Ocean Passages

Bodø to Ålesund

Biding Time in Bodø

We arrived in Bodø and sadly said ‘Goodbye’ to Keegan and Brennan as they headed back to Alaska and we prepared Terrapin for our trip from Bodø to Ålesund.  Bodø was an interesting town and one of the main stops as expeditions head north into the Arctic.  We enjoyed our time there and waited for a strong south wind to pass before we turned Terrapin’s bow south.  Our first stop was Rodoya.

The Red Lion

Back in July, we stopped at Rodøya, finding space to tie up on the dock.  This time, as we headed south, we decided to anchor.  The noise and commotion of the dock can distract from the surroundings.  I have to admit, we enjoyed ourselves so much more at anchor.  We were surprised no one else was around.  It was a beautiful windless night with plenty of room for boats to swing if the wind changed. 

Anchoring in Volkswagen

After Rodøya, we continued on to Vagsvagen, or Volkswagen as Baxter calls it.  Vagsvagen was a neat group of islands with several anchorages among the islands.  Unfortunately, each anchorage had its challenge, either too deep or no swing room or a rocky bottom.  We were feeling a bit like Goldilocks.  After about an hour, we finally settled on a great location with just enough swing room.  There also happened to be plenty of rocks to climb on ashore and as we rode around the steep walls in the dinghy, we noticed something ‘different’.  Sea urchins and starfish were collecting in masses just below the water’s surface.  We were reassured knowing that it was hundreds of feet deep along the walls, in case our stern was to swing that way.

Moving on

Leaving Vagsvagen early in the morning, we had to deal with power lines that were not as high as indicated on the chart.  After that was over and we were clear, we had wind gusting from 9 kts to 40 kts in a matter of seconds.  We decided as we were passing the beautiful Seven Sisters to stop in Tjotta for a few days and let the winds blow over.

We continued south in and out of fjords and sailing and motoring among the rocks each day.  As we got closer to Kristiansand, the weather began to deteriorate but we still had to continue our southern progress.  


Our last challenge as we made our way south from Kristiansund was the Hustadvika.  This area is an exposed, shallow section that is dangerous for mariners as the offshore wind and waves have caused vessels to be wrecked for thousands of years.  We had to go now, or wait a week for another gale to pass. We had 20 knots on the nose and were only making 3 knots an hour, but we put our head down and slowly made progress.  Our reward was the amazing little town of Bud.  

Arriving in Alesund

We finally arrived in Alesund where we met up with our friend Jen.  Jen is from Perth in Western Australia and she just happened to be traveling through Europe.  Rarely do random plans to meet like this work out.  On the boat, our life and our schedule is dictated by the weather.  But our plans did work out and we were so excited to see Jen and see where this new adventure would take us.

Downtown Ålesund, the ‘Venice of Norway’
Great spot in Ålesund
Windscreen wiper at work
Stickered up
Any city with a mermaid in their logo is pretty cool!
Norwegian Light House
Nice and calm at anchor
Mind the rocks
Fog lifting as we leave Tjotta
Taking the dinghy to remote places
Small town of Tjotta, Norway
The Seven Sisters
Terrapin anchored near Rodøya, the Red Lion