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. 


11 thoughts on “Stuck in Honningsvag

  1. May 28, 2013 at 03:02

    Hi Maxine and John,

    So sorry to hear that you are having engine problems but maybe it’s better to get it solved in Norway before venturing onwards. Engines can be a bit of a mystery. I had a leak (raw water system) from the pump in my little 12hp Kubota, the pump was replaced four times and the engine stripped and flushed. Eventually I gave up and now I’ve put a jam jar under the still dripping pump!

    My plans to go to Russia have most probably been delayed (or possibly cancelled) because my arm is not playing fair. My friends will still be sailing to the South East coast of Norway to winter and Charlotte is already based in Sweden. It would suit me if the trip was delayed by one year but that may not be possible.

    It is good that I will be able to follow your adventure as compensation.

    Go easy on the Aquavit. Have you tried the brown cheese yet?

    Fair winds,


    1. May 28, 2013 at 08:11

      Hello Alasdair

      Sorry about your shoulder. Don’t take it too seriously – get bigger winches. I reckon you have to upsize every decade even with normal shoulders. I once crossed the Tasman Sea with one functioning shoulder joint between the 5 of us crew!

      We’ll keep an eye out for the brown cheese, mate


  2. Mary Ann D'Souza
    May 26, 2013 at 02:08

    Have a G&T for us. Enjoy. Love Me & Alf.

  3. Marisa Maters
    May 25, 2013 at 19:32

    Looking forward to more travel stories and pictures. Got one from the baby orca?
    Have a great and safe journey.
    Marisa (Max her baby sister)

    1. Maxine
      May 26, 2013 at 00:31

      Baby orca reluctant to pose for the camera despite John’s best best efforts :-)

  4. May 25, 2013 at 18:44

    Have a good trip with many beautiful experiences!!
    We will follow you.
    Marijke en Michiel (brother).

    1. Maxine
      May 26, 2013 at 00:28

      Thanks guys, it feel good that you are following my trip

  5. Lieve C.
    May 25, 2013 at 14:46

    No-no, Max’s humour has definitely being upgraded to “Flemish” ;-P
    Sorry to hear you guys are stuck there, but a visiting baby whale as co-host for the local show isn’t too bad.
    Держитись !!
    (Moscow Friend)

    1. Maxine
      May 26, 2013 at 00:27

      Держусь! And thanks for the Flemish upgrade, I feel quite honoured..

  6. Miriam de Nijs
    May 24, 2013 at 20:28

    Max’s adaptation of the name Honningsvag is not Flemmish humour….it is defintely Max humour!!!’
    Have a great trip,
    Miriam (an old college friend)

    1. Maxine
      May 26, 2013 at 00:25

      Thanks Mir, skipper sometimes confused. He can’t help it though.
      Interesting to see that you adhere to English English spelling these days??

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