Sailing in three countries in three days

At the end of July 2023, our Ocean Ladies and our boat s/y Carissa set a new record (at least for most of us onboard… ;-)): we sailed in three different countries within the short time of just three days!

This formidable feat – or simply a fun fact, depending on your tendency for exageration – occured during the 12th leg of Carissa’s 2023 summer tour, where our six-strong crew set sail from Gothenburg in Sweden on 30 July.

The crew, led by our skipper Paula and consisting of our first mate Raija, second mate Heidi and crew members Jonna, Liisa and Kati, left the huge marina outside of Sweden’s second largest city under blue skies and fair winds, setting course for the very northern tip of Denmark and the town of Skagen. As the day progressed, so did the cloud cover, wind, rain and waves. By the time we reached Skagen in the evening, the entire crew was thoroughly drenched and cold, with a dash of sea sickness completing the experience. We were, however, thoroughly pleased with ourselves for making it to country nr. 2, Denmark!

The following day, energized by a warm shower, a good night’s sleep and with some local delicacies (including the famous Skagen shrimp salad and Danish sweet pastries) to fuel us, we set sail towards the third country on our itinerary: Norway.

In order to reach the beautiful area close to Stavanger as early on in our trip as possible and taking into account the weather forecast, we did not head for the closest spot on the Norwegian coast but rather further north-west, toward the island of Hidra. This involved a 32-hour non-stop sail, with the crew organized into three shifts, ensuring we all got some rest as well as time helming and on deck. As we neared the small fishing town of Kirkehavn, the exclamations from the crew admiring the beauty of the landscape and the idyllic Norwegian white, wooden houses grew louder. Norway had never looked prettier, and we had safely and happily reached the third country on our route!

Most our the remaining time of our nine-day leg was then spent in Norway, sailing and motoring from one charming coastal town to another, enjoying the beautiful scenery – both on land and on water – as well as fun moments on board, notably with Paula acting as our resident DJ and regularly getting us all on our feet, dancing and singing at sea.

My personal highlights included the two days we spent in Skudeneshavn, one of the smallest towns in Norway, situated on the southernmost tip of the island of Karmøy. Again the immaculately preserved wooden houses, colourful gardens and fresh seafood were a delight, but we also found a fun little sauna right next to the guest marina and in true Finnish style enjoyed an evening of sauna and chilly dips in the sea.

Our sail through one of Norway’s most famous fjords, Lysefjord, was another memorable experience. We were able to view the world-renowned ”Preikestolen”, a steep cliff which rises 604 metres above the fjord and which is visited by up to 200,000 tourists per year, from the much less frequented and crowded vantage point of our own boat. Our sporty crew members Paula, Heidi and Jonna also completed the arduous hike to Preikestolen after we had finished our sailing adventure, on a day trip from the city of Stavanger.

Thanks to all my fellow crew for a wonderful sailing trip, lots of laughs and memorable moments!

Written by Kati Kaskeala