Day 125. 4th of July. No paddling. Preparations in Jarfjord and Kirkenes. Still enjoying the hospitality of Stein’s friends and Erling’s Equinor colleagues Margerethe Vonka and Ulf Larsen. Margerethe and Ulf are working offshore, so they are amongst the many that actually gets the oil and gas out of the ground, generating the income that Erling has been responsible for spending part of to look for new oil. Much appreciated they are really part of the bedrock of the company.
We are very mindful that the coast of Finnmark will be the most challenging part of our trip seen from a paddling perspective.
As part of our preparations we had the good luck to get a thorough brief by Dag Norum, who has years of experience paddling the coast here.
It was extremely instructive and useful. And also food for thought.
The challenge will be not as much open sea crossings as the many headlands where the interplay of tidal current, wind and reflected waves can create very challenging conditions even when conditions elsewhere are benign.
We expect that our progress will be a bit staccato, using the fact that there is no night to paddle past headlands when winds and tides make the conditions most favorable and then pause and repeat at the next obstacle. Weather Permitting.
Before we got the briefing from Dag, we visited Silvertärna, she was still in Kirkenes. As always it was enjoyable in the company of Chris and his crew. They sailed on this afternoon. We wish them Godspeed.
The rest of the day was spent picking up parcels at the post office, preparing stuff to go south with Stein tomorrow, washing and impregnation of dry suits etc.
We will have lighter boats with no bags on deck as we leave Grense Jakobselv. Hopefully Friday night. Right now the weather looks marginal. We know, we check every hour.