After the storm

At our stop in Vardo (I think, all those towns are beginning to look the same) the sea bathing did actually take place. 15 or so near-naked misguided individuals (both crew and passengers) queued down a ramp to jump into a wooden container floating in the sea. They got out again pretty quickly, although our friend (he alleges) went in twice. It was only about -2 (air temperature) and +2 (water temp) so “almost spring-like” as the tour leaders phrase it.

The promised storm waited until after dinner and then upgraded itself at about 8pm to a force 10 gale. There is a lot of stiff upper lip on display, but also quite an amount of smashed crockery and a pair of loudspeakers went over with a very loud crash. We made it to our cabin where we lay on our bunks for about 5 hours while everything else in the cabin flew around us. The loudest noise was the two bottles in the fridge sliding up and down. In desperation we stuffed the fridge with sweaters.

We both eventually slept for a few hours and woke when the ship docked in Hammerfest. Our arrival is several hours ahead of schedule because we missed out a couple of small ports (and had a tail wind, or rather tail gale). Unfortunately it is Sunday so most of Hammerfest is closed. We will probably just walk to get some exercise. At breakfast (very necessary to replace last night’s dinner – which did not survive the night) we were told that the winds last night had reached Force12 (hurricane) at times. So we have experienced a hurricane at sea – another first, although it was not on our 70 list.

We tried to get some exercise in Hammerfest but the weather is not helpful. It is probably described as snow showers. It is -6C and it alternates between horizontal sleet directed at your face (when you get togged up and go out) and clear with patches of blue sky (as soon as you come on board and take your outerwear off). Since dressing to go out (and undressing on return) take several minutes each (especially bending down to fasten cleats on our boots) we never seem to be able to be outside at the right time.

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