Fjords, headlands, and one island
At the start I need to establish this, we are paddling against headwind. We have been paddling against headwind for the last twenty six days. Each day the headwind was of at least of force 4/5 and then 6,7,8 and more, for whole or part of the day. We have paddled against it up to the force 6, force 7 has reversing power on us. Only two days out of the twenty six we had tail wind of variable force 4-6, which gave us some push, but raised the sea to exciting levels. Now, that I got this of my chest, I can proceed with the writing. The fact that we are battling against the wind has its effect on when we paddle, and how far, but is also slowly taking its toll on our physical strength.
The last few days we were fighting our way around a rather large headland west of Eyjafjordur. We started this leg in Lónkot with a fairly short leg during the day. Then we decided to have a rest and to continue overnight. We left Olnbogi (Miklavatn) at half past midnight.
Having the light here 24/7 is great, as one would not really know if it is day or night anyway. The beginning of the paddle was very serene. All was calm, the sea, the air, no one was around, no cars on the road above us, birds were sleeping. We could not hear a sound, not even of the sea crushing on the cliffs, or hum of waterfalls, and no wind yet to whistle past our ears. The smaller fjords, which we could see were a mixture of green, brown, and black and white colours covered by purple tint. This lasted until we approached the west side of Eyjafjordur. A cruise ship appeared in the distance and disappeared into the fjord towards Akureyri long before we came to the corner. Only later could we hear the distant sound of first fishing boat. And slowly the calmness was replaced with the usual cacophony of sounds lead by the wind.
Soon the Gjogurta lighthouse came into view and we felt that we were almost there. The first bay wasn’t very friendly for landing kayaks, so we had to add another seven kilometres into the Thorgeirfjordur. What was an agony first, became worth it in the end.
Thorgeirfjodur had a emergency shelter, which has been restored into more plush accommodation resembling a summer house. We arrived at 10.30 in the morning and went straight to have a nap before making decision what next. To do that we had to climb to the top of the hill to catch enough reception. The views were great. Thogeirfjordur is rather large bay, with a long valley along a river, surrounded by showy peeks. We could see many remains of former houses, a settlement has been here since early times until 1944. It had a church with a small graveyard. In 1944 the last three families left, two of which went to Flatey island.
Flatey island was where we were heading to next. The forecast indicated that there was no rush the next day, as we would only be able to paddle the short distance to the island. We could see it already the previous day. A strip of land, 2,5km long with houses.
They all seemed strangely empty as we arrived. Once permanently occupied, they are summer houses now. Flatey has a church, lighthouse, community hall and two clean flushing toilets with toilet paper. Something that we consider a luxury at the moment. What it doesn’t have is running water for random visitors. We walked around the whole island, past every house until we found one with people in. Lucky for us, as we need some more water to what we have. The couple was lovely, and true to Icelandic hospitality invited us for coffee and shared the history of the island with us.
The next morning, quite early, we left to cross the Skjalfandi towards Tjornes. The crossing was foggy and wet. Husavik, which is situated at the south east side of the bay is famous for whale watching, sadly, we saw none. I know, we would have more chances if we were inside, but we would like to continue later on and really, with the constant headwind, we are trying to minimise the distance, we have to make.