Trondheim was a necessary stopover to get Barba’s sweet new sails. And it was fun to do some people-watching and put on city clothes there for a day or two. But it’s funny how restless you can start to feel on a sailboat in port. It just felt wrong at some point to be idling there, surrounded by buildings (pretty as they were and full of all sorts of urban comforts, no doubt), knowing all that was waiting up the coast.
Gazing out at the Træna archipelago from Sanna, the outermost of over 400 islands. By Daniel Hug. Terragraphy.de.
And so when we sailed out of port in Trondheim early last week it felt like a relief to slip back into our long underwear and overalls. We were all ready to go. It’s the first time I’ve had the feeling of actually wanting to be back out at sea, despite the long showers and other comforts on land. A good sign, I’d say.
Andreas and Jon cooking up a scallop feast in Barba´s galley. By Terry Ward.
Life onboard is cozy in many senses of the word. We’ve settled into our cabin arrangements with me and Ivan, our Russian sailor, sharing the starboard cabin in the stern and Jon and Daniel all cozied up portside. The captain, of course, gets the V-berth at the front, which he shares rather unglamorously with a surplus of dive gear, camping mats and other adventure and boat equipment best stored there. Onboard dress is cozy, too, as we’re usually in either our overalls when on deck or some variation of pajama-like wool underthings down below. Andreas told me when we left Stavanger that I would soon feel liberated by not having many clothes and things. I found it hard to believe, but it’s true. All my belongings for the next several months can be contained in a cabinet the size of my smallest carryon suitcase back home and there’s nothing I’ve missed so far.
Terry reading up on the sailing manuals in her cabin. By Andreas.
We decided we needed to cover some distance after the port time in Trondheim so we spent the first two days on 24/7 watch, cruising north through a night that never gets even remotely dusky anymore. Between 12AM and 2AM you can watch the sun pinken with sunset followed almost immediately by sunrise, even toss out the hand lines to catch some mackerel if you’re so inclined. Time is truly starting to feel meaningless to all of us, I think, because it’s light all the time. Often we don’t find ourselves preparing dinner till midnight, or rustling ourselves out of bed until 10AM. The “real world,” whatever that is, is starting to feel farther and farther away.
Daniel at the helm as Barba sails into Træna. By Ivan Kutasov.
We got another training dive for me in the dry suit in around Rørvik, where we used our underwater scooter, Mojo, to cover decent distance while gathering scallops for dinner (I hold on to Andreas, who holds on to Mojo). We ate some of the scallops sashimi-style with soy sauce and wasabi and the rest sautéed with garlic butter. Pure ocean, as good as it gets.
With so many scallop-lovers onboard, Andreas dives in any chance he gets to keep the crew happy. Quayside in Sanna/Træna. By Terry Ward.
Then we pushed on to Traena, a spot that Arne, a good friend of Andreas’ who sailed with us to Shetland a few years back, had recommended we visit. For many hours we could see the islands on the horizon, but nothing prepared us for the look of the place. The three peaks on the island of Sanna, the outermost of Traena’s 418 small islands and islets, are particularly impressive, jutting straight up from the sea and looking all broken and savagely unfinished. The island has served as a fishing hamlet for hunters and gatherers for over 9,000 years, and two tiny outboard boats in the harbor were offloading piles of large cod after being out for about an hour.
All harbors are not created equal, and Sanna´s put Barba in her best light. By Daniel Hug. Terragraphy.de.
We spent the morning hiking up through an old service tunnel to a Cold War-era radar station built by the US at the top of the highest peak. And later we explored Kirkhellaren one of the island’s 17 sea caves, a yawning maw that has been in continual use by humans for over 6,000 years. Swords, bones, seal remains and medieval jewelry have all been found inside and nowadays a festival with live concerts plays out here.
Jon in the cave at Kirkhellaren, a sea cave on Sanna that humans inhabited as far back as 6,500 BC. By Daniel Hug. Terragraphy.de.
Traena was a hard place to leave, and we all agreed we could have stayed in the area for weeks fishing, diving, climbing and just basking in the fresh air and ocean wind. But the Arctic Circle and Lofoten were just a day’s sail away, and the ocean’s call is strong. Andreas dived into the waters to forage for one last scallop feast – Barba’s favorite shellfish don’t live much farther north of Traena – and surfaced with two bags full of some of the biggest scallops we’d seen anywhere. The rest of the crew reeled in cod after cod topside. It felt good to be carrying on Traena’s 9,000-year-old tradition of hunting and gathering, and feeding ourselves that night from an ocean that just keeps giving.
A keen angler, Ivan never misses a chance to throw out the lines for the promise of a cod dinner. By Daniel Hug. Terragraphy.de.
Terry and Jon in Sanna. By Daniel Hug. Terragraphy.de.
Shaped by ice and sea, the peaks of Sanna are among the most famous navigational marks along the Helgeland coast. By Daniel Hug. Terragraphy.de.