Blown across the Arctic Circle

Added 12 Feb 2015

We crossed the Arctic Circle at precisely 07:48:21 this morning. During breakfast we pass another Hurtigruten ship, the MS Vesteralen heading south. She was built in 1983 and the MS Midnatsol is huge by comparison. We wave vigourously and one person waves back. Won't do that again. On docking at Ornes the ship's tour director, Marco, receives a mobile telephone call from King Neptune, who has arrived on board to perform the Arctic Circle ceremony. Everyone duly queues up to have ice cubes and freezing cold water poured down their neck! Well, not everyone. Richard and Dawn have been here before and stand well back!

Around lunchtime we call at Bodo, a small town with not much to see. We walk to the cathedral which is simply decorated but has a magnificent stained glass window.

Back on board we experience some more heavy seas. Everyone hangs on. We sail across to the Lofoten Islands and make our first scheduled stop at Stamsund. Thankfully our dinner is served while we are in port because shortly after leaving Stamsund the weather blows up again and we head for our cabins! The wind speed increases and the captain decides it is not sensible to dock in the small harbours of Svolvaer or Stokmarknes. Next stop is Sortland! In all the years we've been travelling to Norway we've never seen weather like this. We are quite safe, the Norwegians are exemplary sailors, but this is turning into a real adventure!