66° 33′ 44″ North (Arctic Circle) or bust (Norway)

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Postby chris426f » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:05 am

A few video's not sure if these will work....

Arctic Circle

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House re rented on day 4 in Krokstranda, just south of the arctic Circle

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Bottom of Trollstigen

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Waterfall and Karl having a cold shower

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Views from the top of Trollstigen

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Early teaser for the ferry disaster

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Last edited by chris426f on Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby chris426f » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:28 am

malcolm penny wrote:Great post Chris. :greetings-clappingyellow:


Cheers Malc, hope it delivers my upmost respect for this country, it's people and its ability to deliver a great touring experience..... Hope it convinces others to go (if any of you do, let me know, I'd love to go back :-) )
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Postby chris426f » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:31 am

Tonibe63 wrote:Luvin it :handgestures-thumbup: .
That Harley looks cool ...................... but the GS looks dry :think:


I think this should be next on your list Tony, but if only the two of you, you could explore the option of the slow freight boat (2 days) from Immingham ;) ;)
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Postby chris426f » Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:31 pm

bmk wrote:Enjoying this. :handgestures-thumbup: Thanks for taking the time to post Chris - much appreciated.

:text-thankyoublue:


I'm enjoying writing it Martin, it helps you understand what you've learnt, experienced and accomplished. For instance, the challenge to get to the arctic circle, for me was secondary initially, but in hindsight having a goal made this trip..... We did not set out to visit towns or tourist hot spots..... We focused on the destination each day and let the adventure unfold. Have to admit that I wrote about 3 days worth last week by typing into the web page..... Lost it all. Then did the same the next day but on a days worth, so 3rd time I just typed into word and cut/paste into browser.

The wolfman duffle and the ROK straps were great.... It's great to have something that just does what you need it to, with grat effect and no hassle.
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Postby Tonibe63 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:14 pm

chris426f wrote:I'm enjoying writing it Martin, it helps you understand what you've learnt, experienced and accomplished. For instance, the challenge to get to the arctic circle, for me was secondary initially, but in hindsight having a goal made this trip..... We did not set out to visit towns or tourist hot spots..... We focused on the destination each day and let the adventure unfold. Have to admit that I wrote about 3 days worth last week by typing into the web page..... Lost it all. Then did the same the next day but on a days worth, so 3rd time I just typed into word and cut/paste into browser.


To me they're all invaluable points:-
Don't overplan but just let the adventure happen
Type the report in Word and then cut/paste (I too learn't the hard way :doh: )
Writing the report helps you relive the trip and even the bad bits look better second time round.

Many years ago my Father-in-Law was taken seriously ill on a Fjords cruise and spent 2 weeks in Trondheim hospital before being flown home. The members of the hospital staff took my Mother-in-Law out for meals and gave her lots of comfort to help cope with the worry, they both spoke very fondly of the Norwegian people.
Thanks for finding the time to write the report :clap: .
Open your eyes and you see what is in front of you, open your mind and you see a whole new World.
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Postby dave ellis » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:14 pm

fantastic post chris what an epic journey :greetings-clappingyellow:
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Postby chris426f » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:21 pm

I must spend some time to write up the last two days..... we got split up early on the last day in Norway and had two very different days..... Just waiting for the report from the B group so I can combine with our last day adventure..... Oh and the 'boring' ferry trip

BTW did my interview with the MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) last week.... No one died so it'll be a short report ;)
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Postby Side stand » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:21 pm

dave ellis wrote:fantastic post chris what an epic journey :greetings-clappingyellow:



:text-+1: :text-coolphotos: :text-thankyoublue:
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Postby chris426f » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:26 pm

If anyone interested, all photos and video's are here...... (all 751)

http://s1346.photobucket.com/user/Fleck ... t=2&page=1
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Postby chris426f » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:24 pm

Still need to get around to writing up last 2 days, but the marine accident investigation board have just published their findings on the ferry crash, they interviewed me and I see they used a photo.

Only read summary, but looks like a human error on the bridge.

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cf ... eaways.pdf
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Postby skunkyd » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:29 pm

A set of gas bottles and a bit of polish and it will be fine ;)
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Postby chris426f » Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:32 pm

Going to get around to write up the last two days.......

DFDS have since removed the route to Denmark, which is a shame.

BBC video is still there I see ;) ;) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23014901
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Postby chris426f » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:32 pm

Phil has just written up the last 2 days....... watch this space

EDIT: Bit disappointed he has underplayed the Harwich Ferry Disaster ....... We were 7 the lucky ones of the 489 survivors .......

Marine accident investigation branch report is here..... you can tell we were lucky to get out of it with our lives...... ;)
https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/547c6f2ce5274a429000000f/SirenaSeaways.pdf
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Postby chris426f » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:48 pm

Day 7 – Thursday 20 June
The Last Norway days :- by Phil [edits by chris ;) ]
Cannot believe its 2 years since this trip and yet most of it is still fresh in our minds, the roads blur into one but the memories and the highs (there were no lows) still live weekly in the pub every Thursday! Chris asked us to finish the story back in Jul2013 and as usual we could’nt be bothered but I found this today and thought it needed to be done.

My memories of the last day are such.
Waking up to this,
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Setting off after a good night in the cabins we had the usual problem with Sat navs, Potty’s and Her Fuehrer (Chris’s) [does that stand for the fast good looking one?] said one thing and TL Trev’s said another. Hence we set off together and we managed to lose the v-twin’s somewhere within the first hour.
Never mind we were all heading in the same direction to Kristiandsand for an overnight stay and an early morning ferry.
This would probably be the last long days riding in Norway.

So off we go Her Fuehrer in the lead (as usual) and Potty GSXR1000, Me zx12r and Karl CBR600Hornet.
However I was a bit worried about my back tyre which was now starting to show bare wires and canvas in the middle [dunno why in the middle, it was a country of bends!!!], oh well press on.
However unbeknown to us the v-twin boys decided that they would race us to the digs and Trev and Chris were tracking each others locations by Iphone apps.

I would be lying if I thought I could remember the route we took but it took us along some valleys and across and up into the higher lands through snowcapped areas, as usual stunning scenery and roads in brilliant condition. [not sure the photo sequence is right.... i recall it going from very cold to very hot.... in half a day]
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However things on the back end of the zx were getting a bit desperate!
With grip on the cold roads becoming even more scarce, than a good looking BMW . [none taken.... the bike was rented :D :D ]

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However we covered some stunning roads as usual and had to cross at least one fijord by ferry crossing and road until around lunch time when we hit a reasonable size town. Whilst crossing through an industrial area I spotted a tyre fitters so rather than ride on egg shells for the rest of the day I stopped to see what they had.
Unsurprisingly they never had a 200 fitment could offer a 180 profile which under the circumstances would do nicely.
Whilst waiting Tony and Chris went shopping!! [food a new mobile for Tony..... nice town eh Tone!!]
And me an Karl set to sorting out the bike. (Well Karl got his stove out and sorted some hot food in the car park for his lunch) [not another can of SOD?]
I stripped the wheel out and helped the tyre guy fit it.
£240 sterling pounds!!!!!!!! And half hour later we sat around awaiting Chris and Tony’s return from their handbag shopping. (At least they brought me a sandwich back) [see, we do think you you!]. Then we set off for another journey!

Meanwhile on the dark side the v-twins were making good progress and rumbling along until the big Hog would not start again.
I can only relay pub versions of the incident but basically this is it.
The chop was dead it would not start, pushing it was no good, the engine was no longer turning! So after a bit of deliberation and eventual resignation Brian decided it would have to be trailered back and went looking for the breakdown number.
Not to be deterred and with a “fuck it its not our bike, and what have we got to lose attitude”
Hank and Trev decided it might as well be stripped so Brian conceded and they took off the primary casing, (Whilst depositing a litre of old oil on the garage forecourt) what they found was that the primary drive sprocket nut on the crankshaft had backed off the crank and was slipping as the starter tried to drive the crank. The nut however was industrial tractor size. (as befitting a harley). However a passing digger/truck fitter was in the same garage and he had the requisite size socket and a 6ft breaker bar to apply some torque to tightening it.
Having tightened up the culprit and refilled the oil level. They were good to go. The big Hog rides on!!

Back on the faster side of the fence we were rattling along, and I was enjoying having a rideable bike again.
As usual the roads were stunning and every corner yielded picture postcard views. [amazing country.... never stopped being amazed by the big scenery]

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Tony even attracted some locals (it must be his welsh habbits !)

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However time was pressing on and we seemed to be going forever and were getting tired towards mid afternoon and incidentally,we were lost with no clue which way to go next!

At one stop Karl Cbr looked absolutely exhausted and then we hit a stretch of road that was just completely stunning fast with corners to die for and (at speeds (above what the BMW could manage) ) [cough, cough] a few jumps.

If you have ever been round the TT course mountain section this was four times better.

We stopped at the end of this stretch and I remember karls face he was buzzing, all his tiredness gone he was invigorated. That’s bikes for you!

Anyway renewed enthusiasm over confidence or whatever kicked in and we decided to follow a less trodden road which turned into a dirt track at one point.

It was a proper fireroad not suited to the ZX12 and GSXR at all, needless to say Chris and the BMW loved it and set off in front.

The weirdest thing was whilst going along this dirt road there was a local who came the other way on a 1960’s70’s fully chopped immaculate custom painted hard tail Triumph!

With a cheery waive at the incredulous sports bikes riders he was gone.

Anyway getting finally to the end of the dirt track and getting back on the tarmac, I managed (at 2 mile an hour) to lock the front wheel on gravel and go down!

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Luckily the casing survived oil tight, so we could press on.

In my tired addled and pissed off brain I blamed the BMW Sat Nav for getting us lost, and Chris and Karl had buggerred off ahead. [so it was OUR fault Karl ;) ]

We caught them up at a local petrol station for coffee sarnies and to tape my damaged indicators up.

By this time it was getting to early evening we were weary with still 150 miles to go!

On the dark side the v-twins were making their way into Kristiansund and were heading for the lodges we stayed in on our first night!

So back on the road with night falling we pressed on.
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Again we rattled along at a fast pace and on the roads approaching Kristiansund the BMW and CBR6 were lagging behind. Mind you the two sports bikes tried not to drop below 100mph anywhere as we knew this was probably our last chance to ride some clear and free roads! [can you recall our fear of the prospect of speeding fines...... and bike confiscations .... at the start? ]

Inevitably we got split up completely as the roads became more populated heading into Kristiansund and the time was getting later approaching 10pm.

On the dark side the V-TWINS had made good progress with a fixed chop there were no hold ups.

They however could not find the cabins, until Trev took co-ordinates off a picture he took the first night and plugged them into His Sat nav. (Smart arse git!!)

They arrived at the cabins well before midnight and settled down to watch a “porn” film, they claim it was an 80’s movie but we know them too well.

Mean while Tony and me had arrived in Kristiansund with no sign of Karl or Chris, so we waited on the road for a while. After 30 minutes and no sign we pressed onto the garage in the center where we had all stopped the first night on the way to the digs, we assumed this would be a sensible place to meet. Sure enough after an hours wait and more coffee and some appreciative watching of the local young ladies on their nights out on the town, Karl showed up.

But where was her Fuehrer? Another hours wait and some attempted phone calls (to Chris Hank etc) all of which failed we decided to try and find the log cabins.

Needless to say, it had been 7 days and 3000 miles since we had last been to the campsite and none of us had directions, or much of a clue!

After much cursing and swearing and considering just sleeping at the side of the road, We eventually found it, Time 2:00 am!

Her Fuehrer and the V-twin mob were all snuggled up and fast asleep.

Chris had followed his BMW sat nav to the site breaking all convoy rules [what rules....... :roll: ] of not turning off the route without informing or waiting for the others. (mind you he was behind us)

After 12+ hours riding his self preservation instincts had kicked in!

So for me the last full day in Norway was

· long (07:00-02:00 travelling),

· expensive (tyre and crash damage),

· frustrating (getting lost at 1 o’clock in the morning)

· disappointing that we had got split up and traveled in separate groups, (over very similar routes though)

· fast and glorious. It was some of the most spectacular, fast and exciting roads of the holiday. (Although there were so many to choose from)

· [lots of fun]



Day 8 – Friday 21 June



Morning came at 4 a.m after a whole two hours sleep and we were on our way to the ferry to Denmark.

The v-twin boys were full of vigour and fresh from a good nights sleep and took much delight in “ribbing” the faster bikes that they had got there first. (Oh and it still gets a mention most Thursday nights!)

We all made it across to Denmark with no further events and hit the Denmark side to rain and wet roads and had to abide by speed limits for the first time in a week.

Despite the Dark sides tails of their resounding Hog fix when we stopped for petrol once again it would not start.

Only this time the guys knew what to do so

a quick strip down,
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and some help From some Gold wing riding Hells Angels!

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Never did figure out if they were weekend outlaw bankers or the real deal!

Anyway a bit more oil in and a tighten of the crank nut and away we went to the Ferry home.


[almost the end..... all the fun is over..... Phil and I started with a trip to A&E..... the adventure unfolded and it was about to end.... no more eventful incidents........ :doh ]

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[will you stop trying to hold my hand Trev!]

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The Ferry home was uneventful, until Harwich when the captain crashed the boat into the dock and punctured the hull.

The Boat was listing whilst taking on water!!

[Inshore and offshore lifboats launched, RAF heliopter above..... about 6 fire applicances on the quay and a row of ambulances..... oh.... stay calm guys ]
Last edited by chris426f on Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby chris426f » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:30 pm

Day 9 – Saturday 22 June

[Edited 15th Dec 2015]

A few beers the night before on the ship, reliving the trip.... we woke up on the approach to Harwich to really strong winds (Beaufort 7 apparently.... moderate gale).... I went up on deck and you could hardly stand up....

Tony and I were sharing a cabin and were just packing final bits away where there was a massive bang and the ship stopped abruptly and rocked first to starboard then port.... Our cabin was by a upper deck outside door, so popped out to see what was going one..... Shit, we've crashed into the dock!!!

This photo show the list to port, and the engines still on, to keep the boat on the dock..... I think it was clear immediately that the hull was holed and they were taking on water as some of the guys saw crew rushing down with what they said looked like mattresses :?:

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Video of the dramatic rescue
You can see how it came in on this video.... the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report concluded that the starboard propulsion system was 'left on' in error, so they lost control as they approached.... The ship hit a linkspan (the hydraulically controlled bit of road that links the quay to the ship), ripping it from its supporting pillars and pushing it onto the quay.

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The MAIB report is here:

https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/547c6f2ce5274a429000000f/SirenaSeaways.pdf.... It say's that the propulsion system that had been left on (in error) was still on for two hours, stopping the tugs from pulling it off the quay I'm guessing.

This led to a few hours delay and some strange safety ideas.

All passengers had to come down a few decks into the heart of the ship whilst they pulled the ruptured boat off the dock, whereas we could have jumped to land from an outside deck.
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The RAF helicopter was with us withing about 15 mins, as were the RNLI lifeboats.....

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Tug pushing ship onto loading ramp thing.... that it had destroyed.... You can't see it but the tug has it's engines full on.... I suspect it was trying to keep the ship stable by pushing it onto the quay.....

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:augie call the fire brigade :augie ..... 7 engines in this shot alone....

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Once we got onto Dry land, it all went pretty well,

Chris went on telly with an interview with the Local news about the incident, [Chris: local news .... I was on BBC news at ten..... and interviewed by Kate Adie ]

[ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23014901 ]

[Chris: here's how the beeb became involved.... I had the BBC new app on phone and at the botton of 'breaking news' is a 'send us your photos' button ..... so I did .... the ones used on the above BBC web page..... what they don't tell you is that the BBC app takes your mobile number, so they can ring you..... they did..... and asked if I'd go on a live national broadcast..... "we're just going over to Chris Vincent who is on the stranded ferry...." ..... that was fun.... Then they called me back an hour or so later as they were about to get us off to say they'd got a TV news team by the port entrance and would I give an interview..... ]

We all shot off to get home, (with a slight garage stop to fix the Hog Primary drive.)

Some things we learnt along the way,

The best bike for the trip:

· Fast good handling reliable Jap sportsbikes (so the ZX12R obviously)

Most sensible Tool for the trip:

· GS1200 BMW

Most surprising event:

· Chopped out Harley doing 3000 plus miles in a week (proper hardcore)

Lasting memory:

· a great bunch of guys and memories from every day that will stick with me forever [ Chris: totally agree, great memories and a great bunch of guys ...]

(oh and my now irrational hatred of BMW R1200’s I developed this during the trip (it was like being followed by a police bike everywhere))

Best advice from the trip:

· Get out there and do it! (Whatever you ride its capable if you are.)

Therefore from all us Old FART(s) (Fleckney Arctic Reconnaissance Team) members its Goodbye till the next one!


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Last edited by chris426f on Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:04 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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