Day 206. Bruhagen to Hoholmen in Averoy

Posted by: James on July 25, 2009

Distance 29km | Time 7hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

I did not finish writing until 0100 so was still sleeping when Frederic woke me at 0900 for breakfast. The previous night he had arranged a journalist from the regional newspaper to come at 1000, and we needed breakfast out of the way first.

Roald Sevaldsen from the paper Tidens Krav turned up at 1000 and we chatted for almost 2 hours over coffee with Frederic and Sissel at the table with Roald taking notes. He had another meeting so had to go, and I packed up and carried the stuff down to the boat with my hosts.

While we were saying out goodbyes a juvenile mink came and inspected the kayak and even came towards us. It was completely fearless. I eventually set off at 1300 and paddled past the huge pile of stones. The ship from the previous day was loaded and had gone.

Day 206.1 An old fishing wharf in Bremsnesfjord near KristiansundI had about a 5 km paddle up Bremsnesfjord again to reach a level with Kristiansund and then continued to the open sea where there was the Stavenes Fyr lighthouse. I passed a few old fishing wharfs which were falling into disrepair and some large farms along the shore.

A lot of the old shipping wharfs were from half a century ago when small boats landed catch locally and then much of the cod from this catch was salted and then dried on rock slabs beside the sea. This produced klippfisk which is the main ingredient of Bacaloa. Processes have now changed and the traditional labour intensive way of producing klippfisk has now gone and these lovely old wharfs are redundant.

Once round the Stavenes Fyr lighthouse I paddled along the open coast with the minimum of swells breaking on the shoreline. It was quite convoluted with many open inlets. Eider ducks seemed to be thriving in these inlets and there were many rafts of them. They were mostly sitting on the weed covered slabs but took to the water when I approached. The ducklings were now almost the size of the adults but almost black in colour as opposed to the mothers brown. There was still the odd batch of smaller ducklings that probably were conceived and hatched late.

After a couple of km along the open coast I could cut down Sveggesund, which was a narrow sound with houses on each side. It was a colourful thriving place. There were a couple of modern fishing boats and a restaurant, but by and large I would say most people here worked in Kristiansund or had summer house here. A bridge spanned the sound connecting the smaller Sveggoya on the west to the much larger Averoy island.

From Sveggesund I entered another charming area of idyllic small islands and islets. It reminded me very much of some of the island clusters on the Helgelandskyst. The only difference being that there were not so many beaches here and generally the houses and hamlets here were perhaps more numerous and also more affluent. The affluence meant that many of the older traditional properties were actually being restored and maintained which was nice to see.

Day 206.2 Paddling towards Langoy village through the islands in the mist and rainAs I weaved through these islands the mist came in and it started to rain, although not heavily. I pulled up the hood on the jacket Colin Bruce lent me and paddled on for some 7-8 km. Eventually I came to the larger village of Langoy on the smaller island with the same name. It seemed a busy place with an old white Lutheran church, plenty of large deciduous trees and a lot of quaint restored boathouses and wharfs and some nice wooden villas. I also saw a shop.

I made to land on a rocky beach when someone invited me to use his jetty. He was trying to smoke some newly caught haddock in a homemade smokery constructed from an old wooden barrel. I went up to the shop and bought enough to tide me over for the next few days and a grilled chicken and some tomatoes for this evening.

It was then back onto the water again as I paddled through the rest of Langoyasund towards Sandoy. There was no beach on the latter so I carried on passing through many small channels and islets ringed in yellow brown seaweed as the tide was right out. Here and there were some traditional cabins, restored wharfs and some more exclusive leisure homes. There were well spread out and the place still felt empty.

Just after the bridge connecting the smaller Sandoy in the west to Averoy there was a large body of water called Hendvagen. It was a nature reserve. The curious thing with Hendvagen is that it was topped up and emptied by about a metre by the tide which had to flow up a short river to fill and empty this sea lake. As I paddled past the river was flowing out vigourously.

Day 206.3 A mink swimming across a sound to the west of AveroyI saw a family of mink near here. There was an adult and two juveniles. They would play havoc with the ducks and eat many eggs and chicks. One of the juveniles swam across the sound and I pursued it to get a photo

Day 206.4 The exclusive guesthouse of Hoholmen is owned by the explorer Ragnar ThorsethI continued south past more islands with cultural buildings still on them and then came to Hoholmen. This was a more salubrious restoration from an old fishing wharf to a high class guesthouse and restaurant. There were a lot of older wooden boats and even a replica Viking ship on the jetty. There were also a few larger bayliner type cruisers from some of the better off guests. It was not for me but I needed somewhere to camp soon and had almost run out of options.

Day 206.5 Beside Hoholmen was the islent of Lamholmen where I camped and used the cabin to write inJust beyond Hoholmen was Lamholmen. It had a beach which extended the whole tidal range and some grassy land to camp on. It was perfect. I pulled ashore and inspected. There was a very small open cabin on this islet. I went in and saw a table and a couple of bunks. There was a visitor’s book on the table which I read. This cabin was also owned by the Hoholmen and was intended as a place for the staff to come and escape occasionally. Lamholmen was only connected to Hoholmen at very low tide.

Hoholmen was owned by Ragnar Thorseth and his wife. Ragnar is a well known sailor and explorer. He spent most of the 1970’s and 1980’s exploring the Arctic Ocean in small boats and sailing a Viking boat across the Atlantic to show the Vikings could easily have discovered America and “Vinland” long before Columbus did.

I decided to camp near the cabin and then when the tide was in and it was dark I could sneak into the hut and use the table to write at. This is what I did from 2200 until midnight when I crashed out.

It had been a good day again. There was a slow start but I liked the sociable morning. The afternoon paddling was easy as I drifted through the cultural landscape of reviving fishing villages.

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