"With its strange situation (surrounded by high mountains), this city has the advantage of a beautiful port and considerable shipping, but also the disadvantage that once on land one cannot get to the city without great inconvenience. This is because the weather in the vicinity of these high mountains is extremely unpleasant and rainy. There has even evolved an expression that is always rains in Bergen, and we have not experienced anything to counteract this saying." (a quote by the Dutch professor Fabricius after a visit to Bergen in ca. 1780).
Few other places in Hordaland, or even the whole country, get as much rain as in the Samnanger mountains. The mountains here simply attract wetness. The weather station on Kvitingen has continuous measurements all the way back to 1900, and the measurements have documented several records for the county. The station is therefore much used as a reference for the rainfall in western Norway.
For generations the land-seine was the most important tool for catching herring and mackerel, and therefore a suitable casting bay was worth its weight in gold. Goltasundet (the Golta sound) on Golta was such a place. Here the herring often drifted in and fantastic casts might be made here.
Kval i våg! Når det ropet gjekk, var det berre å få ut den kraftige kvalnota til å stengja vågen med, og så kunne veidinga ta til. I uminnelege tider har det vore drive kvalveiding i Skogsvågen.
At the southern end of the bridge between Radøy and Fosnøy archaeologists found an unusual Stone Age settlement. There was a thick “cultural layer” here with the remains of the waste dumps of a hunting people. The place was called Kotedalen. Here they came, one group after the other, and settled for some weeks, some months, or maybe years before they went on, leaving the settlement deserted. Time after time it happened. At least 16 settlement phases have been identified, stretching over 5,500 years.
From times immemorial salmon and trout have been caught with various tools in the fjord and the streams here. Finds in the Stone Age settlements at Skipshelleren indicate that salmon was probably caught by angling. Nets, fish pots and traps have been used in the rivers right up to our times. In the fjords the use of nets was developed into a salmon seine around 1500, and later into what today is known as fixed seine.
In the sea west of Bømlo lies Espevær, half an hour’s rowing trip across the sound from Vespestadvågen. This is a well-run and well-maintained local community, established on the back of the rich herring fisheries in the 1850s. It is fishermen, skippers and the tradesmen who have made their mark on the culture in Espevær, with their contacts to the south towards Haugesund and across the North Sea to the British Isles.
Børtveit is known to be a place with a lot of rain. We must go to Samnanger or Indre Matre to find a higher rainfall. The average rainfall on Børtveit is 2871 millimetres, Slåtterøy has only 1328 millimetres and Fitjar 1610 millimetres.