Thursday, July 7, 2016 / Stephanie / Exploration  

"Suit up!" we exclaimed, tossing Josh a full set of rain gear (thanks, Bruce!) as Brian and I prepared Detour to haul the anchor.  The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) Arctic Rally was on the move!  Conditions were superb, strong head winds and rain.  "Don't worry," we encouraged Josh, "at tonight's anchorage, Hjartoya, we should have a spectacular view of the Seven Sisters mountain range."  Besides, the fish don't mind the rain! Seven Sisters - day of arrival 01:00 (ish) Those stealthy virgins, those Seven Sisters turned to stone, hadn't allowed us a glimpse the next morning but the day showed promise as clouds whirled and swirled above the mountains.  I put a call out on the VHF to invite our group on a hike I'd found nearby.  "I'm not sure of the condition of the trail after the rain," I explained, "but we'll give it a try!"  Mike and Sally were up for the challenge!  We hauled Detour's anchor and after an on-the-move-raft-up to S/Y Jenny for Mike and Sally to hop aboard, we set out approximately one-mile 'round the corner to the neighboring island of Donna where the 858m summit of Donnamannen was concealed in the clouds.From the dinghy landing in a farmer's field, with help from accurate tourist information, we easily located the trail head for Donnamannen.  The trail was well marked and in remarkably good condition considering the previous days' rain.  We paused often to admire the views, particularly when the clouds moved aside.  Intermittent rain showers kept us cool as we made our ascent. Through Donnamannen's peaks, we spotted the OCC fleet anchored at Hjartoya.  Still, the Seven Sisters were concealed!  The trail took an interesting turn...UP!  Let's hope these ropes are attached securely, and into the clouds we go!The top of Donnamannen was a narrow ridge and below, on either side, all we could see were clouds.  We tiptoed along the ridge to reach the summit.  Success!  And then, it snowed!   Donnamannen - the ridge unveiled, view as we sail back to Hjartoya On the way back to Hjartoya, we lingered outside of the anchorage for a bit of fishing.  Mike showed us the spot where he and Jan had been successful the day before, and sure enough the cod remained plentiful!  Now, we were prepared for grill night aboard M/V Migration. As a spectacular treat, the Seven Sisters finally emerged!  The backdrop for our evening's events was a clear blue sky with seven, snow-capped peaks towering brilliantly behind the anchorage.  We joined the Arctic Rally aboard M/V Migration for a grilled pot-luck.  Marci and George had every grill aboard fired-up and the fleet brought some delicious sides to share with their chosen grillables.  We sat on the top deck, staring at awe at our surroundings and thankful for good company at the end of a fabulous day! Seven Sisters - 17:00 (ish) Seven Sisters - 23:00 (ish)