There are three points along the Norwegian south west coast that are infamous for being difficult, its where wind meets current and the land points out. This creates waves that range from uncomfortable to dangerous. These three points are Lindesnes, Lista and Jæarens rev. As we have heard much about these places and have nurtured a healthy respect for these we have planned for a lot of extra time to be able to choose the right conditions to pass these places. We where ultimately very fortunate and have now passed all three in the last four days. But lets back up a bit again.
In the last post we where finally moored in a natural harbour again. We spent a day there, enjoying the beautiful weather, walking around the island and bathing. We then continued on to a place called “Nilen” or “the Nile”. Why it had this name I do not know, I have never been to the Nile but do imagine that it does not in any way look like its counterpart in Norway. It’s a nice place however.
On our way to the Nile we passed through a famous system of small channels and inlets called “Blindleia”, i.e. “The blind way”, probably so called because this very weather safe route once upon a time was a very difficult route to navigate and a well kept secret jealously guarded by the Norwegian navy. Nowadays it is marked with buoys I guess are native to Norway, never seen the kind of buoys used anywhere else. Its a very busy route and at some points you kind of wonder if you maybe should put out the fenders when meeting a boat at a particularly narrow passage.
Reaching the Nile we once again deployed our stern anchor, which seems to be what motor boats does here, no other sail boat where using our technique. We spent the evening swimming around in clear, warm(ish) water and enjoying the sun.
Leaving the Nile the plan was to go to Mandal, but the sailing was great so we ended up pushing on. We past the first scary point, Lindesnes, in beautiful weather and light winds. For a while we aimed for passing Lista as well the same day, going for the harbour of Kirkehamn.
Unfortunately the wind died down, fog rolled in and some clouds in the sky made me worried about arriving at Kirkehamn in very dark conditions. We where running out of coffee anyway so we changed destination to Farsund to be able to get there before the supermarkets close. When we arrived we discovered that they where celebrating their annual party called “Kaparnatta”, i.e. “The pirate night”. Turns out Farsund has quite the past, there where several privateers living here during the napoleanic war and the grand finale of the
party is a re-enactment of how a privateer board an english merchant. The funny thing is that the re-enactment makes it look more like the merchant attacks the city and the privateer defends it. Rewriting the history is a proud tradition of humanity. The re-enactment however was great, complete with cannons getting fired, people running around with old rifles and sailors and privateers fighting with swords on the deck.
The following morning when the Farsunders where sleeping off the hangover we left early to get good winds to pass Lista. We knew that in the early
afternoon there where going to be hard winds, so we wanted to use the early morning to get past and as far away from Lista as possible. The plan worked and we did not get hit by the hardest winds – we actually passed Lista by motor – but in the afternoon we did have to tack in 11 m/s headwind. We where happy to arrive in Egersund which has a very protected harbour. Here we spent the following day as the winds where far to strong (16m/s) and from exactly the direction we where going (NW). Instead of trying our luck on the seas we decided to trek to one of the newest attractions around Egersund, a stone formation called the “Troll dick”. After a two hour walk we reached the stone formation and with a bit of fantasy it does indeed resemble the private parts of a troll gentleman.
From Egersund we set out for our final longer leg, 40 nm to the island of Rott, just west of Stavanger. We passed Jærens rev by motor with little or no wind. We are now on Rott, its a charming island, once home to fishermen and farmers, but nowadays hardly anyone lives here, most houses has been converted to summer houses. The harbour is sheltered, not many boats fit in here, but on the other hand there are few boats here. We are six boats visiting at the moment. Maybe is moored outside on another Swedish boat on its way to the south.
Tomorrow we reach Stavanger, so the trip has almost reached its end. Lets hope for an unenventful last sail.