Southern Lurøy to NW Løkta. 27 km, 6.1 km/hr average speed. Start 1900 arrive 2400
When we opened the tents in the morning the waves were breaking white from the easterly wind and it was clear we were in no hurry to get going. The camp was well shielded from the wind and it was a warm wind and it was a warm wind so we spent the late morning and early afternoon bathing and sun bathing.
The weather forecast suggested that the wind would come down in the evening, so we decided to have an early dinner and be ready to go at about 1900. The plan was to use the weather window to cross two fjords to get to Løkta, a short paddle of about 25 km.
The first crossing was from Lurøy to Tomma, fully exposed to the southeasterly wind. The wind was still blowing a bit as we crossed and we leaned on the paddles and pushed on to Tomma.
From the map we expected the paddle along Tomma to be quiet and sheltered from the wind. The terrain made it different. We found that there was a lot of fall winds coming down the steep mountain sides. Fall winds are abrupt winds much stronger than forecast. For a kayaker it’s mostly a hassle and hard work. For the open sailing boats that were used here in old times it was a cap sizing hazard. It was the likely reason Reidun up at Brennsundvika lost her grandfather.
For us it was just and unexpected hassle, but since we had experienced more weather than expected throughout the day so far, we paused at southernmost Tomma to consider weather or not to go across Stifjorden to Løkta or to find a campsite at Tomma
In the end we decided to stick the bows out into Stifjorden and check conditions. It is a short crossing, no more than an hour. We found Stifjorden much quieter than forecast. That is as expected in the middle of the night. So we set across, and even though the wind started to pick up as we approached Løkta it was the easiest part of the day
We found a good pebbly beach. Dinner was long ago and now it was past midnight and we just wanted to get into the sleeping bags quickly. The tents were half way up before we noticed the brown blobs that informed us this was cattle grazing land.
We navigated the tents between the blobs and dived into the sleeping bags. If the cattle appeared we hoped it would be of the friendly kind. Especially Karianne who has a red tent….
As Erling drifted off into sleep he noticed that there was a distinct smell of barn in the tent. Then again after 15 days of paddling it is not clear that this should be blamed on the cattle. Best left unresolved.