6 Ships Blog

Sandvika and Lyngvaerfjorden

Ship's Blog - June 23, 2013

We wake up to a beautifully calm morning. The wet low clouds from the previous rainy day are just starting to lift up. Sandvika is a great first introduction to the beauty of coastal Norway. The little bay is fringed by steep-sided cliffs and there is a grassy plain with some typical colorful Norwegian cabins in the back of the bay. A stunning wild river runs down from the surrounding heights into the sea – sometimes cascading downstream over the rocks creating little waterfalls. We take the guests ashore and onto a hike along the river. The kids have a chance to run through the wild birch forest and get their feet wet in the river. The weather starts to clear up and when the hikers return to the beach, the sun breaks through the clouds adding some warmth and color to this nice place.

At 1 PM, HANSE has lifted her anchor and we are sailing out into the sea. The passage goes through a group of low-laying islands and past a beautiful lighthouse into the open ocean. This is one of the places where the ships have to leave the shelter of the fiords and islands and have to pass through the exposed open ocean for a few hours heading north or south the Norwegian shore. These unsheltered patches are however not numerous – most of the Norwegian coast can be passed in calm inland waters.

The clearing skies leave room for the sun to warm up the land. Convection, thermal-rise of warm and humid air, creates saturation of the atmosphere and new shower clouds form quickly – together with the sun shining through the shower clouds, a beautiful rainbow forms.
Our destination is Lyngvaerfjorden. Our guide Petter has friends who live on the shores of this fiord and since it is a very special day today in Norway – it is solstice celebration (midsummer) – we are planning to celebrate this event in the traditional Norwegian way with a fire on the beach.

When we pull into the fiord, the fire on the beach is already started. It’s not easy to get it to burn because everything is so wet from the rain shower that had just poured down over that area an hour before. After dinner we go ashore with all the guests and after some time of “getting to know each other”, the atmosphere gets more and more relaxed and it all turns into a fun little party. Hot chocolate, local coffee brewed on the fire and Aquavit is being consumed. The skies clear and the midnight sun comes out. It is a gorgeous evening that surely nobody of the group will forget this quickly. A happy crowd returns to HANSE EXPLORER and LAIKA at 1 AM.

Capt. Martin Graser

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