juni 23 - 30. juni 2023
Welcome to a magnificent and truly special sailboat experience on the coast of Helgeland. Together with Nordic Ocean Watch, we continue with our greenest tour concept: Sailing and beach cleaning! The focus here is on taking care of the sea. Surrounded by magnificent nature, we choose sailing as our mode of transport in order to leave a minimal carbon footprint, and we clean up beaches, gain knowledge about waste-dumping in the sea, and learn about concrete solutions to this problem. A fun, educational, and inspiring experience!
We sail south along what is perhaps the most beautiful coastline in Norway: Helgeland. Between the thousands of inlets and islands, we will explore spectacular places that are only accessible by boat. The trip goes from Bodø to Brønnøysund, a stretch full of beautiful natural harbors, beaches, and scenic mountains and fjords. Along the way we will visit exciting places such as Rødøy, Træna, Myken, Lovund, Vega, and Ylvingen. In addition to a proper sailing experience, on this trip you will also contribute to the well-being of the sea. Not only will you enjoy action-packed sailing, cozy meals, and the midnight sun, but you will also learn a lot about the sea, how it is threatened, and how you yourself can help solve these challenges.
On this trip you will learn much more than just how to sail! You will learn about marine litter from Nordic Ocean Watch and from us in SeilNorge, and along the way we might come in contact with other relevant organizations who also work to reduce the problem of marine litter and plastic waste in the sea. In addition to Nordic Ocean Watch and Hvitserk, we collaborate with organizations such as Keep Norway Clean, IRIS-, HAF- and SHMIL Waste Management on this trip.
According to the most serious predictions from the World Economic Forum, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. We are no exception here in cold, clear Northern Norway. As sailors and people who are passionate about the sea, we can not sit around and watch this happen: we must contribute to a cleaner sea. On this trip we will therefore take you to both exposed and untouched areas, all of which have beaches where there should be no plastic waste at all. Together we will clean up waste we find here, so that we can sail on leaving a cleaner coast in our wake.
If you like the sea, northern Norwegian nature, are driven or curious about sailing, and want to spend your holiday doing something meaningful, then this trip is for you!
On this trip we will be 1-2 boats sailing together. Read more about our boats here.
As on all our trips you will to learn to sail, you will be challenged, and feel that you accomplish something. Last but not least, you will gain memorable experiences to last you a lifetime! If this is your first sailing trip ever, we will make you into a seaman/-woman as fast as we can, and if you’re an experienced seadog, you will be challenged and get more responsibilities.
Of our planned activities you are free to choose what you want to participate in. If you rather want to take it easy one day, stay in the boat and write a poem, do yoga or do nothing at all, you are of course welcome to do that as well.
Tavaha is the Nordic expression for taking care of the ocean: 'ta vare på havet'. It is also referred to as the ‘nordic aloha’. Tavaha encompasses unity, understanding and solidarity across borders, generations and cultures. The ocean is what connects the world. It has always taken care of us and we cannot live without it. It’s time we return the favour.
© Nordic Ocean Watch
Day 1: Welcome to our sailing and beach-cleaning adventure!
We meet at the boat in Bodø harbour at 16.00, have lunch and get to know each other. We go through the program for the week, and discuss our ambitions and expectations. We then take a tour of the boat and review safety procedures and routines on board. On this first day we set off south on our way to the skerries we plan to clean up. Depending on the weather, we find a suitable place for the night on Fleinvær, Arnøy, or Sør-Fugløy.
Day 2: How do we sail and clean beaches?
Today we start with a review of how we actually clean a beach, what we look for, where we look, and whether there are any things that should be left behind. Full of motivation and courage, we find a suitable place to start cleaning the beach. Today we pass the islands Fugløy and Bolga, and the fishing village Støtt. We can potentially stop at alll these places to clear plastic and other waste. We eat dinner along the way. Once we reach Rødøy, there will be the option to take a midnight sun hike up on Rødøyløva.
Day 3: Sailing out to the Myken whisky distillery
After breakfast, we do our next clean-up trip and see how much plastic we manage to pick along the fantastic chalk-white beaches of Rødøy. When the rubbish is packed and ready for collection, we lift the sails again. Now we set course for Myken: a small island community out in the open sea. Here we are invited for a tour of the world's only Arctic whiskey distillery, and into their newly built Whiskey Cathedral! We spend the night out here at the far end of the ocean.
Day 4: Cleaning trip around Myken and sailing to Træna
Despite, or perhaps because of, Myken's exposed location out in the sea, there is plenty of plastic to be found on the shore here. Maybe today we will split into two teams, and see who gets to clean the most! After lunch, we head south past Selvær towards Træna and Husøy, where we stop for the night and enjoy ourselves in the Havfolket sauna!
Day 5: Hiking and cleaning on Sanna, and sailing to Lurøy
We will also find plastic at the limit of the Helgeland coastal islands, at Træna. We sail over to Sanna, the island with the iconic Trænfjella, and go for a walk around the island while gathering plastic and waste along the way. After the cleaning trip, we sail towards Lovund. If we’re lucky, we might even catch a fish or two for dinner along the way!
Day 6: Full sail day to Vega, the World Heritage islands
In the morning we set our course towards Næs at the island of Vega. The route goes through a fantastic coast dotted with islands where we will use our light boats to get ashore and do some beach clean-up on our way. When we’re safely moored in Næs we visit Vega World Heritage Center where we get to learn about the traditional use of this lands with farming, fishing and specially the eider ducks. Early evening we sail onwards to our homebase island of Ylvingen and spend the night at Himmelblå Brygge.
Day 7: The Søla nature reserve, and SailNorway homebase, Yvingen
One of our favorite places on Vega is the small mountain island Søla, which is west of the main island. This is a beautiful nature reserve, but unfortunately we still find a lot of plastic here as well. We anchor up and spend the day cleaning on these beaches. After lunch around a campfire, we sail around Vega, and towards Ylvingen. At Ylvingen we arrive at the SeilNorge base at Himmelblå Brygge and celebrate a successful trip with dinner on land!
Day 8: Sailing to Brønnøysund and thanks for the trip!
The last day offers the last couple of nautical miles of sailing from Ylvingen to Brønnøysund. Once in port in Brønnøysund, we pack up our things and clean up the boat. We end the trip no later than 12.00. Thank you for a fantastic and meaningful trip!
The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips - we are ready for adventure! Are you?
Deposit and payment
You pay a 6000NOK deposit when you book the trip, and the rest of the payment is due 60 days before the trip begins.
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage you to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also allows you to start your holiday in a special way. Cycling, taking the train, or driving a car together can be good options! Feel free to add some extra time before and after your trip, since up north the weather can be unpredictable and might affect your plans!
Travel - Bodø
The Nordlandsbanen train line goes all the way to Bodø, and can be taken overnight from Trondheim or Oslo. This is a great way to travel and a beautiful journey from southern Norway. For timetables and prices see www.vy.no. If you live along the coast, the speed ferries or Hurtigruta are possible options either northbound or southbound. Another option is a flight to Bodø, and there are some reasonable tickets.
Travel - Brønnøysund
The north-Norwegian train line stops at Grong, and from Grong you can take a bus to Brønnøysund.
Another "slow" and great way to get to Brønnøysund is with Hurtigruten from Trondheim or from Bodø. However, most of us fly (check flights at www.wideroe.no).
Safety and risk - in general
We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. On board a boat and on trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant are trained quickly enough to be a participant - not a passenger. It contributes to learning, a sense of achievement, and increased safety for all. It's also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses: you are trained to be one of the crewmembers on board. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
Level of this trip
Sailing wise, our trips are not very difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! Our trips attract both people who have never sailed before, as well as experienced sailors. If you are a beginner, we will turn you into a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced, you will be given more responsibility and greater challenges so that you can learn new things along the way. We usually sail along the coast in protected waters, and we often have the opportunity to choose either more or less exposed routes, depending on the weather. The weather Gods decide, so you must be prepared for both windless conditions and sailing in harsher weather!
On this trip, we offer free SeilNorway “oilskins” to all participants, in collaboration with our partner Helly Hansen. You’ll even get to take these home after the trip! These are perfect for both sailing and beach cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll be quite comfortable in regular hiking/mountain clothing. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered clothing underneath, preferably wool. Even in summer it can be cold at sea, so bring both swimwear and warm clothing. We will send you a detailed recommended packing list in good time before departure.
Food and cooking
On our trips you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all aspects of the running of the sailboat. This includes the cooking, where everyone is taking turns in the galley! Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. Before the trip we set up a menu and purchase what is needed. We offer good menus with healthy “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account. During the trip, we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat.
What we expect from you
We want you to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat, whether it is sailing, docking, navigating, looking for whales and icebergs, washing up, cooking, cleaning the boat, or contributing in other ways when required. Our trips require a little work from the participants - and you must be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people get along very well. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least doing things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories :)
Life on board and accommodation
Life on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which one should be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the boat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some of which have bunk beds. Figuring out who sleeps where can be a bit of a puzzle, but we do believe we’ve gotten quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations. You must arrange any accommodation before and after the trip on your own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we’re happy to give you some recommendations.
We have plenty of heating and good food on the boat, but not always abundance of fresh water. This means it will not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbor with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. A morning swim in the sea is also available all year round!
What kind of people join this trip - and how many will we be on board?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, and others travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and interesting people you will become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but this isn’t so important to us. It doesn't matter if you are young or old as long as you want to go on a trip and intend to do your part in making this a great trip for everyone. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we have many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. On most trips we sail multiple boats in a fleet, with 7-9 people onboard each boat.
Environment and sustainability
In general sailing is an environmentally friendly activity,, and we sail as much as we can and use the engine as little as possible. We encourage crew and participants to travel as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we use local ingredients and resources as much as we can. We also run trips where we collect litter and clean ocean trash from beaches.
Philosophically, we often say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability: we move with the wind and we have limitations on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to run sustainably, knowledge, patience, flexibility, and hard work are required. The same can be said about many other things that one tries to do in a sustainable way.