Floating Low to Lofoten “Floating Low to Lofoten” is the story of a trip to the Norwegian Arctic aboard my 27ft yacht.
In 2008 we crossed the North Sea from the Firth of Forth, then I cruised northwards, above the Arctic Circle to north of the Lofoten Islands. Most, but by no means all of this journey, was sailed solo.
Having decided to explore the west coast of Norway a friend asked me how far up I intended to go. Without having bothered to look at a map I replied casually that I’d probably just nip up to the Lofotens. He seemed surprised. So was I when I took a quick look at a chart and saw how far up they were.
This is not, as I’m sure you can tell, a tale of conquering the savage seas against all odds. Neither does it claim to be a pilot book or sailing directions. It’s just the story of a holiday in a wee boat that went a bit further than most people manage in a summer cruise.
The whole of the landscape of the Atlantic coast of Norway is fantastically scenic, but the further north you go the more stunning it gets and I’ve tried to give a sense of that in this volume. The verdant hills, populous towns and thriving economy of rural Norway, even way up beyond the Arctic Circle, offer lessons for our barren glens and depopulated communities in Scotland.
Cruising alone in this marvellous, sheltered environment could be said to heighten the critical faculties. It could also be said to cause me to rant a lot. This is not the kind of detailed sailing log that documents the minutest of wind shifts and the colour of that morning’s ‘Y’-fronts. As well as the story of a sailing cruise it’s a series of observations about the nature, culture, people, economy and boats of the places I passed through.
This is the second in a series of cruising ‘logs’ about Zophiel’s voyages. “Skagerrak and Back” is the tale of a North Sea circuit, “A Gigantic Whinge on the Celtic Fringe” is the story of our circumnavigation of Ireland and "Bobbing to the Baltic" describes a trip from Edinburgh to the Russian border.
Recently some of the people who have been slandered in these tales have suggested that they should be used for kindling. I’ve taken these kind words to heart and published them first for Kindle and now for other e-readers.
Soon I'll be publishing two volumes about some land-based travels, entitled "Travels with my Rant" and "The Front of Beyond". These are gripping tales about nipping over dodgy borders in places like Nicaragua and Burma and being kidnapped, after a fashion, in East Timor.
This volume contains a lot of colour photographs. If you’re struggling with grainy black and white on an e-reader, there’s more sailing tales and the full set of colour photos from this volume at www.edge.me.uk/Sailinghome.htm