Towards Bekkjarvik and Bergen through Nyleia
29 June 2011 | Bergen
After a quick breakfast we turned towards Blindleia, a route through the beautiful archipelago north of Haugesund. The rain was pouring down now, a sure sign of having arrived at Vestlandet (West Coast of Norway).
The only comfort was that the Hallberg-Rassys are built for this kind of weather, and the windscreen with the attached canvas made it almost comfortable on board. I realized, though, that a remote control on the autopilot would have been perfect. That is now on the list for next year!
We found a spot in Bekkjarvik, and had lunch in the old Inn (Gjestgiveri) http://bekkjarvikgjestgiveri.no/?lang=en. This was established sometime during the 1500s, by order from the then king, Kristian IV. Today, they serve the area all year round, and boasts an excellent kitchen.
After enjoying the hospitality it was out into the pouring rain again towards Bergen. Our last crew, and skipper this far, was let ashore at Bømlo - about five hours from Bergen. He had been offered a skippering job to Shetland, and was boarding that yacht the following day.
The rain was slowly replaced with just a grey sky and the two of us just enjoyed a lazy trip home. I was playing with the plotter and AIS, and picked up a signal which we recognized from some program at the Travel Channel: Distant Shores (www.distantshores.ca). It was really this pair on their way to Bergen. Looking forward to their film from Bergen!
We reached Bergen in the evening, tied up the boat and called for a taxi home. This was the conclusion of one year's planning, preparations, and a wonderful sailing expedition through some of the best Scandinavia has to offer cruising sailors.
The Hallberg-Rassy 342 did the journey without any problems at all, and inspired confidence and wellbeing throughout it all. It was always a pleasure going into harbours: lots of admiring looks and comments. These are popular sailing yachts but not often seen, as they are relatively expensive. But then again, there were no problems, and everything worked perfectly the whole time except for the lead in the windshield (actually produced by a Norwegian company for HR...). We had a wonderful trip, not the least thanks to the boat itself, and the yard building it.