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      Norway and lazy days

      17th June    

      Flying into Norway, we even saw the
      little island Brimble was moored at!
      Norway, I love it. 

      For those of you who have not been, I can totally recommend it.  Whilst the weather rained in the UK every day a couple of weeks ago, Norway had the bluest of skies and warm summer breezes.  The days were noticebly longer and all felt good with the world.  If you are new to this blog, I should inform you that along with crafts,  in our household we have a passion for sailing and we sail as much as we can and take our boat to as many new and old favourite places as possible.  We use our boat well, she is our second home, she is our protection from the elements and she looks after us, Brimble is family.

      Anti fouling her bottom and polishing the propeller,
      hoping to make her speed along faster in the water
      Last summer we sailed across the north sea and took Brimble to Norway, we over wintered her in a purpose built shed, boy was she spoilt, she doesn't get treatment like that in the UK. And so, a couple of weeks ago it was time to move her out of the shed, give her her yearly bottom clean and paint, sort out a few odd jobs and begin this seasons sailing.  We are ambitious this year and aim to sail her north into the Arctic circle and sail in the midnight sun.  Norway is a country of dramatic and varied scenary. It is Mr H's intention that Brimble be photographed amoungst the majestic mountains that are Lofoton. Watch this space.

      Below, I have added a photogrpahic diary of our time in Norway, hope you enjoy!
      Before the first 'shake down' sail of the year, everything that had been taken off the year before had to be painstakingly put back in its correct place.  Our boat is very small and everything has to be just so!

       On the Sunday in the evening sun, when we were all stowed and ready to set sail the following day, we noticed a problem!  One of the shrouds holding up the mast had failed!! Nowhere was open on a Sunday and we were on a tight schedule to move the boat around the coast in order to ensure she will be in the Arctic this year.  We are flying to and fro as we need to work and have only a limited amount of holiday time!  This was potentailly disatrous on several fronts.  Have you ever been to Norway?  Do you know how expensive it is there?  Just thinking about replacing some of the rigging brought me out in a sweat, but better to have found it now I kept telling myself, than be sailing with all sails up and the rigging failing totally and the mast coming down...
      didn't bear thinking about actually.
      Norway is a large country with a small population, just shy of five million people.  You work it out, the country is twice the size of the UK and we have over thirteen million people living in London alone!  So it meant that the closest riggers to help us repair Brimble were over an hour and a half away.  This is prime boat fitting out time but we were very fortunate that we were accommodated and were only delayed by two days.  It did mean we had lots to catch up on mileage wise!  Along the way in the car, we saw many beautiful places to stop, even the main, the E18 had beautiful wild deep dark purple lupins along the grass verges.
      Below, he sail makers, where we had four new shrouds made for Brimble,
      that is our rigging on the floor there.

      As great as the riggers were, they could not come out to the boat to fix the new rigging.  So it meant Mr H and I had to do it!  What does this mean?  I had to hoist him up the mast and he had to trust me not to drop him.  That could have been interesting!  I was nervous about this, especially as the mast was only held up by fifty percent of the normal rigging and it was a little windy.  But we managed it, although I was a little naughty and when bringing him down, left him a few feet in the air for five minutes, just to see his reaction!!
      Before sailing anywhere, as with any journey, you need to know where you are, where you are going and plan your route.  Sailing makes this a little more complicated and the coast of Norway is full of rocks.  I sail with my heart in my mouth most of the time, but Mr H and the
      children seem to relish in the challenge.
      And so finally we were ready to leave our winter storage marina. 
      Thank you for looking after us, Wector Yachting.

       We are never the luckiest of fishermen, much to the delight of my daughter, who really does not like fish and to the dismay of my son, who loves fish.  But we managed to catch some young 'fat' makeral.
       Within ten minutes they were in the pan, fried in butter and with a good squeeze of lemon juice.  Perfect Norway summer sailing.

      Part of travelling for me is going ashore and mooching in the shops, I came across this lovely painting which we all loved and may use it as inspiration for a craft project later in the year. 
      Just love the colours.
      Meeting people alomg the way is part of travelling too and we even had Nina,
      the dog come on board and visit.
      The evening light in Norway at this time of year is just so magical,
      this was about eleven pm at the end of May.
      Sailing in Norway at the end of May this year was
      all about being woken up by blue skies every morning.
      We sailed in and out of little islands.
      Norway had a bank holiday whilst we were there, they are a very proud people and very patriotic, most have flag poles and flew there rich looking flag.
      Narrow passages need to be navigated with care.
      On deck spotting for shallows, we were mostly successful?!?!?

      Just like travelling on the front upper deck of a double decker bus, sailing under briges always makes you catch your breath.
      Can you spot the two cyclists on the bridge?  Not sure I would be comfrtable cycling there!
      You know you are beginning to age when you have more than one pair of glassess each...
      Keeping a good look out whilst sailing is imperative!
      Last year the sea was bubbling with jelly fish and we had hoped this year would be better, but the signs so far are not good.
      We really are a small boat.
      Evening skies are varied and breath taking.
      All types of boats are out on the water
       South Norway coastal towns are often all white houses, lovely to roam around.
       Brimble's last stop for this trip and what a welcoming place Lillesand was.
       Until we see you in a few weeks Brim, take care x
      In the mean time, the very lovely and attentive harbour master Finn, sent us this picture to show us Brimble is safe and sound and being looked after in our absense.  Now that is what I call service!  Thank you Finn.


      1. Oh wow....as an ex dinghy racer, and having been to Norway for the first time last year (and being lucky with the weather too), I can appreciate all of this amazing adventure. How amazing to winter your boat in another country. I can't wait to read the updates. I would say you were very fortunate to observing the shrouds before the whole rigging came down. what would a new mast cost?!!

        My favourite childhood author was Arthur Ransome...Did you mean to go to sea? or Didn't you mean to go to sea at all?!! Looking forward to the wonky house project :D Fiona

        1. We do count ourselves very lucky to have discovered it when we did. i am now back in the UK as you may have gathered and Mr H left to go back to norway on Friday, next leg, south coast to Bergen, they too are having good weather, although the wind was on the nose today he says!!! Am jealous, but need to be at homeas kids at school and need to work! My turn next trip! Will keep up dating. dinghy racin, you are out of my league, you would probably sail our boat better than i do, i am a little lazy at adjusting the sails ;)

      2. OMG!!!!! I had no idea that this is what you were up to in Norway! I thought it was a regular sort of holiday - very nice no doubt - but nothing like this!!! How utterly fantastic and what a great adventure for you all, I really hope that you achieve your goal and get to the arctic and back again of course! It will be a great achievement for you. The scenery is beautiful, even more so than I imagined. I really want to get to Norway one day, but I am sure that I will not be sailing around the coast. Hope that you and Brimble have a great time. xx

        1. hahahaaaa, that really made me chuckle. I hope we manage it too! You really should try to get to norway if you can, the scenery is so varied and great. June is a particularly good month to visit too x

      3. Replies
        1. It was and we loved it. Thinking of you and hope all is ok in your part of the world, we hear so little here on the news these days, sending love x


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