One autumn day this past September, Barba and I sailed out from Stavanger on a Friday evening with our most international crew to date. We were joined by US freelance travel journalist Terry Ward, German adventurer and photographer Daniel Hug and, to my relief, former professional Welsh sailor, Nicholas Fraser. It was time to play in Barba’s backyard.
We left Stavanger to head out to the Kvitsøy archipelago, navigating in the darkness through the narrow sounds and arriving into port late in the evening. The following day, Terry and I headed off to dive our very own secret scallop location. Just 20 minutes into the dive we had already collected 60 scallops, so we continued the dive with the simple purpose of enjoying the view. The persistent coastal current here makes for an underwater environment that’s teeming with life. In addition to fish, crabs and kelp we also got to see one of my favorite edible friends, the lobster – this one lived to tell the story, however, of the time two strange looking aliens came swimming by.
The following day we went out scouting for seals and also got to visit the Kvitsøy lighthouse, with its 360 degree panoramic views of the ocean-battered surrounds. After a quick stop at the even more secret oyster foraging location, it was time for a change of scenery.
Six hours later, we had cruised to the gates of “Lysefjord,” a favorite Barba haunt. Among the many attractions in the 40-kilometer-long fjord are two of Norway’s top ten tourist sights, including Pulpit Rock and the Kjerag massif with its 1000 meter vertical drop.
We spent our first night in the fjord at the old power plant station, Flørli, where, the next morning, 4,444 steps up the decommissioned pipeline brought us to an altitude of about 700 meters. We walked down the hillside on our way back, collecting mushrooms on the way. The three non-natives among us had several enthusiastic attempts of inflicting collective misery by picking the poisonous variety.
As the sun set, we sailed to the very end of the fjord. The time had come to walk up to Kjerag. Daniel and I had devised a cunning plan. To avoid hiking the long way back down from the cliffs, we’d brought along our paragliders. Video to follow shortly.
Featured photo by Terry Ward, Barba in “Lysebotn”, the very end of “Lysefjorden”.