Monday afternoon, 5 July, 1645 local time
Some 15nm off the island of RØST
We're off on our next adventure: sailing to the remote island of Jan Mayen
with a group of 7 Norwegian climbers, who are going to climb the Beerenburg,
the resident volcano that rises some 2277m out of the Arctic Ocean. Yes,
that sounds pretty Dutch to me too! More about that in a later blog...
The plan was to leave last night after dinner, but customs had decided to
close early yesterday (as one of our - Norwegian - crew said: summer
hours!), so we had to wait for them to open this morning at 8am.
All done and dusted and by 0845, we were on our way!
Good to be back out here and to be going somewhere, even though Bodo is a
good town and to be honest, I could spend the summer exploring the Lofoten -
the little taste we've had so far is not enough!
A bit of piloting between the islands just off Bodo, to get clear of
Helligvaer (which means Holy fishing village I learned today - not
interesting in English perhaps, but when you translate it into Dutch it is:
"Heilig vissersdorp"), had us back into the Vestfjord.
In the 30 hours we've had our Norwegians on board my earlier suspicions have
been confirmed: Norwegian is a lot closer to Dutch than it sounds! Could
spend a whole blog on this, but unless you're as much of a language nutter
as I am (which entails spending half an hour at least when you look up a
word in a dictionary...not because you can't find it, but because you end up
actually reading it!), it will probably bore you to death. So will
refrain...for those of you who really want to low down - send us a message
and will write away to you.
We're now almost on the other side of this large fjord, but this time we
will not stop and explore those gorgeous Lofoten islands like the last two
weeks, but wind our way through the islands and emerge back into the open
ocean and on our way to Jan Mayen.
Just on our port bow, we have the island of RØST which has it's own famous
story: back in the 1400s, an Italian adventurer by the name of Pietro
Querini was on his way from Genoa to Amsterdam, but got waylaid by very
heavy weather. So much so, that he ended up ship wrecked on the island of
Rost! (indeed, must have been one hell of a storm to have driven him of
course this much, but he, this was before yachts that pointed well and a wee
while before GPS, so give the man a break).
They had no idea where they had landed, and did not see any sign of life at
first...but some exploring brought fishing gear and other signs of
habitation - a relief to Querini and friends as they had been on the verge
of thinking they'd be marooned here until they died of starvation...
As it was the middle of December, there was no way to get off the island and
he and his companions spent the winter with a local sheep farmer on the
island. When heading back south to Italy in the early spring, they brought
stock fish with them: to this date, Italy is still a major market for
Lofoten dried stock fish!
A few more hours before we clear the islands and, hopefully, find some wind
to sail in. Till then, we motor on, luckily engulfed in some tasty cooking
smells coming from the galley. Can't wait for the curry!
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