Nowhere to go but Norway

by Lucy Gilliam

We were scheduled to leave Stavanger over a week ago… Then it was yesterday… Then our departure was scheduled for this morning at 8am… Now it’s tomorrow, Sunday, at 8am.

We have been delayed in safe harbour waiting out the storms and depressions in the North Sea. Wave after wave of low pressures are crossing the Atlantic, hitting the UK, west coast of Europe and the North Sea.

When the Captain, Lammert, checked the forecast this morning, it was clear the swell was still high (we had thought it would subside by now) and a westerly wind was blowing directly into the fjord. If we had left we would have been beating against the wind, and sailing straight into Force 9 winds. So we are still stuck in Stavanger…

As the full crew was up early, we decided to go through sail drills, safety and a quick meteorology lecture from the Captain. We had a lecture from Steven in dousing the sails and sequence of hauling and letting lose lines to stow away the sails. Plus some quick tests on which lines are which. In heavy weather it’s so important to be able to carry out orders fast.

I took the opportunity to practice scaling the rigging and manoevering along the yards. We have harnesses to wear while climbing the rat lines and out onto the yards. Practicing ready to furl and unfurl sails on a regular basis out at sea. It’s one thing climbing the rigging in port… Quite another out at sea. Just a little bit nervous!

After lunch half the crew ventured off in the dinghy to explore a nearby island. After a couple of hours wandering around and through a forest on the island, they returned hampered with large bags of foraged apples, walnuts and rosehips. Biz is making rosehip syrup, while Francois has his heart set on making a french style apple tart.

Meanwhile I’ve been editing this website while reading a bundle of papers about ‘slow food’, the historic fish trades of Norway and the Via Querissima route established in the 1400s between Italy and Norway.

We have been gifted a selection of fine Norwegian cheeses and 2 different types of Aquavit AKA Akevitt. I’m planning a tasting and lecture for one of the days at sea when we have fine weather.

One of the aquavit’s is the famous ‘linie’ aquavit, which has crossed the equator twice, on the motor ship, MV Tysla. Maybe they would like a sail shipped emission free Tres Hombres line?!

The other is a rather special local Akevitt called Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil Akevitt is made from barley and the name stems from Nordic mythology about the ‘tree of life’.

I’m in two minds about whether to stow the Aquavit until the Atlantic crossing and break it open on the line or not…

This evening we were joined aboard by Eivind, who runs a local chocolate shop called Sjokoladepiken. Tres hombres chocolate is now stocked in Norway in Eivinds shop. So now Norwegians can enjoy organic chocolate sailed, emission free, from the Caribbean. Eivinds chocolate shop sells the most incredible Mexican style hot chocolate. It’s dark, spicy with a chilli kick. It’s been fuelling our evenings the last 10 days in Stavanger.

Hopefully this is my last post before France and Lisbon. Our next port of call will be Douarnenez, to collect 4 barrels of French natural wine from artisan natural wine maker Olivier Cousin. Then onwards to Lisbon to deliver our cargo of Klippfish and load a cargo of olive oil.

Please send us fair winds and following seas. Thank you.

Lucy, New Dawn Traders.

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