At 8:30 I rowed to shore in partially deflated rubber boat (not holding air – another thing to fix!) only to find that the chandlery and boat store has been replaced by an automated diesel pump…. Back out to the yacht and after struggling with getting the anchor up while sailing forward to keep me off the rocks. I finally managed to limp out of the harbor and set sail for the next major port of Horten …. I practiced my Norwegian curses again.
A light breeze of 5-10 knots blew from the north which is exactly where I was heading. Modern sails are marvelous things and allow you to sail into just about any angle of the wind …except a 45 degree slice directly into the wind. Thus I was forced to zig-zag back and forward up the fjord making marginal progress on each short trip across the width of fjord. Given the light breeze progress was pretty slow, so after getting off at about 9:00 I didn’t actually manage to make it to Horton till 3:00, which given that the distance is only about 10 km, is very slow going indeed!
And arriving at Horten my troubles were not over! It seems that Horton is the hub of all ferry traffic across the fjord so as I carefully tacked backwards and forwards across the harbor entrance I was continually forced to turn tail and urgently run downwind to avoid being run down by one of the massive car ferries which seem to arrive in a constant stream. The wind was still from the north which meant a difficult entry under sail and due to a dog leg in the harbor entrance I would have to tack across the wind while I came in …a process that requires a shift of sails from one side to another. This is not so easy when you are all alone, entering a strange harbor, have no motor as back up and are constantly looking over your shoulder looking for a massive ferry bearing down on you. Also remember I wasn’t exactly sure what I would see in the harbor after I made my turn and were I would be able to finally tie up and rest.
Given the problems above, I was feeling exceedingly proud when I pulled the nose of the boat through the wind and, upon viewing a suitable stretch of pier gently nosed up along-side, dropped the sail to slow my passage, and then tied up and breathed. Then some ratbag Norwegian decided now would be a good time to tell me that a ferry was about to arrive at the same section of wharf and I had better get out of the way. That is easier said than done when you have no power. Pretty much the only option would be to sail down wind out of the harbor which would put me head on into any approaching ferry!
After trying to wave down some passing boats to ask for a tow, I figured the befuddled looks were not going to get me out of there anytime soon. Not wanting to sail the gauntlet again I decided to pull the boat to the furthest corner of the wharf and hope the ferry could fit. After securing the boat I asked about the ferry at local store and was told that the guy was wrong and that no ferries used that wharf. After some of the adrenalin left my system I practiced my Norwegian curses again and thought about sinking the yacht of the guy who yelled out the warning.
Of course by this time the stores were all closing but I managed to find an off duty wharf rat who promised to “hook me up” with a deal on a new battery at 9:00 the next morning. Looking forward to some relaxation I found the nearest pub and settled down with a beer and some pork ribs. Even Norwegian beer tasted good!