Our demo boat has received a TONN of interest while it has been moored at the very end of Vågen in Bergen harbor. It was therefor with mixed feelings that we left Bergen to start the forth leg of our Voyage of Norway, which was supposed to end in the city of roses – Molde.
Joining us during the first day after leaving Bergen was journalist Jan Hanchen Michelsen, who wanted to get a couple of hours onboard the boat, in order to get a better understanding of how it feels to drive. Jan’s experience and verdict from the tour will be published in the boat magazine Båtliv in the first half of 2019 and we look forward to reading this as we feel he got a really good impression of our boat and its extremely comfortable wheelhouse environment.
During a previous leg of our Voyage of Norway we passed by the southern most point on mainland Norway – Lindesnes Lighthouse – and during this fourth leg vi passed the western most point. This is known as “Vardetangen” and is located at 60° 48′ 36,6146 north and 04° 56′ 43,1825″ east from Greenwich, not far from the famous Norwegian oil production facility area Mongstad.
Our first layover during this leg was in Florø. The following day we drove in Nordfjord all the way to Sandane to demonstrate the boat. After this we got back out the fjord and it was about time to drive around Stad, the most dangerous and weathered sea side along the Norwegian coast. Even the vikings moved their ships on land over Dragseidet at Stadlandet so they didn’t have to sail around Stad in bad weather. A combination of wind, current and waves makes the area extremely challenging to sail through. Sea current and the sea floor’s topography creates tough and unpredictable waves. Very big waves can come from multiple directions at once and create critical situations for boats. Heavy sea can also “stick around” for many days even after the wind have died down, which again creates challenging sea conditions even on less windy days.
Kråkenes lighthouse, just south of Stad, is the weather station in Norway experiencing most days with bad weather, some year over 100 days a year. There has been several fatal accidents here since World War 2nd and 34 people have drowned. This is also why it is planned to build the worlds first ship tunnel at this place! This is a very exciting project that has been written about all around the world.
The day we went around Stad there where no need for the tunnel. Wind was easy 5-6 m/s and the worst waves hit 1.5 meter. Not able to slow us down.
Our tour then took us to Straumgjerde, before we checked into a hotel in Ulsteinvik. In Ulsteinvik we got to take a closer look at huge hulls of large vessels that are under construction right now. The two new Hurtigruten vessels are getting built here, and also the world’s largest hybrid boat. This one is ordered by Color Line and will be able to motor all they way up the Oslofjord on electricity only.
Next stop was Ålesund, where we had scheduled to meet with some boat hops and The Norwegian Coastal Administration, among others. Neither of the two of us traveling had ever been to Ålesund, so we where not prepared for the beautiful city that we would soon set our foot in. When we arrive in the narrow Ålesundet we don’t see any available public places for our boat to dock, but suddenly we see a person waving us over to a private area. We ask if it is okay for us to dock there for an hour while we get lunch, and get in response that we are free to stay there as long as we want, in exchange for answering all his questions about the boat. More people show up and suddenly two hours have passed while answering questions and giving demo rides.
We got recommended to get a room at Hotel Brosundet and we are extremely glad we did this, because this hotel was fantastic! Very rarely do we promote and recommend hotels, but if you ever visit Ålesund, stay in Hotel Brosundet! We also had time to do a quick walk around in this town well known for its Art Nouveau style buildings and we got really impressed by Ålesund. We even considered staying another day, but our schedule made us motor to Molde, since we had scheduled a demo of the boat here in the late evening.
Our stay in Molde was short, as we left early next morning. We had multiple interested parties in Kristiansund, and we had also decided to motor the boat all the way to Hitra, where our partner Hitra Marine would take care of the boat.
In Kristiansund we were received by a lot of people and organizations at the harbor. Even the local newspaper (Tidens Krav) showed up and published this on their webpage.
On our way to Hitra, we made a short stop in Smøla, to meet with a possible boat dealer there. We answered all questions and gave a demo ride, and when we were supposed to leave we got a notification that a boat had lost power not far away, so we went out and towed it back in to the harbor. AluVenture and OXE saving the day!
With this it got dark before we arrived at Hitra Marine. We then took the ferry into Trondheim harbor, where we jumped on the overnight train to Oslo. If you would like to take a closer look at our demo boat while it is in Hitra, just reach out to our friends at Hitra Marine.