Day 203. Sandvika on Lesundoya to Magnillen in Tingvoll

Posted by: James on July 22, 2009

Distance 37km | Time 9hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 203.1 The boathouse and farm at Sandvika bay on Lesundoya islandI had fully intended to get up early and arrive at Magnillen early to meet Colin and Karen Bruce there. It was not to be and I did not wake until 0930. The sun was shining, the tent was warm and everything was dry and crisp after the last two days downpour.

After the packet of biscuits for breakfast I finally left this lovely bay at nearly 1130. I paddled past the beautiful boatshed and into the gentle north east breeze before turning south west and having it in my back again. I have had remarkable luck with the winds in the last month.

I paddled in my drysuit which was overkill on this warm day. I quickly passed the island of Grisvagoy and started across the calm sea to the peninsula which sticks out from the north of the mountainous island of Ertvagoy. The trip across the bay was easy and I passed the small Baeroy island, where I was pleased to see someone was restoring the only homestead on the island.

There were three islands here, nearly four, which were tall and mountainous with steep rocky peaks on them. Each island was separated by a deep sound. I was making for the last, most westerly, sound between these islands and heading down through that. These three islands formed a chain and would have been a steep side peninsula if it were not for the spectacular deep sounds separating them.

From the north of Ertvagoy I then crossed another bay to reach the north of Stabben island, perhaps the most mountainous of the three. This was an interesting bay with a few larger islands and many small islets. On the west of the bay forming the western border was a lovely island of Solskjel.

The east shore of Solskjel looked very idyllic with old small holdings in green forest clearings along the shore. When I got to the south however it looked more dilapidated with ruined houses and collapsing jetties. There was a sandy beach near were the cable ferry from Nordheim across the 300 metre sound docked. I landed here. The most obvious thing about the place was the huge piles of clutter. Broken fish farm cages, collapsing sheds, rusting plant, piles of rotting timber, jetties piled high with rotting fishing nets with turfs of grass growing from them. It looked just like the west coast of Scotland or Ireland where everything is collected in untidy piles and nothing tidied of disposed of.

Near this was a notice displaying the islands history. It seemed this was one of the first places stone age man settled in Norway some 10000 years ago. The island was smaller then and these ancient sites are now 25 metres above the present shoreline. It was one of the place first free of ice after the last ice age and the lifting of land was smaller here than in Oslo area where it was 160 metres over the last 10,000 years and nearly 800 metres in Northern Sweden in the same period.

This area was part of the Forsna Culture, the oldest habitation found on the Scandinavian Peninsula some 12000 years ago. Here the first settlers built simple houses and fished, hunted and collected of the small islands and islets in the region. The hunted seal and used the skin for tents, cloths and boats. The island seems to have been almost continuously populated since then. Perhaps in 10,000 years time when future archaeologists are looking digging the south side of this island they will come across this midden on the south and call it the culture of a Homo sapiens sub species called Homo detritus.

Day 203.2 Crising along the wooded north shore of Stabben island with the steep high mountain in the interiorI left the island and paddled down into the sound again the north side of Stabben. Stabben was a much wooded island with a steep mountain. It was separated from Tustna by Solheimssund, a narrow a deep sound with quite a few farms down each side. It was only some 8 km long and with the increasing north wind behind me I cruised down the slot of water in a little over an hour. At the south end were some narrows where the tide was beginning to flow north again.

Day 203.4 The wooden shoreline and fjord side of Halsafjord which is an arm of ArsundfjordI now just had some 7 km of the large Arsundfjord to cross to reach Magnillen on the other side. This was a long and convoluted body of water with many long arms stretching nearly 50 km inland to the mountainous interior of More and Romsdal. On each side of this steep side fjord were heavily forested slopes. Towards the sea at its mouth was the city of Kristiansund.

Day 203.3 An islet basking in the sun in the otherwise overcast ArsundfjordI made quick time across the fjord and was soon approaching the far side with a back wind. I soon saw the flash of a kayak paddle in the overcast evening. It was Karen, and her daughter Kirsty, in their brand new kayaks. Then I saw Colin doing the safety patrol in the inflatable. I paddled over and greeted them. I had stayed with them some 4 years ago at their cabin in Trollheimen in Norway and saw them yearly in Scotland. We greeted and then we all returned to land.

Colin had arranged two cabins at the nice campsite here at Magnillen. We quickly carried up the kayaks and all my stuff and then I got myself ensconced in the cabin where I would spend two nights. The ever thoughtful Colin brought a full set of cloths for me to wear during the stay here. Karen made a wonderful vitamin rich meal and then we all sat around until late in the evening catching up. The three kids went to bed first, and then Karen, and Colin and I finally made it around 0130 after a few beers and whiskies.

It had been a great day. Good weather, wonderful scenery an interesting cultural visit and ending up in the company of friends I have known for 25 years.

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