Our Walk the Night Before
the Old Church
The Glass Library
In the harbor
A Condo with a View, Only USD $680,500.00
Perhaps a House for USD $739,000.00
A Fur Shop?
Norwegians Enjoy Light Displays, Don’t You?
The Ferry Terminal
Anatomically Correct Statue
A Break in the Clouds, No Lights
A Fashon Show Aboard Ship
The aurora borealis comes and goes. Sometimes it remains in the sky for hours, most times it flickers out in a few minutes it seems. We have seen a few short lived displays between cloud cover. Last night, determined, we found two deck chairs sheltered from the wind at the back of deck nine and settled in to watch the sky. It was windy with intermittent snowfall and quite cold. We were protected from the wind and snow and had the benefit of warm air exhaust from the ship blowing toward us. I have a number of photos of breaks in cloud cover. With the ship in motion, stars appear smeared in the photos. Still some are dramatic.
We began our vigil around 1AM, snug and warm. By 3AM the skies had not broken, though the snow came and went, came and went. We were feeling the cold when we broke it off. Time for some sleep.
Both Ellen and I were awake around 7:30AM and went to breakfast, though dragging ourselves out and down a few flights of stairs was not easy. We ate a quick breakfast then went back for some more rest. Ellen woke me to say John’s lecture was starting in a few minutes! What? It was already 1:50 PM. I had slept all the way through lunch! We went off to hear John talk about our Sun. I’ve described that in a prior blog entry.
Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Cruise, is on a Working Ferry
Old Ship Finmarken’s Dining Area
The Lounge Area
The Main Stairway, Hurtigruten Finmarken
Old Life Boats and Finmarken’s Stern
Trollfjord stopped briefly at Stokmarknes. We went ashore to visit Hurtigruten’s maratime museum and to walk the old ship, Finmarken. Some of Trollfjord’s stops are as brief as 30 minutes. These are working ferry stops dropping supplies off or on-loading shipments for others ports. Stokmarknes was a 30 minute stop. We were hard pressed to visit the museum, walk the old ship, and not be left behind. “There are no late passengers, only left behind passengers.”
What does a Bouquet of Frozen Roses Portend?
Ice Drink, Ice Seat, Ice Table, the Furs were Remarkably Warm
Back aboard an announcement stated “due to the weather today’s tours have been cancelled. Dinner tonight will be open seating.” We hungrily queued for dinner. A dinner queue only forms the few minutes before “dinner doors” open. We met Dave in line. Kristen joined us a few minutes later. His horse riding tour was cancelled. He was wondering how he’d fare riding a horse in a blizzard. It would be cold with nothing to see except the snowfall. We ate together. Then realizing we were docking at solvaer, we thought “let’s go to the Magic Ice and see what we missed”. We were off.
Magic Ice is a take off on the snow hotel and Ice hotel. It is a very cold room filled with snow and Ice carvings, an Ice Bar, and an Ice Slide, We walked the display of back-lit frozen sculptures then grabbed a frozen drink from the frozen bar. It was pretty cool.
Sublimation has gotten the better of some of the carvings
Drinks in hand (the drinks were a wine similar in flavor to a sherry) we wandered settling on the ice slide. Kristen & Ellen bravely took the first descent. I followed Dave up the latter and down. I thought to “ski” down on my two boots. The ice proved far too slippery for that. I fell onto my back and launched down the ramp. I gathered speed on my back, my legs in air, and slammed into the side which spun me around. I landed hard on my back,, oooph. Kristen & Ellen headed back up as I licked my wound (pride) and videoed their ride. Dave and I took another round, this time we were both a bit more graceful. Kristen & Ellen took another run as well.
Magic Ice was fun, but static but for the ice slide. It stole the show IMO.
We found the hotel Dave & I visited for a Norwegian take on a Mule & G&T. This time we opted for less Nordic drinks. The girls had water and we sat around “The Bonfiire” as a hotel fellow called the gas flame centered in our table.
The snow was perfect for snowballs. I’m surprised I was only hit twice. I threw four, but didn’t find the range. Just as well. All out war would not have been a good thing.
Conditions tonight are poor for star gazing or northern lights viewing. It is snowing. It is windy. Even so John will keep watch and alert “the crew” if there’s a sighting. We’ll arrange our cold-weather clothing for a quick exit tonight.
I think we are doing an open ocean crossing this evening. If so a rocking ship with a slick snow covered deck is not where I would chose to be at night.
The call went out “Northern Lights” about 40 minutes ago. We darted into our warm clothes and scrambled on to deck 9. The ship is heaving a bit and the deck is covered with an inch or two of slush. There were a number of people on deck, but not a crowd. I easily chose a spot, unfurled my tripod, and shot a few 1.3 and 1.6 second exposures. It takes some time for our eyes to adjust; the camera is immediate. The display showed the green of a light display
The Next Day
It is now the next day. Last night we lingered on deck watching the lights all around the ship’s stern. Unfortunately cloud cover obscured any detail we might have seen. The green glow was everywhere. I am using a moderately fast lens at 2.8. Dr. John is using a 1.4 fisheye lens with better results. Then he’s been chasing the Northern Lights for decades (literally).
Since I started this post yesterday at about this time, we have had breakfast with Kristen and a gal from Boston, attended a presentation about how MV Trollfjord operates from the first engineer, had lunch, attended a visual recap of this trip highlighting the photos that John has made, had dinner, walked around Bronnoysund Norway, and bought a memory stick loaded with John’s photos. Up next: dinner .
John mentioned that this trip the weather has been particularly challenging, though not nearly as cold as typical. Still it was an adventure and we had fun at the whistle stops and excursions we took.
I was just told the wind speed during our “rough seas” crossing was 43 meters/second. That doesn’t sound all that bad until you do the conversion. 43 meters/second is 96 Miles and Hour! That is hurricane force winds! (and not category 1 at that).