6 Ships Blog

Torghatten and Sylen Bay

Ship's Blog - June 24, 2013

The day starts with a stunningly beautiful sunrise. To be exact, the sun did only set for about one hour behind a little island across the bay. As we heave up anchor at 8 AM, the sky starts to get increasingly dark towards the south. While heading north towards Torghatten, the mountain with the hole in the top, the rain catches up with us and it starts pouring down on us – just in time for the hike. We could call that bad luck or just “Norway weather”. We can still motivate almost the entire group to hike up to the hole – roughly a 200m elevation gain on a steep narrow path uphill. At least today the hole is there for a reason: to give the group a break from the rain. Just as everyone returns to the ship, the rain stops – the clouds have moved past us towards the north – we could call that “irony”.

Luckily we don’t catch up with the clouds heading north. After the narrow and scenic passage of the little fishing village of Bronnoysund, and a five and a half hour cruise north, we reach a little island in the middle of a fairway-junction called Ranskjaeret. This is another weird anchorage that needs to be explained to the Norwegian military that keeps track of our route and every place we stop at. We have the plan to meet up with a fishing guide here for a fishing trip that was organized by Petter. The boats leave and start fishing just ahead of HANSE EXPLORER close to the shoal waters around Ranskjaeret. The fishing is not successful and so the boats head south towards the steep fiord sides. All of a sudden the calm conditions change into a 25 knot breeze and so we head over to relieve the cold fishermen and women from their misery. They do at least not require to head back against the brisk wind to the ship. Back on board, we hear that fishing had been fun but not really successful: the catch consists of a handful cod.

At 9:30 PM we pull into Silen Bay. This bay was our designated overnight anchorage today and a total random-pick. It was chosen due to its shallow waters of only 20 meters depth which makes it ideal for anchoring. The bay is simply beautiful to say the least – another proof how great Norway is for expedition cruising: almost every choice is a good one. The shore sides are steep to the South, but there is a small grassy stretch between the steep sides and the beach: ideal for setting up camp over night. The decision is made: tonight it’s time for overnight camping. Richard and Petter help to set up camp and the guests are busy collecting firewood for a bonfire on the beach. The atmosphere ashore is peaceful – the winds have calmed down and the water is glassy and once the fire is going it quickly gets warm. Just after midnight, the rising tide starts to extinguish the fire and it is time for the guests to return on board and to leave the two brave campers in their tents ashore. Another day in paradise.

Capt. Martin Graser

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