Eidfjorden


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Spectacular Eidfjorden is the innermost arm of Hardangerfjord, extending 16 nm inland from the mouth of Sorfjorden and branching into Osafjorden, Ulvikjforden and Simadalsfjorden. At the terminus of Simadalsfjorden is the beautiful Sima Valley, where high above is the famous farm Kjeasen. Dubbed the “world’s most inaccessible farm,” Kjseason is 2,000ft (600m) above sea level and was reachable only on foot until 1974.


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From Odda we returned out through Sorfjorden and, after driving several times over the Hardanger Bridge by car, we finally passed under it by boat in a three-night tour of Eidfjorden. We spent two nights anchored under the striking waterfall Smorblindo in Simadalsfjorden and a third night at tranquil Ulvik at the head of Ulvikjforden.

Below are highlights from Sept. 4th through 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 mvdirona.com/maps.

9/4/2020
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Sondre Haukedal
Sondre Haukedal, a reporter for the local newspaper Hardanger Folkeblad, saw Dirona moored in Odda and came by this morning to interview us. We enjoyed meeting him and talking about our trip and what brought us to the area.
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Groceries
Returning with a load of groceries from a nearby store in Odda. The store was so close it was easier to just bring their cart to the boat and walk it back, rather than get out our folding cart.
9/5/2020
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Tyssedal Power Station
The Tyssedal Power Station lights reflecting into still waters as we pass by on a 5:00am departure from Odda. We had a fabulous week in Odda, and really enjoyed all the hikes and the road trips.
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Muffins
Making chocolate chip muffins for breakfast while underway from Odda.
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Hardanger Bridge
About to pass under the tunnel-to-tunnel Hardanger Bridge, that we’ve driven across several times, en route to Eidfjorden from Odda.
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Rotagjelet
The river Rotagjelet, one of many waterfalls flowing down the cliffs along dramatic Eidfjorden.
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Erdal
The town of Erdal at the mouth of the river Erdalselva on the south side of Eidfjorden.
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Eidfjorden
Underway in Eidfjorden, spectacular even in overcast conditions.
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Snow
It’s only early September, but already a light dusting of snow has fallen on the peak of 5318-ft (1621m) mountain Onen. The snow looks beautiful.
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Typhoon Haishen
Typhoon Haishen is approaching the Korean Peninsula today, with an incredible low pressure center of 935mb. The system was the first super typhoon (winds of 100 knots) of the 2020 season. The storm is weakening, and this is actually higher than the astounding lowest pressure of 920mb reached yesterday. Haishen made landfall on September 6th as a strong category 2-equivalent typhoon (winds of between 83 and 95 knots), inflicting over $100 million USD in damage.
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Neselvi and Aselvi
The rivers Neselvi (left) and Aselvi, flowing down 4,000ft (1200m) cliffs along the north shore of Simadalsfjorden, a branch of Eidfjorden.
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Sima Valley
The dramatic Sima Valley at the head of Simadalsfjorden, with the 500MW Sima Hydroelectric Power Station in the foreground.
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Kjeasen Trail
The boardwalks visible along the base of these cliffs at the head of Simadalsfjorden are part of the trail to the famous Kjeasen mountain farms. Described as the “world’s most inaccessible farm,” Kjeasen sits 2,000ft (600m) above the fjord and could only be reached on foot until 1974. The original trail, now maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association, takes 1.5 hours one way and is rated “extra demanding”.

The area has been occupied since the 1650s and all material had to be carried up on the resident’s backs. Kjeasen isn’t unusual in Norway though, the country is full of such difficult-to-reach farms, the people drawn by the abundant natural resources and rich planting soil. The children who lived at the Kjeasen at one point numbered 13, and in the summer daily walked the trail to school at Simadal and back. In the winter, the trail was too dangerous, so they lived with relatives in Simadal.

We’d love to visit the farm, but with the rainfall of the past couple of days, the trail will be awfully muddy and slippery.

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Helm Seat
We got a few boat project done while at anchor in Simadalsfjorden on a rainy day. Here James is tightening up the rotation screw adjustment on our helm seat. On Stidd seats, the rotation control is a hand screw and the hand screw range is set by adjusting a hex machine screw on the other side. Over time, ours has loosened off so the hand screw no longer is effective. We tighten the machine screw with Loctite to correct this, a fix that will last for several years.
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Fuel Filter
Changing the primary fuel filter on the main engine. We change these filters annually or when the filter vacuum exceeds 5″ Hg, with the latter just about always being the limit. We could use 7.5″ Hg—that is a perfectly acceptable vacuum for our engine—but we prefer to change them on the early side.

The filter change intervals vary a lot depending upon fuel quality. The fastest we have changed these filters is 29 hours and the longest we have run them was 1,658 hours, with the average in the 400 hour range. The filter is black from accumulated ashpaltanes in the tank after 10 years of use, but it’s not yet at a point where filter change intervals are negatively impacted.

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Draw Latch
The latch in one of our galley drawers failed and we replaced it with a spare.
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Fjord Safari
On our previous trip to Norway, we frequently saw eco-adventure boats out doing tours. With the pandemic and travel restrictions, this might be the second one we’ve seen in six weeks.
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Crankcase Ventilation
The generator rear main oil seal was leaking badly for the couple of hundred hours prior to replacing the cylinder head (failed #3 exhaust valve). Prior to changing the cylinder head, we dramatically improved the leak by venting the crankcase to atmospheric pressure. With that change the engine still leaked oil but rather than spraying out onto the floor and the adjoining wing engine if the cover was removed while the generator was running, it would just leak to the oil diapers below. Not great but tolerable. In The Case of the Missing Oil Leak we explain why the oil leak stopped entirely when we replaced the cylinder head and changed the oil.

It’s now been 285 operating hours since the cylinder head replacement and the engine still is not leaking. We expect the leak will eventually return but, for now, we’re enjoying the nice clean engine. Today we made the neutral crankcase ventilation system a bit nicer than a shop rag hosed clamped over the oil filter hole. Here you can see we have drilled a hole in the oil filter caps, taped the hole, installed a hose barge, and vented that into an oil catch bottle below. It’s a cleaner configuration and the only service it needs is to drain the bottle every year or so.

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Tell-Tale Thermometer
The package of fresh salmon we’d purchased at Odda has a tell-tale thermometer to reveal if the package ever got too warm.
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Cockpit View
Happy hour in the cockpit at Simadalsfjorden with a view to the Smorblindo waterfall.
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Smorblindo
Our spectacular anchorage at the base of 3963ft (1208m) Hotlenuten in Simadalsfjorden beside the Smorblindo waterfall.
9/6/2020
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Alternator
We took apart failed main engine alternator and found the brushes were worn out, but the rotor is showing continuity with no shorts. The alternator appears to only need brushes and otherwise is fine.
9/7/2020
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Sima Valley
A view from our anchorage to the spectacular Sima Valley at the head of Simadalsfjorden.
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Skorselva
The waterfall from the river Skorselva along the north shore of Eidfjorden as we are underway from Simadalsfjorden.
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Ologselva
The Ologselva river descending between 2,000-ft cliffs in Eidfjorden. Literally dozens of waterfalls flow here after heavy rains.
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Approaching Ulvik
Approaching the town of Ulvik at the head of Ulvikjforden in ultra-calm conditions. We plan to to anchor off the town for a night or two.
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Seattle Native
Norway seems to have a very strong connection to Seattle. We often meet people here who have family in the area or who have visited. Today a visitor came by to say hello who was actually from Seattle and had lived in Norway for the past few years.
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Bow Roller
Performing the twice-yearly lubrication of the bow roller. The grease fittings we added while in Auckland have been super-convenient.
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Furnace Fuel Filter
Changing the furnace fuel filter. We’ve been in cold climates so the furnace has had lots of use, but the filter is in pretty good shape.
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Ulvik
The lights of Ulvik reflecting into calm waters at dusk, viewed from the anchorage at Ulvikfjorden.
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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