Monday, 8 May 2017

Back in the Hornstrandir National Park for the 4th time

Back in the Hornstrandir National Park for the 4th time.

Strong winds and generally wintery and unpleasant weather kept us tied to the dock in Reykjavik for longer than we had planned but the time there was well spent. There was the obligatory trip to the hot tubs and outdoor pool as well a  successful mission to source a new rotor for the wind generator. Now the old blades fit and we are carrying a spare set!

Our last night in Reykjavik was one of culture. Tim & Heather bought us tickets for a performance of "Icelandic Sagas - the greatest hit".  Two very energetic actors romped through  all of the Icelandic sagas in 75 minutes performing to an international audience in the Harpa. Great fun followed by ice creams on the dock.

The winter cobweb of mooring lines, fenders and car tyres started to come off as the wind died and, at 07.30am on Friday, we let go the wharf and motored out into Reykjavik harbour. The throttle stuttered as we passed the Opera House but soon came back to life and then we were out, once more, into the open sea. 

The Reykjavik skyline sparkled in the morning sun and at first the SE breeze pushed us on our way but that died away sooner than forecast and the fog came in. The familiar drone of the engine came on and tested patience for 30 misty hours until the anchor went down in the West Fjords.

We caught up with boat chores on Saturday morning until the sun burned away the fog and revealed the beauty of the fjord in which we were anchored. Perfect calm with no noise except the gush of a melt water stream, the trumpeting of swans and the crooning of eider duck. The hilltops were still caked with wet winter snow but spring was busily emerging from the lower slopes. Everywhere a rich carpet of mosses and lichens. An occasional avalanche from the corniced ridges sent giant snowballs floating past us on the morning tide. A lovely relaxing day at anchor in the far northwest corner of Iceland.

After a sunlit supper the fog rolled down the fjord smothering us with a dense, cold blanket and reducing visibility to 25m. As we went to bed I fretted about navigating out of the fjord in dense fog with a compass that complained of a "huge deviation". Sure enough I had noticed, whilst sitting on a large rock, a small magnet I was carrying stuck to the rock. There's plenty here to fool the navigator!