Day 212. Indre Fure on Stadlandet to Ulvsund Fyr lighthouse

Posted by: James on July 31, 2009

Distance 15km | Time 3hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 212.1 The 'klyngetun' of Indre Fure was a charming and friendly hamletWhen I woke my shoulders were tired, it was a bit breezy but the rain was pelting onto the taught ripstop of the tent. I was not getting up in this just yet. I had earnt a lie in yesterday. When I finally considered getting up it was around 1030 but the rain was still pelting onto the tent.

I looked at the weather forecast and it warned that there would be a lot of rain today ‘Sor fra Stad’ which is where I now was. I also said the wind would remain low until mid afternoon when it would get up to a force five.

I considered writing the blog but then thought I would be better of crossing the 8-9 km of open sea across Sildagapet and continuing south for another 5-6 km to a lighthouse which offered accommodation at the north of Ulvsund. I found a number and phoned and arranged to stay. It was hard to hear the phone with the rain lashing the tent.

I managed to pack up everything and get into most of my drysuit before getting out of the tent. With the drysuit on and everything in dry bags except the tent it did not matter about the rain any more. I carted every down to the waterline and took down the tent. Just then a small dingy appeared.

Out of the dingy stepped Kjell Fure, the husband of Marit who had the nice garden and I had spoken to last night. Kjell was an old sea dog and knew the area intimately. I later read he was involved in a few rescues of helpless fishermen along this coast. He showed me inside his boathouse or naust. It was like a museum with old boats hanging from the roof, huge cognac barrels which had drifted ashore and were used to salt fish. Fishing nets, longlines and glass buoys hung from rafters and there was a large stack of Walkers wooden fish boxes which had been collected from the shore through the decades. Told him the place reminded me of Scotland and he said everybody says that.

He explained to me Indre Fure was a unique hamlet in that it was a ‘Klyngetun’. Usually in Norway houses are spread out but here the 5 or 6 houses and the barns were all clustered together. This is because it was the only safe place to live as there was danger from avalanche and falling stones elsewhere.

When it was finally 1330 I started to set off. By now the wind was up to a force three with the odd force four gust. After yesterdays achievement I was perhaps getting a bit blasé and over confident. However in reality I still had some of the piece of ocean called Stadhavet to paddle over.

As I pulled out beyond the breakwater the reality hit. It was now a force four and the rain was so heavy it was impossible to see the land on the other side. I took a bearing and set off. After a km I considered turning back as the swell was a good 3 metres and many of the tops were breaking. I still had another 6-7 km to go before I reached some shelter again. However sitting upright and paddling strongly I was making good time.

I paddled a good 40 minutes with the waves coming from the side and frequently breaking onto the kayak. The white caps were never really more than 30 cm high when they broke and the stable boat I was in plus the odd support brace could handle that. Suddenly the sea in front of me was filled with large breaking waves, some with well over a meter of white cap and green water which the boat and support braces could probably not handle.

I realized that I must be approaching another shoal, but was surprised there should be one out here in the middle of the ocean. I could not go through so decided to veer east and go down wind round to side of this turbulent area. I felt much happier however sideways to the waves where I could see them coming and react accordingly rather that hearing them coming up behind me.

After 200 metres I was round these shoals which I later found out were called Dragefallet and continued south. By now I had changed my plans to go directly south to Skogsnes Fyr lighthouse and instead decided to head to the lee side of the island of Silda whose grey form was starting to emerge from the rain some 4-5 km to the south east.

Day 212.2 Heavy rain but and end to the large breaking swell on reaching Silda islandIt only took another hour before I was rounding the surf fringed islet on the north of Silda island and was in the relative calm of the lee of the island. I took a photo with my camera – which is not waterproof or even resistant and then continued to paddle down the east of the island.

A Great Skua, a brute of a bird, which is so far been quite rare here, came to eye me up. Sometimes these fearless birds will hang on to the wing of a gannet while the two tumble to the sea and until the gannet drops or disgorges its catch which the skua will then steal. It will peck smaller birds to death eating just the tastiest morsels.

It was pouring rain but still Silda looked a nice place. I spotted some King Scallop (Pectin maximus) (Kamskjell) farming equipment on the jetty and would have liked to have chatted with the owner of it having tried to farm them myself on the Isle of Skye for a couple of years until I realized the hopeless economics of it. There was a nice harbour with the entrance guarded by a topless mermaid. There was even a pub and café but I was not sure if there was any accommodation or not.

It was only 2 km across the bay to Ulvsund Fyr lighthouse. I could see it clearly. But there was a wind coming up the Ulvsund sound which must have been approaching a force eight. I was barely moving and the 2 km took nearly an hour. I was being covered in salt spray the whole time which was rinsed of by the heavy rain.

At last I reached the lighthouse jetty at about 1630 and unloaded the boat and carried it up beside a shed. I then carried all the necessary items up to the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. This was hired by Solvi and she had built up a successful business with a café and accommodation. It was the first lighthouse project I had seen which was successful. Helnes Fyr and Tranoy Fyr seemed deserted after the business went bankrupt. I suppose the advantage here was it had a road to it.

The interior was very nicely done and the place had a very cool, relaxed vibe. There were a few other calm guests here who could enjoy the fruit teas rather than the beer. It was a nice surprise and as soon as I saw it I decided I could spend an extra day here catching up with the writing and browsing the small library.

After a cod dinner I looked at my photos from the last days and was disappointed that splashes of water had affected many and then crashed out around 2300.

It had been an exciting day, but it was incredibly wet. I ended up in a comfortable friendly lighthouse keeper’s house.

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