Passing by Verne and Poe’s Mælstrom

By |Published On: August 24, 2023|Categories: Europe, Norway|345 words|0 Comments|


Based on the forecast, we started out with high hopes of getting a good sail in across the mouth of the Vestfjord. And indeed, for the first half hour after leaving Reine we did sail, albeit in an ever decreasing wind over an ever increasingly calm sea.

View back towards Reine.

Eventually, however, we were forced to hoist the iron genoa and for much of the following night we motored with just occasional assistance from the wind.

Frederieke enjoying a meal on a glassy sea.

Still, it was lovely watching the sun set behind the sombre peaks of the islands of Mosken and Værøy as we puttered quietly along under dark, patchy clouds and a starry, clear sky.

Sunset behind the islands of Mosken and Værøy.


Here, we also passed the tidal raceway between Mosken and Moskenesøy that was the inspiration for Jules Verne’s ‘Mælstrom’, and Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘A Descent into the Mælström’, namely the Moskenstraum. We had contemplated passing through here and taking the passage outside the islands in the open sea, rather than through the Vestfjord.

Not too far from the infamous Mælstrom.

However, after checking the wave and current conditions of the Moskenstraum on the Barentswatch app, the bølgevarsel (wave warning) for mælstroms, tidal currents and crossing waves appeared to be on the high end. So, rather than running the risk of descending into Poe’s nightmare, we decided to stay inside the island chain and hoped for sweet dreams.

Our last view back to the Lofoten.


By first light, we were able to get the sails up and the last five or so hours were a brisk downhill run between low-lying islands, past the outrageously abrupt peak of Træna, and in through protective ranks of skerries to the equally abrupt and high island of Lovund.  Here, we intended to wait out the next bit of wind and stretch our legs.

Yuma snuggly tucked away in Lovund Gjestehavn.

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