Saturday, 3 August 2013

Thar she blows!

The Andenes Fyr.

How do you measure an Arctic day? Not in hours, minutes and seconds surely? In months and weeks? Or perhaps in the slow, steady rhythm of a whale's heart-beat?

It was late July. The sun had not set since May but we had hardly seen it for a week due to a series of storms that kept us ashore. On this, our last day on the island, it hung red, crackling and fizzing in a shredded sky. The water inside the harbour wall was a mirror, reflecting the sky, the red lighthouse and the old, yellow-painted cod-liver oil factory.

A mink swam out into the shallows and returned with a crab that it ate under the piers of the buildings where the gulls would not steal it from him. Further off, a merganser snorkeled its way across the bay then smashed though it's own reflection and disappeared beneath the water. My watch said it was 1 a.m. It was going to be a whale-day.

So begins my blog about my trip to Norway. It includes details and photos of the whales, birds, wildflowers, people and scenery that I saw at Tromsø and Andenes, about 300 miles into the Arctic Circle.