So much happened on that trip, it would probably be sufficient background for a book!
I live at the west coast of Norway, the boat was bought in Sande, in the Oslo Fjord, eastern Norway. A 420 Nautical miles sail from home. I expected the trip could become a challenge on a definitely challenging boat. But I never expected trouble to hit as early as it did..
We, me and Mats, took the bus from FÃ¸rde to Drammen. Or at least we thought so. The bus got technical problems after about 10km, the dashboard was almost all red. Ok, after some waiting we got a new bus. Problem solved? No, that one broke down just after Hemsedal, up in the mountains, about hafway to our destination.. New bus again! That one kept together all the way to Drammen! I’ve never experienced a bus breaking down in Norway before. We needed 3 of them in less than 500km..
But then, the taxi trip the next 20+km to Sande went without any special events. Later in the week the trip took, conclusion was, that was the only part of the trip that actually worked out without any “special events”!
Saturday night, we boarded the boat as planned, started up as soon as we got our gear onboard. Motoring out of harbour, no wind, except for the first minutes. That wind actually tried to prevent us from getting out.
Getting dark, navigation lights didn’t work.. Sneaked into harbour in Holmestrand for the night. The plans for getting far during the first days was already thrown over..
The lights was an easy fix, a fuse not properly in.
Next day we took off in the morning. Sailing conditions, but not so nice weather. We were about to take in a reef in the main when things started happening. Something snapped..
2 slides in the main were blown. I let go on the mainsail hoist to set the reef. At the moment I did, lots of the slides broke.. Just had to get the sail down as fast as possible.
We had to get to a sailmaker, so we headed towards Oslo, going to Son where we found there was a rigging company and an ElvstrÃ¸m service loft.
At least we got a feel of the boat on the trip. We reached about 14 knots of boatspeed surfing on the little fjord waves! What can this boat do in the North Sea?
Got to Son, and found there was no parts available, so TÃ¸nsberg next. ElvstrÃ¸m’s main loft in Norway, and the ones who had delivered the sail (the sail was new this spring).
While we were in Son we also foud out that the rig was not properly set up. We had inverted the mast! Lucky we kept it onboard! It showed that the wedges in the deck transit were loose, actually gone. Found them around the mast base! I did a temporary fix on that.
At ElvstrÃ¸m they were undermanned, but they still found time to help us. Norsk Riggservice came there from Son too, hired in by ElvstrÃ¸m to help out. Got some better slides, but definitely not as strong as we wanted them. My mast has a Strongtack track system that is supposed to have metal slides. No plastic slides strong enough will fit that track.Â We extended the forestay to improve the mast trim too.
And of course, letting me into a shop like that.. Even worse than letting me loose in a camera shop..
Tuesday afternoon we were ready to go again, we thought.. It took us about 2 hours before we started blowing slides again! I gave up the mainsail for the rest of the trip.
I was by the boat a few days before we picked it up to get some of the sails. There was simply to much sails to carry in the boat on the trip. I put the other mainsails and some jibs in my VW Caravelle and took them home. Mats asked me a few times if I was sure the other mainsails were not in the boat, Oh, yes, I was sure.. They were supposed to be packed for car transport. Truth is, we had a Kevlar main in perfect condition, with the right slides and all, just under the cockpit!!!! I found out when the boat was safe in the moorings at home.
After that the trip went without further happenings until Thursday night. Motoring along with no wind, at 10 to midnight, we came to a sudden stop.. It felt like we ran on ground, not really possible is it, at 300 meters depth? We had a lot of rope in the propeller. We had hit some crayfishing gear. We were anchored in it!
Time to call the rescue boat. Towed in to Farsund, diver down to clear it. Met some nice people, but would prefer other circumstances.
Off again in the morning, non-stop to Haugesund. Off Saturday morning non-stop Bulandet. Arrived home 3 o’clock in the morning Sunday.
A hard week!