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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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Tromso to Batsfjord

A F9 gale creates emotional seas
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We wake late and bask in the joy of yesterday’s huskies.

But the ship’s motion is different. She’s pitching and rolling. Opening the heavy curtains we see why. There are no mountains to protect us and the calm seas of the last few days have been rudely woken by a strong force 9 yet MS Midnatsol is riding the unruly motion so gently.

Northern Siberia

We stop for thirty minutes in Havoysund. At 71N 26E we are on the same latitude as northern Siberia. A helpful sign tells us it’s only 1,311nm to the North Pole.

We are also told the temperature here can drop to -60F – that’s a bracing 92 degrees of frost before any wind chill is taken into account.

With such slow Internet onboard, Lin’s been clever and found that by taking our laptops to the side of the boat that’s adjacent to the Hurtigruten terminal, we can pick up their high speed Wi-Fi!

Finmark

Arriving in Havoysund, a small fishing town
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During the passage to Kjollefjord, we watch a short documentary on the Sarmi people. Evidence shows they were nomadic and inhabited an area known as Finmark some 9,000 years ago, surviving from their herds of reindeer.

‘Civilised progress’ almost wiped them out for two main reasons. Their language was different and they worshipped the spirit world.

King Crabs

Question: What do king crabs and snowmobiling have in common? Both require us to be fully togged up and boiled up in our arctic clothing.

It’s 1700 and dark. Very dark. As we near Kjollefjord, a large RIB storms alongside with two crates of king crab.

Deck nine, the open promenade deck and home to the challenging open air sauna, becomes the focus of attention as we are shown these enormous creatures. We are told these are babies. Adults have a two metre legspan. Their crushing claws are fierce.

Snowmobiling

A trawler arrives to offload its catch
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Having docked and disembarked we take the short bus journey to Snowmobiling HQ. We only have an hour before MS Midnatsol leaves. After a short briefing it’s follow the leader.

With clear skies and moonlight the landscape is once again, just glorious and sparkly.

I long to go faster, so I hang back to increase the distance from the snowmobile in front. Then I open the throttle wide and shoot forward. Yes! Closing the gap in no time I shut the power off, but I’d had my bit of fun.

Northern Lights

The leader suddenly holds his arm up. We stop. He taps his left forearm, the sign to kill engines.

‘Look,’ he calls pointing skywards. ‘Aurora Borealis.’

We’ve seen our Northern Lights. They’re not spectacular, but we’ve seen them. Mission accomplished.

Norwegian Buffet-fest

King crabs arrive by RIB
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The buffet is spectacular with every type of shell fish you can imagine.

Crab, king crab, green mussels, langoustines, fresh water prawns, shrimps, fresh water crayfish and lobster.

And the fresh salmon and halibut were so well cooked. Still vaguely rare and squiggy.

We sleep well. What a great cruise. What a great adventure. What a great way to celebrate Lin’s special birthday.

Piers and Lin
Mission accomplished HQ
MS Midnatsol

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

We are told this is ‘a tiddler’
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A passenger holds ‘the tiddler’
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A trawler arrives after fishing for cod
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A small township sits at the base of a mountain
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2 comments to Tromso to Batsfjord

  • Pip Flynn

    It sounds like you had a fantastic time and I’m so pleased you managed to see the Northern Lights. What a superb adventure.

    • Pip, it was way beyond expectations. So pleased you liked reading about the trip. As you saw from one of the pics, Lin even sunbathed (a bit) in temps of almost degrees, but the sun was hot!

      On checking, just realised I didn’t add the sunbathing post!. Lin was on a deck chair on our balcony, a cup of tea in hand, soaking up the rays. As I said, really hot sun and a dry cold air. Great combination.

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