(This is the second post in a three-part report on my trip to Norway's Romsdal Alps in early March.)
While ski touring the Romsdal Alps was the primary objective in Norway last week, a big part of the adventure for me was also found on the water, where my group traveled the fjords of central Norway via the Anne Margrethe, a restored sailing vessel built in 1880. The 70-foot "jakt" (yacht) was captained by Bjarne Krekvik, a 55-year-old sailor from a small village north of the town of Molde, our home base.
We "sailed" (powered by a 250hp Volvo diesel) to ports like Andalsnes and Eresfjord over four days, and we slept onboard in the boat's cabins. A cozy galley was the social center, and each night involved rich meals and long conversation at the big table below deck, where we'd study maps and plan the next day's adventure.
The mountains drop thousands of feet, from sky to slate-blue water, in the area. The fjords plunge to icy depths. Cruising on the Anne Margrethe -- motor humming, Capt. Bjarne at the wheel, Norse scenery floating by -- was a gorgeous time.
On the first night I snuck up top long after dark as the ship cut south toward Andalsnes. Mountains were black hulks drifting by, featureless silhouettes rising abruptly, blocking out an inky sky dotted with stars.
Breakfast was below deck each morning, coffee, eggs, and jam on bread. We made sandwiches for the day's ski, then climbed the ladder into the sun. Put skins on skis up top. Double checked the packs. Jumped off the ship and onto land, a quick drive most mornings to a trailhead where we'd start our ski.
Equipment check up top at port in Andalsnes.
The galley; post-dinner one evening.
Capt. Bjarne Krekvik
Skins on, ready to ski!
View from the crow's nest, 70 feet above the water!
Motoring west to Eresfjord on day No. 3; view from a window in the wheelhouse.
(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see www.THEGEARJUNKIE.com for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold's work.)