push us east. Soon we have B5 on our backs. Outside Makkaur lighthouse the Northern Gannets put on a great show around the boats with their bold dives. Suddenly a whale glides up next to us. The mood in the boat turns a bit anxious – wind, grey weather, whales, fresh shipwrecks high up on the beach and a B7 forecast. We sweep by some fjords, their openings are wide and the sight bad. Good to have GPS with charts. The wind increases. We understand that the heavy wind is about to arrive and nobody onboard wants to continue very long tonight. There is only one place to land within the next 4-6 hours – and that’s around a little peninsula, right in front of us. Waves are quite tricky around the point but the landing we aim for (Hamningberg) is well sheltered for west winds  and soon we are sitting in a party in the café with beers and chocolate. The clock is 03.  
     
  Day 7, Hamningberg ( www.hamningberg.com ).  
  We are lodged in a fishermans house from 1870. So old houses are rare to find in the northernmost part of Norway, but here there are many. The Germans burnt almost everything up here at end of WW2 but maybe they were in too much of a hurry when they left this place – which is quite remote even to Norwegian standards. Fantastic place where some eager people take care of the houses, run a café, arrange festivals etc. In wintertime the place is isolated and deserted, only accessed by a 3 hour on snowscooter. We do the “beginners miss” by not rolling the boat high enough up on the sand beach. When we landed, the tide was at its lowest and with 4 metres tidal diff., it was a long pull. We wake up in the morning at high tide to a boat buried in sand. With various garden tools(!) Bris is dug out and after another four hours the CB-case is freed from blocking sandstones. But – the B7 is still blowing from West so we might as well be occupied with this… The cafeowner asks us if we have some tips as to how he can learn to sail and we say that he can go with us to town of Vardoe the following morning. He enthusiastically accepts and promises to find winter clothes.  
     
   Day 8, Hamningberg – Kiberg. 22 n.miles.  
  Around eight o’clock we set out for Vardoe. The wind is down to B6 – still behind from W but waves are big. We rope down the main and boom on deck and set only Ken’s brilliant trysail. Still we do 5-6 knots. Past the trips crux – the “Bloodshooting” peninsula the waves are at their most interesting but we have perfect sailsetting and we really get impressed over how the Wayfarer handles. Just one little spray inside the boat. Most of it comes from the mouth of the cafeowner – out over the sidedeck. When he leans out the rest of the crew compensates to the other side. After tow-three hours we stroll around in the town Vardoe. Easternmost point in Norway and further east than Istanbul. The wind decreases and we sail out again – under the huge ‘listening’radars placed there by the military. We sight the Russian shores as we round the Kiberg-point. Fast downwind sailing is soon replaced by labourous tacking and the temptation becomes too big when we see the molo-opening at Kiberg. We set up boat-tent next to the little fishing-vessel “Kristian Nikita”.  
     
  Day 9, Kiberg – Kirkenes. 40 n.miles.  
  Another wakeup to sun and tailwind. Still quite chilly, no reason to take off the three sets of wool underpants, the wool shirt, the wool sweater, the wool hat or the wool gloves today either. Neither the wind-gloves. We sail in along the western shore of the huge Varangerfjord. After some time, the wind drops, enough to cook lunch and coffee. After having drowsed off a little, the wind picks up as if ordered and we set course over to the east side and the mouth of the Kirkenesfjord. It doesn’t seem so far across, but the eyesight is very good at these latitudes and it’s actually 15 miles across. We get an endless and fun reach that from time to time demands quite some attention from the helmsman. Around midnight BRIS eases into the small-boat harbour of the final port. Here are bushes, trees, even sailboats. Which we haven’t seen since the start in Hammerfest. The trip is over, we celebrate with a final ‘partynight’ under the boomtent, pick up the car and trailer which the shore crew so nicely has placed here and drive back to Oslo.  
  The Wayfarer has again proven itself as a very seaworthy dinghy and we had good nights in it. Everything functioned well, nothing broke. We now believe fully in the charm of W-cruising.  
     
  W4935 BRIS, Jo Herstad and Jon Vahl Saxhaug, Oslo.  
     
  Part of equipment-list:  
  Sea maps 1:200000 – sufficient as the waters are ‘clean’  
  Norwegian Pilot – covering the area.  
  Watertight VHF, GPS, EPIRB.  
  Some fireworks.  
  Drysuits for backup.  
  Small, watertight suitcase with motorcycle battery and various adaptors – for charging of video, phones etc.  
  Ken’s trysail. Genoa hoisted as a main, no boom.  
  Good, new sails, two slabreefs.  
  Trangia ‘storm-kitchen’ w/propane. Stands properly on the floorboards.  
  Ortlieb watertight cyclebag. Used as an ‘office’ for books etc.  
  Various other watertight bags.  
  Watertight box with ‘dynamite’. Readymade chocolate- and nutmix. Good in rough weather.  
  Oars. No engine.  
  Big sea anchor.