Well we arrived in Norway 80hrs after we left Granton. We did not have the best crossing but nothing too bad. The wind was on the nose and a lumpy sea while trying to escape the Forth. The mutinous crew suggested Pittenweem but aware of their access to free bus travel I kept them going! Once out we managed to lay the course motor sailing before being headed a while about 100 miles out. A bit of tacking then we got going again. About 150 miles to go we had very thick fog that lasted 24 hrs, not a problem until the radar stopped rotating. I did have a spare belt but didn't fancy going up mast to replace it with the swell. The AIS did a sterling job showing traffic with the fishing fleet over here also sensibly equipped.
The fog cleared early morning and all looked good with about 30 miles to go. Wrong! The wind piped up to 30knts right on the nose with a steep sea. Rather than take hours and hours to make Mandal we headed comfortably off the wind for a wee town west of Lindness called Listahavn. It was a quiet village but very gratefull to get tied up against the wall for a shower and a sleep.
Next day was a better day and we motored round to Mandal in about 5 hours. This was a bigger town and as most of Southern Norway very pretty. Our first beer ashore was a nice treat, I say treat as it was £8 a glass needless to say we only had one.
Off next morning in glorious sunshine to Kristiansand. Taking the inside passages was fantastic, I did though have a go astern moment approaching a bridge which I had checked a dozen times as 19m clearance as it just looked so low. We of course went under without a problem other than my nerves. With a lunch stop in a stunning anchorage we twisted and turned our way to town.
It was a beautiful trip of about 25 miles with clear skies a following wind and warm sunshine. Shorts on weather!
After one night in the big toon of Kristiansand we made for Lillesand through the Blindlea which means blind channel. It has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth to sail. Very narrow but well marked channels lined with rock and some lovely whiteboard houses. Clearly the weekend retreat of Oslo's richest
Lillesand was a quiet little postcard type town. In fact everywhere was very quiet and were told that the season only gets going in July!
Left Next day again in glorious weather for Arendal. A great though well spread out town of about 40000 people though it was quiet and we didn't see many of them! The weather was blowing hard from the east so we were holed up for 3 days. Even though the wind blew hard it was clear and sunny and very warm out the wind. We wandered round town and took some very pleasant long walks.
Well as I write this the wind is down and the forecast good so we will head the 80 miles across to Sweden. We expect a quiet overnight trip though it is a busy area for shipping. I must lastly apologise for the odd text and colours as I'm getting used to using a new app!