Friday, June 26, 2015

Norway Post 3

Day 1

I customized my deck lines, applied goo to the hatch covers so they'd behave better, and made a number of final adjustments to my gear.  I said goodbye to Liddun.

I pulled, heaved, carried and dragged my loaded boat down a short white sandy beach to the empty marina's calm waters.  When I stepped in with my neoprene clad foot, the chilly water seeped through and stung before I could get in the boat.

When I rolled in the gray water, I felt Norway in my bones.  I flung my energy into launching my quest and cast aside the chill.  

My new boat is slower than I hoped, and it'll affect my progress.  

It also doesn't have a skeg.  Liddun didn't seem to think that was important.  It's not if I'm only going a short distance or there's no wind.  But if I'm going a long distance, and if the wind is from behind or either side, then a skeg could help me control my boat and leave me more energy for thinking.  Without that energy, I'll be more likely to make mistakes.  I need a skeg.

I paddled along a rocky shore and looked out to see mild waves roll in.  I crossed the mouth of a fjord.  At the end of it towered white snowy mountains.  Small puffy birds with orange beaks, that I later learned were puffins, bobbed up and down on the water beside me.  Large fishing boats that stank of diesel and ferries moved through the center of the channel, and threw their wakes at me from a mile away.

A furry cat-sized squirrel-like wet creature fiddled around on the rocks.  I saw it first, but the noise I made in grabbing for my camera scared it off before I could take a picture.  Maybe it was an mink?

I crossed another channel, looking around to make sure nobody planned on running me over.  The south side of the island of Alesund was lined with boat houses.  Pretty, tiered, suburban homes with large decks and an occasional grass roof climbed up the bottom of a steep hill.

I turned into the town's bay and and after a little bit of poking around found a marina.  This marina was different from every other marina I'd ever been in.  The gates were locked from the outside and the inside.  In order to leave with my weekend pack I had to jump from the private dock to the public.

I thought about parking on the public dock to begin with, but I'd be spending the Sabbath in a hostel and I've had too many bad experiences with people helping themselves to the contents of my boat.

I asked a mariner where the marina's offices were, and he said that on account of their 'no guests' policy, there weren't any.  He encouraged me to leave my boat on the public dock and wondered how I'd gotten passed the security gates.  He also admitted that I probably wouldn't run into any problems if I left my boat where it was, but maybe I should reconsider on account of their being a security camera.

The Sabbath starts at sunset, and sunset starts sometime in the middle of the night, even if it does rise again before it finishes properly setting.  

My first day was slow, cloudy, cold and absolutely wonderful.  Norwegian fjords are mindbogglingly beautiful.

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