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The island group municipality of Oygarden lies direction west of Bergen and extends about 30nm along Norway’s exposed North Sea coast. The eastern shores offer protected coastal cruising, while the western sides see the full force of North Sea storms. The wave strength is such that the island of Toftoyna was chosen as the site of an experimental wave power plant. Unfortunately a fierce storm destroyed the plant three years after its completion.

Oygarden also is the location of more successful enterprises, including the Equinor Kollsnes natural gas processing plant, capable of producing 38 billion US gallons (143,000,000 cu m) of natural gas per day, and the Sture Oil Terminal, that handles nearly 25% of Norway’s oil production.

Over a couple days, we explored southern Oygarden both in Dirona and the tender. With wonderfully calm and sunny weather, we were able to visit much of the exposed west coast, along with the many complex and protected waterways between the islands and east of them.

Below are highlights from October 15th and 16th, 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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Sea Smoke
Sea smoke at Slattevika as we depart Kjerrgardsosen shortly after dawn.
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Sunrise over Askoy.
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Norwegian Gannet
The Norwegian Gannet, the largest salmon processing ship in the world. Launched in 2018, the ship was purpose-built to bring Norwegian salmon directly from the cages to port in Denmark, processing it along the way. The 308-ft (94m) vessel carries a crew of 100 and is capable of holding 1,000 tonnes of salmon at a time and can process 160,000 tonnes per year.
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Svelgen Bridge
Approaching the Svelgen Bridge between the islands of Misje and Toftoyna in Oygarden.
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Wave Power Plant
Looking from sea into the ruins of the experimental wave power plant on the west coast of the island of Toftoyna. Two failed projects to harness wave power were attempted here. The first, completed in 1985, was destroyed in a storm three years later. A second was completed in 1986, but it was destroyed in a 1991 blasting accident in an attempt to widen the channel.
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Running the narrow channel Vestesundet between Ono and Rong from the anchorage at Rongosen on a tender tour of the area.
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Straumesundet Bridge
The Straumesundet Bridge between the islands of Ulvoyna and Blomoyna on a wonderfully calm and clear October afternoon.
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Enjoying a run through the channel Rosundet. The temperature is warm enough that we aren’t even wearing a hat or gloves.
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Outer Islets
Looking seaward to the outer islets off the island of Ono.
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Sea Life
We saw several of these unusual large pink invertebrates at the tide line along the channel at Nappen.
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Modern Home
Spectacular modern home overlooking our anchorage at Rongosen.
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Straightening Wheel
When pedaling up a steep hill in Odda, James’ bicycle chain broke and did some damage. In this failure the chain link parted on one side under the high load of hill climbing, then the rest of the link bent badly before breaking off the other side of the link, this bent chain met the rear derailleur less than a second later, jammed in it, and then twisted off the derailleur, breaking the aluminum derailleur hanger. Then the rear derailleur got jammed between the spokes and the bike frame bending the wheel.

We’ve replaced the derailleur hanger and have the bike back operational again, but the rear wheel is quite warped. We don’t have the proper spoke tightening wrench so are making do with a small adjustable wrench and to true the wheel. We were amazed that it fairly quickly returned to just about perfect. The bike is now close to 100% again with the only issue being the new chain is jumping a bit on the heavily worn gear cluster, but this isn’t a big problem.

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Beautiful sunset from the anchorage at Rongosen.
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Typhoon Haishen
As we head into winter this far north, we’re keeping a closer eye on the weather than usual. Typhoon Haishen is half a world away, but the central low is remarkable at 935mb.
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The Equinor Kollsnes natural gas processing plant operated on the southern part of the island of Ona. The plant can produce 38 billion US gallons (143,000,000 cu m) of natural gas per day from the Troll, Kvitebjorn, and Visund gas fields.
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During World War II, the occupying Nazi forces erected an extensive coastal defense system along Norway’s shores. This pillbox on the Equinor Kollsnes grounds likely was part of that.

Update 12/18/2020: A local resident tells us this actually was built in 1995 as part of a processing plant.

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Running narrow Osundet between the islands of Ona and Blomoyna just beyond Equinor Kollsnes.
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Dale Oen Foundation
The Dale Oen Foundation provides science and exploration trips for school-aged children to inspire and challenge them mentally and physically. Their base is here in Oygarden.
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We were planning to take a shortcut through Skarvholmsundet, but it’s part of the restricted area for the Sture oil terminal so we took the slightly longer way around on the outside of the islands.
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Sture Oil Terminal
View to the water tower in the Sture Oil Terminal. The facility handles nearly 25% of Norway’s oil production.
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One of the two jetties at the Sture Oil Terminal. Roughly 250 crude oil and LPG carriers dock here annually.
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Dirona anchored at sheltered Kvernhusosen just north of the Sture Oil Terminal.
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Nautnes Fiskeaer
The Nautnes Fiskeaer fishing camp overlooking Vikesundet, situated in the old trading port of Nautnes.
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Entering a channel into a small bay within the town of Alvheim.
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Looking back to the bridge we just passed under in Alvheim, with some people out enjoying the sunny weather at right.
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Exiting the basin Sturekylpa, directly behind the Sture Oil Terminal. The basin entry is relatively large, with a narrow and shallow entry. Significant current was flowing as we passed through. If you look closely on both sides of the tender, you can see how close the bottom is.
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Bow Watch
Jennifer watching from the bow for rocks as we explore a shallow basin north of our anchorage at Kvernhusosen.
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Happy Hour
Happy hour in the cockpit in sunny, 55°F (12.7°C) weather. Part of making our winter in Norway work is enjoying the outdoors and not being trapped inside by cold temperatures or darkness. So most nights we have a before-dinner drink outside and discuss the day. Depending upon the temperature, we just add or subtract clothing layers.
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Another beautiful sunset, this one from the anchorage at Kvernhusosen.
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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2 comments on “Oygarden
  1. Local resident says:

    The pillbox outside Kollsnes is not from WW2 – it was built as part of the processing plant in the 1995 (I’ve spotted at least four of them). Recommend trying kart.1881.no for better aerial imagery than Google Maps – use ‘Foto’ for imagery, ‘Historisk’ for historical imagery and ‘Skråfoto’ for oblique.

    The ‘control tower’ at Sture is a bit more boring – it’s a water tank.

    • Thank you for that information–we’ve updated the post. That aerial imagery is much more comprehensive than Google Maps, especially having historical photos. Interesting to see the Equinor Kollsnes site with nothing there but rock.


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