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Old 27-02-2012, 05:24   #1
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Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter ?

We plan to sail to Lofoten Islands this autumn, leave the boat there for some weeks and continue sailing in december.

Are there any members of this forum who have done this yet? I am looking for some advice as where to leave the boat, what weather to expect in december/january, orca season, boat and personal gear and whatever comes to your mind.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
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Old 27-02-2012, 11:44   #2
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

Not very good idea.. Storms allmost nonstop around there. Freezing too..
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Old 27-02-2012, 12:02   #3
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

Lofoten Islands, up by Narvik? I am not sure why you would want to go there in December/January. Also, between about December 4 and January 7 the sun never gets above the horizon, making daylight little more than a couple of hours of twilight. As Teddy said, you can expect high winds and storms of sleet, freezing rain, or snow. You might want to wait until February or March--more daylight as well as the traditional fishing season.
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Old 28-02-2012, 00:56   #4
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

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Not very good idea.. Storms allmost nonstop around there. Freezing too..
Thank you for that advice. I'm watching the weather this winter closely (on the internet). It came to my mind, that it might be better to cruise in the farthest north of norway. Most lows seem to stay a little south. I'm still not sure about that.
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Old 28-02-2012, 01:15   #5
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

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Lofoten Islands, up by Narvik? I am not sure why you would want to go there in December/January. Also, between about December 4 and January 7 the sun never gets above the horizon, making daylight little more than a couple of hours of twilight. As Teddy said, you can expect high winds and storms of sleet, freezing rain, or snow. You might want to wait until February or March--more daylight as well as the traditional fishing season.
Thank you for answering. I've been there three times, in Summer. Everytime it came to my mind how beautiful this place must be in winter, even in the dark days.

This year we have a lot of maintenance work to do on our boat, this will use up most of our cruising time. Looks like a perfect year for a shorter trip (some weeks). This brings Lofoten islands into our reach.

I've some experience with cold winters - i used to climb a lot in summer as well as in winter in the Alps, and i've been sailing with our boat up to 80° north. So i am not afraid of cold.

I want to avoid the fishing season. There are many fishing vessels out there, harbours are crowded and life for fishermen is hard enough, even without tourists cruising around.

Strongest concern right now is the weather - high winds can definitely ruin my day at low temperatures.
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Old 28-02-2012, 03:12   #6
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

Here:

Daylight Hours Explorer

one can look up the dayhours / nighthours. That is unless you do not care about the darkness. In the fjords/inlets there will be icing. Open water can be rough there even in the summer.

You need reliable boat heating system.

If you contactc SXK they may send you a copy of their magazine where there was a feature on Lofoten / winter some time ago.

b.
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Old 28-02-2012, 11:54   #7
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

Darkness isn't a problem up here, just dimm all unnesessary lights and it's ok to sail... if "sjųrųyk" isn't present. Icing in fjords is minimal and only in the very ends of the most protected ones however icing on the boat is a real and very big danger.
You are right, further northeast is somewhat better what comes to weather. I'm now in Vadsų and see the harbour right here where I'm sitting. It's now a bit short of a gale and snowing some. Not a nice weather on the sea but ok here in the harbour.
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Old 29-02-2012, 00:48   #8
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Here:

Daylight Hours Explorer

one can look up the dayhours / nighthours. That is unless you do not care about the darkness. In the fjords/inlets there will be icing. Open water can be rough there even in the summer.

You need reliable boat heating system.

If you contactc SXK they may send you a copy of their magazine where there was a feature on Lofoten / winter some time ago.

b.
Thank you for the link. I know that, depending on wind direction, either Vestfjorden or atlantic coast of the Lofoten can show a nasty sea state.
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Old 29-02-2012, 01:09   #9
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
Darkness isn't a problem up here, just dimm all unnesessary lights and it's ok to sail... if "sjųrųyk" isn't present. Icing in fjords is minimal and only in the very ends of the most protected ones however icing on the boat is a real and very big danger.
You are right, further northeast is somewhat better what comes to weather. I'm now in Vadsų and see the harbour right here where I'm sitting. It's now a bit short of a gale and snowing some. Not a nice weather on the sea but ok here in the harbour.
Best greetings to Norway. I've never made it to Vadsų when cruising the coast of Norway, either because we took the Route via Tromsų and Torsvåg to Svalbard or we did not make it farther north than Tromsų. But from learning about the history of svalbard, i recall Vadsų beeing an intermediate stop for the airships Norge and Italia.

Thank you for mentioning icing. We have a rubber mallet, which will be ok for anchor, deck, railguards and cockpit. Freezing spay or freezing rain in the rig might be a different issue.
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Old 29-02-2012, 07:21   #10
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Re: Sailing Lofoten Islands in Winter ?

Yes, topside ice can be a real killer if it builds up too much.
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