Stuck in Honningsvag

Here we are in Honningsvag. Maxine, with her curious Flemish sense of humour, pronounces this “honey fuck”.

This morning there was no coolant in the header tank. We have stripped off the head and the gasket looks OK. The exhaust manifold and header tank pressure test well. We conclude that there must be a crack in the head. So it must be sent down to Bodo for close examination. Of course there is an airline strike, so it must do the 1,000 km trip by road. And there is a weekend coming up. And Pasha and Max will be waiting to join the boat in Archangel’sk. And there is a weather system approaching. And our Russian visas are non-negotiable. 


In the meantime, we sit. And sit.  Gins and tonic assist. Tainui is tied up at the marine engineering wharf, against dreadful black tractor tyres, with an intermittent surge as fishing boats pass by.  It is warm and sunny. The snow is melting fast and I expect the hills will soon be green. A 3m  baby orca, which has taken up residence in the bay just outside the harbour, is a real novelty for the locals. We are the only sailing boat here, and an object of curiosity for all. Old men sit on the wharf, smoke their pipes and look benign and very ethnic. Neat, drab-coloured cottages extend up the rocky hillsides. Purposeful red and blue fishing boats come and go. King crab, cod and halibut are the stock in trade.

Honningsvag harbour

Honningsvag harbour

The port is very pretty. If there were not a pressing urgency about getting into Russia, a bloke would have to be pretty relaxed. Maxine is a tower of enthusiastic strength, while I just retreat into the forecabin to sulk and sleep. 


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