No way the wind could have moved Stein’s neoprene boots. That must have been the fox.

RSKE18 Y2D5: 24 July 2019: Ytre Pollen to Hammerfest, 39 km, 6.2 km/hr average speed. We weren’t quick on the water today either. Our bodies ordered more rest when the alarm went on at 0700.

The rain was drumming on the tents and the winds that had spread our (wet and heavy) clothes hung out to dry, had still not fully subsided .

We deicided to try again at 0900. The wind was gone by then, but the rains persisted. But now we needed to get a move on.

First task find the things the wind had moved. Nothing lost. But no way the wind could have moved Stein’s neoprene boots. That must have been the fox. Tactfully, Per and Erling have left Stein to wonder about why the fox would consider his boots as food without further comments or suggestions.

As we were ready to pack camp the captain of the 36 foot sailing boat anchored a few hundred meters away came over to visit. His name was Christoph, just like our friend and helped from last year on Silvertärnan.

This Christoph was a French doctor working for the moutain rescue in the alps. Soon he and Stein were discussing the details of Garmin InReach. Good thing about a trip like ours is that the people we meet have interesting stories to tell. Christoph and crew had hoped to go to Svalbard, but got delayed and now their goal was Nordkapp.

Again it was 1115 before we were on the water. First leg became a 28 km 4 3/4 hour crossing to get to the northern part of Kvaløya. It may sound boring, but we paddle through small flocks of seabirds and the occasional whale will come up to blow. And the conditions were superb. No reason to worry about rain when you are in a dry suit. We were on the alert for changes in weather. Poor cell phone coverage meant that we only had the forecast from yesterday.

Still, we would have stopped earlier if we had found a suitable place, but we couldn’t. Again we think twice before we commit to long crossings. If the weather deteriorates it might become very long and hard crossings indeed. In the end we took a short break at some slippery rocks with line of sight to the Equinor LNG plant on Melkøya.

Then on to Hammerfest where we arrived at 1900. There we checked in at Thon Hotel at the waterfront. As pointed out earlier we are here to enjoy, not to suffer.

We found an restaurant nearby and ate well on food from the Sea. This is also where Gerd joined us for a beer. Gerd lives in Tromsø and is a friend of Alf who runs the kayak shop in Tromsø and is a friend of Stein.

Stein has had a problem with his back hatch cover and that is not something you can replace easily. Stein found a makeshift solution. He also called Alf when the problem was discovered. Alf posted the problem on his FB page. Gerd was visiting family in Hammerfest and volunteered to bring the hatch here.

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Thanks a lot to both!! It is best to have your kayak absolutely ship shape in these waters. Makeshift solutions doesn’t cut it.

Tomorrow we aim for Per’s friends Asle and Mette in Komagfjord. We have been assured that the sauna will be ready by 2100. But that particular sauna is 51 km away. Forecast is good. Boats are ship shape. It’s down to the “motors”. Better get some sleep:-)

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