We had carefully moved our way around the southern corner of Norway avoiding the storms that kept moving across the North Sea. When we finally navigated the oil platform jungle, we were actually looking for wind.
After inch size hail we were happy to reach Inverness, get some of the engine problems fixed and navigate the Caledonian Canal.
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A summary of our tour from Kappeln, Germany, to Kristiansand, Norway. Unfortunately, we hit a rock in Denmark and had to pull Tioga out for repairs in Aarhus, Denmark.
As we were lucky to find a nice group of people in Aarhus, we only lost three days. The new mast made it in one piece and the bad weather is already forgotten…
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Below are a couple of photos of our crew that sailed from Kappeln, Germany, to Kristiansand, Norway:
We left Kappeln July 5th and sailed about 350nm to Kristiansand where we arrived July 12. Waiting out stronger winds south of Fyn, hitting a rock quite hard to take Tioga out of the water in Aarhus and dealing with decent westerly winds on the North Sea made for a sportive trip. We’ll publish the video of the Free-Fall later…
A BIG Thank You!!! for all your help and patience.
As always – click on the photos see more….
What a day!
After some early morning fog we had lots of blue sky. The breeze filled in from the south as predicted, providing perfect broad reaching conditions all day (and night long).
With almost flat seas and about 10 kn we zig-zagged around many, many oil platforms. At any given time we could see about a handful of them.
We received our first friendly courtesy call in the morning from one of the larger platforms making sure we had them on our radar screen and keeping a distance of at least 500m.
Later on we received a safety warning because a larger ship towing an 8 mile cable to the south of us. Good to have AIS and DSC radio on…
With the southerly wind stabilized, we knew we would sail like this all the way to Scotland and therefore not have to use the engine again. We therefore cleaned up the Diesel mess in the engine room and enjoyed the rest of the day. Dark German bread for lunch and a very nice Indian curry made for a happy crew.
We rigged the Aries windvane with Peter’s larger vane, but could still not make it work.
A pod of larger dolphins put a nice touch to the perfect sunset and rounded off the day.
The wind is supposed to increase to 19kn throughout this morning, pushing us to Inverness, where we hope to arrive in the later afternoon. We see lightning on the horizon and are expecting rain from 14:00 onwards, but so far so good.
We arrived in Sogndalstrand in the evening, quickly put the Kuchenbude up (it was pooring rain) and enjoyed another nice meal (that Corinna had prepared during the sail).
Studying the weather for a while, we determined that the crossing time would be about 10hrs shorter if we left early on Monday morning. We therefore settled in, enjoyed the best facilities we have seen (free and better than in our own house!), went for a nice hike and visited the quaint little village with houses from the 17th and 18th century.
All emails are taken care of and kids got their overdose of truly high speed internet access.
We had another warm and sunny day and are ready to push off very early on Monday.
The good news:
We have a new autopilot – DON 2016 – who just finished the first 10 hours of steering continuously!!
The bad news: we are concerned about Don’s health, because he stopped drinking fluids to avoid having to use the head 😉 (and to extend his record-breaking time at the helm).
We had left Mandal in the evening into westerly wind (15-20kn) and managed to find a protected cove a few hours later. After a couple of failed attempts of catching some of the huge jelly fish and real fish, we settled down in the cockpit, had another nice dinner and enjoyed the sunset.
The next morning everything was covered in low hanging mist when we left our anchorage at 6:00.
We set sails and started beating around “the corner”. The mist disappeared and we enjoyed a nice sunny day on the water.
We are crossing paths with a freighter about once an hour and see sailboats here and there. None of them used their sails to make it to windward…
If things go well, this marks the end of our sailing along the Norwegian coast as we are hoping to leave to Scotland tomorrow.
We sailed up the river to the marina in Mandal, dropped the sails and found a nice stop for the day.
Internet was fast, the town beautiful and the hill provided a fantastic view of the suroundings.
Mandal has a nice beach as well. The first one we have seen so far.