In our latest feature, Peter Cumberlidge explains why Stavanger Bay is the perfect starting point for boaters interested in cruising Norway
Out to Kvitsøy
Guarding the outer reaches of the bay, Kvitsøy Island appears impenetrable on my Admiralty 3539, ringed by a labyrinth of islets and shoals.
The route doesn’t seem much simpler on a detailed chart, but the south-east pass is well marked for the car ferries that rumble across from near Tungenes Point.
Squeezing through the first gap in the skerries, you enter a different world of linked moats and lagoons enclosed by whale-shaped rocks worn smooth by ancient glaciers.
On a grey day this austere seascape is a tad forbidding, but in sunshine the sparkling leads are enchanting as you zig-zag towards Kvitsøy’s hexagonal white lighthouse with its peeping red top.
The complexity continues right into the harbour creek, a really snug haven because all the twists and turns keep the sea out.
Visitors moor at a T-shaped jetty, which has loos and showers, water, electricity and a general store nearby. The harbour looks magical, with its jumbled white village, boathouses and slightly ramshackle fishing sheds.
Kvitsøy is renowned for its lobsters and you see piles of pots and floats on the quays. There is actually a lobster museum, which celebrates the seamanship involved when pots were laid and checked under sail in these intricate waters, all year round.
N.B. My thanks to Gunhild Vevik and Hans Olav Sandvoll for their help with this article.