[I don’t know if this actually happened, but I have a memory of being picked up by the wind and carried a few feet when I was a wee lass in Virginia. Whether it happened or not, the “memory” no doubt is behind today’s misadventure.]
I can now add Arctic gale-force winds to my experience bank, as they were very much present as the ship approached the docks at Honningsvåg. As usual, I went out on deck to watch the amazing feat of gently positioning this huge hunk of marine metal alongside a stone pier. Only today, those winds prevented that, and the ship was held in position out in the channel, turned to face the force and wait for a break. And there I was, at the bow (alone, braver/wiser folks having already gone indoors) plastered against metal, holding on to whatever I could. Attempting to turn back on either side meant dealing with even stronger gusts coming around the corners, and so I was stuck for over an hour, myself staring into the wind. I had to remove my glasses for fear of them being blown off my face. At one point I crouched down and crawled across the decking to huddle on the ground against the solid metal barrier. Eventually a kindly stranger appeared on the bow, told me in his German accent, “I love the wind,” and escorted me to the safe inside. Not a boring morning at all.
At one point, up there alone on the bow, I wondered if that was how I’d meet my end, and it’s the third time this year I’ve had the opportunity to consider that: first with the false nuclear attack announcement in January, next during the 6.9 earthquake in May, and now today in Finnmark, up at the top of the world, by nearly being blown overboard into that roiling wet darkness, no one around to toss me the red ring. I need to come up with a special name for 2018. Suggestions welcome!
Earlier, at sunup (11:45!), we passed through the Magerøysundet strait (see bottom photo), the place where reindeer herders have their charges swim across to change pastures. Avalanches are commonplace, it’s pitch black at 2pm in the winter, temperatures of -40 usual, yet 75,000 people call it home. Hard for me to take in.
FYI, blurred and off-kilter photos compliments of the wind and waves.
Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to.