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Kvitsoy, with its historic lighthouse and millennium-old stone cross, was on our list of places to visit since our 2018 Norwegian cruise. We finally stopped there on our way south, near the end of our current visit to Norway. Getting there was a little more interesting than usual: we encountered a surprising amount of ice in Forresfjorden as we worked south from Haugesund and had a close-quarters encounter with an oil tanker in Skudenesfjorden.

Conditions were clear and calm when we reached a sheltered anchorage at Kvitsoy. We walked ashore to check out the lighthouse, and followed a marked trail to the war ruins along the outer shore. Later we explored by tender to view the stone cross and tour through the beautiful islands.

Below are highlights from Jan 24th, 2021. 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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Royksund Bridge
Approaching the Royksund Bridge about 8nm out of Haugesund. The bridge has a 43-ft (13m) clearance, but the channel is narrow, with shallows on either side.
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Royksund Boat Club
No ice was on the south side of Royksund Bridge, but the surface was frozen between the channel on the north side and the Royksund Boat Club to starboard.
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Ice covered most of the surface as we proceeded south into Forresfjorden. Most of it was reasonably thin and not hard to break through, but we did pass a few fairly thick pieces.
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Closer Than We Like
As we were passing south through Skudenesfjorden, the tanker Bergen Viking also was heading south, behind us to starboard (our track is in pink and the Bergen Viking‘s is blue). The ship then made a 45° turn to port, putting them on a collision course. When the CPA (closest point of approach) reached five minutes and the Bergen Viking still was on a collision course, we hailed the ship on VHF radio. We got no response from the first two radio calls, and couldn’t understand the response on the next two.

We eventually flashed our sidelights five times as a danger signal and announced on the radio that we would make an emergency course change to avoid the collision. As we initiated our course change, the Bergen Viking turned harder than we’ve ever seen an oil tanker turn. It’s surprisingly nimble for an oil tanker. The radio hail or flashing lights might have worked.

On the screenshot you can see where the Bergen Viking made the initial turn to port, and where it was when we first attempted radio contact. Then you can see its eventual hard turn to port to avoid the collision, and then straightening out back on course again.

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Bergen Viking
The Bergen Viking passing behind us after a close-quarters encounter. When it made its evasive turn, it was remarkably heeled over to starboard. It’s rare to see a large ship heeled over that far.
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The ferry Vollsoy exiting the narrow channel from the island of Kvitsoy as we enter.
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The village of Ydstebohamn with the Kvitsoy Lighthouse prominent behind, viewed as we are underway to our anchorage.
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Kvitsoy Anchorage
Our anchorage at the island of Kvistoy in 40 ft (12m) on 175 ft (53m) of rode.
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Modern Home
Beautiful modern home, with huge panes of glass, viewed from the tender.
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Entry Channel
Narrow entry channel leading to the village of Ydstebohamn.
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The tender tied off at the Kvitstoy guest harbour for a walk ashore.
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Path to Lighthouse
Walking the path to the Kvitsoy Lighthouse. Then path likely dates from the lighthouse construction in 1829.
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Kvitsoy Lighthouse
Replica of the original Kvitsoy Lighthouse, erected in 1700, a bucket light that could be raised about 20 ft (6m) of the ground.
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View from Lighthouse
The view south across the village of Ydstebohamn from the base of the Kvitsoy Lighthouse.
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Artillery Group Stavanger North
Kvitsoy was the location of one of 130 coastal defense batteries the occupying Germans built during World War II. Together with batteries at Fjoloy and Randaberg, the battery here formed Artillery Group Stavanger North, headquarted on Kvitsoy.
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Ruins of a gun emplacement from the World War II German coastal defense battery in Kvitsoy.
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Exposed Coast
Windswept coast, with frozen puddles, on the exposed outer coast of Kvitsoy. This place must really see some weather in big North Sea storms.
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Traditional fenceposts made of stone—not many trees grow on windswept Kvitsoy.
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Kvitsoy VTS
Looking across the village of Ydstebohamn to the tall tower supporting radar for the Kvitsoy VTS (Vessel Traffic Service, with their office at top right.
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Low Building
An unusual building the basically just a roof, right at the water line.
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This stone cross on Kvitsoy dates to 800–1050 AD. Its origins are unknown, possibly it was erected in the 900s by English missionaries, or by Viking chiefs in 1016.
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Low Bridge
In the tender, we worked our way through shallows in a channel at the northeast corner of Kvistoy and then barely made it under this bridge.
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Dusk view to our anchorage at Kvitsoy.
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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