Reflections on Senja
Senja is the second largest island of Norway, the exposed outer coast has sharp fjord like indentations and is open to the full force of the North Atlantic as well as the Arctic Ocean, in the winter (and the other seasons though less regularly) they can receive some horrendous storms, but not today, today we have decided to leave from Sandvika.
I would have been more than happy to stay a while longer, maybe build a cabin and take early retirement. Ørgen was telling me that the island including the outer coastline has been frequented by travellers, sea farers, traders and fishermen as well as the nomadic Sami during their migrations for thousands of years and there is a very special feel for me in this bay, I would quite happily call it home.
We paddle south, heading out to the outer islands, some of which are bird reserves, the weather is holding and we have a slight breeze to keep us cool. On many of the islands there are signs of previous inhabitants as well as nautical relics such as rusted mooring cleats, embedded into the granite rocks. As we paddle through the islands we find several small natural harbours where shelter could be found if suddenly caught out by the wind or swell.
Towards the end of the day we glide back in towards the main part of the island, landing at a small fishing village called FinnForda situated on the south west corner of the island, we camp just above a rocky beach, pitching our tent inside of a small run down wooden shack, this should make for a slightly darker sleeping environment, the midnight sun is not having such a negative effect on me as it did two years ago and my sleep is in the main unbroken most nights.
Before we get our heads down for the night, we wander into the village looking for a shop, we meet a couple waiting by the ferry stop and ask for directions, but they inform us that everywhere is closed, we had forgotten it is a bank holiday, they inform us that they are both paddlers, they know Bjorn and are part of the Tromso Kayak club, they ask what we needed and we say ‘Just bread’ the lady says she has half a loaf, you can have it, we offer to pay but she refuses, what a great community sea paddlers/farers are…………
Tomorrow we cross from Senja to Hinnoyo.