Back in Bergen again. It’s still raining. But we have Hal. And friends! Whose enthusiasm can’t help but put us in the mood to venture out again. Regardless of how exhausted we are, they’re excited and smiley and almost made me shed a tear when they climbed on board and admired our lovely Hal. Everything impressed them and in many ways it reignited some of our memories of getting to know her and taking her out for the first time. 

We actually flew into Oslo rather than direct to Bergen. Spent the night there in a lovely apartment not far from the train station. Went to some pretty cool bars for drinks and a late dinner – a very packed Sara’s Cafe serving food until 3am! Followed by a very hungover train journey the next morning. And meet Nat and Nash (N2) – friends for so long that they happily wear their neck pillows in front of us (and everyone else on the train)… Or they were too tired to care ๐Ÿ˜‰

The train from Oslo to Bergen takes 6 hours, climbing and winding it’s way through the mountains of Western Norway into the fjords. Stopping in some desolate villages of the kind that only Scandanavia has to offer, we weaved our way around glaciers and lakes and hikers cabins. We saw homes scattered about the hillside and little stations with rows of mountain bikes lined up outside. It was in some ways an adventurers paradise but we were pleased to be cosy and warm in our carriage out of the rain. We have it coming… 

We arrived in Bergen mid-afternoon, ready for some provisioning and sailing. Captain Haddock and I picked up Hal from the marina and delivered her back to Bergen Vågen where N2 were waiting to climb aboard. They’d also conveniently found us some spots in the crowded harbour. Slight incident with the marina – we’d needed to do laundry before leaving after the last trip and couldn’t get access to the laundry room at the marina. Our contact had let us know that it was only possible to do laundry from Monday to Friday but very kindly offered to arrange for our laundry to be collected from the boat, washed and returned before our next visit. Unfortunately when we arrived our laundry was nowhere to be found on board. CH headed up to the laundry room, which was no longer locked and found our laundry piled up in a corner, bag on the floor covered in footprints. On top of that, he’d charged us 50% more than expected for the berth. We had a few emails back and forth and he was incredibly friendly about it so I think it was all a series of accidents and misunderstandings, but frustrating all the same.  

Back to the exciting stuff. We spent the evening in Bergen, shopping, provisioning and settling in. Captain Haddock senior (x2) were in town to see us off so CH had a lovely dinner with them while we went to Pingvinen, top choice recommended in the Lonely Planet guide. Both meals were delicious and filled with local delicacies – including traditional Norwegian meatballs and fish pie! CH joined us later to finally try the infamous Norwegian Aquavit, which we learned has to travel to Australia and back in barrels to develop it’s special taste (Aquavit Linje). According to reliable sources (Wikipedia), attempts were made to reproduce this effect locally using similar barrels, similar humidity / climate and similar movement. Unfortunately it was unsuccessful and to this day the barrels continue to cross the equator twice before being bottled and sold. 

After a good night’s sleep, we joined CH senior (x2) for a lovely breakfast at their hotel – massive delicious meal to energise us for some wet, cold sailing. We braved the fish market again for fresh prawns and salmon: 

Then after goodbyes, we set off again, just around the corner, to a little island called Lysoya, where a famous Norwegian violinist built his extravagant summer home. Here’s Captain Haddock and family braving the rain to see us all off ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Right from the start Natalie was at the helm practicing her sailing skills. There were a few moments of panic but she managed them well and we learned that shrieking meant ease the main… 

Lots of beautiful, interesting scenery along the way. Which we didn’t photograph… But here’s us getting ready to tie up for the night. 

We found the most stunning little anchorage on the north side of Lysoya, with a slightly nerve-wrecking entrance, about 20 feet wide and charted at 2m. The only reason we braved it was because the pilot guide advised us it was deeper than charted. I think we saw 3m. We tied up to the mooring buoy in the middle and one other boat joined us a bit later. 

Captain Haddock was slightly jealous of their mooring – stern anchor and lines to shore so that they could step off the bow onto the rocks. 

We planned to go ashore and walk to see this crazy house but unfortunately when we tried to inflate the dinghy we notice two puncture sites in the starboard side. So we hid out of the rain and had a delicious dinner on Hal instead, staying up way too late playing games and enjoying our cosy surroundings and good company. 

Here’s the house as we motored past at 6:30 the following morning off in search of fjords and glaciers.