Monday, August 18, 2014

817/2014: I’ve been informed…

I’ve been informed that calling the Hurtigruten a “ferry” is a major faux pax. It is in fact, a ship according to the adamant Professors Retelle and Ambrose. You see a ship can be a boat but a boat can’t always be a ship. To that effect, a ferry is simply something that goes from one side of something to the other...better relegated to Huck Finn & the Mississipi and Charon to the underworld. 

Either way, Sunday morning was primarily taken up with checking out of hotels and getting gear to the landing of which was completely obstructed by the chutes and ladders bike race course. We found parts of the city we didn’t know, new tunnels to navigate, and likely the largest congregation of people north of the arctic circle: it was a mad house. 
The start of the extreme arctic bike race & smiling Norwegians (always a pleasant surprise)

Most of the Ingoya crew at the start
After pulling countless coolers and pushing countless carts of scientific gear amongst the masses, we were at the Hurtigruten, our ship. It was massive. Complete with super special indestructible life boats, a reception area out of the Titanic, and loads of folks (most 60+) just along for the ride. 

The group at the landing post 5 cart trips loaded to the gills, see yellow cart
Mike Playing air guitar with the surveying equipment
Great ship but they spelled "King" and "Harold" wrong
Most of the way to our final stop on in Hayovson I could be found on the deck taking pictures, lots of pictures. When not there I would return to the 7th floor observation deck to regain use of my appendages and then return as soon as possible. 
Palacial Reception Area
Hurtigruten hallways 
Hallway to the dining area
7th floor observation deck
Occasionally I would return to the room to download pictures but I found it hard to pull myself away from the beauty of the fjords and surrounding glacially sculpted topography. 
The view from our window: lifeboat
Back during the last glacial maximum (the ice age which ended ~10k years ago) this area had at one point an ice sheet and numerous valley glaciers streaming through the land. These rivers of ice carve deep u-shaped channels that when the ice retreat the water followed back in. Accordingly, Norway is known for its beautiful steep-walled fjords of which we motored through all night. Before I knew it the time was 12:45 am Monday and it was bed time. Guess what that means? Time to end this post. 
This is a huge flooded, U-Shaped valley looking backwards as we motored on into the night
We came, we organized, we packed, we dodged road bikes and questionable foods, we loaded, and boated. Time for the science to begin. 

For an account of the views and sights along the way to the northernmost part of Norway check out the pictures and captions below, please click to enlarge:
Randall and Al chatting schlerochronology 
The team relaxing after getting everything on board
Passing under the bridge connection Tromso to the mainland 
Looking north leaving Tromso
The super special life boats that block our window
A small village on the side of the fjord
Sunlight passing through the mist in the valley
Sunset begins and progresses through the next photos 
Lights in the distance

Not quite a lighthouse but helpful 
Slight rain over the Mtns. in the distance
Another narrow pass looking forward
One last harbor stop before bed
Almost as dark as it gets
As dark as it gets

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