Sailing from Bergen, Norway to Lerwick, Shetland – our first 55 hours passage.

Bergen welcomed us with a cloudy sky and the promise of a rain coming our way. We have quickly located Brego, resting attached to another boat in the centre of the town. My knowledge about the sailors’ etiquette was non-existent and I did not realise that if you want to get to the boat which is located further down the line, you just getting on the nearest boat and crossing over. For some reason doing that seemed impolite. But as we soon found out – this is what you meant to be doing as there is no other way. No one expects you to swim between the boats!

Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Norway

This evening the sun was coming down really slowly, coating the sky in gold. In Norway the sunset in summer is a whole new experience, lasting almost forever! The sky offers incredible spectacle of colours and shapes.

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If you travel further north and towards Shetland, Faroe Islands and Iceland, you will get incredible “white nights”. This natural phenomenon allowed us to wander in Iceland until 3 o’clock in the morning and get to the glacier! At 3 am the night grew a little darker and it painted the most incredible blue shadows on the glacier, making the surroundings even more moon-alike.

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When we reached Shetland and I left the boat, I wanted to kiss the ground. I still felt a little shaky after spending 2.5 day on the North Sea. To my surprise I did not develop wobbly legs but I have noticed that the floor was moving slightly when I sat on a chair and looked down. I was told by the others that this might happen and it was a funny feeling!

Bergen, Norway
Bergen, Marina in the center of the town

Shetland welcomed us painting sunny spells on our lashed by the wind and rain faces. We have arrived at 1 pm and I could finally get my hot shower and look at the bruises my body encountered, thanks to the strong winds and difficulties to move around the boat, especially when we needed to raise the sails. One of the things you really need, if you are sailing through uneasy waters and it is your first time, is some sort of padded protectors on your knees. Something like you use when on a bike or skating board would fit nicely. My knees looked a real mess, like I just survived a motorcycle accident!

Lerwick, Shetlands, harbor


Our first passage was a difficult one, not only because of the seasickness holding me for 12 hours, the lack of sleep and food, but because of the weather. The constant rain was whipping our faces with no mercy, the boat was rocking violently, cutting through the waves and the cold was sneaking under our cloths. I was easily getting cold, especially during the night, when my body was plastered to one side of my bunk, feeling cold board through my cloths. The sun lavishly spreading around us was the most beautiful picture I could imagine after being through the unforgivable weather.

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This first passage was a real hard-core for us! I know I am repeating myself here, but the clash between the lack of knowledge I have displayed before and the reality hit me rather hard. There is a CONSTANT movement of the boat, there is no break, and you can hardly sleep at first, completely exhausted, not feeling well and wanting all this to end. And then you are overcoming it all. You start catching your balance; appreciate the emptiness of the open sea. You start looking at the horizon lovingly, as this is the only fixed feature around you, letting you stay sane in the world of uninterrupted movement. And when you are able to see the land in front of you – the feeling of a total happiness is simply overwhelming. And you know that you have done it – you have SAILED. You took an uneasy way to get from one place to another and it was WORTH IT!

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