Bergen, the bustling city that had greeted us with sunshine and warmth in June, now demonstrated its true colors - wet! Since we'd been up north, Bergen had set record breaking rainfall at nearly 10 inches recorded during the month of July. Rain was still pouring down, every day! We took this opportunity to visit the driest space in the city, the KODE Art Museum.
We spent several days in the vicinity of Bergen. S/Y Albatross arrived at the city quayside, and we reunited for drinks to swap stories from our Norwegian southbound journeys ("Channel 77 forever!"). Brian and I splurged on our only 'at a bar' beers of the summer (1 beer each) when we met friends, Simon, Marie, and Ricardo of S/Y B612 for a fun night on the town. I cannot thank our friends, Jan and Eli of S/Y Jenny enough for their hospitality; we spent a fabulous weekend at their home. Just prior to departing Bergen, we met fellow American cruisers aboard S/Y Paradise Divide; we spent hours together sharing information about our previous ports to which the other intends to visit, theirs Scotland and ours the Netherlands. On a serendipitous encounter, we'd also met fellow Ocean Cruising Club members, Jonno and Rosie; we'd shared a meal together aboard Detour
as well as a wealth of information about Scotland and Norway and several good laughs! All the social activity sparked our excitement, reminded us there are so many wonderful people and fantastic places to visit, that maybe our departure from Norway shouldn't be quite so sad (even with the rain setting the tone for a heartfelt goodbye to this fabulous country).
And so we found ourselves set to depart Norway from the island of Utsira. We were closely watching a weather window that had opened for us to sail to Scotland. Brian caught (not the largest) one final, fresh cod we had a tasty grilled supper as we enjoyed a grilled supper at Utsira's accommodating, cozy south harbour.
Utsira was an outdoor gallery of street art, with large and small surprises 'round every corner!
Utsira had wonderful walking trails, a bit soggy from rain that had followed us out of Bergen.
Once again we met new friends; a few local sailors at the harbour and a Swedish couple aboard S/Y Amina who'd just returned from Scotland. We had a fabulous visit! Just when we thought we were ready to leave Norway, we tasted kreps - my goodness how can we ever leave! These little, bottom-dwelling sea critters were absolutely delicious! The fishermen had cooked them, so we cracked open their crayfish-like shells with a freshly melted pot of butter at hand. Kreps tasted like a combination of king crab legs and lobster tails.
On departure day, the skies cleared and the wind shifted to the anticipated direction; Detour
was ready! Goodbye, Norway.