Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Pirates of Farsund

Our arrival in Farsund, possibly the most welcoming harbour in the northern hemisphere, coincided with the annual town fete, a re-enactment from the days of the Napoleonic wars when a privateer ship was captured by the British and then recaptured by the town’s privateers 10 days later. Apart from us, this early nineteenth-century brig, the Adele, was the only British-flagged vessel in the port – and, by the end of the evening, she was flying the Norwegian flag. It was a fun night, very amateurish, but all the local folk obviously enjoyed dressing up as pirates, firing cannons and (wooden) sword-fighting. The festival ended with a fine fireworks display, which we took in from our cockpit over beers with four Norwegian friends met the previous day.

One of them, Inge, had just stopped to have a chat on his way by, and the way these things go (even in a country where the alcohol is as expensive as here) we ended up drinking copious amounts of beer and whisky on his boat and getting local knowledge about the best places to cruise. I left the lads to have ‘one more drink’ at 0300 and at 0700 Jim stumbled onto the deck, talking about what a beautiful morning it was. And it was truly a beautiful morning. Apparently, Inge and Jim had decided to go for an early-morning swim off the boat and were standing on deck stark naked poised to jump when they were put off by the vast numbers of gooey jelly fish floating around. At this point, Inge’s boat neighbour poked his head out of the hatch and was somewhat surprised at the sight!

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