July 20 to 25 we sailed around Karmøy, with stops in Kopervik, Utsira and Kvitsøy. The weather was very good, with nice sailing from Karmøy, to Utsira, Kvitsøy and back home. These little communities are very fascinating. Here people have found a living for thousands of years. At Utsira there are remnants of houses from around 500 AD, a time of big changes in social life and economy. An axample of this is that pottery was very well developed by that time, both technically and aestethically. In a matter of a generation or two, it completely disappeared, and it took until about 1700 for the skills to reach the same levels in Northern Europe (norgeshistorie.no).
Another feature of Utsira and Kvitsøy, although from a much later time, is the big light houses. The Norwegian coast can be very rough, and hundreds of ships have been wrecked on skerries and shores. Mid 1800 these light houses were built, to help seafarers to navigate safely. At Utsira they built twin towers, which were later converted to a single light. The light houses were manned by a crew of up to five people, gradually being modernised and for the last twenty years or so they are fully automatic and unmanned at the site.
Sheep have for thousands of years helped to form the landscape as it is now. Sheep husbandry is still being practised, but hardly no one lives from it. As some sheep people say, we live for the sheep, not from them! The landscapes are being taken care of, and they provide good meat in the shops.
Utsira is a modern community, and the smallest municipality in Norway, with around 215 inhabitants. The properties are very well kept, but some may need a little renovation!
The lighthouse. For those who can read Norwegian, see the text from the old document about the first plans for the light house! Clear language?
Landscapes at Utsira.
We could see the Folgefonna glazier, far inland.
Good bye to Utsira for this time!
What stands out at Kvitsøy, apart from the obvious light house, is the tight community in the centre of the islands, with its rose gardens.
The cultural landscape is also very beautiful, tended for grazing, with wild flowers in between rough cliffs.
Sailing home in fair winds. All’s well on board 🙂