Day 222. Tyssoy in Sund to Storebo in Austevoll

Posted by: James on August 10, 2009

Distance 25km | Time 6hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 222.1 The magnificent Statsraad Lehmkuhl sailing boat by the town of SundI slept surprisingly long. Everything in the tent smelt of smoke and I had a sore throat from sitting downwind of the fire occasionally last night. It was 0830 when I eventually got up. Ann Grete and Gabriel were already up. We ate breakfast on a rock together.

After breakfast I asked Gabriel if he wanted to paddle about the bay in the kayak while I packed everything. He was widely enthusiastic. He was not yet 8 but once I had pushed him off with the most basic lesson he grasped it quite quickly. It was an extremely safe bay so I and Ann Grete just let him get on with it. After half an hour I was ready to pack and he came in. Already he was asking Ann Grete if he could get a kayak.

I set off at 1100. It was a good paddling day. Overcast and dry with just a slight wind against me. However I felt lethargic despite the two previous short days of just 20 km each. For the first time I was getting a bit fed up and bored. There was too much paddling in safe water now, the scenery was predictable, putting the tent up and down was getting tedious and the writing was a chore.

I was longing for more of a challenge. I could of course get it by heading 20 km west and going down the outside of the skerries on the Atlantics fringe but this would slow me down. There are 2 more exposed bits coming up soon at Sletta and Jaeren in a week or so and I am looking forward to them.

I crossed Raunefjord to the small island of Leroy where there was a salmon farm. I seem to be passing about 4-5 large salmon farms a day at the moment. I would guess that there are well over 1000 in Norway all together each with an average of 6 large cages. As I reached the narrow section between Leroy island and Sund town a fantastic sight came round the corner and the tedium was relieved. It was the Statsraad Lehmkuhl.

Day 222.2 Another look at the Statsraad LehmkuhlThe Statsraad Lehmkuhl was a Tall Ship. It was registered in Bergen. It was a huge 3 masted, steel hulled sailing boat which must have been nearly 100 metres long with the massive bowsprit. I counted rigging for 15 massive large canvas sails. In full sail this would have been a formidable and graceful sight. Even with all the sail down it was quite breathtaking and special. There were a lot of people on board and I guess that it was a training ship which specialized in taking teenagers on sailing voyages where everyone was expected to work.

Day 222.3 Some of the small islets to the south of Skorpo island in AustevollAfter she passed I carried on to the south end of the peninsula which was the south end of the island of Sotra. Here I had a 5-6 km crossing over the Korsfjord to the small island of Skorpo, which was the most northernmost island in Austevoll council. This council was essentially an archipelago of over 1000 islands and was renowned as a beautiful area.

Day 222.4 The rich vegetation on some of the small islands near Skorpo islandI paddled round Skorpo and then entered a fascinating area of small islets and channels. The islets were covered in pines, rowans now red in berry, and aspen. It was so still that not even the aspen leaves were quivering and flickering. I paddled slowly now and weaved and explored as I went. There were a few cabins here and there.

There was someone painting the jetty at one of the cabins. He was the typically friendly, capable and modest older Norwegian one cannot but like and admire. I asked him if there was a shop at Austevoll just to hear it confirmed. No he said it closed last year but there is one at Storebo. We started chatting. As usual he asked the question ‘are you on a long tour’ and I said ‘quite long’. Then as usual he said ‘where did you start’ and I said ‘Kirkenes’. This always produced an expression of astonishment. We chatted more and then I left for the shop in Storebo some 6 km away.

After a couple of km he reappeared in his boat. His wife had sent him to see if I wanted a coffee or beer or even stay overnight in a guest cabin he had. He was embarrassed he had not offered earlier. It was a very nice gesture but it would have meant doubling back some 2 km. I thanked him but said it was a long way to Oslo and I could not really dally. We said our goodbyes again.

It was a long 6 km to Storebo with the wind against me. I got there around 1700 and met a couple of people there from the local kayak club. They had an impressive shed in the small boat harbour. I chatted with them as I beached the kayak and then went up to the shop. I bought food for the next 5-6 days.

When I returned to the kayak it was 1800. I thought is it really worth going on or shall I just camp here in this small quiet marina where there were some picnic tables. There was enough of a breeze to hold the midges at bay if I wrote outside, so I opted to stay.

Within an hour I had the tent up on some wooden decking and I was established and writing. A few people showed up soon afterwards. I was the local kayak club for an evening tour. Naturally we got chatting. They seemed a very enthusiastic and proficient bunch with a range of kayaks. Most were British and none had a rudder. I looked around there large council funded shed which had some 20 kayaks in it.

Once they had disappeared for the evenings paddle I took the opportunity to write and the rain kindly kept at bay. When they returned I had pretty much finished writing and chatted with many of them. They even gave me a free club tea shirt and one had a shot in my boat. The club was called Havstril Padleklubb Austevoll.

It had been a trying day where I started feeling quite bored and a bit low but as the day went on I felt better and better.

3 Responses to “Day 222. Tyssoy in Sund to Storebo in Austevoll”

  1. Eivind Says:

    Hi, and sorry that I did not got the oppertunity to follow you in my kayak tru Austevoll as planed. It was wery nice to meet you and chat with you in the marina in storebo. And thank you very much for that you let me try your kayak.

    Have a really nice trip further, And I hope that I will meet you again some other time..

    Eivind..

  2. Chuck Haberlein Says:

    James — Just found your fascinating Norwegian tour (by following links from Freya Hoffmeister’s ’round Australia kayak voyage). Am now backtracking, following your journey from the beginning. Wonderful photos and terrific descriptions. Keep up the good work (og lykke til!).

  3. Trond - Havstril Says:

    Well chuffed that you liked Austevoll. Will keep track of your blogging in the following weeks. Check out our paddle blog too: http://havstril.blogspot.com.

    Regards,
    Trond