Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Norway 2008 - Andenes

The campground at Andenes looked like it had a lot of scenic potential - the spot was by a beach, with some impessive looking jaggedy hills. Unfortunately, the mist never really cleared during our stay, so we never got to see the hills in all their finery.

At 10.30am, we headed up to the Whale Safari office to see if we'd been moved off the wait list. After a rather agonizing half hour, watching the office fill with people, we discovered we were in luck!

The tour started with an introduction in the museum - before we went any further we were all (or nearly all) dosed with seasickness tablets. This proved to be a wise precaution.

The museum tour proved to be interesting, as the guide was very knowledgeable about whales, and sperm whales in particular. One room was dedicated to the skeleton of a beached sperm whale. This photograph shows the "hand" of the whale - an evolutionary reminder.

Out at sea, we were very quickly glad of all the layers we were wearing. The skies hadn't cleared and there was a lot of wind. Sperm whale watching quickly proved to be somewhat less spectacular than the whale watching trip that Fiona, Darby and I had been on last year - sperm whales spend up to half an hour underwater at a time, hunting squid, they come up for air for about 5 minutes, basically just treading water, and then, with a flick of the flukes, they go under again. Nonetheless, we were lucky enough to have 3 sightings of two different whales during the afternoon.

Back at the campsite, it took quite some time to warm up again, and after dinner we quickly rellocated to the common room to read. Our quiet evening came to a quick end as the room was overrun with a horde of Dutch people - 24 caravans from the Dutch caravanning club, and they were staying at our site! Fortunately their plan to prepare pancakes for 48 people in the kitchens was quickly shot down, and they left us to drink our hot chocolate in relative peace.