Arctic Lofoten Islands

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Arctic Lofoten Islands

Post by PSK »

Jann Engstad and Olly Sanders have made a successful crossing out to the remote island of Rost in the southern chain of the Arctic Lofoten Islands. This was completed over 3 days and included a crossing of the This infamous (apparently!) Moskenstraumen or Maelstrom out to the Island of Vaeroy.

Jann believes this is the first time this area has been accessed by kayak.



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Steve Mac
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Re: Arctic Lofoten Islands

Post by Steve Mac »

It may be the first kayak trip to Rost (that is for others to comment upon) but I was part of a 3 person sea-kayak trip from Mosknes, across Moskenstraumen, to Mosken and then on to Vaeroy in the second week of April 1986. The few photos I have aren't digital, so not easy to upload quickly to this post. Suffice to say that Moskenstraumen (the inspiration for Jules Verne's Maelstrom) was 'interesting' and the film crew supposedly making a film for Finnish TV could not get within several miles of us as their fishing boat skipper refused to go anywhere near Moskenstraumen, although we were followed by Kyosti Pietikainen, of Harriniva Lomakyla in Finland, in his inflatable with a 35hp outboard, a video cameraman, sound man and stills photographer, Veli-Markus Halonen. The trip was made with Ray Rowe, Steve Bowles and myself, Steve Macfarlane. The return was on board the fishing trawler back to the natural amphitheatre of Reine, all in one day!

olly sanders
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Location: anglesey

Re: Arctic Lofoten Islands

Post by olly sanders »

Steve .
Its great you got to paddle to Vaeroy as well .Its fantastic place . We were not claiming first paddle out there as i have also paddled that trip before.Jann the local guide i went with who has worked guiding in lofoten for 30 years didnt think anybody had linked both crossings and on out to Rost thats why we did the second part of the trip as well. As with most of these things somebody may have done it before and thats why we put it on the forum ,hopefully somebody might know.Either way its a great trip wether you do it supported or not and i know what you mean by locals , we met two fishing boats who tried to persuade us not to continue and offered to take us back!

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Location: Pennyhole Bay

Re: Arctic Lofoten Islands

Post by tg »

I read Edgar Allen Poe's Maelstrom - absolutely fantastic. It's fiction, but definitely salty and boaty enough. A short story I'd reccomend. I'd like to see Steve Mac's pictures from '86 tho. Beards?


Edit; PS the EAP story has a tip for those who might get caught by such monsters!
"I sink therfore I am".

Jim Breen
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Re: Arctic Lofoten Islands

Post by Jim Breen »

I just came across this posting via a Google search and thought it might be of interest to make an entry now.

I along with 3 other Scots (Gus Mathieson, Bill Turnbull and Peter Wilson) succesfully completed an expedition in 1980 around the Vesteralen and Lofoten Islands, including a double crossing of the Moskenstraumen (Maelstrom) to Vaeroy. The trip commenced and finished at Harstad on the Vesteralen Islands.

The Expedition was heavily sponsored (as was the thing at that time) and was named as The "Scottish Kayak Expedition to North West Norway 1980". It was generously supported by a number of major companies, including Fred Olsen, Blacks, Damart, JB Whisky, Scandinavian Airways, Norcargo Shipping, Hyster, and a large number of kayaking and other equipment suppliers - as well as food suppliers. In addition, our employers at the time also supported our Expedition by way of 'leave of absence'. The Scottish Canoe Association, Queens College Glasgow (which conducted a range of physiological tests on the paddlers) and Capability Scotland (as it is now named and which used the venture to raise funds for children affected by Cerebral Palsy) were all official Patrons to the venture.

Whilst carrying out the Expedition, the team members carried a message of goodwill signed by the Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow, which they presented to a number of community leaders on route - to mark the long association between the two countries. The 4 kayaks were named after major Scottish/Norwegian kings and there famous sea vessels. The venture received much media coverage both in Scotland and Norway.

Obviously, these days such a kayaking venture would be self funded (due to the ease of travel, logistics and the development of the sport) and indeed would be seen by many now as 'small fry' - albeit the around 400 mile trip remains a serious undertaking on what is a magnificent and remote coastline. At a time when 'formal' expeditions were in vogue - it was a major achievement both in terms of kayaking and the related sponsorship and profile for the sea kayaking aspect of our multi-faceted sport.

I hope that this small summary will be of some interest.

Jim Breen

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