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Eshamy's Northern Passage
Boat!
10/31/2011, North Sea

One of the many vessels we saw while crossing the North Sea..

Across the North Sea
10/31/2011, Aberdeen, Scotland

On Friday morning we made our way from Leirvik (photo is of one of our last views of Norway) to head across the North Sea.. It wasn't too bad to start with but by late Friday evening, early Saturday it had picked up and the seas got bigger and sky darker. Saturday night wasn't pleasant at all with strong southerly winds, nasty seas and one thing after another deciding to break on us! It was a bit too rough to put kettle on or cook so we were deprived of coffee too. The North Sea is a very busy place with all the oil rigs and service vessels which seem to spend a lot of time going round in circles. Sunday was a bit of a blur but the sun was shining for a while in the morning and the wind turned southwest, with conditions improving by the late evening. We finally arrived at Aberdeen in the early hours of Monday morning and tied up in the same spot we were at in June! I saw several dolphins just at the entrance to the harbour which was great. Although quite worn out and ready for sleep we had a whisky to celebrate crossing our wake and arriving back in Scotland :-) So now we are doing a few repairs and waiting for the weather to improve so we can get back to Hartlepool.

11/07/2011 | Emily
YAY! Well done you two for making it around the world!!! Hoping there's big celebrations for you in Hartlepool!
11/08/2011 | David Brownlie
Congratulations Jerrrey and Katherine on completing such an undertaking. Enjoy a well earned rest.
11/08/2011 | David Brownlie
*Jeffrey.
Sorry for typo :(
Sandshamn to Leirvik
10/28/2011, Norway

After a weekend of doing very little but hiding from the strong winds and rain, we departed Sandshamn on Monday morning bathed in sunshine. It was glorious and I even got down to a t-shirt and went barefoot as we rounded the headland Stad. The sea was very calm then but it picked up later in the afternoon, as did the wind. We had some trouble with the genoa again and Jeffrey got rather soaked while fixing it in the big seas and we went off course a fair way! That evening the sea eased a little but the wind stayed relatively strong and it was slow going down the coast. Would have loved to have the wind behind us again! The stars were magnificent though and just after midnight the auroras gave us a final display, again very impressive and this time pink and green :-) Got to see the sliver of moon rise just at dawn and the sky was a very impressive bright orange and red. Tuesday was sunny and clear as we made our way into Bergen, arriving late afternoon. Was quite a shock to the system, busiest place we've been to in a while! Bergen is a beautiful city though and you can tie up right in the centre of town, near the historic buildings, bars and restaurants which is handy. We spent Tuesday night and Wednesday (the weather wasn't so nice on Wednesday) there and explored the city a little, would love to come back in the summer! Thursday morning we left in the pouring rain and made our way further south to a place called Leirvik which we arrived at in the late evening. After checking the weather late that night we decided it was time to give the North Sea a go and finally make our way to Scotland then England!

11/04/2011 | tini
I would love to revisit Bergen too Katherine--BUT BY PLANE!
looking fwd to seeing you both.
Blue Sky!!
10/27/2011

Blue skies on Monday and Tuesday..the best we've seen since Greenland! A beautiful night on Monday too with a sky full of stars and the auroras on display again, this time pink and green just magic :-) Will upload a more detailed blog soon!

M/F Bilfergen
10/23/2011, Ålesund, Norway

M/F Bilfergen the ferry built in 1921 that we tied up next to in Ålesund :-)

Adventures in Ålesund
10/23/2011, Sandshamn, Norway

We got held up in Ålesund for quite a few days waiting for a storm to pass and then the gales which followed. The weather hasn't been very good since we arrived and we've had rain and hail with only the odd ray of sunshine in between. Monday afternoon wasn't too bad though so I climbed Aksla, the hill above the town, which has fantastic views of Ålesund and the surrounding area. On Tuesday we were fortunate to meet several of the volunteers on M/F Bilfergen who showed us about the boat. They do work on the boat once a week and in the summer they take it out for short trips, its a beautiful old ferry which was built in 1921 and an engine from 1916 that still works! We were filled with coffee, bread and pickled herring (very tasty) and spent the afternoon chatting which was most enjoyable. We must thank Amund Halsebakke, Odd Reidar Eide and Dagfinn Leira for their help, kindness and advice, it was such a pleasure to meet you all :-) That evening we got to go for a drive up the hill to see the view at night and then went past two museums to see Uræd at one and some traditional boats at the other. Uræd is an 18 foot egg shaped lifeboat that four Norwegians sailed across the Atlantic in 1904, the journey took them 5 months and they arrived in January 1905. On Wednesday we went and saw the full display and replica of the inside of the lifeboat at the museum..just incredible! We departed Ålesund on Thursday afternoon after a lovely coffee and trying some local dishes. It was sad to leave as it is such a beautiful place and the people were very welcoming. We'd hoped to make it around Stad with a short window in the weather forecasts but unfortunately the southwesterly gales arrived earlier than predicted. So we decided to wait again in a tiny little harbour called Sandshamn near Stad. The harbour is quite exposed to the south and on Friday night we had a southerly Force 10 with waves breaking across the pontoon. Was not the most enjoyable evening! The forecast is beginning to look better and hopefully we'll be able to get away again soon..

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Eshamy's Northern Passage
Who: Jeffrey Allison, Katherine Brownlie, Alex Taylor, James Allison, Paul Brossier, Martin Oakley, Chris Phillips, Tanya Hargreaves, Philip Schofield (Onshore Communications Officer)
Port: Hartlepool
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