Monday, 17 July 2017

DANISH WATERWAYS AND PASSAGE TO NORWAY 17th July

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The 80 mile Limjforden Canal runs almost east west across the Danish countryside. It showed us just what it is capable of on this passage. The benign looking waterway comprises several shallow lakes intersected by narrow deeper navigation channels, joined together by narrow passes. It is deceptively tricky on the wrong day and its advisable to choose your weather for this route carefully. We set off westward from Hals motoring steadily to Aaborg. The head wind was up to around 30 knots. Inside the channel this wasn't too bad but once we poked our nose out into the wider expanse of water through which the navigation channel passes, it became less than pleasant, and in fact after two hours of hard motoring in counter current and into the increasingly gusty winds causing a short steep chop we struggled the 7 miles to Gjol. There the harbour master, Flemming had a couple of strong men on hand to take our lines. 
Gjol Marina

This marina has a very tight approach over shallow banks and most of the last half mile we had less than 6 inches of water under the keel. Taipan rolled and bucked and protested all the way there and the Limjfiorden won the day. In fact the next 2 days were so unpleasant we stayed and took the opportunity to catch up with Andrew and Christine again. They had just returned from their motoring adventure in Norway.  Gjol is an excellent small marina. Very reasonably priced at 129Dk and with free washers and driers and free power, the best wifi we have encountered in Europe. One of the major industries in this area of Denmark is Mink Farming. We saw beautiful farmland and amazing crops. only a few livestock and no mink, not even a mink coat!! From Gjol we progressed west to Limvig for a night and then with favourable conditions forecast we departed Denmark for Norway. 


Out the entrance at Thyborden and north for 36 hours to Stavanger on the west  coast. The conditions were pleasant if a little bumpy to start as the sea gradually died down so did the wind and we ended the passage with the motor and eventually no sails. Stavanger is an oil town. It is not terribly attractive in the approach but the town itself is quite charming. The old area has some fine examples of Norweigen architecture and cobbled streets complete the experience.

We tied up in the guest harbour right in the centre of town. The nightlife was fun and music and laughter filled the air until the wee small hours. Some say its too noisy here but we thoroughly enjoyed this spot. Two days later we moved out between the 3 huge cruise ships and sundry other tourist boats which had us squeezed into the corner of the harbour and headed inland up the fjords to the Lysefjorden. The 40nm trip was covered in the day in various weather. The Fjiord is spectacular. The evening saw us tied to the dock at Lysebotn. The end.
Lysefjord

 Working our way back the next day we stopped at Floyrii to wait for Tuuletar and her Australian owners Catherine Watts and Mark Pitman. Having been only WWS cyber acquaintances for some time we were keen to actually meet. It was a brief but fun catch up and we hope to meet them again soon.

Tuuletar

Floyrii

Floyrii is a hydro station. It was first built in 1914 to 16 and was to be the electric supply for a proposed steel mill. This project never got of the ground and after some years and financial difficulties it was eventually purchased by Stavanger and supplied power for the city. There is a cable railway with the longest wooden staircase in the world, at 4444 steps, adjacent to it. 

Intrepid hikers regularly take on the challenge and there were a steady stream of walkers arriving by ferry. There is no road into Floyrii. Meandering down the fjord during the afternoon we had alternating light but no rain and  so enjoyed the many waterfalls cascading from the mountain tops. Our anchorage in Foresand was the most spectacular location. Enhanced by the calm water and good light the reflections had us mesmerised.

Tuesday dawned raining hard and with no promise of any let up we decided to stay put.
Next we head to Hardanger Fjord and on to Bergen.