Day 142. Vardo weather and restday

Posted by: James on May 22, 2009

Distance 0km | Time 0hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 142.1 Looking east across Vardo harbour in the eveningThere was no hurry this morning as the shop and post office did not open until 0900. So I got up at 0800 had the hotels buffet breakfast with is spread of pickled herrings and then went down to the shop at 0900.

The rudder parts had not arrived as suspected but should come at 1100 when the next delivery arrives. I phoned the post office enquiries and they said it would definitely come at 1300. There was nothing to do but wait and hope one of them was right.

I then went to the Hurtigruten office to sort out returning the flares and was surprised to hear they had already gone on the north going Hurtigruten ferry at 0400. They would be in Kirkenes soon. I phoned Umex who sold them to me and told them they were on the way back and could I have the 1200 kroner back. It was in my account with half an hour which impressed me.

At 1100 I went back to the shop and post office and they now said it would be here at 1300 after the postman collected it from the airport. I bought food for another three days as I already had 3 days worth. The next shop was Berlevag and I hoped to be there well within 6 days.

I went for a wander around town. There were lots of shops which had closed down in the recent past. Some even had dated stock behind the dusty windows and peeling paint walls. It looked like someone just locked it a few years ago for the evening and never opened it again. Others were completely empty. In the main street there were about 15 shops still functioning and 10 closed or bankrupt shops. This place had obviously fallen on hard times, but people were optimistically hoping the Barents Sea oil pipeline would come ashore here if oil production ever started. Indeed a well known Norwegian businessman had started to buy large tracts of land to develop industrial buildings.

At 1300 I went back to the shop and post office and lo and behold the rudder parts were there. By the time I got back to the hotel and started to fit them it was already 1400. Not only had Bjorn of Bjorns Kajakks sent the correct parts but he also sent the tools to fit them and some silicon to make sure the screw holes were watertight. This was a tremendous service. It took me another 2 hours to complete the job. When I was happy with it I posted the old parts and the tools back to him. I am highly indebted to Bjorn for this service as Tiderace kayaks in England were just too far away to be effective.

I then started to investigate some water ingress into the cockpit. I thought it was through a porous spraydeck or down the rudder control pipes. However I found the cause was actually the almost hidden external seal between the cockpit and the deck. It had not been sealed. I used the rest of the silicon from Bjorn to seal it. As it was inaccessible I could not get the silicon nozzle to the joint and had to use my finger. It was a messy job but will hopefully do the trick.

The tide was half way out and by the time I set off it would be well out meaning I would have to paddle against the current up the coast to Hamingberg. The silicon did not have a skin on it yet and the spraydeck rim would stick to it and it threatened to rain soon. All these factors added up to staying another night in Vardo and leaving early tomorrow morning at 0300 with the falling tide and the northwest current.
After a delicious salted cod with bacon dinner, a local dish, I wrote the blog and then crashed out at 2300 with the alarm set for 0200. I could see the tide outside the window slowly enveloping the rocks as it came up the foreshore.

It had been a wasted day really. The weather was perfect for kayaking however I am glad that is the saga of the rudder sorted out and hopefully I have solved the water ingress into the cockpit also. It is Full Steam ahead now along a spectacular, but exposed, coast for about 125 km, to remote town of Berlevag and its famous male choir.

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