Day 238. Ryvingen Fyr to Ramsoya in Lillesand

Posted by: James on August 26, 2009

Distance 52km | Time 9.5hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m

Day 238.1 The view from the top of Ryvingen Fyr lighthouse towards  the skerry of Pysen which is barely visible to the far right of the island with the cairn on itMy two roommates were well the worse for wear after the celebration dinner and evening last night but they were quiet in the room and did not disturb me much. I was up at 0800 and had a quick breakfast. However I got chatting to the group of the social workers and had a coffee with them. By then Rita and her relations were up and I had another coffee and chat with them.

I was about to leave at 1000 and Rita kindly offered to give me a guided tour of the lighthouse tower. It was quite a structure with 5 levels with the light on the fifth. The whole tower was made out of cast plates. Each plate was a bit less than a metre by two metres and must have weighed 200 kilos. Each plate was bolted to its neighbours with up to 20 bolts.

Day 238.2 The view from the top of Ryvingen Fyr lighthouse towards Lindesnes peninsula in the west above the keepers cottageThe plates were cast at Baerums verk foundry, which seemed to have done a lot of the lighthouses. The advantage with the plates is them could be transported and assembled quite easily. Apparently the tower was assembled in a couple of months at the end of the 19th century. From here there was a great view over the island and also the other islands in this archipelago. It was even possible to see the tiny skerry of Pysen, Norway’s most southerly point, some 5 km away.

After the tour Rita came down to the jetty to see me off. It was a 500 metre walk across the island to the east side where there was a sheltered bay. It was a beautiful day and it was hot in the sun down by the jetty. I said goodbye to the generous Rita and headed off at 1130.

Day 238.3 The southern tip of Norway is the skerry of Pysen here with the lighthouse at Ryvingen 5 km to the west in the backgroundThere was a good force three westerly wind which blew me along nicely across the open sea for 4 km to the small Pysen. I could not see it but had to head to Odd island which had an obvious cairn on it. Once there it was easy to see Pysen. It was tiny but significant. It was a wet smooth dome of rock measuring no more than 15 metres across and only about 2 metres high. None the less it was the most southerly part of Norway.

Day 238.4 The typical coast along the southern coast of Norway with pine forests here seen to the west of Ny HellesundFrom Pysen I headed north east passing Odd and entered a fantastic coast with masses of islands and skerries. The wind was pushing me along nicely and the islands stopped the waves from building up which would have slowed me down. It continued like this for a good 15 km. Some of the islands were just about bare rock while others had some sparse pine and juniper trees on them. There were goats on one island put out for summer grazing.

It really was nice paddling through these islands, especially the cluster of Uvar. The rock was pink and I assumed it was granite. There were plenty of seagulls here, mostly blackbacks. The juveniles were still whining at their parents to regurgitate some food, although most were probably able to obtain it themselves It had been a while now since I had seen a sea eagle. I think the last was north of Bergen.

Day 238.5 The delightful hamlet of Ny Hellesund was perhaps the most beautiful I had seen along the entire coast so farAfter this island hopping I reached the islands of Monsoya and Helgoya. Between them was a small sound called Ny Hellsund which was a waterway through a hamlet. I think this hamlet was perhaps the most idyllic sight I have seen on the entire coast. Lots of little white cottages were arranged along the shore in colourful gardens. He roof tiles were all old and a rusty red with black specks where lichen was growing. Each cottage had an equally quaint boat house and jetty where there were old boats moored. It looked very old and original but I suspect it was kept that way by the people who either lived here or had cabins here. There were perhaps 30 houses in all.

The only thing out of place here was a massive cabin cruiser. This was an unsophisticated display of opulent new money amongst the more confident and modest old money who had a more cultured aesthetic awareness.

It was a joy to paddle through Ny Hellsund and every house had something of interest. However it was soon over and I left the old fishing hamlet and was once more back into the more open waters with the scattering of islands to keep the interest up and the waves down. This continued for another 6-7 km until I got to Flekkeroy island. This was really a suburb of Kristiansand and was connected by a tunnel.

After Flekkeroy there was a fjord which was main entrance to Kristiansand. It was called Ostergapet and is entrance was guarded by two lighthouses on islets out to sea on each side of this waterway. When I arrived there were at least 40 sailing boats in this wide expanse of water enjoying the force four winds and sunshine.

I crossed over Ostergapet from Flekkeroy island to Kongshavn on the east side. As I crossed Kristiansand unfolded and then hid again as the sides of this fjord revealed and then obscured it. The south west wind which had been there all day was still helping me along.

Kongshavn seemed a mix of old fishing hamlet and modern suburb. There were about 50 new houses and 30 old ones. In tribute to the architect the new ones did fit in with the older ones both here and especially at Kvarenes a bit further on. The wind was against me slightly as I weaved through the waterways to the east of Kongshavn for a couple of km until I reached Kvasefjord. This waterway was also quite delightful but not in the same category as Ny Hellsund

There was quite a swell coming in as I crossed Kvasefjord. It was open to the south west. With the larger swell I started to wallow more and my speed dropped off as I headed to Indre Ulvoya island. The sun was starting to set now and the wind which had been a godsend all day started to drop off. I paddled through the Indresund sound and passed under a small bridge to emerge into another small archipelago of small rocky islets and larger pine clad islands with cabins on.

Day 238.6 The sunset as I approached the island of RamsoyaThere was still a good half hours daylight left but I thought I had better start looking from a place to camp. It would not be easy as there were many private cabins along the shore. Suddenly I saw three older houses sharing a beach and none had a light on. It was a great place to camp and as the beach was shared there would be no question of intruding. It was on the island of Ramsoya.

Day 238.7 Approaching the beach at Ramsoya in the very late evening where I spent the nightI paddled over, pulled up the kayak and pitched the tent as it was getting dark. All three houses were unoccupied. It was 2200 before I started supper and 2300 before I started writing. I did not finish until 0100 when there was some drizzle on the tent.

I still had some 120 km to go to relations on Aroy island in the Kragero archipelago but have decided to try and go for it in the next two days and arrive there on Friday evening for a day off to write, wash cloths and prepare for the very final section. If the weather is similar to today, Kragero should be feasible.

It had been a very good day with excellent paddling and scenery.

2 Responses to “Day 238. Ryvingen Fyr to Ramsoya in Lillesand”

  1. Jamie Says:

    Home straits! Good luck with the last bit!

    Jamie

  2. HALLDIS AMUNDSEN Says:

    Hello James!
    congratulations!! it is great! Have a nice trip the rest! Follow you every day.
    Take care!
    Best wishes from Tom and Øyvind\s parents
    ERNST and Halldis Amundsen