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Matersfjorden is one of the wettest regions in the country and in 2005 received 8.8 inches (223 mm) of rainfall in 24 hours, the second highest ever recorded in Norway. The fjord also is home to the 230MW Blafalli Vik power station and some fabulous scenery, with 4,087ft (1,246m) Ulvanosa soaring above the waterway and beautiful lake Opstveitvatnet at the head.

Matersfjorden’s soggy reputation was not evident when we visited by tender on a clear, warm and calm day. We landed at the head for lunch overlooking lake Opstveitvatnet, then continued the day’s tender tour with a run up Akrafjorden to revisit the spectacular waterfall Langfossen, rated as one of the best in the world in the World Waterfall Database

Below are highlights from August 12, 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

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Halsnoy Dock AS
Passing the Halsnoy Dock AS shipyard as we head south towards Skanevikfjorden from the anchorage at Morkavegen. Industry is spread all throughout the country in Norway, rather than concentrated at the larger centers. This likely is one of the contributing factors to the population being spread throughout the country. In similar places we’ve been, such as the west coast of Canada, the population and industry is highly concentrated at the larger southern centers with relatively little along the coast farther north.
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After a quick 8-mile run (if you stop in every beautiful location, you won’t go far in Norway), we anchored for the night in a lovely cove off the island of Toftekalven with a great view east into into Skanevikfjorden. This is the view to the anchorage (clockwise from top left: looking forward, aft, starboard and port). The Skanevikfjorden view is at bottom right.
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Breakfast outdoors on a warm and clear morning. Spitfire is in the mooching position, but when food looks unlikely, he dozes off sitting up in the sun.
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At anchor in Toftekalven, with Skanevikfjorden visible behind, as we set off on a tour in the tender.
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Vacuum Mooring
Cavotec Automated Mooring System being installed at Utaker. We first saw this system in use on the ferry from Helsinki to Tallin and were impressed with how efficient and safe they were compared to having people handle lines.
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The view to the head of Matersfjorden. The fjord is one of the wettest in the country and in 2005 received 8.8 inches (223 mm) of rainfall in 24 hours, the second highest ever recorded in Norway.
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4,087ft (1246m) Ulvanosa soaring above the head of Matersfjorden.
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Power Lines
Norwegians are not afraid of a long power run. We frequently see long power spans like this one, running a kilometer across Matersfjorden.
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The tailrace from the 230MW Blafalli Vik power plant at the head of Matersfjorden. The water was turbulent, but not nearly as much as at Sonna.
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The tender moored at Vik for a short walk to the lake Opstveitvatnet for a picnic lunch.
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Blafalli Vik
The 230MW Blafalli Vik power station is built inside the mountain and not visible from the outside, as are most modern Norwegian power stations. We chanced to walk by when the tunnel door was opening and got a view inside. We would love to tour one of these plants.
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View to the lake Opstveitvatnet, a short distance from the tender, where we plan to have a picnic.
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Switch Gear
High-voltate switch gear delivering power from the Blafalli Vik power station.
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We found a great spot for lunch at the edge of the lake Opstveitvatnet above the flow control gate of the Blafalli Vik power station.
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Sluice Gate
When we arrived first arrived, the flow control gates were closed and the run-off area dry. But shortly after we sat down for our picnic, we heard clicking and whirring in the small cabin beside us and below us the sluice gate opened. Cool!
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After exploring Matersfjorden, we ran the tender up 20-mile-long (32km) Akrafjorden, famous for the Langfossen waterfall. This is a small waterfall along the way formed from the river Markhuselva.
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Spectacular Langfossen waterfall was rated as one of the best in the world in the World Waterfall Database. The waterfall gushes into the Akrafjorden from 2,008ft (612m) above, with a vertical drop of 400ft (122m). We’d visited on our previous trip to Norway, but big waterfalls never get old for us.
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Langfossen is the star of the show in Akrafjorden, but the rest of the scenery is pretty impressive as well. This is looking towards the head near Langfossen.
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Aqua Maloy
The fish carrier Aqua Maloy picking up fish at a farm in Akrafjorden. The ship was delivered to Mowi last in December of 2019 and is the second of six identical well-boats (large interior tank for transporting live fish) the company has ordered. The fish farm industry in Norway seems to be thriving.
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Trolljuv Bridge
Trolljuv bridge, strung 377ft (115m) above the water, is a rare direct tunnel-to-tunnel suspension bridge. Thrill-seekers can bungee jump from it with Strikkhopp og Sant AS.
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After a 50-mile run today, the tender fuel gauge was reading empty when we got back to Dirona. We always carry an extra 1.25 gallons, so weren’t at risk of running out, and were curious how far we could go on a single tank. Fifty miles at planing speed is a pretty good range.
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Evening Calm
View to Skanevikfjorden from the anchorage at Toftekalven on a calm evening.
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 “Matersfjorden
  1. L. Magnus G. Soderstrom says:

    How can you stay in Europe for more than 90 days due to the Shengan agreement and import your boat without getting into trouble. I have wanted to take our boat to Scandinavia but looking into that restriction keeps me in the US & Bahamas, which is not too shabby…. Both my wife & I still have Dual citizenships in both US & the European Union.
    Love to read about your exploits & you certainly give people something to strive for.

    • The restrictions fall into two unrelated groups. One on the people and one on the boat. You have two possibilities for the boat that we know about: 1) pay the VAT or 2) take the boat out of the EU zone at least once every 18 months. The exit period is of no fixed required length but we make sure that it’s very clear and there is documentation to support it. If you are an EU resident and you directly own the boat, only option 1 applies.

      On the people, non-EU citizens are allowed a maximum of 90 days of each 180 days in the Schengen area. This is very restrictive and doesn’t work well for longer boat trips. Some countries have long term visas that can be obtained that give longer stays in those specific countries but, technically, only 90 of 180 days is allowed in the rest of the Schengen region even if you have a long term visa from a member country. This later restriction is reported to not be universally enforced but the restriction is there nonetheless.

      Since you are both EU citizens, the above restriction of only being allowed 90 days of 180 in the Schengen region doesn’t apply to you. You are allowed right of free movement. It doesn’t apply to us either as Jennifer is a UK citizen and, since we are married, I’m not restricted either but only as long as I’m travelling with Jennifer (and only as long as the UK remains in the EU).

  2. Sheri Murphy says:

    Hello James and Jennifer! Let me introduce myself, Sheri Murphy. Wife of Darryn Murphy who you have communicated with in the past re: his Nordhavn 62. We now have a Nordhavn 43 and I am setting up a blog. You two inspired me! I would like to do a map feature similar to yours but I am unsure how to do it. Any tips would be much appreciated! Hope we can meet someday out there!

    • Hi Sheri. The quick answer is “use google maps” but it’s actually not a quick answer to execute upon. The easiest to execute upon answer is to just use a service like Spot ( It’s easy to use, doesn’t require software skills, and works quite well. Many of our answers are explorations that teach us things but end up being a substantial amount of work. For example, we have a very cool network router on board that automatically chooses the best link based upon economics but commercial systems can be purchased that do the same thing and we spent a couple of person weeks doing it ourselves. We learned from it and really enjoy being able to change things quickly and easily but if you were to ask me about it, I would recommend the commercial system.

      Just to give a bit more background on our system in case you are interested in doing something related rather than using commercial off the shelf solutions, we have a substantial control system that has evolved over the last couple decades on two boats. It started 20 years ago when the second or third NMEA 0183 multiplexer failed. I wrote one to replace the failed unit in software. Then, since my software system was seeing all the data, I decided to store it all in a database. Then I wrote software to display some of the content. Then we added alerts, alarm, email and eventually added external control and monitoring. Jennifer wrote code to push some of the data up to where it’s display on using Google maps.

      The system in it’s current form pulls data from many sources including NMEA 2000, digital inputs over Ethernet, analog inputs over Ethernet, and web scrapping over internet. Every data point on the entire boat is stored every 5 seconds in a MariaDB database. Alarms, alerts, reporting, etc. all run off this database as well as software that pushes a subset of the data up to where it is displayed there as well.

      Good luck on your project and congratulations on getting a Nordhavn 43. A Nordhavn is an amazing adventure platform.

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