Day 223. Storebo in Ausetvoll to Oklandsnes in Sveio

Posted by: James on August 11, 2009

Distance 58km | Time 11.5hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 223.1 A gaff rigged sailing boat in SelbjornfjordLate last night I got a text message from a journalist in the local paper and we arranged an interview at 0730. When the time came I was still asleep and she had to phone me from outside the tent. We went up to her nearby office where a couple of coffees helped. We chatted for a good hour while she took notes and looked at my webpage.

After that we returned to the tent in the drizzle and she took some photos while I started packing. It took a while in this weather but eventually I was ready to go at 1030. The drizzle was intermittent but there was a good wind. It seemed to be a northerly which was what I wanted.

I set off round the north of Rostoy and then turned south. The wind was indeed behind me and it was a good force 5. The tide was against me but the wind completely overrode this and I was doing a good 7 km per hour down the west side of the peninsula towards Selbjorn Bridge.

By the time I got to the bridge there was quite a swell behind me and I managed to surf a few waves. It was quite wet though and water was pouring into the cockpit through the inferior ‘seals’ spraydeck. At the bridge itself this swell met the flowing tide and caused the swell to rise steeply and break. I kept to the side to avoid it.

Just after the bridge on the west side was the village of Bekkjarvik. It was a small delightful harbour with a mix of old warehouses and traditional boats and exclusive sailing boats and a nice looking but expensive hotel. It looked a mix of traditional local and yachting fraternity. I ate lunch in the kayak here before going back into the northerly wind.

The wind had eased a bit which was good as I set my sights on Fornno island across the 5-6 km wide Selbjornsfjord. It was an easy crossing and it was only towards the last km that the waves started to break over the back of the kayak slewing it from side to side.

Day 223.2 The rocky slabs on the islands to the north of StokksundI thought it best to head further west now passing Teloy and Ivarsoy until I got to the top of Alforo island. This was a perfect route as I threaded through outcrops of grey rock islets with calm channels in between. I slowed down again as I explored the region. There were some old homesteads here with very little green land to cultivate. Long ago fishing must have been the only livelihood here. Now many of these homesteads were leisure homes and there were many newer cabins in addition. It was a delightful and idyllic paddle.

Day 223.3 A lighthouse amound the islands to the north of Stokksund near the hamlet of HaslevikBy the time I reached Agasoster I had crossed right over to the large island of Bomlo. I was now back in the more open water and still had the north wind behind me. In addition now the tide was with me. I was starting to move quite quickly again at 7 km per hour. I soon had the bit between my teeth and sat up and started to paddle strongly. I was flying along.

I took just a couple of hours to blast down past the town of Rubbestadneset and further down Stokksund. On my west was Bomlo and on my right was the large island of Stord. Stord was both an agricultural and industrial island with an airport. However the west side of it looked pretty grey and barren. By the airport Stokksund sound narrowed and although the wind had died away the tide and my vigorous paddling kept the good tempo.

Before long I was approaching a series of three bridges which connected Bomlo to Stord. Many barrels of oil must have paid for these bridges as two were massive suspension bridges. When the oil runs out I hope there is enough money to maintain this vast infrastructure of tunnels and bridges which Norway has wisely built to keep the small island communities viable and stem the urban drift.

Just after the most westerly bridge on the south side was the village of Royksund. Long ago the villagers here built a canal connecting Stokksund to Boroyfjord so they could take the fishing boats through here without having to go into the more exposed Bomlofjord.

I thought about taking it but then decided to continue under the middle bridge and round the east side of the small Spyssoy island. From there I could cross over to the east tip of the Moster peninsula. The tide was just turning now and I was getting tired so my speed was back to 5 km per hour. It was however turning into a beautiful still evening.

As I reached the eastern tip of Moster I could look up Bomlofjord which then changed its name to Hardangerfjord. Hardangerfjord is perhaps together with Sognefjord the most significant of Norwegian fjords. It features heavily in a lot of Norwegian art and literature, In summertime it is the epitomy of a fjord with green farms along the water’s edge with cherry blossom on the many orchards here.

Day 223.5 The evening sun on the conifer forest by Slettene on the south side of BomlofjordThere were two cruise ships coming out of this fjord when I crossed due south to the wooded peninsula of Slettene. The sun was going down now and the whole forest here was lit up in an orange glow together with the farms of Oklandsnes. It was approaching 2130 now and the shore looked rocky and devoid of campspots for a while ahead. So I decided to head along the shore and camp as soon as possible.

Day 223.4 The fertile farms on the south side of Bomlofjord by Oklandsnes bask in the evening sunI had to go a while before the coast went into a bay with some islands. I followed the coast round and the farms of Oklandsnes gave was to boatsheds and newer exclusive cabins. Tucked away in the far corner was a gravel beach some flat grass and many conifers. It was perfect but probably a midge nightmare on this still night.

Day 223.6 The sunset from the bay at Oklandsnes  with  Bomlo island on the horizonI had the tent up and was in before they noticed the carbon dioxide I was producing and could home in. I did not bother to even turn the laptop on or have supper. After admiring the sunset I crashed out around 2230.

It had been a great day. Very good paddling with the large following sea initially and then through the archipelago of islands north of Stokksund. I had also managed a respectable distance despite the 1030 start.

Comments are closed.