Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Norway Post 35

Day 32

The forecast called for southeast winds. My day began with crossing Leirfjorden which pointed to the northeast, and that's where the wind came from.

While fighting through it the huge cruise liner which I incorrectly call Hutaruita bore strait down on me from much too close at nearly the speed of sound. I lay my paddle on my skirt so that both hands were free to grab my radio. I keep it secured to the back of my life vest so that it looks a little bit like a ninja sword. I don't use it very often and unclipping it is a two hand procedure.*

Panicked, my radio message was not in the best form "SECURITAY SECURITAY SECURITAY. Solo yellow kayak crossing north from Sandnessjoenn. Hootaroota, this is Solo Yellow Kayak, Make Sure You See Me. Hutaruita, this is Solo Yellow Kayak. Make sure you see me! I'm heading north."

I turned east to get out of his way and a moment later the juggernaut turned enough to the west so that I wouldn't die.

I finished my crossing and began paddling north along the Ranen peninsula. The wind came from every which way and strongly. Sometimes it would be a headwind, others a tail wind or a beam wind. I watched gusts ripple across the water to feel a brief whoosh when they arrived and then passed.

I stopped on a beach to stretch my legs and remove the water that accumulated in my boat during the crossing. My spray skirt is not a great fit. A woman who lived in a house above the beach warned me that a storm was coming.

My goal for the day was Nesna and when I began crossing the fjord to the neighboring island of Hugla the wind was with me, but as soon as I was farther out in the channel it set against me. The wind continued against me as I climbed into white caps and bounced over oncoming waves. Nesna was about seven miles away, but at my current speed I wouldn't make it any time soon.

I turned around and landed on a beach with a number of houses above it. Quite a bit of rain was forecast for the night so I was especially hoping to find a garage or boathouse to sleep in. All the driveways were empty. Summer homes, without very much summer this year people were staying south.

I got back in my boat and paddled a little farther back and took out at a small dock with a couple of motor boats tied up to it. The first people I met told me to continue paddling back even further to a guest house at the marina. The second people I met were happy to let me sleep in their garage.

The moment I had dragged all my things up and was under its shelter the storm began. Thunder boomed and rain soaked the earth. The waterfall on the cliff above me roared.

I was cold but at least dry. I took out my things to make dinner and realized I left my fuel canister in my kayak. I ran through the torrential rain down a grassy path, onto the bridge over the rushing stream, to the dock and got my canister. The rain poured, but back in my garage I made dinner.

I had not been invited into the house to shower.  A hose next to the garage invited me to snuggle in its icy jaws. I ACCEPT!

I went naked into the freezing rain and hosed myself down. I scrubbed with Dr Bronner's soap and then rinsed myself off. I wanted to huddle and shiver but instead I breathed deeply, looked into the sky, and shouted from my soul "I AM A BEAST. I LOVE LIFE."

Then I was a clean beast, and then I was shivering in the garage and getting dressed when a neighbor came in and invited me to sleep in his house and take a hot shower if I like.

The warm bed was nice. Maybe I'm more like a Lab, they like beds, the water, and are vaguely beast-like to people who are scared of dogs.

*Later I changed the system because it was stupid.

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