Day 209. Mageroy in Midsund to Hildre in Haram

Posted by: James on July 28, 2009

Distance 23km | Time 5.5hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

The noisy seagulls woke me early as they screeched away any intruders who might threaten the three juveniles on the grass who could just now fly. The rain was still pelting down on the tent and the tent was flapping. I did not even bother to look outside but just rolled over for another couple of hours.

When I woke again around 0900 it was still wet and windy. I had not done the writing from yesterday and decided that this would be the time to do it. I started around 0930 and did not finish until around 1200. By this time the rain was sporadic and the wind seemed to have dropped from a south west force five down to a four.

I decided to go for it, especially as the forecast said it would improve. More showers came as I was getting the tent down and putting the drysuit on but eventually at 1330 the boat was packed and I was off.

Day 209.1 Looking back to the islands of Dryna and Midoy from near BrattvagThe wind was still from the south west but was now down to a force three. I decided to go the shortest way which was along the north shore of Midoy and Dryna islands. Initially I had thought to go to Midsund and into Moldefjord as it might offer less wind resistance.

The paddle towards the first island of Midoy and then along its coast was tedious and slow. I was paddling quite hard but could only make 4.5 km per hour. I also made the mistake of being too far from the shore so I could not see the interests along the coast. The same with Dryna. I was a good km from the shore until the end when I met the headland I was aiming for.

Day 209.2 The farms along the south side of Mifjord and Moldefjord were stretched out along a fertile mantle beneath steep mountainsI then cut across Moldefjord, which was called Mifjord at this point. To the south were steep mountains with farms along the mantle of flat fertile land by the fjords’ edge. Out to sea were 5 larger inhabited islands with ferries travelling to and fro. These 5 islands were along the edge of the Atlantic. On their outer side they must be very weather beaten but on the inside they were lush with many green fields and larger farms. I should imagine there were at least 20 farms on each island which were still operating as farms.

I eventually reached the south side of the Mifjord and the town of Brattvag. It had some industry and did not look that attractive in the grey light under clouds pregnant with rain. I would much rather have lived on one of the 5 idyllic islands than in this town hemmed in but dark mountains and warehouses.

Just as I left Brattvag the heavens finally opened and it started to pour down. Luckily I had the drysuit on and it made little difference. The shower was short and after 15 minutes the sun was out and I was reaching for the sun glasses. I was still making quite slow time though and decided to have an early day, write the blog and get an early night. If I paddled late I could only hope for another 15 km at the most at this rate.

Day 209.3 Approaching Hildre with the church tower barely visible on the headland and the farming islands of Lepsoya and Haramsoya beyondAs I approached Hildre I started to look for campsites. There were many really nice ones above a line of sandy beaches. I realized however I had no water so had to paddle all the way to Hildre where a river tumbled out of the valley into the fjord. I filled up both 2 litre bags here which will do me for 48 hours at least.

There was plenty of activity on the farms along the edge of the fjord. The farmers were cutting grass and wrapping it in plastic where it would partially ferment and produce silage. I am sure this would be the second batch of grass taken off these fields with perhaps another one to come in a month.

I paddled round the headland and the beaches before the river vanished. I saw a place to land soon after the small quaint Hildre church. It was without a beach but with a flat grassy field above it which had been cut recently. I decided to camp there. It was only 1900.

By 2000 I had the tent up and all the equipment which was damp from this morning drying. It was now a glorious evening and the wind had vanished. I sat outside and wrote the blog before supper looking out to some of the larger 5 islands I was waxing lyrical about earlier in the day. I had the blog done by 2130. Possibly a record. The sun was low now and it was starting to cool off so I went into the tent.

It had started a miserable day with a tedious slow paddle but ended well with a long sunny evening sitting in the grass in sun.

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