Day 230. Hatangen in Ha to Egersund

Posted by: James on August 18, 2009

Distance 40km | Time 7.5hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

I had arranged to meet Tom Amundsen today. He would start paddling from Egersund, where I anticipated finishing today, and he would paddle north to meet me around Sirevag and then we would continue together to Egersund. We had spoken about leaving our starting points around 1000. However when I looked out at the sea at 0700 I thought twice about it. It was a good force 5, if not 6, and the sea was full of white horses. However, as the morning unfolded the wind dropped to a force four so I set off at 1000.

There were both showers and sun which the North West wind changed at will but generally it was quite overcast. The swell was much less than yesterday but the wind was causing some of the tops to topple into small white horses still.

I paddled down past more shipwrecks and many beaches. As usual these beaches were defined by large glacial boulders. In the ice ages Jaeren was the edge of the ice sheet and where this slow westwards moving ice sheet met the north westwards flowing mega glacier which ran off the present coast along the Norwegian Channel. Lots of moraines were deposited here either by streams under the ice sheet or from the retreating glacier. The boulders and sand In Jaeren come from these deposits.

Day 230.1 The tiny church near Varhaug is dwarfed by the barns of the wealthy Jaeren farmersAt Varhaug I passed a couple of substantial farms with its large wooden barns. In amongst these was a church. It had all the proportions and shape of a normal church but it seemed in miniature. I tried to get a picture of it in the waves and barely succeeded.

I paddled on down past Vigrestad where the waves started to grow in size again in this brisk North West wind. I soon reached the lighthouse at Kvassheim Fyr and phoned Tom in the lee. He had just arrived at Sirevag and would wait. I was still an hour’s for me to paddle.

Day 230.2 The extensive beach at Ognabukta with the ice scoured mountains of Dalane in the backgroundThe crossing of Ognabukta was reasonably quick due to the strong wind behind me. At the north end of the bay is was quite calm but as I got to the south end near the town of Sirevag the waves where up to a good 1.5 metres and many were breaking.

There were many tystie here again and I was surprised to see them as their favoured nesting places are in cracks and crevices along rocky shores and here there was mostly sand and dunes. There were also many eider duck. This year’s male juveniles were already changing colour from brown to the distinctive white patches.

Day 230.3 Tom Amundsen came to meet me in the kayak he had just finished paddling Norways entire coast inI met Tom Amundsen just after the massive breakwater at Sirevag and we paddled south. The waves round the point south of Sirevag were sometimes up to two metres and we were often out of sight of each other. However it was a short piece rocky of coast and after 2 km we were round the headland. I think we both enjoyed the waves here. While they were quite substantial we both knew that we had paddled alone round many remote headlands in Northern Norway where these Jaeren waves would have been small to medium.

Day 230.4 Some of the rocky islets and coastline around Hellvig in Nordregapet just west of EgersundThe coastline seemed to change completely after this headland and the beach and boulder landscape of Jaeren was replaced by 20-30 metre high craggy outcrops and islets. The rock seemed to be granite but it was too choppy to get close enough to see. Occasionally the sea surged between the islets and it was possible to surf the odd short lived wave, but by and large it was quite sheltered. If was obviously along here the tystie found nesting places.

The next hour was an easy run between these sheltered rocky islets with the wind behind us. We chatted a lot and paddled a little, with the wind giving us an extra 2-3 km per hour. The island of Eigeroy gradually came closer as we left the rocky islands along the coast of Nordregapet and entered Egersund sound.

Day 230.5 Tom Amundsen washing his kayak under the waterfall in Egersund soundThere were lots of very nice boat sheds, cabins and old small holdings down here and the soil seemed fertile and the fields very green. This was a steeper landscape and more rocky landscape than Jaeren. On the mainland side of the sound was a small waterfall right into the sea. We took it in turns to paddle under it. If I was in my drysuit I could have had a shower.

Day 230.6 One of the idyllic small holdings in Egersund soundThe island of Eigeroy was one of the very few islands on this North Sea coastline and the sound behind it was one of the few really good harbours on this coast. As a consequence the town has a long fishing history and is home to one of the biggest fishing fleets in Norway.

I had a lot of writing to do and the forecast for the next day was poor. I did not want to try an write in a rain lashed and exposed tent so decided to try and get a cabin at a campsite. There was one marked on the map before Egersund and Tom confirmed with a local it was OK.

Day 230.7 Just before the campsite at Tengs there was an  island with quaint boatsheds and cabins in an idyllic decidious settingWe then split up. I went up to the campsite and Tom down the sound under the bridge to his van. The paddle up to the camp site went under an iron bridge and into a basin with an island in it. It was just possible to go to the west of this island up a metre wide channel. The island itself was like a park with dense deciduous trees and small boat houses along the fringe. It was idyllic. The rowan trees were now heavy with red berries.

After the channel however my heart sank as I came to halt as the bay ended with a river. There was no way up this large river as it tumbled down rapids to the basin and the campsite was still half a km up stream. I left the kayak and walked. They had a free cabin which I took.

Just then Tom arrived and we returned to the kayak, hid it and then carried some stuff back to the cabin. He had to return to Sandnes and I had to eat, shower and start the writing. It was about 2000 when I started but I only managed a couple of hours. I still felt I was in the kayak and the waves of the day were continuing to bounce me around. I crashed out at midnight.

I was a good day with some interesting paddling again and a mixture of scenery from beach to the more familiar craggy pine covered coastline. The little I had seen from Egersund seemed idyllic. I was also great to paddle with someone else and share the high spirits of paddling in the medium sized waves off Sirevag.

2 Responses to “Day 230. Hatangen in Ha to Egersund”

  1. Gilmour & Primmy Burnet Says:

    Hi James,

    Watched the BBC Coast programme last night which covered the Hebrides, Rockall and the Faroes (where my great great grandfather came from). Next week’s is from Lillesand to Svalbard so maybe we’ll see some of the area you’ve been through.
    Still fascinated by your travels. I think the Norwegian Tourist Board should employ you. Good luck on the last lap.
    Gilmour & Primmy

  2. Mark Beaumont Says:

    We’re still faithfully following your exploits, with awe.
    I reckon you’re getting the weather that Sue & I had off the west of Mull last week. We paddled over to Staffa and down to Iona in a beautiful, gentle swell but were stuck in the tent for a couple of days before having no choice but to run with a 2½ metre southwesterly fetch for a couple of hours in F4-5 to get back to Ulva Ferry.
    Best wishes with the remaining kms.