TE Aug 2019 Norway and SW Sweden

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Once again, not as planned. Instead of starting up the west side of Norway on True East we decided to abandon that plan after our technical problems in Denmark. Instead we headed directly to Oslo where are road trip in Norway commenced. Once we arrived in Oslo, we immediately had another technical problem with the boat. Our engines are Cummins, made in USA, the shaft damper between the engine and drive unit is made in Germany, the Zeus pod drive units are made in Italy and modified in the USA….an international boat, the doors are Italian, the passarele Croatian, etc. Our problem was in the port Zeus drive, a terrible racket screaming imminent failure developed on a day trip out of Oslo. We returned to port and got on the phone. Turned out less than 10 miles away was the only guy in Europe who stocks the part we needed. This is due to the fact that he services the rescue boats in Norway that use the same part. Bad luck, good luck. We had to wait for the mechanics to return from ‘holiday’, then it took only a day to make the repair. We used the time to go the arctic circle! Having some time before our next guest arrived, we headed down to the south coast. It looks a lot like Maine, the north side of Lake Huron and British Columbia. Our first night we anchored up outside of Larvik and Dan took his first Norway swim. Swimming here year round is not uncommon and two swims a day in summer is quite standard in water 58-68 degrees. We then headed up the historic Telemark Canal built in the 1850’s and considered only of the wonders of the world at its time. First we took the east branch up to Notodden, home of a UNESCO site where Norway’s first hydro plant was built. Also the Blue’s capital of Norway with the annual bash starting the day we left. Then we proceeded up the west for thru the three sets of hand operated step locks. Senior dockmaster declared we were the first American boat he had ever seen in the locks. They gave us coffee cups, we gave them Flordia ball caps (thanks Glenn). Continuing south we stopped at Kregero and then on to Arendal, passing thru the wooden boat festival at Risor on the way. Grand nephews Chad and Kyle joined us for a night in Arendal with its great Guesthaven for visiting boats. Knowing we were not going to take the boat up the west coast, we decided to rent a car and go up the coast to Stavanger (trip described in our land travels in Norway). Returning to Ardendal, we headed a little further south to Grimstad which was the end of the line. Turning around, we headed back to Risor, a very white town with great facilities. We then headed up to Larvik which turned out to be a very industrial and not interesting town, so we went back out to Stavern. While in Stavern the high winds returned and we were pinned in for several days. Our Grove friend Bernd Meir was to join us in Oslo, instead he took a train to Stavern. With a window in the weather, we decided to head for Fredickstad on the east side of the Oslo Fjord, with a lunch stop at Tonsberg on the way. Fredickstad was the fortress on the Swedish boarder and was burned down several times over the centuries, it’s a lovely town. Docked at the Guesthaven, we were across the canal from the newspaper office. Thomas Arntsen showed up the the morning wanting to interview the folk form Miami with their boat in Fredrickstad, front page in the next issue. Next stop was Horten, near Borre that was the site of a major Viking settlement. More than 80 Viking burial site were discovered here and it is site of a major Viking museum. It is also the site of the Viking festival that was starting just as we visited. It was then back to Oslo where Bernd left us and head to the arctic circle. In Oslo, grandson Luke Yuan and the wonderful Veronica joined us for a couple of days. We once again explored this world class city and its museums and restaurants. It seems for the first time this summer, we actually have a number of days between guests and no long ground to cover. Dan took a couple of days to organize pictures and update the blog while Marcia continued to explore Oslo. Leaving Oslo, we returned to Vollen to have the oil changed in our new gearbox, pick up some spares and pay the bill. Unlike America, after all of our major repairs, each yard has said ‘we will send you the bill’ as we departed. With a little time before we were to meet Bentley and Brenda Collins, we decided to explore the coast of Sweden below Oslo. First stop was Moss, required by the weather as there was not much there. On to the wonderful city of Stomstad where Dan was able to get a new ‘temporary import permit’ for True South. These permits are available when entering the EU (Norway is not in the EU) and are good for 18 months. Last time we did this was leaving Switzerland and entering Germany on the Rhine. On to Smogen and finally a stop in Grebbestad. We then headed back up to Stomstad where Bentley and Brenda joined us for a few days of cruising.

TE Norway & SW Sweden 2019
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