May 15th Tromso Norway
It is 12am and it there is still light in the sky; sitting in the hold of a small live aboard boat, half asleep, I am writing this. Outside the water is glass calm yet the boat creeks gentle with the oceans pulse, small hills surround the area and framing the Fjords are covered in sugar white snow. While it looks like a winter scene every time i look outside the air is cool but not cold, the warmth of spring is upon the arctic Norwegian air.
I arrived here in Tromso Norway yesterday after a 24 hour travel day from Nanaimo BC Canada, collecting my array of bags, consisting of 2 large bags containing TRAK Kayak and expedition gear, 2 carry on pieces of a medium sized back pack and Kayak deck bag as a personal item, I walked out into the midnight un to find Jeff Allen waiting with a clean Shaven grin. I was a bit shocked as last time i had seen Jeff 6 months earlier he had a full beard “ I just shaved it off this morning actually” Jeff stated with a chuckle “I was sick of being thought of as 60 something”.
Loading into the outside car I was also shocked to find a RockPool Taran on the roof of the car, the Taran was a very fast high volume sea kayak, where as the TRAK was a low Volume 16 foot folding kayak, I had been expecting to be paddling along side Jeff in a SKUK Explorer... Alas this was not going to be the case. After some brief chit chat and a drive across the Islands that make up the area of Tromso, Jeff unloaded me outside a Marina and took me on board a boat owned by Bjorn ----- of www.bjornkajakks.no who was putting us up here for as long as we needed before setting of on our trip by Kayak along the coast. Bjorn had been supporting Jeff a lot over the last few years as he attempted to Circumnavigate the Scandinavian Peninsula. I was now joining Jeff to either head north paddle around Nordkapp to finish the coastline of Norway, or to head south and paddle out and along the Lofoten Island Chain, we had to decide which one in the next day.
After a eggs sandwich, a good night sleep and a hearty porridge breakfast, the next day found us driving about town, buying food, fishing lures and visiting Bjorn at his underground bunker Kayak shop. Bjorn had purchased and old military bunker from the government and set up his online Kayakshop storage here, and fondly called it “The Cave”. We then rolled back to the boat, made a great meal of Fish burgers and sat down with Bjorn and some maps, and decided we would head south to the Lofotens as the weather for the north did not look good for the next week or two and we did not want to get stuck in bad weather and not paddle. Thus our course is set, we pack and set off from SummerOya in the morning. I am excited and happy to go paddling, to camp out, to fish and to just take in Norway in a new way (it has been over 3 years after I last visited read about that first day here ) and to see Lofotens from the northern coast.
Any way my eyes are barely staying open I must sleep..... tomorrow we paddle.