Sailwithme #2: Vassholmene, near Oslo

in oslo •  2 months ago

Winter vacation is soon coming to an end ... but I still have time for some few more pictures. Thursday evening (yesterday) I went to an island with the name Ytre Vassholmen. Ytre means outer, so naturally there is also a neighbour island Indre Vassholmen. Also, "Vass" is an alternative word for water, those islands are known for having fresh water wells.

Some sailing association (Bærum Seilforening) owns the harbour and the club house there, but the harbour, grills and picnic tables are free to use by anyone.

This boat seems to be permanently left there. As I said earlier, we have very little tides in the Oslo area, and in the inner Oslo fjord the weather often plays a bigger role than the tides. Now we've had high pressure for a longer period, hence low water. Seems a bit too low for this boat:

It's getting too dark to take photos ... but managed to get two not so bad shots. This is from the north end of the island, direction towards Oslo. I guess the ferry belongs to Stena Line, coming from Hirtshals.

The south end of the island. Sun was just setting.

We have a problem with the heater; woke up to 1C the next morning. My wife was complaining a lot. Eventually managed to remove some parts and managed to start it up again today, luckily.

I went in land in the morning to take some more photos. Here is the club house of the sailing association.

One picnic table on the hill. View of Indre Vassholmen and Snarøya. There are some 20 persons living permanently on Indre Vassholmen, most of the families there have lived there for many generations. They have to use boats to get anywhere, including school and kinder garden. Some very few times they're stuck either due to sea ice or bad weather.

This house can be rented for arrangements.

Quite foggy morning - on this photo one is supposed to see land behind - Nesodden. It's considered very unsafe to go between those two sticks with a boat.

There were no birds here in the evening, but now I apparently managed to stir up some activity.

In early summer, half of the island is no-entry area, one shouldn't disturb the birds

There were no human footprints on the island except my own - but lots of footprints and wingprints from birds. Some places the snow was even hard due to all the bird activity.

It looks a bit like the birds live in this house; many footprints going in the direction of the door.

Departure time

Indre Vassholmen. It clearly has one backside, with derelict buildings and lots of junk, and one better-looking frontside.








I did a "shortcut" on the inner side of an island ...

... but apparently a mistake, I found some ice there. Very easy to plow through, but this kind of ice is very sharp and can easily damage wooden hulls. I do have a thin layer of glass fibre around the water line, but I cannot really trust it, best to go slowly at least.

Telenor and Statoil buildings at Fornebu. This area used to be dominated by the airport, now the traffic has been moved and the old airport shut down.


Lots of more photos available at IPFS QmPDkLN7fd1XqZoxFfnZncp7hpSm1RYWWTqPj4BWfqCNRw

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Buufff, must be so cold there... I will not complain anymore about the cold temperature we have now at Barcelona...

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I have some problems with the heater in the boat. Woke up to 1C yesterday morning. My wife was complaining quite a lot :-) This night the heater was working at full effect, didn't dare to turn it down, kept 18C throughout the night.

It's not that cold here, it's somewhere between 0C and -10C most of the time those days. Good clothes, and it's fine - but I forget my gloves all the time, and it's a bit nasty to fight with frozen mooring ropes without gloves; skin tends to become quite dry from it.

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Yeah, I did read your post about the 1C temperature because the problem of the heater...frankly I thought was a joke! OMG!

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1C isn't that much of a problem, as long as one can sleep with good douvets or a sleeping bag. Also, I've discovered that sleeping with a hat on really can make the difference between freezing the whole night and sleeping comfortably through the night.

I have my favorite harbour in the shoulder seasons, can keep my family onboard, go to the train in the morning and then to the school and kinder garden, I often have the heater turned off during the nighttime (since it's noisy) and sometimes we do wake up to single-digits on the thermometer, but it's all fine, just to help them to dress before they really get out of the bed and ensure we're fast movers and get out of the boat quickly. Walking to the train, nobody complains they're cold. Then I have prepared some breakfast that we can enjoy while we're at the train ...

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It is clear that low temperatures , as I think they are, are not a problem for you man...Do you think you will survive in warmer conditions as we have at Barcelona on summer? (30C + 90% of humidity)

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Of course. We do enjoy saunas ...

Except for that, visiting hotter climates, it's terrible the first days, but one gets acclimatized eventually. Once we were travelling around as tourists in China while they had above 37C (100F) in the air. I was always wondering if it was possible to survive at all in above-100F, I guess I got my answer to that. But we were sweating a lot ...

We were in Shanghai, there was a giant KFC standing right next to some Chinese fast food shop of similar size. And we needed to see the toilet. Well, we didn't come to China to eat at KFC, did we? (oh, that's another digression - after staying for a longer time in China, I tend to crave western food and pizzas, so we do tend to visit quite many restaurants serving western food). We queue up and before ordering the food, we ask where they have the toilet. Answer? Go out the door, go into KFC, and ... they have a toilet! Well, we ate at KFC instead then. My wife was queuing up for the toilet for so long ... and when coming back, with a joke: since she was so wet from sweating, she could probably just have been peeing on herself, nobody would have noticed the difference ...

Temperature deltas can be something of the worst, both in arctic winters as well as the tropic summers. In the winter time, we tend to be very well dressed - and then we may board a bus or enter a shop or something, often without undressing, maybe directly from -15C to 18C - a jumping up 32 Kelvins. Well, I quite often do undress in such situations if I know it will last for more than some few minutes, or I will start sweating.

It's something of the same with air condition. I was working for two weeks before changing the role to a tourist, and during those two weeks we stayed mostly inside, just briefly being outside before jumping into an airconditioned. In such circumstances you don't want to be trapped out on the street for a longer while, because it's uncomfortably hot, and one will start sweating. As tourists we had it the opposite way - we were sweating all the time, and it was really bad i.e. to visit a shopping centre with aircon, when being soaked wet and then moving from 40C to 20C, we tended to start freezing rather fast.

Our boat is trapping heat readily when the sun is shining, in the summer time we may often have temperatures up to 35C inside the cabin, even if it's just 25C on the outside.

Soo Beautiful!

What kind of heater do you have on board.

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This is an eberspächer diesel heater - it works from diesel from the diesel tanks onboard. There are two theoretically very separate air circulations in the burner, one combustion circuit taking air from the outside of the boat and spewing exhaust out on the side of the boat, the other taking cold air from the outside of the boat and distributing hot air on the inside of the boat. It eats quite much electricity on fans and diesel pumps, and it produces quite some noise. One alternative would be a passive oven (running on diesel or wood, with a chimney going right up), but it takes more space and doesn't distribute the heat that well.

We've already spent more money than a new heater would cost on maintenance. Apparently the tubes for the combustion air got filled with water, and this has damaged the thing beyond repair. I'll try to have it replaced before the next season. It's a quite expensive thing, and installation is also quite hard, the latter can be solved by replacing it with a completely similar unit. Weirdly enough, the heater was working non-stop at full speed for about two weeks when we had a Polish visitor forgetting to turn off the heat before the yule vacation.

If I was to redo everything I would probably end up with a system where the heat is distributed through water rather than air. The current heater does not heat the hot water.

Theoretically I some five-six sources of heat on board, but only the diesel burner is good enough for keeping comfort temperature through the winter time.

The next source is the engine - the cooling liquid goes through the hot water tank and then through a heat-exchanger ("defroster") and then there is a fan and more tubes distributing hot air throughout the boat. The engine is 55 HP / 40 kW - that should theoretically be enough heat from it to keep the boat warm - but we're usually very light-handed on the throttle, besides I think the cooling liquid is first cooled down by sea water and then sent through the heating circuits, so a lot of heat is lost to the sea.

The third source is electricity. The hot water tank onboard is connected to the electricity, so to get hot water we either need to run the engine or be connected to land power. Usually the fuse at the land power trips at 2 kW or 3 kW - I could keep it reasonably warm if I could use all that for heating - but then I would have to disconnect the hot water tank. By average it doesn't eat much, but during the peaks it probably takes half of the available power from the socket. In the winter time I have quite many 200W heating elements distributed at strategical points in the boat to keep the water systems and engine defrozen while the boat is not in use.

Fourth, gas - we have a gas oven, of course mostly for making food, but I suppose if everything else fails, we could keep ourselves a bit warm by letting all the flames run on the gas oven, plus drink a lot of hot tea. Gas produces quite clean exhaust, but with quite much humidity, and humidity tends to be a problem in a boat in the winter time - while the hot air is relatively dry, there is enough humidity to create condensation on the windows and other cold surfaces, and in our sleeping cabins it tends to be much colder and very humid.

Fifth, the grill. Cannot be used indoors, but at least in theory we can produce hot food and even hot tea even if we're out of gas.

Sixth, people - every person onboard produces around 100W of heat. On the new years eve we were quite many persons onboard, in addition to some cooking and some candles it was hot enough without running the heater. People also tend to create quite a lot of humidity and CO2 though.

Not to forget the sunshine. Sailboats usually don't have a lot of windows, but our boat do have quite some, even in the winter time in Oslo we may gain some 5-10C from the sun shining through the windows.

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I have always been interested in high latitude cruising, but heating is even more of a problem than I thought.
I know they take alot of space, but I've read good reviews on the use of wood burning stoves.

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have always been interested in high latitude cruising, but heating is even more of a problem than I thought.

It's quite simple - just buy a pre-owned boat in Norway. Actually, most of the boats here are used only in the summer time (most boat owners put their boats on dry land throughout the winter), but still most of the boats here comes with heaters already installed - and if one doesn't need a very new or very big boat, second hand boats in Norway are cheap!

I know they take alot of space, but I've read good reviews on the use of wood burning stoves.

Wood burning stoves are cozy. Also, for most purposes a single point of heating suffices. When freezing, it's just to sit close to the stove - and problem is solved, even if the average temperature onboard is in the single digits, you're warm and comfortable right by the heater. Wet clothes? Hang them right by the stove, and they'll be dry in no time ...

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Thanks for the good advice.

It's so cold there.
how people are surviving on the place like this.
i'm feelings goosebumps even just upon thinking to live on this place.

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I have some problems with the heater in the boat. Woke up to 1C this morning. My wife was complaining quite a lot :-)

It's not that cold here, it's somewhere between 0C and -10C most of the time those days. Good clothes, and it's fine - but I forget my gloves all the time, and it's a bit nasty to fight with frozen mooring ropes without gloves; skin tends to become quite dry from it.

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Well your wife is a fighter !
Keep your gloves with you!

It's my biggest dream to live on the place like this.
Can't fulfill now, but Thank you so much for letting me see this beautiful place :)

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That's definitively not my dream; the island is far too small, and I do enjoy a brisk walk every day. Walking around in a circle over and over again won't really do I'm afraid ... :-)

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So you are living my dream boy.
live it 100%.
Hopefully one day I'll fulfill my dream :)

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There was the other post I read the other day about a guy "living his dream". The conclusion of the post is ... "When [your dream] comes true, it might not be what you were hoping it would be".

Every now and then I have this wish ... to just leave everything behind and go sailing. However, I know that after a while I will regret, one way or another. Well, maybe I will ... one day ... when the kids are finished with school and old enough to decide if they want to join or not.

Unlike many others, I don't dream about crossing oceans, land means a lot to me, I don't want to go for several days without setting my feet on terra firma. At the other hand, I do dream a bit about visiting Svalbard/Spitsbergen (that's crazy - from my former home, Svalbard was just one hop by airplane, and tickets used to be cheap - and I never went there. As we became a family, with the need of accomodation etc, the idea of going there got quite costly), Greenland, the southernmost parts of southern America, Antarctica ...

Some friends of me went sailing at Greenland, the pics and videos were super.

Amazing photos and beautiful places...so much snow...looks magical! love it ^_^

very good photos and final that are going to end the holidays, I leave my house, I leave my vote

Great details yiu take us with in this wonderful walk these pictures make it real more

Upvoted ☝ Have a great day!