A long and sunny passage to Ålesund

By |Published On: September 6, 2023|Categories: Europe, Norway|594 words|0 Comments|


Finally, the weather cleared up, and the swell and waves had calmed down enough to start thinking about continuing our journey south. The next leg included one of Norway’s most dangerous strechtes of coast, namely the Hustadvika. On the way north we had taken the outside route which is subject to swell and what the Norwegians so endearingly call ‘kryssende bølger’ (crossing waves). This time we were keen to try the inside route which is described as ‘complex with particularly intricate pilotage’. Either way, we wanted settled weather and good visibility. According to my (F) beloved app, the Barentswatch, the bølgevarsel (wave warning) was minimal on Wednesday, so we decided to leave early Wednesday morning to coincide our passage with favourable tides.

Scenery along the way.


We intermittently sailed and motored, depending on the direction and strength of the wind. Mostly, the wind was absent all together. However, the sun was shining, and the inland route proved to be a beautiful stretch of coastline with houses located on even the remotest and tiniest of rocks.

And more scenery.

How the hell people found their way through this maze of skerries and shoals back in the days before charts and GPS is a mystery! We skirted in close to shore before turning southwest offshore from our favourite set of islands, Brunøysund. Then we turned south to make the long run down the sound to Ålesund, all the while avoiding ferries, fishing bouys, salmon farms, and cargo vessels.

Salmon farms are everywhere in Norway.


We arrived in Ålesund early evening, having had some very fine downhill sailing along the Harøyfjord, and moored up at the guest pontoons in the outside harbour. Moored up just across the harbour was the tallship Sørlandet, of Storm Weather Shanty Choir fame, a beautiful three-masted steel hulled vessel that is currently used for training and tourism purposes.

The tallship Sørlandet moored up in Ålesund.

Over our time in Norway we had frequently commented on how Norwegians, though friendly and fun once you got them talking, very rarely initiated contact and indeed mostly tended to avoid contact. This time in Ålesund we got treated to a very different experience. As we came alongside the pontoon, two fellows from an adjacent boat put their drinks down and came over to help and chat and ask about our travels.

A ‘fyr’ on approach to Ålesund.

No sooner had they gone back to their drinks and wives, than a trio of fellows came down the pontoon and started talking to us. They were wandering by at the beginning of an evening out and had seen us coming in so thought they’d come and say hello. Not only that but they offered to take us back home, cook us dinner and let us shower and wash clothes! Crazy, this was Norway! We had just eaten but eventually let ourselves be convinced to have a shower. We needed to finish sorting the boat out, so after they had gone on for a few more drinks and a walk, they came back and Thor drove us back to his place. Here, we showered and talked about his work as an architect, poetry, teenage children, relationships (he was diving into a new one) and life in general before he returned us to the boat, promising to take us to the aquarium in a couple of days time.

‘Sakte fart’ sign in Ålesund and common across Norway; they always made us giggle.

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Spending time in the city of Kristiansund
A few days in Ålesund