Flaskepost: Ølbergholmen – siktrapport fra Oslofjorden

Bottle post: Ølbergholmen - sighting report from the Oslofjord

On Frivannsliv.no's blog you can read about trips and experiences from freediving. We call it bottle mail. We welcome contributions from our readers. Send your experience with pictures and text to post@frivannsliv.no, and we will contact you.

You may have taken the Danish boat from Larvik to Hirtshals? At the far end of Larviksfjorden, with Denmark as the next stop, there is Ølbergholmen.

Two good colleagues, with a Tuesday off at the beginning of March. The day was actually supposed to be used to install a home brewery, but the "recruit", I'll call him for this story, thought otherwise. "Come on Espen, join the sea! You can keep the brewery going on a rainy day..." And it took about 0.4 nanoseconds to be persuaded.

But first I must introduce ourselves. The undersigned has been freediving since the age of 3-4. I'm now 45. I went scuba diving in the 90s, but always returned to the "simple". Just mask, snorkel and flippers. In the last 5-6 years, it has become a bit more targeted, and there has been an enormous development in equipment. The suits work excellently in 2-3 degree water, for many hours. But you probably already know that when you're inside and reading "bottle mail". Then there was the "recruit", Sigurd, a real Smølaværing. We've just become colleagues, and during a few quiet night shifts I've been enthusiastically talking about freediving. The recruit immediately became very interested and curious. It quickly became a webinar on Frivannsliv.no, it became a podcast and "rounding" of YouTube. "Look here Sigurd...... Frivannsliv.no, it's easy..... to the till..... pay now". And suddenly the recruit had got his own equipment.

Then the day came. None of us had been to Ølbergholmen before. The weather met: flat water, 6-7 degrees in the air, sunny and calm, 3 degrees in the sea. The families placed in kindergarten, home school and in a home office. Now the boys had to realize themselves. A fresh vitamin injection in a hectic "corona everyday", where everyone is bored. But it is about creating opportunities within the framework of measures, advice and recommendations. And it takes a lot for freediving in particular not to be resolved within this. We had agreed to meet at the Ølbergholmen car park at 09:30. The place is about 15 minutes' drive from Larvik/Sandefjord. From the car park there is a gravel path of approx. 800m that leads out into the sea gap. We had discussed a bit beforehand. Should we change in the car park or do we go to change outside in the sea gap? There was a shift in the parking lot. Should we go for crocs or sneakers? It was sneakers. After 800m I felt that I was happy about it. The shoes were left on land. More on that later.

Then there was this thing about taking a "Smølaværing" to the Oslofjord then. I thought that the drop here is big. "Oslofjord yes....isn't it just mud, grime and poor visibility.....?" With the risk that the "recruit" was used to crystal clear water with kelp forests and large schools of fish. But he had never dived before. "There is a limit to how bad things can go," says Harald. And he is absolutely right. We got into the sea. We got the equipment and "mindset" tuned in. Everything was perfect! And the visibility....., yes the visibility was 10m! In the Oslofjord! "Is it always like this?", asks the "recruit". "Yes," replies the mentor, with a fat grin...."

The "recruit" is also grinning from ear to ear. "I came down in 5 meters!" Mentor grins. "Don't bend your knees.. Straight legs"... Like a harbor seal, the "recruit" shoots speed into the water. First down to 6m, then 7m and then 8m. The little tips.... pushing boundaries..... .that of succeeding!

​In my story, I can't escape kelp. I LOVE kelp! I don't know why, but that's just the way it is, always been that way. I know there are other readers in the bottle post who have the same "approach". The fact that there is a "kelp map" on naturbase.no is funny. Especially for us here in the Oslofjord. This is perhaps something you take for granted when you live in Western Norway or Northern Norway. But there is still kelp here in the "pond". You just have to look. Therefore, there will be a number of pictures of kelp. Because there is kelp at Ølbergholmen.

Then there was my "white whale" - Porcupine. I have caught turbot in the 90s, and record that it has been fantastic with good turbot catches on "catch and sighting reports" and what a fantastic food fish. “Sigurd! If we're lucky, we'll get a small sump lid.'' Paddle, paddle, paddle. There were no turbot on this trip, but that didn't matter. Because the trip was a fantastic freediving experience.

After two and a half hours, and about 2000m of swimming, it was enough for this time. Then we got ashore... There were two well-grown ladies. "We saw you in the water" "We were only worried when we only saw your shoes". (So, who takes off their shoes, if they intend to round off...). "You are some real Vikings!" Fortunately, the grown-up ladies had their men with them, otherwise they would probably have put notes down our swimming trunks when we started to change. So I guess I can only round off by saying that Ølbergholmen fulfills everyone's needs.

Thanks for the trip, Sigurd! I can't wait for the next one!


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