After a stormy night we awoke to a rather relaxed Utvær – draped in sunshine and with light wind. The weather was perfect to set out to explore the island’s shoreline where the huge and powerful waves smash against the rocks.
Utvær used to have a small chapel and a graveyard, but this was moved in 1718 (!) to a nearby island with a larger population. Supposively dogs kept bringing bones back to houses… As a lonely outpost to the sea – the island has hosted people for several centuries, all taking residence there because of its closeness to areas rich with fish. Now most of the fish and lobster is gone, and no one lives here but sea gulls and the occasional seals. In the summer tourists flock to Utvær to enjoy waffles and the isolated tranquility.
On our walk around the island we met Dagfinn (83 years), who despite now living in Bergen, is the without doubt the most genuine islander. Dagfinn grew up at Utvær when there were between 50-60 families living off fishing. He attended school there and experienced the arrival of Germans during WWII, who set up an artillery position and observation post in the lighthouse.
Above: Dagfinn doing what he does best – telling old tales about past life on the island
On February 20th in 1945 English airplanes attacked German positions on the island. Leading up to this inhabitants received direct orders from London to escape the island. Dagfinn left the island a year after the war and nowadays there are no full-time residents. The lighthouse is now “manned” by computers via remote access, and the facility has an outside generator making it resemble and sound very much like something out of the TV-series “Lost”.
Below: Upon departing Utvær I decided to take advantage of the calm sea to practice open water swimming. The Norseman is four months away and more training is needed. Needless to say, despite the wetsuit, it was a very refreshing way to start Easter… (6 degrees!)
Next stop on our voyage was Alden, an island that boasts an impressive mountain peaking at 481 metres above sea level. The mountain itself is called “Hesten” (The Horse) and it makes up a very significant part of the island. After a long and cold sailing leg from Utvær the safe harbour of Alden was a pleasant place to arrive. Restless after a day in the boat, we quickly jumped ashore to hike the mountain. The trip is a two hour walk (up/down appx. 6km) and hikers are rewarded with spectacular 360 degrees views of the Norwegian coast and nearby islands.
Below : Nikolai and Andreas after gaining more altimeters by picking scallops after our hike
Third day – third island; Kinn is a coastal bastion one hour with boat from the city of Florø. It is just south of “Stad” – the peninsula regarded as the dividing point between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The Stad area has very harsh and windy weather, but our arrival to Kinn was one in calm waters and filled with blue skies and sunshine. After pulling a few coalfish we moored at Kinn and embarked on a run around the island. Like Alden, the island of Kinn is dominated by impressive mountains. From the peaks one can see Stad, Alden and Utvær and also observe the resident eagles hovering on the strong winds. Kinn is most famous for its old church, Kinn Kirke, which was built in 1100.
Today we are halfway in our trip and as we head South we expand the crew by three friends that embark “Barba” in Florø!
Happy Easter to all,
Featured image: Nikolai at the peak of Hesten, “Barba” can be spotted in the bay on the right