The search is over!
After all the activities at Kirkenes the ship is anxious to leave port and head on its way. The bus carrying the husky dog adventurers is last back. We slide across the quayside and embark MS Midnatsol. The gangway lifts and we are away. The next opportunity to stretch legs is at Vardo. Ship guests are invited to take a dip in the Arctic waters here or enjoy a walk up to an old fort. We only have one hour here and when the ship arrives at port there seems to be a delay. We're advised it is windy and the captain is taking extra care. That may well be the case but we can't see any port staff waiting on the quayside either. All of a sudden somene turns up to catch the ship ropes and we are tied up pretty quickly! When the ganway opens the weather conditions certainly are very windy. Hold on to your hats everyone! It is also snowing, horizontally. Given the limited time, Richard suggests we watch the brave swimmers rather than try and make it through the snowy roads up to the fort. Three of the Furlongs family go for a dip. Well done Cathy, Jane and Laura. PS: You must be mad!
Kevin is keen to see the fort so Richard does a very quick private tour. A few folk follow but understandably turn back! The wind chill is fierce. In fact it is more like two steps forward and slide one back. They do make it up to the fort, take a few snowy photos and then slip all the way back to the ship. Last on board, again.
After such high winds and snowy conditions we are not too hopeful in regards to seeing the Northern Lights this evening. However, after dinner, the weather settles and we are treated to a magnificent light show. The Aurora Borealis first appears ahead of the ship and then seems to cover the skies above, with an ever-changing pattern. And the show goes on, and on. We come inside to warm up and have a coffee, go out again, and the lights are still going strong. One of the longest displays the Furlongs team have seen for many a year!