Korsnes to Lundøya. 44 km, 5.4 km/hr average speed. Start 1020 arrive 2200.
When we woke up the ocean was gone way out in the long shallow bay in front of the boathouses. Fortunately it started to return during breakfast, but it was still a distance to carry the boats when we were ready to set off. It was a full moon yesterday and the tidal difference has increased from about 1 m as we left Tromsø in a new moon to about 2 m today. Fortunately carrying of the boats is easily done with four in the team. Otherwise the carry of boats over slippery seaweed grown boulders is one of the more risky activities in terms getting hurt.
The rain we had been promised was fortunately delayed again, it only arrived as we crossed toward Tranøy and only as a drizzle. When we arrived at Tranøy after about 13 km, it was time for a break and some resupply of dinner. Tranøy has 51 inhabitants during winter and the grocery shop had gone bankrupt during this winter, but it had now been brought back in operation. This story is the same story we often heard along the coast of Sweden and Finland in 2018. To lose the grocery shop could easily be a tipping point for such a small society.
Now it is summer on Hamarøy and the nature and the connection to Hamsun swells the population with people working in the tourist business. Amongst them was three guys from Turkey living in Gjøvik (Norway). They live here in the summer and run Svolværingen Restaurant and Pub, which is housed inside an old whaling boat. They said that after they had opened in médio June the business had been better than last year. We know all this because we did a thorough investigation including sampling their fare for lunch. The menu was restricted, but what they did they did well. A good approach.
Investigations take time and we spent more than two hours ashore at Tranøy. Still more than 30 km to go. But now there were less wide open bays and more close land which make the paddle more interesting. And every so often an eagle or two would lift off as we approached, or some puffins would appear, or the water would boil from a shoal of fish.
Still the paddle was a long one and we stopped twice for comfort and maintenance of blood sugar. We were now paddling through small archipelagos with scattered sandy beaches. It must be an eldorado to explore by kayak on sunny summer days.
Even if today wasn’t sunny, the head wind was a lot gentler than forecast. We had doubted if we could make it all the way to Lundøya because of the forecast, but we decided to push across the ferry lane in Økssundet and look for shelter in a cove there where it seemed that there were some buildings.
Just before we got there two eagles lifted off, flew up a bit, locked claws and came rotating and tumbling down, before the let go just in time to avoid a crash. A privilege to watch.
The “buildings” we had seen on Google turned out to be a huge and sturdy quay. Well maintained and recently invested in. An ideal place to set up the tents on a rainy night. We took a short walk before a late dinner, and just like the quay there were a well maintained house and a barn, but no people and no livestock even though some of the gras had been harvested.
Stein found out that Lundøya had been a community of 265 people in 1945 before it declined. No road was ever built there (or on Lundøya at all), so when the ocean was replaced by roads as the main communication routes Lundøya was left without inhabitants. This shift form the sea as a means of communication to an obstacle was drastic and happened many places along the coast in the second half of last century.
So much for local history, then it was time for Karianne’s salmon in sour cream with bullion cooked rice. A tasty end to a long day. Then it was just time to creep into the tents before the rain started.
Tomorrow we plan to go to Borge Ousland’s place at Manshausen, there we also plan to have a rest and drying day as per the habit of RSKE. It isn’t long, but strong headwind of 7+ m/s are forecast so it can be a hard 30 km. WP