RSKE Year two. Prologue

We thought a short prologue could be in order for this years stage. First, after last year’s dramatic end, we’re happy we both are fit and motivated to continue. We plan to finish in stages, this year will be Mehamn to Tromsø or Harstad, as weather dictates.

We are also happy that Per W Johnsen has joined us for this years stage. You may think he’s the new guy on the team, but by another reckoning he is the first member of the team.

It was Per and Stein that started as sea kayakers in the late eighties , first expedition round Koster in 1994. Since then they have paddled Bodø to Stavanger together and other segments of the coast separately. If we get to Harstad Per will have paddled the entire coast from the Swedish border to Mehamn. When we hopefully get to Bodø next year Stein will have completed the whole coast, while Erling must get to Stavanger before ha can claim the same. So in this perspective Erling is the junior member of the team:-)

RSKE18 Year 2 Day 3

Y2D3 Monday 22 July. We left Helnes Fyr at 0810 and arrived at Gjesvær 1705. 41 km, 5.8 km/hr average speed.

We had a comfortable nights sleep at Helnes, but we were still a tad bit slow when the alarm went off at 0545. No pardon, weather and current forecast set us a target of 1330 at Knivskjellodden.

It ended up as one long stage, we sat continuously in the boat for a little more than five hours. It’s not like you can go ashore as and when you wish round here. Those five hours took us around Nordkapp and Knivskjellodden (which lies a little bit further north than Norkapp).

And then to the first (shell) sand beach we have landed on since before we crossed the Varangerfjord.

And the weather was almost as forecast, only better. Less wind, more sun and warmer than forecast. Might well have been the best day of summer round here. Our good “weather luck” has not left us.

We took a good long break at Tunes amongst the ruins of a fisher community once large enough to have its own graveyard. As boats grew larger they outgrew the beach landing at Tunes, and the settlement was abandoned.

On our short visit Per fired up the stove and produced cheese sandwiches.

Well rested and fed we set out on the last leg of today toward Gjesvær . We needn’t have worried about the wind…

Just as we paddled into Gjesvær harbor a small gust of the forecast wind shoved up, but now at 2300 it is dead calm again

Tomorrow we aim for Havøysund, before we go on to overnight at Store Latøya. WP.

RSKE18 Year 2 Day 1 (Y2D1)

Start 1415 from Mehamn. On shore 2045 near Kjøllefjord. 32,9 km average speed 5.8 km/hr. It’s 2315 on ashore on the northern side of the entry to Kjøllefjord. A long day and a short post.

Today Mehamn celebrated their 200 anniversary since the community was moved from Omgang further east to its present locality.

Omgang once was a major fishing community situated about two days paddle further east. But as boats got bigger and safer the harbor at Omgang became to small. The solution was to move the whole community people, boats cattle and houses.

At the rorbuer where we stayed enthusiasts was up long into the morning to prepare fishcakes for a free lunch today.

That suited us fine. It to so long to shop, and then stuff/pack the boats that we were around in time for the lunch.

Then it was time to leave. The always helpful crew on R/S Peter Henry von Voss again gave us a hand and helped us launch the boats. After they had treated us to one more cup of coffee for the trip. And we had taken the opportunity to thank them again for all their assistance last year when we had to evacuate from Sandfjorden.

Today’s paddle took us past Kinnarodden and past Sandfjorden. The weather was perfect. Sun, but no wind. We were alone at sea, except for birds, seals, porpoises and some bigger whales. In the quiet windless day we could hear the whales breathe from afar. At least until five water scooters made us company at Kinnarodden.

Good business for the local community though, as is snow scooter sataris during winter. And halibut fishing.

Tomorrow we plan to cross to Sværholt, then to Magerøy. Wether permitting (WP).

RSKE18 Year 2 Day 2 Sunday 21 July 2019

From campsite near Kjøllefjorden to Helnes Fyr via Sværholt. Start 0900 arrive 1710. 45 km 6.5 km/hr average speed.

Weather was not as spectacular as yesterday, but it still was a good day for crossing fjords. Which is about all we did. First 23 km across Laksfjord to Sværholt, a short break and then 22 km across Porsangerfjord to Helnes Fyr.

We have to be mindful about both wind and currents, so just a short break at Sværholt. Today a small place with a few houses lagging on maintenance. The barn is open and has four beds, for people who get trapped here. Could easily happen for kayakers. During the war Sværholt was a massive fort with a 1000 man at peak. Protecting German convoys to Kirkenes. No way we of guessing that today. All gone by strong cooperation between man and nature .

Anyway we had a about three hour window to get across to Helnes, before the currents against became really hard. We used 3 hrs 35 minutes, and that delay was enough to give us an interesting ride around Helnes itself, as waves, wind and currents were working against each other.

Not entirely unexpected. Dag Norum warned us last year, and we keep his map with the red zones. Two adventurers like us have lost their lives on the stretch from Honningsvåg to Helnes in relatively recent years. Today was a max day and in Stein’s words we found it interesting, but not intimidating. Ad a few knots of current and wind and it would have been a bit of challenge.

Respect. Which is why we plan for an early start tomorrow, to get us past Nordkapp, and further to the true northernmost place on Magerøy: Knivskjellodden. Red on the map and special mention by Dag. The early start is so we can choose our timing at minimum current if we so wish.

The early start is also so we can hope to get to Gjesvær. Distance wise no issue at about 45 km, but the wind is forecast to pick up tomorrow evening so we might have to set up camp earlier. As always WP ( weather permitting)

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