Eldoy Islands

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From the summit of Tysnessata, the complex group of islands we could see along the northwest shore of Stord looked ideal for exploration by boat and tender. We found sheltered anchorage there in the Eldoy Islands, where we stayed for three nights, extensively explored the area by tender and also waiting out a small weather system. Our tender tours included a pass by the busy FMV shipyard at Fitjar, where several large ships were being completed, and the striking modern development of Port Steingard at the Krako islands, with a tender-sized canal connecting Hellandsfjorden to Steingardseidosen.

Below are highlights from August 21st through 23rd, 2020. 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 mvdirona.com/maps.

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Dawn looking east from the anchorage at Ersvaervagen. The days are getting shorter now—it’s 5:40 and barely light out.
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Arabladsundet Bridge
All our charts show a 16m clearance for this bridge across Arabladsundet from Tysnes to Klinkholmen. The Norwegian charts have so far been amazingly accurate—this is the first obvious error we’ve encountered.
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Sundaholmen Bridges
These two bridges from Klinkholmen to the island of Sundaholmen (left) and across to Reksteren also are charted as 16m. We’ll take the left one :).
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The hybrid ferry Lysoy on the busy Halhjem-Sandvikvag route.
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The boxy-shaped workboat Seifjord at a fishfarm off the island of Fonno. Blog reader Trond Saetre told us this widespread design is due to licensing restrictions. An under-15m license is easier to get and far more common, so many boats are built just under 15m and then as tall and as wide as they can possibly make them.
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A proliferation of AIS targets off the island of Fonna was two tugs helping the fish carrier Seihav into position at a fish farm. Several other workboats were in the vicinity, including the workboat Seifjord.
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Looking across the shipyard at Fitjar on the island of Stord to a wind farm on the west coast of Tysnes.
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Entering the narrow and shallow channel into the anchorage at Pilapollen. The cove looked sheltered and protected, ideal for the big winds we are expecting. But swing room was a little restricted, especially with a municipal dock jutting out from the north shore. So we decided to look for another place.
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Half Million Views
Our video, “Preparing Dirona for the North Atlantic Crossing,” just crossed a half-million views. It’s by far our most popular, and the rest are at https://www.youtube.com/user/mvdirona.
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Tender Ride
We found a sheltered and roomy anchorage in the Eldoy islands and set out on a tender tour of the area.
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Ole Kvernenes Boat Yard
Two boats on the hard at the boatyard Ole Kvernenes boat yard in the town of Kalvied just outside of Fitjar.
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The FMV shipyard dominates the skyline at Fitjar. We’d noticed their welcoming sign on the way past towards Pilapollen and came back in the tender for a closer look.
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The 272ft (83m) hybrid fish carrier Hordagut at the FMV shipyard. The hull was built in Turkey and the ship is being fitted out here in Norway. The main engine was recently started for the first time on June 22.
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The Kystverket (Norwegian Coastal Administration) hybrid ship, OV Hekkingen, was built at FMV shipyard along with award-winning sistership OV Ryvingen.
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Enjoying lunch in the cockpit in the Eldoy islands before a weather system hits.
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38 Knots
The expected weather system arrived last night. We recorded gusts to 38 knots overnight in the sheltered Eldoy islands.
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SeaFire Test
We annually test our SeaFire automatic fire control system installed in the engine room. Here you can see the indicator lights that trigger when the SeaFire system detects fire although, in this case, it’s just our manually triggering the system at the fire bottle to test warning lights and engine shutdown. The “Fire” light is red, signaling that the engine room fire control system has triggered. The “SeaFir” light at bottom right is red, signaling that the engine room fire control system has triggered. The large “Chk” light at bottom left is also set red by this. Because the generator was running and was shut down by the SeaFire test, the “Gen” indicator light near bottom center is also showing red. For the same reason, the “Wing” light at bottom right is showing orange. Unrelated, the satellite Internet system (KVH V7hts) is showing blue (near bottom left) because it’s not currently running.

The indicators are helpful, but the most important is that all engines shut down as soon as the fire system detects fire. This ensures that when the fire suppression chemicals are released into the engine room they stay in there and suppress the fire, rather than being quickly consumed by a running engine and pushed out the exhaust pipe.

The next part of the test is to press the override button on the SeaFire system and ensure that the engines can now all be restarted. Finally, the fire control system is hooked back up and restarted which re-arms it.

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Morning Calm
After a day of big winds, conditions are wonderfully calm in the Eldoy islands.
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Feeding Swans
A family of swans arrived, demanding a handout. We complied.
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View to Dirona in the Eldoy islands as we set out on a tender tour through the myriad islands and complex waterways in the area.
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Colorful summer cabins in the sheltered cove Litleholmen at the northern end of the island of Ivarsoy.
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Footbridge over the narrow gap between near-connected Engesund and Skatholmen.
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Port Steingard
The modern development of Port Steingard at the Krako islands. At left is one of five planned stolpehus (post houses), evoking traditional Norsk houses built on posts. The smaller buildings on the right are designed after the overnight cabins local fishers used when the grounds were more than a day’s travel away by sail and oar.
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View Home
Beautiful view home overlooking Port Steingard.
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En Liten Ol
This building at Port Steingard houses the microbrewery En Liten Ol, a cafe and a gift shop. All appeared to be closed, likely due to the pandemic. Not going into restaurants and bars hasn’t been a big deal, but in normal times we would have loved to stop in for a pint on the deck.
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The Port Steingard development includes a beautifully-built small boat canal connecting Hellandsfjorden to Steingardseidosen.
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Active rapids where the large lake Storavatnet drains into Hellandsfjorden. A small footbridge crosses the waterway, with a dam just visible beyond.
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360-Degree View
We loved this modern hilltop home, with its fabulous 360-degree view over Hellandsfjorden and Steingardseidosen.
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Large old-style ship’s lifeboat moored at a property at the south end of Ivarsoy. It’s been there long enough to show up on the satellite imagery.
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Wind Farm
The wind farm on Tysenes lit up with a beam of sunshine.
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Our tender tour of Stokksund ended in a downpour, but the reward was this beautiful rainbow over the anchorage at the Eldoy islands.
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 mvdirona.com/maps.


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