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22nd June 2011

A Sailing Holiday From Namsos To The Arctic Circle

The schooner Trinovante sailing through Bronnoysund, Norway.

As our schooner Trinovante continues her journey to the north of Norway three of the crew have got together to write the two blogs for this section of the voyage with a paragraph from me (Su – 1st mate) too.

You can read the second blog for this sailing holiday soon.

There are several other articles written by crews about sailing holidays from previous years on our main web site here –
Sailing in the Arctic – Fish On
Sailing Into The Arctic Circle For The First Time

Or check out availability on our main web site for our
sailing holidays this summer.

Our little Wideroe plane landing at Namsos.

Our little Wideroe plane landing at Namsos.


Standing at Namsos Airport around the arrivals lounge trying to identify who the other crew members might be. It didn’t take long at all as it is the smallest airport any of us had been to!

It was reassuring that air stewards were the same over the three different flights from Heathrow to Namsos.

The planes got smaller with each leg, starting out on a 737 to Stavangar and finishing with a small De Havilland.

Sea Eagles soaring above sea cliffs in Northern Norway.

Sea Eagles soaring above sea cliffs.


Our first day out together as a crew, and starting to “learn the ropes” under the watchful eye of Su.
However the vagaries of sailing intervened and the lack of wind meant that we were able to spend more time observing the staggering scenery.

We were more than rewarded by the sight of EIGHT Sea Eagles wheeling together over an island, either pairing or bonding. Truly a sight to remember well after voyage’s end.

Chris at the helm of the schooner Trinovante.

Me looking like I know what I am doing!

We woke up to day two, and a good days sail under wall to wall sunshine. Su continued her understanding guidance and the crew began to work together as a team.

My previous three voyages with John and Su paid off, and gave me confidence in helping to handle the boat – all under safe supervision.

A wonderful experience, with a relaxed crew, amazing food and scenery to die for.

Preparing mooring lines for docking in Sandnessjoen.

Preparing mooring lines for docking.


I’d done quite a lot of dinghy sailing but had always wanted to experience sailing a “proper ship”. Finding SchoonerSail online it looked like an ideal combination of a small friendly crew and keen sailors. I was looking for something completely different to my day job as a paramedic and the idea of sailing in Norway really appealed. I’ve travelled independently quite extensively, and SchoonerSail offered another adventure seeing a country from a different angle and at a different pace.

Great views from Sandnessjoen.

Great views from Sandnessjoen.

We sailed windward on the second day and I really enjoyed a long spell getting used to helming a much larger boat than I was used to between beautiful small islands taking advantage of the windshifts to gain ground to windward.

Soon after we arrived in the small town of Sandnessjoen where we enjoyed a hike up into the hills to get a better view of the Seven Sisters mountains, and posed for our rock band photo at the top. Legend has it the Sisters were turned to stone at dawn. The next day we set off for the Arctic circle.

At the shipyard in Sandnessjoen admiring a prop.

At the shipyard in Sandnessjoen admiring a prop.


Nearly all the boats in Norway have variable pitch props and we often feel Norwegians find our British fixed blade prop rather quaint and slightly odd.

Wandering through the small shipyard in Sandnessjoen (on one of our regular hunts for a washing machine) we came across this big variable pitch prop. There was plenty going on in this yard and later we watched one of the bigger Norwegian ferries being slipped.

Crossing the Arctic Circle.

Crossing the Arctic Circle.


Above the latitude of the Arctic circle 66′ 33′ you get constant daylight and full days where the sun never sets. This is the land of the Midnight Sun. It was a milestone for the voyage, although we had already started to get used to it being daylight all through the night.

We were very excited to see the Arctic circle marker and as we are moving further north you can really notice the landscape becoming more mountainous with more glaciers and snowfields. We are all looking forward to seeing the Svartisen glacier and going deep into the Fjords of the Norwegian Arctic.

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