23 June 2008

New Toy

After 5 years of talking about it I have finally got a boat - well I haven’t actually got it yet but I have parted with the cash and should get it soon.

Surrounded by water, in fact living in an Evil-Lair that overlooks a fjord, it seemed rude not to really. I would love to own a sail boat, and hopefully one day I will. However, everyone I know who owns one seems to spend all their spare time fixing it, so I decided that was not for me. Nope, I was looking for something fast, with good hooligan potential and was not to bothered about comfort. Subsequently a RIB seemed to fit the bill.

After much searching I found this one - 18 foot, 150HP, top speed 45 knots and only just over my self prescribed budget. It was down in Kragerø which is on the south coast of Norway, half way between Oslo and Christiansand, just a short hop on the map. Plan was to drive down Saturday and have a look then drive back.

We left later than planned on Saturday and drove, and drove. Then we drove some more and realised that we were less than half way, so we drove so more again. One thing you can say about Norway - its f*ckin big! And, two things, the roads are crap. Add to that the shit, very slow driving, mixed in with the convoys of german camper vans (summer here is like 1940 all over again) and it takes a very long time to get anywhere. We spent about 8 hours just to get to the south coast and we already live in the southern half of the country.

The plus side of this tour was that it is very pretty! We had never really thought about exploring that part of the country beyond driving through in the winter to go to Rjukan. But it is actually really beautiful, we crossed the Hardanger and dropped down into steep rolling valleys with trees and lakes and trees and more trees, very pretty and very empty (apart from trees).

We arrived in Kragerø which was bizarrely covered in snow and meet Henning, the man with the boat. He explained that the snow was trucked in from the Hardanger for a ski race - yes a ski race on the longest day of the year when the temperature on the coast was 15 degs - only in Norway! He took us to see the boat.

The boat "did what it said on the tin", looked good, was fast and stable. Fiddled with the engine long enough to conclude that it was sound (at least I think it is - fingers crossed) and then agreed a price.

Celebrated with a meal by the water side in Kragerø - very nice spot, highly recommend a visit in the summer. Then we drove half way back, camped on top of Halkuli Fjell where it actually did snow on Sunday morning. Then back to Bergen.

Now I just have to figure how to get it to Bergen in time for my birthday party next weekend...


Mike Klym said...

"Leaving in an Evil Lair" - some mistoke surely?

Unless you call the boat "Evil Lair" in which case you could correctly be "leaving etc etc"

A shame that Peter, Paul & Mary never considered this as a song title.

John said...

Mike - thats my first ever comment and all you do is pick up on bad spelling - you are a pedantic bastard... Thanks anyway