Day 207. Hoholmen in Averoy to Storholmen in Fraena

Posted by: James on July 26, 2009

Distance 19km | Time 5.5hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

I could hear the wind when I woke at 0700. Looking outside I could see it was around a force four. I checked the forecast and it seemed to continue all day and increase a bit tomorrow morning. It was a bit of a struggle to get up and get going but eventually I packed up the wet tent and got going by 1000.

Day 207.1 Ragnar Thorseths replica Viking boat was the same as the one he sail round the world inThe tide was right out and I had to go back to Hoholmen to get out of the cluster of islands. This gave me another chance to see the replica Viking boat “Kvitserk”. Kvitserk was a replica of Saga Siglar, which was an imitation Viking freight boat which Ragnar Thorseth sailed round the world in the mid 1980’s.

I then went out into the sea to the north. There were many skerries protecting Hoholmen from the Atlantic and no swell was getting through. The wind however was against me and there was enough of a chop to slow me down. With the small waves rushing past me I was under the impression I was going fast. However, when I looked down at the GPS speedometer I saw I was just doing 2-3 km per hour.

I had wanted to paddle the outside of the “Atlantic Road”. However it was just too slow. So I cut inside under a bridge. The Atlantic road is a 6 km stretch of road over a couple of graceful bridges and many causeways which jumps across a string of small islands between the mainland and the west side of Averoy. These islands form a chain across the mouth of the Kornstadfjord.

Day 207.2 Kittiwakes on some of the abandoned fishing wharfsThere was quite a current under the bridge filing up the fjord. I then headed west sheltered from the potential waves by the causeways to Stromsholmen where there was a dive centre and another bridge across some narrows. It was drizzling quite heavily now. On the inner side of these islands along the causeway there were many old fishing wharfs. Some had been lost to the seagulls which nested in their window frames.

I had to paddle hard to get through the current here into the sea again. This part of the coast was covered in small islands. There must have been a few km of islets and skerries sheltering the route and the swell was not getting through at all. The wind was still against me and slowing me down.

Day 207.3 The splendidly restored fishing hamlet on the islet of TiestholmenFor the next 5 km I paddled through an island landscape with plenty of cultural buildings. In places the whole of an old fishing community had been restored after it was probably nearly abandoned in the 1960’s after some 200-300 years of existence. As with Hoholmen the restoration was enabled by tourism. One restoration at Tiestholmen was splendid.

After Tiestholmen the sheltering skerries out to sea became minimum and more and more of the swell was getting through. As I paddled past the large beach at Sandvika I could see a headland surrounded in breaking surf which I had to pass.

The wind was still a force 4 from the north west which was bringing a large swell in from the Atlantic. As I made slow progress towards the headland, the height of the swell increased from a metre to three metres. This swell then crashed onto the rocks sending plumes of spray cannoning into the air. The swell was not steep though and I just bobbed up and down on it. There were a few white caps but not many.

There was a beacon on the headland and there was some sort of nature trail out to it. There were about 20 people at the beacon and they all had their eyes on me for a good 20 minutes while I paddled past. I must have been hidden in the troughs of the swell most of the time. I could feel them thinking “look at that mad bugger” but in reality it looked much worse than it was.

Once round the headland I doubled back to a beach for lunch. There were some good remnants of the swell heading for the beach and I caught one for a good 200 metre surf at about 15 km per hour which was also exciting. I beached the kayak and went up to a small shelter where there were some 10 people who had been looking at me earlier. They asked masses of questions which I answered between mouthfuls.

The problem was the spraydeck, although better than the previous one, was leaking water and my legs and waist were soaked. I should have had the drysuit on today. The wind was still a force 4 from the west and progress was slow. The next 20 km down the outside of Hustadvika were going to be a cold wet slog into the wind and spray down an exposed coast with a building swell.

One of the crowd said there were rooms at Storholmen across the bay and I kind of gave up any idea of continuing along Hustadvika and started think about a hot shower. I paddled the two km across the bay at Farstad and reached Storholmen. There were frequent 3 metre swells coming into the bay and exploding on shallows.

Day 207.4 An old cover to put over stacks of klippfisk when they were gathered up from  drying places on rock slabs before rain approachedThe rooms were not cheap and there were no meals. I took the room anyway as I was too wet to consider the tent. I would fire the primus up in the room. I was soon sorted and in the shower. In the evening I wrote and sent a newsletter. The weather had decreased a bit but it will increase through the night and then diminish tomorrow afternoon.

It had been a cold wet day when I should have been in the drysuit. However there were some nice cultural landscapes on the islands at the east end of Hustadvika.

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