Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strong winds and a stop in Bodø

We had a good overnight stay in Leines, where an acquaintance of Tor invited us to have dinner, take a shower and offered us a bed for the night. Such luxury!!! Many thanks to Berit for her genuine hospitality.

At this point we had quite strong winds. Tor still had trouble with his wrists, and the direction of the wind was difficult to prejudge. It was a bit exciting to cross the Folda fjord. The weather seemed stable when we began the 10 km. crossing, but after 6 km. the wind started to blow strongly from shore, and we had to battle against the wind for the last 3-4 km. or so. We camped close to the crossing place near Os on one of the journey's most beautiful places so far. The weather was warm, and for the first time in a month, we could enjoy the evening without socks, shoes and windproof clothing.

On the August 15th - one month after our start in Grense Jakobselv, we set out from Os early in the morning. We paddled quite a distance - 15 km. - in little wind and sun. Upon crossing the little Mist fjord, the wind grew stronger from an unfortunate direction - Easterly. The last 2 km. of the crossing was really hard. We had the feeling of not moving forward at all. We had to concentrate on keeping the course and our balance, when sudden bursts of wind up to storm strength suddenly came upon us for periods of 3-4 minutes.  The gusts were so strong, they threatened to tip us over, and we had to lean strongly into the wind to avoid this... which, of course, becomes 'interesting' the gust subsides. We reached Mjelde, 10 km. North of Bodø and decided to take a break and have dinner. Here, the weather only got worse.   The strong bursts of wind continued, all the time from different directions.  A thick layer of froth from the waves blew constantly across the water, and eddies of foam formed here and there.  It was obvious that it would not be wise to continue paddling - such a shame - we had been looking forward to reaching Bodø this day.    

As we sat there wit our frustration, i got a message from Jim Ness in Bodø: "I follow your blog, you can stay in Bodø Kayak club if you wish. Hope to see you soon, otherwise have a good trip!" I called Jim, just to check that he really meant it, and he immediately offered to come and pick us up and take us the last bit to Bodø by car. We accepted his offer and installed ourselves in the club house, then we went and had a good dinner in Bodø. Many thanks to Jim for his help, and to Bodø Kayak club for letting us stay at the club house "as long as we wish!".

Jim Ness at the beach of Mjelde - it was actually hard to stand in the strong winds, and loading kayaks on the car was risky business!

According to the weather forecast, the strong and unpredictable winds will continue for a few days. Tor has decided to stop here in Bodø, so Bao Quoc and I will wait for better conditions and go on. It is very uncertain, but perhaps tonight will offer a short opening, where we can paddle for five hours or so.

Bao Quoc making breakfast outside the clubhouse. He has an obsession with food. While Tor and I have both dropped a few kilos, Bao Quoc has gained two kilos! I constantly tell him that he eats too much and works too little, but he refuses to listen!

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