What an amazing voyage this turned out to be!
As mentioned in our previous post about Seawork International, we decided to participate on this very well known and large boat exhibition in Southampton United Kingdom. As soon as this decision had been made we started evaluating our options on how to get our demo boat from Oslo to Southampton. Initially we thought about shipping it there, but then someone mentioned driving it there on water ourselves. As soon as this idea was mentioned we lost interest in all other options. We then started planning the route for a voyage to Southampton.
The shortest and most likely fastest route would be to cross directly from Norway to south east corner of Great Britain. However, crossing the North Sea like that can be quite challenging, and many strongly advised against it. The route then became heading south out of Oslo and follow the Swedish west coast until Ängelholm.
In Ängelholm Sweden my co captain from Oslo (Per) stepped off, while a new adventure ready person stepped on (Pontus). Early next morning we headed towards Germany and the Kiel canal, but we also had a short stop in Mastal Denmark. The Kiel canal is 99 km long, and tie the Baltic sea and North Sea together. If one enter from the Kiel end, one will exit at Brunsbüttel in kanalen er 99 km lang og knytter Østersjøen og Nordsjøen sammen. Går man inn ved Kiel så kommer man ut ved Brunsbüttel, in the German Bight. In order to enter the Kiel canal one will have to go through one of two locks. This was an exciting first for both members for the crew.
Max speed through the canal is 8 kn, which makes the 99 km stretch take approximately 7 hours. The area in which the canal goes through is very green and nice, so in the awesome weather we experienced this was a perfect time to navigate from the Flybridge.
After getting out on the other end we stopped for the day and stayed in Coxhaven Germany. The next day we took us all the way to Amsterdam Netherlands, with a lunch pitstop in Harlingen, also in the Netherlands.
After staying the night in Amsterdam we continued our voyage west. As we approached the English Channel we learned that we did not have naval maps for this area! We had to stop in Nieuwport Belgium to resolve this.
After some time working on this issue, we found a solution, and could continue our route towards Dover in Great Britain. We spent a night here before we the next day drove to Portsmouth, before Southampton, where the boat would be located for about a week before the trip home could commence.
When it was time to plan our route back home, both Pontus and I agreed that it would be more interesting to take a different route than the one we followed on the way here. Both of us also wanted to drive up the Thames river all the way to city center London and have a stop in Scotland before we turned east and headed towards Norway. And that’s how the route became.
We drove up the Thames river that goes through London. Here we managed to get a truly awesome picture of the demo boat in front of the Palace of Westminster.
The next day we continued our voyage north, but because of bad sea conditions we had to drive slow and thus we didn’t get that far, and we ended up mooring up in Lowestoft for the night. The weather gods played on our team the next day, making it possible for us to get all they way up north to North Shields. After spending one night here, we went by The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, with the historical Lindisfarne Abbey ruins. It was at this location that the earliest recorded Viking attack happened (in 793), which started the Viking Age.
After that we continued all the way to Peterhead, Scotland. Welcoming us here was the Scottish representative for OXE Diesel outboard engines. He also brought with him people interesting in learning more about our demo boat and also head out for some sea trials.
After spending two nights in Peterhead, it was time to turn our nose towards Home, which was located 303 nautical miles east. This trip went like a dream for the first 11 hours, but the sea conditions were pretty bad at the south point of Norway with waves and a lot of wind. After fighting to get through this rough patch for 2 hours we decided it was enough for today so we found shelter for the wether in Mandal. The next day we drove back to Oslo where the voyage started, many many nautical miles earlier.
This is approximately how the voyage turned out to look like.