On Saturday an east wind slipped through the mountains out to sea and loved what it found. It told its friends and soon more and more came. By Sunday they were flying. The forecast called for a southeast wind, but I'd met the southeast wind before, and perhaps if I stood at the top of a mountain I could look to the southeast and feel the wind on my face, but down at sea level, the wind raced out of the fjords, whether they were pointed to the southeast, east, or northeast. I chose a route that would leave me sheltered from the wind by islands, except for when I crossed to and from them.
I hoped that this time the wind would really be more from the south, and as I headed northwest up to the end of the peninsula it was. I turned north and crossed into the arctic circle. A monument on an island marks the line and I celebrated achieving my trips major secondary objective. I hadn't found Slartibartfast's plaque, but I found the Arctic's and rejoiced with song.
I cut due north to the archipelago that would shelter me from the wind. The crossing was slow and the arctic waters sloshed around over my boat bouncing it up and down. Not even a little bit of the wind came from the south, it was straight out of the fjord, north east.
With the shelter of the islands the wind flashed from calm to sprint in every direction. The water densely rippled around me without enough fetch to grow into anything more formidable. My next crossing would be much longer. Tomorrow the weather would be much better. The sun was bright and beautiful and the weather warm, but if I got separated from my boat in wind and waves during the crossing, the arctic waters would suck the life out of me like a monkey with a yogurt tube.
I've never been separated from my kayak before, and I haven't missed a roll in a long time, but better safe than a discarded monkey's yogurt tube.
I pulled into a small harbor and was invited to stay in a lovely guest apartment. Check out www.Helgelandsidyll.no if you're looking to visit Norway. The shower handle has a digital temperature display, and if that's not enough the owner rents kayaks and it's one of the most beautiful places to paddle in the world.
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