Day 181. Tysnes to Buvag

Posted by: James on June 30, 2009

Distance 33km | Time 8hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 181.1 Rounding Tysnes peninsula and heading across the bay to Tranoy and  the mountainous Hamaroy islandI woke quite early again and got up pretty quickly as the tide would be going out soon, and I did not want to be stranded with the kayak hundreds of metres from the water. I eventually set of at 0930 and I just had enough water to paddle out of the bay at Tysnes before it dried out.

It was another incredible weather day and I opted for shorts and my paddling jacket. It was great to be liberated from the confines of the drysuit. It was far too warm for it and the water temperature was just about in double figures now.

I rounded the peninsula as Tysnes which was a mass of islands. However I am finding out that the map and GPS may say they are islands but often then are only islands at the very highest of tides and usually they are connected to the mainland by rocky spits covered in seaweed or even grass.

Day 181.3 The impossibily steep Tilthorn at nearly 700 metres heightI initially started straight across the large open bay to Tranoy lighthouse but diverted to the shore by Hornneset instead. This point was not such a big detour and it took me to the base of Tilthornet, 693 metres. This was an unbelievably steep spire of a mountain. I have only seen such mountains in books before. I must have had two glaciers carving away at each side of it and they melted just before they broke away the wafer thin ridge.

Day 181.2 A puffin in the bay between Tysnes and TranoyIt was incredibly calm as I crossed the remainder of the bay. So calm I could now see puffins at nearly a kilometer away. Only occasionally could I get within 20 metres to them. The bay was studded with islets and skerries.

There were some shags on some of the tidal islets and it was the first time I had seen them since the open sea by Lyngen. Shags are extremely wary and fly off when I am around 300 metres away. Shags have pretty much stayed as they are for the last 60 million years without evolving too much so obviously they have a successful survival and their carefulness is part of this.

I saw one sea eagle again today. The last week had really been the domain of the heron rather than sea eagle. I am sure that as the coast becomes less sheltered again the herons will disappear and the sea eagles will return.

I did not go into the village of Tranoy but went round the outside of the peninsula to Tranoy Fyr lighthouse. I was a large and graceful concrete building. I landed in the mass of islands and walked up to the lighthouse and had lunch nearby. It seemed this also had a small café or tourist concern but like Helnes Fyr near Nordkapp it was rusting and ramshackle and looked abandoned.

Just as I left the lighthouse and started to cross the next bay to the island of Hamaroy with its impressive mountains, the wind increased. It was initially a force three but as one stage was a force five. It was directly against me and my speed at times was down to 3 km per hour. It was a slow crossing but slowly the kayak cleaved through the oncoming waves splashing me with just about everyone.

I was making for a beach on the far side of the bay I could see. It seemed to be on the island of Selsoya. As it neared I could see it was indeed on the island and there was a broad channel marked on the map between this island and the mainland which I could paddle through. I went into the bay where the channel started.

Day 181.4 The very beautiful and idyllic Selsoyvika bay had a huge area of white sand and small islandsIt was a large and very beautiful bay of extremely white sand. The whole bay was covered in the sand with numerous skerries breaking through the white. Where the sand was covered by the water it was a green and turquoise colour. The whole bay must have been nearly as kilometer across and was the most beautiful bay I had seen so far including yesterdays archipelago. I slowly paddled between the skerries over the white sand making for the channel

The channel was however high and dry with mounds of dry white sand. I don’t think it ever got covered. Selsoya island was not and island but a peninsula. The isthmus was about 500 km of sand and grass. It was too far to portage and it was only an extra 3 km round. I was glad I had ventured in here however as it was perfect.

Day 181.5 Coming into Buvag harbour with Hamnesfjellet in the backAfter exploring a bit I got back in the kayak and paddled round Selsoya and a few more rocky islands towards the high craggy Hamnesfjellet mountain, 880m. To my north was the same very jagged skyline of Austvagoy I had seen yesterday. It was an impressive sight. Soon after I passed Selsoya there was a larger inlet with the small harbour of Buvag. I decided to spend the night here as the wind was still against me and a force three.

Buvag was a picture postcard hamlet with a small wharf and some 20 houses behind some sandy beaches and grass foreshore. Much of the grassy foreshore looked like it had been grazed by geese. The whole area was covered in wild flowers especially a yellow pea family flower and pinks.

Day 181.6 Looking out of Buvag harbour to the jagged peaks of the Lofoten Islands to the north westI found a nice place to pitch the tent on this grass and then spread things out to dry. It was only 1900 by the time I was sorted out so a relatively early finish. I found a picnic table and wrote the blog in the wind for two hours until 2100, occasionally looking across the vast Vestfjord to the jagged Lofoten skyline to the north west.

It had been a great day. It was great to have an early start and finish instead of the bad habits I picked up in Finnmark and Troms, where the finishes were very late and the next morning equally so. It was also a very scenic day with a remarkable mountain and a stunning beach at Selsoyvika bay.

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