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::: Nordstjernen :::

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    Just in time I photographed a slender needle of rock, perched precariously two-thirds the way up the side of the highest cliff, while it was still silhouetted against the sky.


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        A swathe of grass sweeps down to a lower level at this point, and flattens, bridging an arch beneath. That green gentleness is misleading, for at the base of a cliff, a breeding place for guillemots, we are suddenly confronted by a shipwreck. It is the Russian freighter Petrozavodsk which ran aground in 2009 and is already breaking up. The Norwegian authorities declared it to be too dangerous to remove.

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            Nordstjernen eventually turns and as she gathers pace, heading south, Bear Island gradually fades into the distance and into memory.


            In the next instalment: South to Nordkapp…and King Crabs in Honningsvåg.

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              Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

              Just spent some very enjoyable time catching up with this thread. Absolutely stunning Cecilia. I very much appreciate being able to look at all of these wonderful images.
              Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

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                Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                Originally posted by GraemeD View Post
                Does anyone know how to access the Svalbard documentary from NRK tonight outside of Norway?
                There were some server issues at Photobucket earlier this evening which affected my posting here, and I have only just seen your query, Graeme. I hadn’t known about this Svalbard documentary. Hopefully it will be something which can be viewed retrospectively.

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                  Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                  Thanks for the fantastic images, Cecilia!
                  I definitively will consider a trip to svalbard next years.

                  Originally posted by GraemeD View Post
                  Does anyone know how to access the Svalbard documentary from NRK tonight outside of Norway?
                  You can see it here:
                  http://tv.nrk.no/serie/ut-i-naturen/...512/18-09-2012

                  The second half of the documentation was filmed from a ship, guess which one?

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                    Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                    BIG thank you to Graeme and Jens for bringing this NRK documentary to our attention.
                    Just watched it, and highly recommend it to you all. You will see the scenery and wildlife from earlier in the season than in my pictures (more calving of glaciers…more birds…) but, as already hinted, the same dear ship!

                    It is also my excuse for delay in preparing the next instalment to post here!

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                      Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

                      Thank you so much for the link ArcticGateway :-)

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                        Nordkapp –the way I’d never seen it before

                        I must have woken when I heard cabin-mate closing the toilet door. The vibration had also jolted the computer mouse, bringing the screen to life. Peering down from my bunk I could make out the map, the coast of Norway, the little ship symbol heading directly towards it. Still some way to go, but nevertheless … Descend, dress, wash later…

                        Outside, early morning light on Nordstjernen’s aft deck…

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                          Up a deck, and looking south to the north of Norway –sea, sky, and a faint slither of land as yet scarcely disturbing the horizon.

                          It was an extraordinary feeling, this sense of being acutely aware of exactly where I was on the earth’s surface. Almost as if my body had acquired its own Sat Nav, bird-like perhaps…now that wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate for me, though having been whisked by plane to Svalbard rather than a slower sailing north in order to sail south may well have intensified the emotion I was now experiencing.

                          I ought to make myself a certificate with this picture for this place, like the ones for our 80° North crossing and another Arctic Circle one that also appeared, attached to our cabin doors some days later. I remembered the first time I’d ever been even that far north, still only in Sweden, and then years later to Norway and the North Cape. It can sometimes seem easy to knock Nordkapp for its mass tourism, entry fees, shopping opportunities, for it not being quite mainland or quite most northern. But it somehow remains special.

                          I was remembering, and am again now as I write, about the history of Nordkapp, the very first tourists, among them gentlemen, explorers and kings, who with considerably more effort than is required nowadays made the long journey north. I’m remembering my own visits in summer sun and in winter snow, and the time I spent precious moments within North Cape Hall at the Thai Museum (so much more than that name implies), just a few days before my very first visit to that country. I wrote about it here in CaptainsVoyage, and at the end of that account you will also find a link to Jan-Olav – Pakarang’s – thread about his road trip to the North Cape in August 2010, and can experience in his photography more of the magic of this place and what making a journey there means.

                          Among his images there is this one, taken from the viewing balcony where one can emerge from the indoor halls and passages within the rock itself.




                          It is not actually a view of anything in particular, sea and sky (and on many another day than this, cloud and fog). That, I think, is the point. It is a view of nothingness, of the end of land, or rather it is a view of the concept of northwards. Perhaps one has to experience the reverse to truly understand…

                          …or, looking at that image, imagine that you can discern Nordstjernen in that far distance, coming towards you, sailing south on her journey to reach the North Cape of Norway.

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                            Passing the blanket box and the Post Flag I returned briefly to the cabin. Soon outdoors once again, there was time to take more images of the ship.







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                              Not my first opportunity aboard this ship, but, seeing the hatch open, I peered inside and photographed what I could.




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                                Then across to the port side and up to the bridge wing, and there seems nothing could be more resolute as this old yet “Forever Young” Lady as her bow cuts determinedly through this northern Arctic sea.

                                Last edited by Seagull; September 21st, 2012, 16:15.

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