Welcome to Hammerfest, land of The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society and a ginormous gas refinery Norway does not need (all those electric lights to keep winter blues at bay are generated by hydroelectric – the gas is shipped to Europe and the US, and is an economic boon to the area). How’s this for cunning marketing: the refinery is called Snøhvit (Snowhite)?
Knowledge I Have Gained On This Trip I’ll Probably Never Use Again: with my current gear, I can last outside on land in the Arctic for 45 minutes before the toes and fingers start to go solid. On deck: quite a bit less; say, 10 minutes?
Hammerfest is the hometown of A.H. Lindstrøm, an in-demand expedition cook who, it turns out, went on more polar expeditions than all the famous explorers.
The docks are lit up underwater, and mostly it’s cool to see into the frigid water, although it was sad to see that vandalism knows no geographical bounds.
Lastly, look who I ran into, and, yes, the boat has a jacuzzi. Which I will not use.
Here are photos from today; I hope you enjoy them.
Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to.