Happy New Year everyone. Let me get out of topic away from sailing and Samal to traveling home to Norway. In a way, it is still part of the cruising life- every so often, we leave our boat behind in a safe place and fly home. This year, we leave Wiskun in the Samal boatyard, safe and secure, and flew to Norway where Kjartan is from.
It's been 3 years since I've been back in Norway and it is good to be back. I have to admit, I went through some physical shocks. First, a temperature shock from 30 degrees celsius to minus 10. Then the nasal shock - from smelling traffic fumes to crisp clean air. Then lastly, a stomach shock from eating completely different type of food. I was going to add the auditory shock from noise to silence - but after attending a New year's party, I have to eliminate that. All good - and I am starting to get used to it.
We are on an island called Sotra which lies on the west coast approximately 20 minutes from the center of Bergen. There are 2 Sotra islands - big and small. We are on the big one which is 176 sq km in area. The general area is an archipelago of 1,550 islands, mostly connected by bridges. Actually, when driving around, you hardly even notice you are already in a separate island. The largest bridge is of course the bridge connecting to the mainland - Bergen. Now that the bridge is fully paid for (no more toll charges), there are more and more people moving to Sotra.
There are 3 main municipalities here of which are further subdivided to communities (komunne). Kjartan's family lives in the Sekkingstad Kommune. Since his last name is Sekkingstad, I can only assume his family has lived here forever and never moved. Being a coastal area, the main business is related to the sea - fish processing and lobsters. I believe the lobster license is one of the very very few licenses still operating in Norway, handed down from several generations.
It is a very quiet neighborhood with the occasional sounds of the tractor and of course, the container trucks going in and out of the processing plant. Kjartan's father loves his tractor. Now, he uses it to shovel the roads clean of snow. In the summer, he is busy with grassing and plowing the fields for his 20+ sheeps that he still maintains.
The weather can get nasty with very strong winds. It rains a lot here too. For now, I am just so happy the days are clear, sunny and more importantly, no wind. It is beautiful. Here are some pictures taken around the house.