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According to Norse legend, the first Christian church in Norway was established on the island of Moster in 995. A millennium later, several notable projects in the area included the construction of the Kulleseid Canal in 1856, the Royksund Canal in 1859, and a successful limestone quarry at Mosterhamn on Moster.

The canals remain operational today, and are popular pleasure craft destinations, while the old limestone quarry has been converted into Moster Amfi, one of the most beautiful outdoor amphitheaters in Europe. And Mosterhamn’s religious heritage still is very visible, with a church dating from the 1100s and a commemorative hill-top cross erected in 1927.

Following an early-morning departure from Haugesund, we anchored near Moster and took a tender tour through both canals and walked through the town of Mosterhamn, taking in town’s cultural and industrial history. And we finished the day with a single-candle cake to celebrate James’ birthday.

Below are highlights from August 8th, 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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A quiet scene in Haugesund as we depart at 5am. Haugesund is a stop we always enjoy, but considerably more outside the height of the boating season.
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Hasseloy Bridge
Approaching the Hasseloy Bridge as we depart Haugesund heading north.
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Normand Ocean
The Normand Ocean ship that we saw standing off yesterday was moored at subsea service provider DeepOcean‘s main facility in Haugesund.
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A new azipod, likely for one of the offshore supply vessels.
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Modern Cabins
Unique modern view cabins under construction just north of the border between the counties of Rogaland to the south and Vestland to the north.
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Ryvarden Lighthouse
Ryvarden lighthouse, built in 1849, is still active but also is a cultural center and museum. The light shines from dusk to dawn between 1 July until 10 June each year. For the six weeks starting June 10th, the midnight sun is bright enough that no light is needed overnight.
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We considered anchoring at Lammavagen, but several boats already were inside and it looked more interesting on the chart than in person.
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A brief squall bringing heavy rain as we transit Soroyvagen towards the anchorage at Karihavet.
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We found a great anchorage at Karihavet near Moster, in an ideal location to explore the area by tender.
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Kulleseid Canal
Entering the one-mile (1.7km) Kulleseid Canal, completed in 1856.
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Remains of the bascule bridge across the Kulleseid Canal, completed in 1932. The existing fixed bridge, with a clearance of (12.5m), was built in 1972.
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Guard Rails
Wooden guard rails along the narrow western entrance to the Kulleseid Canal.
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Kulleseid Canal Marina
Popular glass-enclosed restaurant at the Kulleseid Canal Marina. The docks, out of the picture to the right, have space for nearly fifty boats.
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Royksund Canal
Boats passing through the Royksund Canal at Batahaugen. Dirona easily could pass under the 11.5m bridge, but the canal itself is barely deep enough for our 2.1m draft with only 3m of water in most places.
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Kvaerner Shipyard
The huge gantry crane at the Kvaerner shipyard on the island Stord is visible for miles throughout the area. The facility was a leading shipyard until the 1970s, then changed focus to the oil and gas industry. The crane stands 377ft (115m) high, is 501 ft (153m) wide and has a lifting capacity of 1,050 tonnes.
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The tender tied off at the Mosterhamn guest harbour for a walk through the town.
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Old Moster Church
According to Norse legend, the first Christian church was established on this site in Norway in 995. The current structure is much newer, dating from the 1100s. :-)
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View to from the top of the hill Vetahaugen. Our tender is moored, but not quite visible, at far right near the blue-hulled boat with the white house.
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Stone Cross
Stone cross, unveiled by King Hakon VII in 1924 on the the 900th anniversary of the Christian court being established at Mosterhamn.
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Moster Amfi
The Moster Amfi, built from an old limestone mine in the 1980s, is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful outdoor amphitheaters. Kaare Svaboe recommended we pass through Royksund Canal and visit the amphitheatre at Moster, and we really enjoyed both.
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King’s Stone
The “King’s Stone”, signed by King Olav V, King Harald and Queen Sonja, is believed to be where the first Christian laws were read in 1024.
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Passing through the tunnel to Gruveparken, a large disused mine that local residents have turned into an outdoor recreation area.
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Cart and Rails
Old mining cart and railway, with part of the Gruveparken recreation area visible behind.
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A house cat in the sun at Mosterhamn getting cleaned up for the evening.
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Looking southeast past beautiful wooden boats moored at Mosterhamn.
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Happy Birthday James!
James blowing out the candle on his birthday cake. He’s not admitting the age, but we’re certain the candles wouldn’t have fit.
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 “Moster
  1. Andrew says:

    Hello and Happy Belated Birthday James. How is the holding when anchoring in this area? In general, what is the seabed like? Thank you for your time publishing this blog, it is a true joy to read.

    • We approach anchoring in an unusual way where, when a boat is new, we watch the anchor rode angle in a given depth in a 40 to 45 kt blow. Then we find the RPM in reverse that duplicates this load. Once that has been done, then we always set the anchor to this loading. Most experts recommend that an anchor be given time to set but we chose to hit it hard right away. That will occasionally cause an anchorage to not work for us that could have been fine if we had allowed the anchor time to set but it also means the anchor is really in there so we don’t have to stand anchor watch or worry when we are away from the boat. It’s an approach that makes anchoring more relaxing for us and it’s very rare we are unable to get a hold (less than once a year). The Rocna is quite good.

      All anchorages we accept pass the above test so, by definition, all anchorages we use have good holding. We also measure how far an anchor drags between drop point and set point and the last one with material difference between drop and set was a couple of weeks ago when we were video our anchoring procedure. Ironically the only time we have had less than excellent holding in Norway was this situation with the video rolling. But, we’ll keep it since it shows our setting procedure and how we deal with it when we don’t get an adequate set. Once that video is done (probably after we leave Norway later this year when we have more time), we’ll post a pointer to it here.

  2. George Hanna says:

    Happy Birthday James, wish you many many more happy birthdays ahead.

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