Kalvik ( Dyrøy) to Andørja. 40 km, 5,9 km/hr average speed. Start 0945 arrive 1900
We had a good nights sleep, some early morning rain was over when we got in the boats. A bit late, but that was to time the tide and the currents. As Arne, Stein and Erling got in the boats there was a lot of grunting sounds and talk about Yoga. The motivation to start with Yoga often maxes out around day 3 of such trips. Karianne’s entering of her boat was an altogether more gracious process. She has actually done Yoga…
The day started with perfect conditions no wind and following current.
We planned a stop at Dyrøybrua after 12 km, but as we got there we saw Kastneshamn a bit further down and knowing that the weather was forecast to get worse during the day we decided to push on.
A bit further down, or so we thought. It was another 12 km, and we ended up spending 4 hours in the boat. It was a very nice place for lunch and the weather was sunny and warm. The only flies in the ointment was horse-flies, a lot of them. Erling claimed 10 plus kills before lunch was done.
Next stage was planned to be a shorter one just beyond Mjøsund brua to the easternmost point on Andørja. A shortish day of 38 km. The wind did not pickup as promised and we paddled across a mirror smooth sea with puffins scattered across. So mirror smooth that Arne felt that the perfect reflections compromised his sense of up and down and his balance. Fortunately, no one cape sized.
We found the planned campsite and it was a good one. What wasn’t so good was the weather forecast. It said continuous and heavy rain from early morning and on and on with lighter rain for days. We are always dry in the tents and always more or less wet in the boats. It is the transition that is tricky. That is to get what is supposed to be dry into the dry sacks before it gets wet. Otherwise we have we sacks.. A roof in the morning is very handy. Just down the coast there was a tiny harbor, we decided to paddle on and see what we could do.
We found the harbor and Karianne and Stein went to look for the owners of some boat houses. Soon we had two options. Karianne had even negotiated access to a small shelter where we could hang our stuff to dry. That closed the deal.
It was Erlend and Augustin that gave the kind offer. Two young men working on a nearby salmon farm. Two weeks on two weeks off. That made them 50% of the work force, (not counting the boss and the part time employee controlling the feeding of the salmon remotely from somewhere on Senja.
By the time dinner was done one challenge had gone away and a new one had appeared. The rain was delayed so we could pack the boats in dry conditions. Good. The not so good was that we (finally) realized that because of the very strong currents the straits between Harstad and Ofoten is best paddled from south to north. Then you have a 9 hour window to get through. From north to south you only have a 3 hour window on each 12 hour tide cycle.
We decided to try to paddle 45 km tomorrow to shelter from the rain at Tjeldsund camping and be just 500 m from the first strait to be passed; Tjeldsundet. Stein and Erling sat up and discussed alternatives after the other had crept into their tents. In the end they crept into their tents and hoped for an epiphany tomorrow. Tomorrow we have also invited Stein’s old colleague and friend John Petter Bachke for dinner. He’s and eager kayaker and happy to meet and offer any help and advice. WP