30th June 2017
A blog entry in the style of Long Standing Ambition!
Today doesn't promise much: no wind through the morning, and a feeble breeze when I do set out, hoping to make a token few miles, and expecting a paddle to reach land. My mind is elsewhere too, barely registering the scenery going past. Wondering if I should be pushing for more miles? Sailing more hours? Because I could - the sailing inside these lower islands is mostly uncomplicated, and the wind direction usually favourable - but should I? If I just power on through that's too solitary, empty...
But if I don't push when I can, I could regret that later. Bad weather or light winds will come at some time and make progress slow. And maybe a small delay will compound into a much larger one if I get stuck the wrong side of a difficult headland or crossing.
I know the answer already: to make hay when the sun shines - and if there's lots of sun that means lots of hay too. No deliberate slowing up. But by the same measure accept opportunities to link up with folk, and welcome a bit of randomness whatever this may entail.
My mind moves back to the day. Sailing through rocks, skerries, small islands. Almost all have birds resident, now caring for their defenceless young. And the birds' fish diet returns a favour to their island homes, turning these fertile and allowing green meadows on the tips of rocks that barely protrude above the sea's surface.
Some gusts come and allow the board to plane a few hundred metres. I miss a turning, harden up to correct and feel a pleasantly cool breeze on my face, now enjoying the day.
Now down a channel. A few cabins are nestled closely together above a gentle pebble beach. Two children play in the water and there are people on a balcony. People! I drink fast to deplete my water supply, then stop and ask the adults for a top-up.
The day has more miles, so it will only be a quick stop, but these nice people provide coffee, pancakes and a beer for later. I ask if this is the mainland. No. And boat access only to this part of the island. It is a lovely spot. I leave refreshed. There's a good wind. It's a great day.
A text arrives from Diego on MS Nordlys, the Hurtigruten boat I sailed north with in May. They are heading south, are maybe close. I start a small crossing and there is the Nordlys, probably only 3 miles away - 12 minutes at their pace. I want to wave to my friends. Get close enough to see their faces. I pump to reach mid channel in time to position myself on their bow. The fog horn sounds. I'm sailing dead downwind when they pass. It's wobbly. Difficult to look up, but I see plenty of passengers, and Kari, and on the bridge there is Kristian.
Thanks Captain Lars and Diego. That was a nice manoeuvre we pulled off!