Summer holiday 2011 part 3 - Ryfylkenfjorden and the 'pulpit

The second week in Norway starts with a Sunday with, as usual, breakfast with an egg. And then a trip of about 15 miles to a beautiful deserted bay where we are all alone. On the way there we sail past a very modern ship that is a kind of drilling platform with tubes down to the gas and oil extraction. We read on the internet that this is the most modern ship in this area. Oil extraction is Norway's most important source of income. And we also see three whales swimming in the distance.

The anchorage is beautiful and completely deserted. The last bit is through a narrow passage with a shallow rock (1 meter), which we only really see later with a dinghy. You mustn't sail against it! Once we are moored, the first storm starts, but fortunately not for long, and then the girls have the urge to go swimming while it is gently raining. But the water is according to them (and especially Eline) quite nice ;-)! When it is dry again we explore the bay and the rock at the entrance with the dinghy. And during drinks and dinner the sun just breaks through and we go for the first time this trip nice BBQ'ing. Really enjoying this beautiful deserted place!


The next day we motored some 28 miles out of the Hardangerfjord to the North Sea. Where's that wind in Norway anyway? Again not to be found and therefore the whole trip with the engine over flat water. We decide to go to Rovaer; a small island off the coast near Haugesund where about 100 people live. It is a rocky island ravaged by wind and weather, with a very narrow passage, but well marked and sufficiently deep. Again a beautiful place to lie down. At the small supermarket they have tasty meat and so in the evening we eat at a nice place nice entrecôtes of the BBQ in the sunshine! That's the beauty of Norway .... it doesn't rain for a long time, and the seasons change about four times a day. So regularly we have it nice and warm with sunshine. And because it hardly ever blows, a temperture of 18-19 degrees is also fine!

When we wake up in the morning it's quite cloudy and doesn't invite us to go for a walk, so we leave for the next place. About 25 miles sailing through the Kamersund along Haugesund to Skudeneshavn. Again on the engine with very little wind. The girls write a lot in 'their book'. Also Marinthe tackles this very well! Skudeneshavn is a nice village with a sheltered harbour in the center and lots of white houses with red roofs. It is beautiful sunny weather and nice and warm. Furthermore, not much special.
So did the first part of the next day. Again we motored into the Rykfylke fjord area; the southernmost fjords and the Lysefjord with the 'pulpit' as the highlight. That is our goal. That's why we sail to Tau, because from there the bus leaves for the walk to the 'pulpit'. That pulpit is a high rock that rises 600 meters high over the Lysefjord. However, Tau is not an inviting place and it is only 3 pm, so we sail on to Jorpeland. And that turns out to be a good decision. A bit closer to the pulpit, a good little harbour near a commuter village of Stavanger. With a nice short walk to a waterfall where we see the fish jumping against it.


When we get up 'early' the next morning and take the bus to the pulpit, all the mountain tops are in the clouds. That doesn't promise much view! From the bus stop it's a two hour climb ... in a 'traffic jam', because it turns out that many more people want to go up there. We have a lot of speed and overtake a lot of people and after 1 hour and 20 minutes we arrive at the top. Despite the clouds around us a beautiful experience. From a flat rock that leans over 600 meters deep you can look into the fjord. For a moment there is a piece without clouds and we can look down on the edge and see a small boat sailing. A fantastic experience, but brrr ... you should not make a mistap here and also not suffer from fear of heights! Later on we read on the internet that in all those years only 'two dead' have 'fallen'. Back on the boat we sail for another 2 hours to the entrance of the Lysefjord and we anchor at a nice deserted spot and that invites us to BBQ again. This time even with marshmellows. And in the evening of course another game of cards ... in the meantime we switched to Canasta.

We also want to see the pulpit from below, so we sail into the Lysefjord. The last of the three big fjords on the north west coast. Not that long, but very narrow with high steep mountains. Beautiful to see. And there are seals swimming! In the middle of the fjord it is over 300 meters deep (while the whole North Sea is only 50 meters deep), and very close to the shore it is still a hundred meters deep. This allows us to take the boat very close to the overhanging rocks, so the girls can touch the rocks and we can see leaning rocks above our heads. And what does that pulpit look 'small' from below ... we see the people standing, sitting and lying with their heads over the edge.

For a couple of days now we've been keeping an eye on the weather forecast for the trip back to the Netherlands. We would prefer to stay a few more days to take another nice walk at the end of the fjord. But it is wiser to start the trip back to the Netherlands tomorrow. In the next few days it will be easy to sail, and the days after that it won't be possible anymore. That's why we decide to turn around after the 'pulpit' and sail to Stavanger where we spend our last afternoon and evening in Norway.