Day 148. Gamvik weather and rest day

Posted by: James on May 28, 2009

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Day 148.1 The waves crashing into the harbour did not invite me to go kayaking round the exposed northern tip of EuropeThe forecast today said it would be unpleasant. I did not even need to get out of bed to confirm this in the morning as I could hear the wind driving the rain against the window. It was a strong south easterly wind of certainly force seven, maybe even eight. It was also high tide around 0800 and the small breakwater was taking a pounding with every wave crashing into it sending plumes of spray into the air.

I had breakfast and then went to check the kayak. I had pulled it quite high up but a combination of low pressure and this easterly wind could have caused the sea level to rise another metre. When I got there I found the water had not been far off. I hauled it up another two metres in altitude and placed it beside some upturned boats. It was still full of everything so it was well weighted down for the forecast storm this evening.

I then wrote the blog while looking out of the window. Sometimes if the weather is just on the brink I feel guilty I am not out in it. There were no doubts today. It was a churning cauldron on the skerries outside the harbour. By lunch time I was up to date and then went to the shop and café to have a look around. That did not take long!

Gamvik also had a museum and I went over to it in the afternoon. The museum was the same as Byluft or Berlevag, but had some better displays. One of the more interesting was some details of settlement in the region since the ice disappeared some 10,000 years ago. There have been archaeological remains found at a number of locations in the area dating back to this time. Even since the war there have been some significant demographic shifts with some previously important settlements like Omgang, beside Tanafjord, not being repopulated after the war.

In the evening as predicted the wind swung round to the north more and then increased. The frothing mayhem on the skerries now was very impressive with waves which were apparently 3 metres high crashing onto the rock. I ate the same smoked cod supper as I sat and watched them out of the window.

Sometime after the meal the wind increased again and was up to a force nine. A forced ten or storm was expected later tonight with 4 metre waves at sea. This weather will leave a legacy for days to come with a large swell even if the weather becomes stable. Unfortunately the forecast is not for stable weather but for poor weather for a good few days yet. I might have to move from the guest house to a flat for a few days.

I was a dull, cold, wet day with only the spectacular weather and the museum providing the only real interest. There is more I can say about the areas’ history and wildlife, but I better save something for the next days.

One Response to “Day 148. Gamvik weather and rest day”

  1. Mark Beaumont Says:

    I reckon you’re not likely to be moving for a day or two so office work will be something to do rather than a chore. It’s been great reading each day as it comes; the thing that strikes me is that you get real satisfaction from challenging situations or, more especially, when faced with a choice, you make the right decision. And I certainly get vicarious pleasure reliving the crossings or exposed headlands.
    Sue and I had a wonderful day going round St Abbs Head and back yesterday, while thinking of you. It was warm and dry, but an easterly breeze grew stronger in the afternoon so it was a wee adventure getting back to Coldingham Bay. Which serves to mean only that your trip seems even more daunting. Good luck.