Making our way to Bergen

By |Published On: September 13, 2023|Categories: Europe, Norway|958 words|0 Comments|


We left Silda the next day with 10-12kn on the nose and headed into the Måløysundet. Along the way we were accompanied by various rainbows, very pretty!

One last look back to Statt and Silda, with rainbow.

The wind picked up in the sound and, of course, stayed right on the nose until we got to the Måløy’s bridge. Here, the channel narrowed, and despite not having seen any other vessels up until then, two large ferries and two cargo ships were now approaching the bridge. Coming across big boats in the narrowest parts of waterways seems to be a law of the sea in Norway.

Motoring through Måløysundet, with rainbow.

Knowing we were the David amongst these Goliaths, but not nearly as good with a slingshot as that David, we dutifully moved aside to do some circle work and let the big guys motor through. Once all was clear we passed under the bridge and turned west into the Vågsfjord.

Two pots of gold in Måløysundet!

Here we hoisted the sails but, given our experience of 20-30kt winds channeling along this narrow fjord on the way north, we kept them double reefed and ready to drop. This was a good move as we were soon rocketing along with 20kt of wind on our tail as we scooted under dark peaks and tall cliffs. Half an hour later and a couple of turns to starboard into the Frøysjøen, the story was reversed, and we pushed nose into 1m waves driven by 20kt of wind. Sigh, sailing in Norway…


A couple hours later, we could finally turn south and let the sails out for a brisk romp down to Florø. Around 1830, we arrived, again, in an almost empty Gjestehavn in windy and rainy conditions. Our mooring attempt was also eerily similar to our previous botched effort here when someone had tried to help us but had fastened the line to the wrong cleat. This time we passed someone a line from mid-ships rather than from the stern and so again struggled to get alongside against the wind. Ah well, I guess you live and (don’t) learn.


A nice surprise was that we found SY Saphir moored in Florø‘s Guesthavn. SY Saphir had organised the Svalbard 2023 WhatsApp group that we had first made contact with in Tromsø. Though we’d crossed paths on a number of occasions in Norway and Svalbard, we had not really spent any time with Saphir’s crew, Klaus and Karin. So after a monkfish dinner at a harbour pub, we went back to Saphir and set about making up for this omission. It was a lovely evening, Klaus was determined to ply us with gin and wine, and there was much laughter and conversation.


Morning arrived mostly sunny, cool and calm, making a nice change from the conditions of our arrival the previous evening. However, this also meant that we were a little hard up for wind, so, it being Norway, we fired up the engine and motored out of the harbour and west along Florø’s peninsula.

A bit of channel dredging near Florø.

Here, we passed the Stabben Fyr in glorious morning sunlight, making for a good opportunity to get some nice photos of this lighthouse set in a beautiful scenery.

Stabben Fyr just outside of Florø.

We passed the string of skerries and then turned south-south-east and headed out through the islands towards the outer shipping channel. With no wind, this was going to be a long day of motor sailing. The forecast suggested that we had just today to make some way down the coast before another 2+ day storm would blow in off the North Sea. We weren’t sure where we would get to, but decided that we would try for one of the outer islands, namely Fedje. To get there before dark meant that we couldn’t dilly dally around with light winds but would need to keep a reasonable speed up. So motor on!

Somewhere spectacular along the way.


As it turned out we got a mix of sailing, motor sailing and motoring throughout the day. The scenery along the way was, of course, rather spectacular, what with being able to see mountaintops and far away islands and skerries – beautiful!

Old channel markers.

We had made some good headway, so by the time we had come abreast of Fedje, it was still early enough to tempt us into continuing on to Bergen, Fedje’s harbourside distillery notwithstanding. So on we went down Fedjefjord, into Hjellefjord and then through Herdlefjord towards Bergen.

Beautiful rock formations.

With the sun setting and facing into the bright lights of fish farms and industial buildings, the entrances into Herdlefjord were a little tricky but, navigating together, we got through safely. Hours later, we finally turned into the last fjord, the Byfjord, and motored on towards the city from the north. Here, David tried to navigate us T-bone style through one of the oil supply vessels anchored at the entrance of the harbour. Luckily, we were both on deck and I suggested we may want to take a more southerly course to avoid a collision that we were unlikely to come out of as winners anyway. Grudgingly David obliged. And so it happened that just before Wednesday midnight, we motored into Bergen harbour and moored up at the Bryggen under the watchfull eyes and running commentary of a pod of drunken teenagers. It was dark, cold and damp, we were tired and keen to go to bed.

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Rounding Statt in good weather
Back in the cinnamon bun capital of Norway