Tuesday 4 August Vikingen (Crossing the Arctic Circle), Bronnoysund, Torghatten

This morning, we got up early and went up to Deck 6 Observation area at the bow of the ship, joining with about 35 other keen passengers to watch as the Island Sky crossed the Arctic Circle just after 6.00am, heading south. There is a monument on Vikingen Island that marks the line and we were able to take photos to record this event. Our Cruise director, Jane, and some of the staff joined us – two of the staff served us hot chocolate and small cinnamon pastries. We were all impressed that the sun came out and we have seen blue skies for the first time since last Thursday.
For the past 5 days, we have been some distance north of the Arctic Circle and interestingly, relatively few people live north of the Arctic Circle because of the Arctic climate. We have been inside the Arctic Circle previously, when we flew to Barrow from Fairbanks in Alaska. Interestingly, the most northerly point in Alaska that tourist ships can sail to is Anchorage, which is well below the Arctic Circle.
This morning, also for the first time, we ate our breakfast at the Lido Outdoor Café on Deck 5. The sun was shining and the views were spectacular.
After breakfast, we went up to the Bridge to meet Captain Henrik Karlsson and the rest of the navigation team. We chatted to the Captain for a while and were able to take some photos, as well as observe the various navigational aids.
We passed the Seven Sisters mountain range with the village of Sandnessjoen at the foot of the mountains and then we attended an interesting illustrated presentation by Mick Brown – “Greenwich Mean Time and Navigation at Sea”.
We had lunch in the Lido Outdoor Café, while we sailed through Bronnoysund, which is a little village at the entrance to a fjord – beautiful scenery. Before too long, we could see Mt Torghatten, which is part of the Troll Mountains and one of the most famous landmarks on the Norwegian coast. We disembarked on the zodiacs and while a group did the steep hike over uneven ground and over huge boulders to the hole in the mountain, we did the “Coastal Ramble”, a walk, which took us around to the other side of the island on gravel and dirt paths. We saw lots of flowers and beautiful little sandy inlets and we could also see the legendary ‘hole’ in the mountain. The hole is 160 metres long, 35 metres wide and 20 metres high. It was formed during the Scandinavian ice age when ice and water eroded the looser rocks while the harder ones in the mountaintop resisted erosion.
According to Norse legend, the hole was made by the troll, Hestmannen, while he was chasing the beautiful girl, Lekamøya, who refused to marry him. He tried to shoot her with an arrow to kill her, but the troll-king of Sømna threw his hat into the arrow’s path to save her and his hat was hit by Hestmannen’s arrow. At that moment, the sun came up and all the trolls were petrified, including the hat, which has ever since been called the Torghat. Hence, Torghatten, a hat-shaped peak, which has a hole in it!
The weather was sunny and very warm and when we returned to the ship by zodiac, we were met by some of the staff with cold drinks and cool towels.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our day today in the warm sunshine!

2 Responses to “Tuesday 4 August Vikingen (Crossing the Arctic Circle), Bronnoysund, Torghatten”

  1. Katharine says:

    Hi Dad, the photo of Torghatten with the water in front of it looks like there’s a creature yelling – the whole being the mouth.
    Great photos as usual!

  2. sandy says:

    Funny Katharine. I thought the same thing!! Your Dad is certainly taking some amazing photos, despite the horrible weather in some places. Lots of love from both of us.xoxo

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