Hvale – Beauty and the Beef

Lofoten now lies in our wake with the jagged peaks silhouetted against the horizon – as we sail north we are born upon the last warm tendrils of the gulf steam along the steep drop from shallow shelf water  to the deep abyssal plain. This is the realm of whales, and in the Bleik Trench sperm whales gather each summer to feed upon the huge squid in the deep water. So of course we gathered there as well to see the whales! Unfortunately the first day of searching came up a complete zero, and the closest we came to seeing a whale was the many advertisements for “Hvalbif” (whale beef) in the restaurants of Andenes where we stayed for the night. And it seemed like this was going to be repeated the next day after eight hours of sailing along the shelf waters with nothing to keep us company but the many fulmars circling about the boat.

Until suddenly the call came: “Hvale!!!!”….

It was a single sperm whale logging on the surface but it was enough to make the hours worthwhile. The huge beast was rather indifferent about the appearance of Widdershins with its goggling crew and happily rolled about in the ocean swell before dipping towards the depths, raising its tail heading off to seek squid.

As the day was already growing long and we had many miles to sail we decided to call it quits and headed for sheltered waters and the inshore route to Tromsø. We are currently sipping hot chocolate amongst the hordes of tourists rugged up in several jumpers, patented Norwegian “tourist” beanies and hiking shoes …. Meanwhile the locals are strolling around in (very) short skirts, sandals and skimpy tops (ouch … I was doing research for the blog Léonie). I guess 10 degrees is the height of sultry summer weather here-abouts.

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