Weekend outside Bergen
30 July 2011 | Bekkjarvik
The weather has been pretty awful this month, and a lot of work piled up while we were cruising the coast. Therefore, this is our first weekend out. We decided to go to Bekkjarvik (see earlier post) via Kleppavika. Bekkjarvika is a popular port, being the second larges village in Austevoll (between Haugesund and Bergen). Kleppavika (http://www.geonames.org/3250993/kleppavika.html) is a privately kept small harbor being very well protected from the sea and winds, lying between Bergen and Bekkjarvik.
The forecast for the weekend was very good: warm, sunny, some fresh winds Saturday calming Sunday: As perfect as it comes in this area. It is quite possible to sail all the way to Bekkjarvik from Bergen in one go, but we started late in the afternoon from work and there is about three hours to Kleppavika - just time enough for a late dinner. We had not been here for many years, and were worried about there being space when we arrived. There are not many alternatives if one wants water and electricity, which we have been spoiled for the last weeks. It turned out there were room just for us when we arrived. Lucky this time! Lots of friendly people, even some old friends to chat with.
The place has been quite developed since the last time, with wifi and electricity in addition to water. They even have their own web-page with a camera, so one may look for available space on the way in. There sure was no such thing in 1992, when we sold our last boat!
We had a frisky sail to Bekkjarvik the day after, winding inside the archipelago between small islands and then some open sea. This is a most beautiful area for cruising, but still not too crowded since boating tourists tend to concentrate on the south coast of Norway where the climate is better. The way into Bekkjarvik is quite narrow (http://www.geonames.org/maps/showOnMap?q=bekkjarvik), at least for commercial vessels. Therefore, it is best to tie up deep inside the harbor. For us, the only space left was right at the narrowest, and had to live with the too exciting passing of large ferries several times during the day. Otherwise it is a bustling and beautiful port, with all kinds of services at hand.
We had several boats lying at our side: one large and old wooden Colin Archer-designed boat sailed by a young couple. We were also visited by the complete opposite: a small dingylike sailboat with a cockpit just large enough to stretch out in. The young couple sailing it seemed to have a great time, though. The hot weather helped, I am sure (as the lack of years!). Still, it reminded me that it is the living experience that counts, and equipment can easily stand in the way when given priority.
Sunday, we motored home due to lack of wind, feeling very lucky to have this kind of nature right outside our doors.