Archive For The “Europe” Category

Hattavagen

Hattavagen

A small weather system was passing through, with gusts to 45 knots, as we were underway for Erjforden. We found a beautiful and peaceful anchorage at Hattavagen, and ended up spending three nights anchored in the sheltered basin. While there, we explored the area by tender, hiked up 510m Bandasen, and completed a few boat…

Read more »

Hylsfjorden

Hylsfjorden

The village of Sand lies in a beautiful setting where the Saudafjorden and the Hylsfjorden meet to form the Sandsfjorden. From our anchorage at Nevoyvagen, we’d already explored to the head of Saudafjorden, including hiking up 3,054ft (931m) Hovlandsnuten from the town of Sauda at the head, and had made a brief pass by tender…

Read more »

Saudafjorden

Saudafjorden

Saudafjorden extends 10.5 miles (17km) between the towns of Sand and Sauda through several-thousand-foot mountains with many waterfalls. At the head, the popular Saga Trail extends from Sauda to 3,054ft (931m) Hovlandsnuten. Stone steps newly laid by Nepalese Sherpas lead to the summit, with panoramic views to Saudafjorden and the surrounding mountains. After a 22-mile…

Read more »

Vindafjorden

Vindafjorden

After exploring its two branches, Sandeidfjorden and Yrkjefjorden, we completed our five-day tour of cross-shaped Vindafjorden in a beautiful anchorage at Kvaloy. On a warm and sunny day, we toured to the head by tender, then spent a lazy evening enjoying the surroundings from the cockpit. Below are trip highlights from July 24th, 2020. Click…

Read more »

Nedre Vats

Nedre Vats

Nedre Vats in Vatsjforden has a couple of great attractions for us: an excellent view hike up 1742ft (531m) Granuten and the AF Environmental Base decommissioning and recycling facility. The massive semi-submersible crane vessel Sleipnir that we passed en route to Stavanger had removed the 8,929-ton (8,100-metric ton) Jotun-B platform jacket from the North Sea…

Read more »

Ilsvag

Ilsvag

Our “move the boat every day” plan faltered when we reached beautiful Ilsvag at the head of Sandeidfjorden. We ended up spending three days in this scenic, sheltered anchorage and made our second Norwegian hike of 2020, to the summit of 1830 ft (557 m) Oktarenuten. From there we could see down into our anchorage…

Read more »

Himakana

Himakana

Himakana is known as “Little Trolltunga” due to its similarities with the famous Norwegian rock formation that juts out horizontally 3,600 ft (1,100 m) above sea level. The hike to Himakana is much more accessible at only about 2 hours roundtrip though, compared to 10-12 hours for Trolltunga. From our initial anchorage at Vestre Bokn,…

Read more »

Return to Norway

Return to Norway

It’s an unusual day when you get up in the morning to start a short coastal cruise, and end up making a 2.5-day crossing of the North Sea to an entirely different country. Given the current world situation, Norway was number one on our list of desired destinations, with its excellent hiking and abundance of…

Read more »

Loch Laxford

Loch Laxford

We very much enjoyed our month in Stornoway. It was wonderful to be fully fueled and provisioned again, with the bottom painted, the zincs replaced and the insurance survey complete, and we were looking forward to some relaxing cruising with our generator now back in full operating condition after replacing the cylinder head. Our first…

Read more »

Stornoway Haulout

Stornoway Haulout

The Stornoway slipway is a big commercial railway that can lift boats up to 50m long and weighing up to 850 tons. The railway cradle uses three pairs of hydraulic support arms to hold boats in place, making for an efficient lift process. Once the vessel is in the correct position, the arms are simply…

Read more »

Stornoway Projects

Stornoway Projects

The replacement parts for our failed generator arrived from the US into the UK two days after we reached Stornoway, but got stuck in the UPS system for another eight days. While we waited, we completed some other projects, including finishing off the wax job we’d started at the Isle of Gigha. We also arranged…

Read more »

Provisioning in Stornoway

Provisioning in Stornoway

We spent our first few days in Stornoway busily reprovisioning the boat. After six trips to the grocery store, sometimes twice in one day, we still had a few more items to purchase. But our list was down to a half page from three. We also topped up our propane and engine oil supplies, and…

Read more »

Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Arrival

When we arrived in Stornoway, Scotland on June 9th, we stepped ashore for the first time since departing Portland, UK on March 22nd. While we were looking forward to revisiting Stornoway, surprisingly, neither of us was desperate to get ashore. The same versatility that made Dirona a comfortable and safe home for us over the…

Read more »

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides is famous for spectacular, unworldy scenery. Hardly a boring vista exists, especially near the Trotternish Landslip on the northeastern shore. Several huge landslides took place during the post-glacial period, creating amazing formations such as the Old Man of Store and adjacent pinnacles, where the opening scenes for…

Read more »

Ardnamurchan Point

Ardnamurchan Point

Ardnamurchan Point, along the eastern shore of the Sea of the Hebrides, is the westernmost point on mainland Britain. The name derives from the Scottish Gaelic term Ard na Murchan, meaning “the hill of the great sea”. Rounding Ardnamurchan Point is considered a major milestone for cruising boaters. Currents can run 1.5kts around the point…

Read more »

Gometra Harbour

Gometra Harbour

More than two months after we dropped anchor off the Isle of Gigha, we departed north for Stornoway to refuel and replenish our deep stores. The anchorage had worked out well and the islanders had taken good care of us, but this was by far the longest we’d ever been at anchor in any one…

Read more »

Essentials at Gigha

Essentials at Gigha

After 8 weeks at Gigha, and 63 days since we’d last provisioned, we’d consumed all our fresh fruit, were almost out of fresh vegetables and our deep stores were dwindling. So when Joe Teale at Ardminish Stores on Gigha contacted us to ask if we needed anything, we gratefully accepted his offer. Duncan and the…

Read more »

Maintaining at Gigha

Maintaining at Gigha

While our cruising lifestyle may be on pause during the Scottish lockdown, our maintenance log isn’t. Several scheduled service items came due in mid-May, including annual testing, lubricating and changing the oil and filter in our gasoline engines, changing the hydraulic zincs, and charging our backup batteries. We also completed some unscheduled maintenance work, such…

Read more »