Back in cold waters

We’re sitting in a boat, dressed up with many layers, hoods up and warming pads in our socks, clinging on to whatever is in reach. The boat is rocking and rolling it’s way through the ice-cold waves and we’re trying to see whales. Orcas, sperm whales, minke whales, humpback whales – you might see the lot of them in these waters! But at the moment we’re actually more concerned about not feeding our breakfast to them. We’ve been on a number of trips with smaller boats, but these waves seem to talk straight to the stomach. Various people around us have already filled their bags or are hanging on to the side of the the M/S Reine with that certain pale look in their faces…

Luckily we could keep it together and were ready to enjoy watching the sperm wale that emerged from its dive almost exactly where the captain had promised. These giants dive up to 2000 meters deep and stay under the water for periods of 30-40 minutes (sometimes up to two hours) before they reemerge and breathe for about ten minutes. If your captain has a hydrophone and knows how to use it, you can have perfect photo opportunities! They are giants that can weigh up to 57 000 kg!

We’re out here in Andenes, North of the Lofoten islands of Norway, 300 km North of the Arctic circle. We’re here with a Discover the World group, and Cathy, Alexa and Mark are doing their best to keep everyone entertained. A glimpse of Northern Lights could already be seen on the way from the airport, but the weather conditions are not too promising.

Mark Carwardine is with us as the expert and has already given an introductory talk about whales. It’s pretty amazing to meet him after following him through some of his adventures on TV (Last chance to see, with Stephen Fry). I was very pleased that he was dropping little bits of nature conservation information and advice throughout his talk. Unfortunately not everyone who goes out to see whales is aware of the problems the animals and the ocean is facing nowadays. But they might listen to him!

The waves are promising to get even bigger tomorrow, so the captain will have to decide if we can go out at all. But if we do, Anja and I might actually try those ginger pills that we laughed about this morning in case they do calm the stomach in any way…

Posted in Travel.