In Brooklin, Maine
It was a cold, windy, and wet evening at the end of December when thecutter Flekkerøy slipped mysteriously through the dark into Great Cove to wait out a winter storm. We never actually saw the sailboat’s crew, but neighbor Jon Wilson contacted them by radio and found out that Klara Emmerfors and Bjørnar Berg were comfortable below deck; they had left their home port in Norway last summer and were on the way to celebrate the New Year with Klara’s sister, who was flying in from Europe for a rendezvous in nearby Rockland, Maine. (See posting of December 29, below.)
When the storm was gone, so was the Flekkerøy, but the possibility of a return visit to meet some Brooklinites was left open. Last Friday, on a very cold afternoon that preceded a snow storm, the Great Cove residents’ electronic jungle drums came alive: “Flekkerøy is coming into the Cove”; “… just in time for the storm.” The young Scandinavian adventurers (now known affectionately around here as “the Vikings”) had returned unannounced.
On Sunday, Klara and Bjørnar rowed their graceful dinghy through whitecaps and came ashore just below the WoodenBoat School boat house. (Seeing a small wooden boat tied up to the snow-covered walkway there in January was a pleasing incongruity.) The Vikings breakfasted with Jon and his wife, Sherry Streeter, who both arranged a short-notice welcoming pot luck dinner for them.
Sherry and Jon graciously hosted the dinner last night, where we learned the rest of the story. Bjørnar is Norwegian, Klara is Swedish. Their 40-foot cutter is a 1936 former Norwegian harbor pilot boat built for heavy-duty seafaring. They took the “Viking route” here: Norway to Iceland, to Greenland, to Labrador and then through the Canadian Maritimes to Down East Maine.
When they could, Klara and Bjørnar sailed Flekkerøy and didn’t use the motor. They went through “a big storm” between Iceland and Greenland, but never felt that they were in real trouble. They have had no problems buying diesel fuel and food along the way, but getting enough potable water sometimes has been a challenge. Their diesel heater kept the cabin cozy in the coldest times. Klara’s sister celebrated New Year’s on board the Flekkerøy, where she stayed for a cold week.
The Vikings have no specific plans for returning to Norway any time soon. They intend to sail around the New England coast and stop into Boston and Mystic, if the harbors there aren’t completely iced in. Other than that, they’ll wait for inspiration to decide where to make their next landing.
For a few more images of Klara, Bjørnar, and Flekkerøy, , click the following link:
Barbara and Dick