08-06-13 to 15-06-13 Stavanger to Bergen

Skipper:  Rolf, Lilo

Crew: Andi, Kathrin, Markus

An very early start in Switzerland meant we were all ready for an early
night after a fine Thai meal in Stavanger, although it was still bright
daylight at 10pm!

After prepping the boat the next morning, we were able to set sail in
the afternoon for Tau, a fine harbour with good facilities, and an honesty box
for sailors docking after 7pm when the office is closed.

A beautiful morning then greeted us, and after a fine breakfast
prepared on board, it was out to sea and the chance for all of the crew to
experience driving the boat and practice manoeuvres.  It is amazing how gentle such a big boat can
be in her movements.  Then it was on to
Haugesund 33 miles away and we passed alternately lush green meadows, forests
and rocky outcrops before getting about 5pm.
The harbour is in the heart of town and has good facilities for visiting
mariners.

On our way onto Rosendal, we discovered that the A2 format charts of
the fjords could be difficult to use as they have so much information crammed
onto them, especially describing the entrance to the Hardangerfjord, so maximum
concentration was required from all the crew.
Our long run of 50 miles was conducted in beautiful sunshine and a very
pleasant 20 degrees.  As the port in
Rosendal was not busy, we all practice our mooring techniques, although that
meant a lot of the attractions of the town such as the Barionet Rosendal with
its gardens and the waterfall were already closed – even though it is light
right into the night.  A lot of chatting,
and a “spiritual” nightcap, you know, the one from Scotland at dusk, and we
were off to bed.

We’re up at 730 the next morning, but the sun is already at full
strength and the sea is like a mirror – the scene is really rather one on a
Swiss lake.  In these perfect conditions,
we were able to show off our boat handling skills to a crowd of Norwegian
boaters who gathered to watch our training exercises.  What a joy it is to be able to handle such a
craft! Before long we were on our way to Norheimsund, and a bottlenose dolphin
joined us.  At sea, we were trained in
radar navigation and once in the Samlafjorden did our MOB practices.  On arriving in the harbour, newbie Lilo
executes a perfect docking manoeuvre. It is a pleasant harbour in a pretty
small town, and we find all the facilities we need nearby and tour the
town.  Locals are bathing in the water at
the sandy beach, but Markus judges it “brrr icy” after going in up to his ankles.

The next day, we sailed on to Osøyro.

It’s already Thursday. The last night in Osøyro was
like a cradle and an annoyed mother. The location of the port is not really
suited for winds from the south to southeast. Those that can not stand being
aggressively rocked to sleep should not use this port in these wind conditions.
The weather has now definitely turned. The barometer fell from 1013 to 1000 hPa
over the course of a day. It was raining again, and the visibility was dull,
restricted to 1.5 miles. Now we see the advantage of AIS and Radar. The notice
of a boat or a ferry, even before they are in sight, was reassuring. Also the
moderate wind and waves where on the nose. No ups and downs. Normally the daily
generator test was performed one hour after departure. Today, none of the crew
thought the test was important which meant waiting for the coffee from the
luxurious Nespresso machine. Finally, after two long hours the test is done and
it soon smells of pleasant coffee brewing. Each helmsman must concentrate and
repeatedly scan the entire field of vision. Despite radar and AIS we saw the
small fishing boats late, most of the wooden boats are not visible on the AIS
or the radar. Finally – the entrance to Bergen harbor came into view. The next
task was, “look out for the gas station”, we suspected it was where many boats
where gathered. We almost missed it, because it is at the beginning of the
channel on the starboard side and in no way resembles a gas station. Rather an
abandoned and long overdue for renovation station with two completely rusted
gas pumps. The hoses are too short to reach both fillers. So we needed to turn
the boat and moor up again. During the entire filling of Rolling Swiss II, the
weather shows its side, a weather that is still possible in Norway. It rained
cats and dogs. The crew who where wet through after the first mooring had to
endure and go through it all again. Filled both tanks , we found that 760
horsepower has swallowed 405 liters of diesel prime , which meant an average of
about 13.15 liters per hour. The skipper took over, to helm the boat for the
last mile, as it should be. We feared having to moor on the third or fourth
row, but we spotted another piece of exposed sea wall in front of the bridge
and right at the water station. The opening was just big enough so that Rolling
Swiss II had a space. Rolf moored it with stoic calm in the gap with a space
front and back of about 2 meters. Lilo and Kathrin set out immediately to
settle the port charges at an ATM at the other end of the port. This should
have been an easy task, as it turned out, the machine required the registration
number and the name, which of course they did not have, and they wanted to rush
back. Luckily a passing port official came to help and said it did not need
this information. Current space allocation, payment, everything worked , but
where was the proof ?The official pressed the “Print Receipt” with the result
we have paid 550 Crowns for nights including shore power. We couldn’t find the
showers or toilets. But this didn’t bother us, as Rolling Swiss is equipped
with everything one could need, so we gave up the search.

Having arrived a day early for our transfer, we had plenty of time to
explore the mountains, and reminisce about our great boat and our magical trip.

It only remains to thank firstly Rolf who skippered with confidence and
calmness at all times and taught us so much with along with Lilo his co
skipper. And to Lilo and Kathryn for the great meals they conjured up on
board.  As author, I look back on a very
successful week and look forward to my next trip on Rolling Swiss II.  Perhaps with the same crew?  I say “any time”…

Markus

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