Week 10 - Rost - Sunshine, Puffins, Orcas and Fresh Fish

3rd July - 9th July

140702 35 Our berth Svolvaer Lofoten

Leaving Svolvaer was not a hard decision - tourist central and a pier that we had to negotiated to get on and off as well as for our internet access. 

140705 18 Henningsvaer Main street but we didn't fit140705 15 Henningsvaer Galleri with Hanna

First stop west was Henningvaer on the island of Austvagoy. The number of RVs, cars and motorbikes that rolled across the many bridges into Henningvaer confirmed its listing as one of the largest tourist venues in Lofoten. The town is called the venice of Lofoten due to its many bridges and canals and that there is literally only one way in and out. We stuck our nose into the main channel but were concerned by the limited space for docking and the type of piers to tie to so instead opted for very comfortable anchorage from which we could visit the town by dinghy. Henningvaer offered the typical shops of a tourist town but one gem we found was Heimgardsbrygga a Gallery, Fisherman’s quarters accommodation and Museum run by Hanna a lovely lady who was happy to share the history of both the building and the town. 

140706 8 Walking Vaeroy Pub

Next port west was Vaeroy on the island of Moskenesoya where we were directed to the outer pontoon by a gentleman in a tender - we had intended to anchor but given that we didn’t know the level of authority of this man we thought it best not to argue and as it turned out the pontoon provided not only a secure landing but power and internet access all at no cost.

140707 3 Rost

With the weather report showing a further few days of stable weather we made the decision not to stay on to explore Vaeroy but head to the last island group of Rost. The archipelago of Rost apparently includes around 1000 islands and is the southernmost municipality of Lofoten. 

140707 21 Rib Tour Rost Orcas140707 51 Rib Tour 2 Rost Puffin140707 65 Rib Tour 2 Rost Puffin

When we first arrived we docked outside one of the fishing factories - the smell was somewhat pungent to say the least. The guest pontoon further in on arrival had three yachts on it - the most we have seen in this outer area and of course we knew them from previous harbours. With a bit of shuffling we managed to relocate to the guest pontoon where the clean air smell was a lot less fishy!
There are four islands south of Rost that are surrounded by islets and skerries and not a place we had any intention of taking Katherine. So Nell and I joined Charles on his rib tour to the bird cliffs and Lighthouse. The two hour tour delivered far more than we could have ever expected. Orcas that are not normally in the area at this time of year appeared and Charles followed them for some time. We had more Puffins on the water and in the air then we could count. Kittihawks, black gullimots, shags eagles and even seals. Simply fantastic wildlife experience but on review of my photos I still had not captured a good photo of a Puffin - and we had sailed so far. So Andrew and I joined Charles for an express run back out to the bird cliffs, then after two hours and several hundred photos we managed to get a couple of shots that I was very happy with. Still the challenge is on to capture the awkward movement these unique birds have when taking off from the water.

140708 2 1am and Midnight sun setting over Rost140708 3 Rost Ride Day NP140708 1 Andrew and the fish courtesy of Charles  Rost

To add to the photographic experience I managed to wake without alarm at 1am and was fortunate to capture the midnight sun finally doing the closest thing to a sunset we have seen. It is quiet surreal to wake at 3am to find the light outside as bright as midday back home.

Our second day in Rost we took the bikes out and although the island is only 4km long we managed to ride about 15km after following every road, lane way and track we could find. To top off a very scenic and enjoyable ride we consumed fresh waffles and coffee back at the local Hotel where Darb and Nell had hired their bikes. 

Finally when we thought our experience with Rost couldn’t get any better Charles turned up with a Saithe, Coley fish for us to enjoy. Grilled and served with chilled white wine one could certainly be excused for thinking our tour of Lofoten is both a wildlife and food safari.

Life is certainly good.

(For further Puffin and other Photos click this link)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain