We sailed up the coast in beautiful channels. We had a good talk with our friend in Strusshamn who has sailed up and down the coast several times. He gave us good advice on the waters N Lofoten. And, he pointed out that the open and easy fairways to the west heading N from Bergen was quite boring. Instead, he showed us a protected route taken by many ferries, including Hurtigrut, even if it looks unbelievable on the charts.

The channels we took has a minimum depth of 7 meters and minimum hight of 22 meters – no problem for us. The first narrow passage is Alverstraumen at the S end of Radnoey (Radnøy). This is where the fun, and the beautiful surroundings really starts.

We had light following winds and motored quite a bit in the morning. As the waters opened up after Radnoey (Radnøy), we put up the gennaker for the first time this year. It comes folded from the sailmakers and we need very quiet conditions to hoist it the first time. We were then able to sail with it for a while before the channel became more winding and the genoa replaced it.

The fairway goes across quite a volume of enclosed waters. This makes the tide run towards the middle when rising. Thus, the current runs N in Alverstraumen and S in Kilstraumen on a rising tide. The Norwegian pilot warns about currents up to six knots in the narrowest parts, but we experience less than three knots in Alverstraumen three hours before high tide.

It was a nice day, following winds, quiet sailing, and sunshine in the cockpit – bikini weather. The second narrow passage is Kilstraumen S Mongstad. We arrived shortly before slack water and had no problems sailing through.

We stopped for the night in Skjerjehamn. An old trading post now owned and operated by one of the large fish farming companies. They had not spared the money when renovating the place. Some nice walks, restaurant, exhibitions, and good facilities.