Week 11 - The last of our Lofoten Experience

10th July - 16th July

Leaving Rost we had two choices 1. West to Greenland 2. East to Norway. 

140710 5 Sorvagen Harbour Katherine140710 9 Walking to A Boats140710 6a Happy Fisherman Sorvagen NP

We chose Option 2 and headed east back to the island of Moskenes to the very pretty and understated fishing harbour of Sorvagen. From Sorvegan we walked the “2km” back to the historic village of “A” but we suspect someone got their measurements wrong as it certainly took a lot long longer than a 2km walk should take - more like 5km! To top it off we were not so impressed with A - perhaps because of the number of tourists or perhaps because we have been spoilt both in the Baltic and over the last few weeks visiting so many fishing villages that visiting a town that is itself a fishing museum was just the norm for us. That aside the walk back to the boat through the community of Sorvegan was enjoyable as we stopped at galleries along the way and Marias cafe for lunch. To top the morning off we approached a local fisherman who was filleting his catch and traded a bottle of white wine for a delicious fillet of Atlantic Halibutt. 

140710 17 Sailing to Nusfjord Harbour

Our intention from Sorvagen was to head further east to the historic village of Nusjford but as we approached the small harbour the winds funnelled down the fjord blowing to 23 knots making docking in the tiny harbour with rocks look somewhat challenging, so plan B saw us continue a further ten miles to  Ballstad. 

140711 2 Artwork on shed Ballstad

Ballstad is on the island of Vestvagoy and here we tired up to a pier unfortunately next to a sandblasting shed. The following morning we found we were literally covered in black soot that we have been cleaning off the boat for the last week. The upside of Ballstad was the great artwork that had been painted on the work sheds to make them look more attractive - the sheds may have been a pain to be around but at least they were pretty. 

140711 6 Sailing into Stamsund over land140713 2 Cloud rolling in drive day to Sortland140712 21 Drive day to Nusfjord Sheep140714 3 Gallery of Ulf M Stamsund140714 10 Off to Svolvaer140717 1 Katherine back at Svartisen Glacier

From Ballstad it was onto Stamsund which was rather interesting as we approached for according to the charts we were going over land! Stamsund was a perfect base, the floating pontoon was at the back of the local pub so little foot traffic past the boat, car hire was available and a supermarket was less than 200m away. We spent five nights here and took the opportunity to drive anywhere and everywhere clocking some 700kms across land in the five days. We visited Nusfjord the historic fishing village from the mid 1800s, Sortland and Stockmarknes the home of the Hurtigurten museum in the north, the Glasshytta at Vikten, the goat farm at Unstad, the Kabelvag Cathedral and the Lofotr Viking Museum located on a historical viking site and where they have rebuilt an 80m long Chief House from 500AD. We saw more white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, sheer gravel cliffs, waterfalls, and snow capped peaks and dodged the odd sheep. 

In Stamsund we found the Gallery of Ulf M an artist whose quirky artwork and charismatic character just made you smile. Of course we now have one of his pieces of artwork on board!

We pulled out of Lofoten in the rain on Wednesday and sailed 96 miles across the Vesfjorden back to Svartisen Glacier where we had been three weeks earlier. When we tired up at 10pm at night it was still clouded in and raining. This morning the clouds had lifted and the glacier was in full splendour. With the recent sunshine a lot of the snow has melted and we saw new areas of the glacier from the fjord that previously were snowcapped. 

As we leave Svartisen today and move further south across the Arctic circle it closes for us our visit to Lofoten and the far north of Norway. 

It has delivered for us a wildlife and scenery experience far beyond what we had expected. 

So pleased we came.

(Click should you wish to see more photos)

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