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With some calm weather in the forecast, we departed Eidsfjorden to cruise the dramatic west coast of Langøya. We anchored for the night at spectacular Finnvågen, where we hiked ashore and toured the area by tender. The Norwegian scenery continues to impress us.

Below are trip highlights from June 6th in the Vesterålen islands, Norway. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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A beautiful calm morning as we prepare to get underway from the anchorage at Nordvågen.
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Secondary Pump

This morning we switched on the autopilot as usual but it immediately alarmed there was no steering pump control. The pump has been producing bearing noise of late so we’ve kind of known it’s days where numbered. Given the bearing noise it’s been producing, we suspect it just seized up. Not a problem, we switched to the other pump and we got underway without delay. However, the other pump actually was taken out of use at 4,900 hours due to a shaft seal beginning to leak. It doesn’t leak much and otherwise works well, but it’s since been moved to backup duty.

Checking the hours on the two pumps, we only got 4,900 hours on the primary pump before seal failure sidelined it. The second pump has now done 4,958 hours before failing this morning. It turns out the Accu-Steer HPU212 wasn’t an excellent pump and we have actually already gotten better life from this pump than most other users. Knowing this, we’ve been looking for a replacement pump for the last 3 weeks and planned to buy a new pump and use the noisy bearing pump as an emergency backup. Technically we could rebuild the two HPU212 pumps we have, but Accu-Steer owner Kobelt estimates the rebuild cost at $1,500 each and warns that not all pumps are rebuildable. And, of course, there would be the two way air freight cost of shipping both pumps (roughly 180 lbs) from Norway to North America and back :-). Since the HPU212 doesn’t have a very good service record, we was planning to replace one pump with something better.

After this morning’s failure, we suspect I’m now needing to buy two new pumps. But we’re underway without delay and the leaking pump isn’t currently leaking any oil at all. However, we know it’s days are numbered so we will order a couple of replacements. But at 90+ pounds each, I’m sure the air freight bill will be an eye opener.

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Stubby lighthouse on the south end of the island of Litlåya.
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Looking back to the dramatic twin hills on the island of Gauværøyra.
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Striking scenery at the southwest corner of the island of Langøya.
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The village of Nykvåg nestled beneath soaring slopes.
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Looking south past a windmill along the west coast of Langøya.
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Mountains at mouth of Møklandsfjorden. Norway has no shortage of dramatic scenery.,
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Fast ferry docked at the village of Tøa. We were considering the cove as a possible anchorage, but the ferry wake made it a lot less appealing.
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After anchoring in Finnvågen, we tied the tender off at an old wood pier and followed a path that led up to a small graveyard.
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We continued up into the hills for lunch with a fabulous view to the area.
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The sun came out as we were walking around and we climbed another hill for an even better view to the anchorage at Finnvågen.
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A statue resembling the Copenhagen Mermaid at the southern tip of Naerøya.
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Barkestad is one of several villages in the area.
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It’s rare to be anywhere on the Norway coast without there being a few houses. These are partway down Ånnfjorden.
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Snow-covered mountains visible at the head of Ånnfjorden.
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Steering Pump

We investigated the steering pump issue from earlier today and it turns out, as loud as those bearings have been screaming, that’s not what disabled the pump. It has suffered an armature winding failure but this particular failure is an interesting one. If the pump stops with the bad winding in the “right’ place it won’t start. It won’t turn, pop a breaker, or do anything. But, if the pump is turned 1/4 turn, it’ll start fine. And, once running, it’ll run fine. When it comes time to turn it on a second time, it might work or it might not. If it doesn’t work, we can easily turn the pump and it’ll run fine. Not ideal and clearly we’ll need to replace it. But, fairly good news.

We now have one pump that leaks slightly but is serviceable as a backup. And we have this pump that has the starting problem with excessively noisy bearings as a primary. We’ve got two new pumps on order from Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle but we still are in good shape with two functioning pumps to keep us safe until the new pumps arrive. Much better news than we expected.

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Fresh Snow

Snow had fallen overnight and the mountains around the anchorage that were almost bare of snow yesterday now had a fresh coating. This is looking northwest to the 563m Blåtinden on Drøya island.
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38 Degrees

With the morning temperature at 38°F (3.3°C), Jennifer is working on deck in her Mustang exposure suit. The suits are similar to ski jumpsuits, but with built-in flotation and extra insulation. We can toss these on over light clothing, add a pair of gloves and perhaps some ear warmers and be instantly warm in the coldest weather. And they also have a nice slimming effect. :)

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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4 comments on “Finnvågen
  1. Stewart says:

    Some pretty but rugged scenery James. Hope the pump situation gets rectified quickly. I can imagine finding a spare might take some doing. Good thing Prime day was yesterday :) Hope you will continue to enjoy your voyage safely.

    • When we wrote this blog we had two operational pumps. One was sometimes a bit touchy to start but, once running it’s great. The other leaks a bit of oil. Since they were both operating well, we ordered two new pumps from our favorite marine service center, Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle, and planed to ship these two 95lb pumps to Amsterdam via sea freight and replace them while we are there over the winter.

      Since writing that blog, one pump has completely failed and the pump that has been leaking oil is now leaking more and has slowed down. It still works fine but it sounds like the bearings are heading towards locking up so it’s now urgent that we replace one of these pumps as soon as possible. Our plan is to send one via air freight to Trondheim Norway for immediate replacement and then send the other via sea freight for replacement this winter. It’s not ideal to do the job in two steps — it’s much more than 2x the work, but at 95 lbs, the pumps are expensive to air freight and but we can’t afford to wait until winter to change at least one of them.

      Always exciting :-)

  2. Paul Wood says:

    That pump looks to be in very tight quarters, are you going to be able to lift it out on your own?

    • It is a tight spot between the thrusters and the rudder machinery for and aft and the 240V inverters are just about. So it’s hard to get access to the electrical connection, the three hydraulic hose connections, and the motor/pump hold downs. But, once the pumps are free, there is clearance to slide them out. They way 95 lbs each so heavy but not unreasonably so. Our Really Useful Boxes ( can be quickly slide out of the way to get clearance to any of the laz machinery and that’s key to this job even being possible.

      The current two pumps are Accu-Steer HPU-212 200. Unfortunately, these pumps haven’t performed well in market and have failed to live up to the great reputation of the Accu-Steer HPU-200 and HPU-300. The HPU-212 have bearing and seal problems that can lead to very early failures. Apparently we’ve been lucky to get over 4,900 hours on each. But, because they haven’t been doing well in service, we plan to replace them with the Accu-Steer HPU-200 rather than rebuild them. An expensive “learning” experience.

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