Day 19-1. Ona to Bud.
Distance D 60.82 km Max 46.5 km/h Time 3.48.55 Average 15.9 km/h
Distance S 61.65 km Max 47.5 km/h Time 3.35:11 Average 17.1 km/h
We awoke to the sound of thunder far away out to sea. The sky was dark and threatening but with brilliant white clouds in front of it. It all looked terribly impressive but it was not quite what we'd expected. Although it looked like the storm would stay out at sea, our lovely wild camping spot was rather exposed. We recalled the night in Denmark in 2006 when, camped in a similar position, we were hit by a storm in the evening. Fortunately then, we were able to weather out the storm inside the tent but this morning, neither of us fancied the idea of trying to take down the tent in gale force winds. We decided to be cautious and break camp first before eating breakfast. At the harbour there were places to shelter and we could eat a relaxed breakfast. It took us a quarter of an hour to pack up and after one last look at the view we headed off back towards Ona Fyr.
We already knew that the light and skies change rapidly on the West Coast of Norway and the contrast between different parts of the sky can be great. On the way towards the harbour on the little bridge between the two islands, I paused to take a picture of the view looking towards the mainland. Bright sunlight was flooding though gaps in the clouds. The ground in front of me, in comparison was in the shadows and the camera made it look as dark as night.
We made use of the facilities once we got to the harbour. Here we had a place to sit and some cover from the rain. After breakfast I headed up to the lighthouse to take some pictures. Looking out over the breakwater it was sunny, whilst on the mainland side of the island there was a mix of sunshine and light clouds. Looking West there was an impressively grey and dark seascape, the storm above the sea with wisps of white cotton wool clouds in the foreground. In places it was hard to see where the sea ended and the sky started. The contrast was wonderful to see and by now it was clear that the storm was not going to hit Ona so we got on with taking it easy.
We had a bit of a wait for the ferry to Småge on the island of Gossa so Damae sat next to the toilet and shower block reading as a few drops of rain fell just to keep us on our toes. I stood up and watched our ferry come into the harbour and turn round. It wasn't leaving immediately so we had plenty of time to get ourselves together. I decided to wander back down to the harbour anyway and forgot about the view for a bit. Today we'd decided that Bud would be a good place to get to given that we'd be starting quite late again. We weren't sure what the weather was going to do, we would be satisfied with a tailwind although given that our route changed direction a lot we knew we would be very lucky to get a tailwind the whole day. We'd start by taking the ferry to the Orten and cycling across the island. Thereafter another ferry back onto the mainland and finally back onto the National Cycle Route 1/ Øyhopping.
I don't remember exactly when the ferry left but by a quarter to one Ona was disappearing into the grey and misty distance. The elder on Midsund said it was special and to our surprise it turned out to be so. A place that still exists even though the only economic activity consists of a hotel, two potters and a supermarket. Most people are retired on the island and it no longer has any importance in the fishing industry. We realised how much more fragile the economic environment was here compared to the Benelux and Ruhr regions of Western Europe. Maybe if the economy of the sea turns back to sail in the future Ona will once again become of importance. Maybe the Gulfstream will stop flowing and Ona will become part of a barren arctic wasteland. Who knows.