Von Hamburg über die Nordsee die norwegische Küste entlang zum Nordkap. Und retour. Mit dabei: Science und 19 Leute, die Vorträge und Workshops machen, Ausflüge und Diskussionen. Mit dabei: ich. Hier sammle ich ein paar Punkte. Der erste: wie kommt man dazu, als Science Lecturer auf einem Schiff mitzufahren?

Als Gast war ich zweimal auf der Postschifflinie entlang der norwegischen Küste unterwegs, beim zweiten Mal habe ich gegoogelt, ob es Jobs am Schiff gibt. Es wurde ein “Science Coordinator” gesucht, die Position war “permanent” und wurde in der Folge mit jemanden besetzt. Ich erhielt aber den Tipp, mich noch einmal als “Contractor” zu bewerben. Das wurde gemacht und die Tour/en vereinbart. Ein großartiges, freundliches, diverses Team fuhr dann mit, und es hat Spaß gemacht.

Hier sind die “Daily Blurbs” – was tatsächlich passiert ist, auf Englisch.

Daily Blurb / September 16, 2022 (Friday) | Hamburg

Hamburg port celebrated its 833. birthday when MS Otto Sverdrup left Hamburg to begin its expedition to the North. Luxury cruise ships, historic tall ships, navy ships, museum vessels, waterway police ships, tugboats and sleek yachts were proudly shown. Nice passage through the Elbe canal when we left.

Daily Blurb / September 17, 2022 (Saturday) | Day at Sea

The height of waves were almost seven meters on that day’s passage crossing the Northern Sea as the weather was very rough. It was a tough beginning for many of the passengers and crew. As soon as Captain Jon went closer to the Danish and Norwegian coast, the waves became much easier to take.

Daily Blurb / September 18, 2022 (Sunday) | Bergen

We hiked to Fløibanen in Bergen passing along Brygge – the colorful storehouses at the waterfront which originated at the time of the Hanse. Many of them burnt down even twice and where re-erected before they became UN World Cultural Heritage.

Daily Blurb / September 19, 2022 (Monday) | Sæbø
Grinded by a mix of ice and gravel fjords were shaped by forces of the glaciers. Today we went into Hjørundfjorden to anchor in Sæbø, a small village with about 400 inhabitants, many of them work in farming. Many of the guests went on a short hike to the viewing point overlooking the village and the fjord. Some of them went on a kayak tour, others collected plankton samples in the science boat and measured visibility in water with the Citizen-Science “Secchi disk”. Most of the guests joined the concert of a lovely accordion player in the church who played cheerful tunes and invited all to tune in singing. A well-set rainbow right over Otto Sverdrup presented a colorful gest of nature while returning to MS Otto Sverdrup.

Daily Blurb / September 20, 2022 (Tuesday) | Trondheim

We reached Trondheim in the morning just in time to catch some raindrops before the sun took over for the day. Some of the guests explored the city on bicycles, some by a casual walk to Nidaros Cathedral to join an organ concert with classical music followed by Nordic tunes which reminded the audience to the history of the city, which is more than 1000 years old. First sightings of autumn: trees with orange leaves on the way back to the port. Workshops and lectures on Wikings, knitting and travel-writing took place in the afternoon. Sightings of Whales. “The further north you get”, says a passenger, “the smaller you’ll get as a person compared to nature”.

Daily Blurb / September 21, 2022 (Wednesday) | Nordfjorden

We crossed the Polar Circle early in the morning, after that it became an expedition day par excellence. Reaching the beginning of the Nordfjorden surrounded by Svartisen glacier, we explored the bay by expedition boats. Curious seals watched the explorers in the boats, floating right above sea level before taking a dive. The water of the melting ice is used in hydro power stations, and the color of the glacier seems to be blue, because all other colors of the sun are being absorbed by the ice. In the afternoon: workshops and lectures about Viking symbols, weather, and the geography of ice. Later the “Arctic Circle Ceremony”: ice, cod liver oil and some spirit, experienced after Njord, a god of the Nordic mythology, blew his horn.

Daily Blurb / September 22, 2022 (Thursday) | Tromsø

There live about 60.000 people in Tromsø, many of them work at the university and hospital. Wonderful arctic cathedral, powerful in spirit and architecture. Tromsø always was a major hub for expeditions to the North, the city itself reminding guests of bustling Paris. Some guests visited a Huskie farm, some hiked to Ersfjord, others went by discovery bus to explore life on the tidal beach. Ancient rock carvings in the area show whales and reindeers. The polar museum tells the story of the explorers. Lectures and talks about ocean currents and two women’s stories of the polar night – one of them Marlena, a member of the expedition team who lived in Svalbard for a year to study reindeers.

Daily Blurb / September 23, 2022 (Friday) | North Cape

There was a great polar light the night before we reached Honningsvåg on the island of Magerøya. Reached the North Cape which a tremendous view to the Bering Sea. Most guests watched a panoramic film with epic photography and narration – a story about coping with wildlife and harsh elements. A day filled with landscape, wind, sun and moving clouds. Some guests visited a King Crab station. Also wedding ceremony took place.

Daily Blurb / September 24, 2022 (Saturday) | Finnsness

We spent the day in Senja, 350 km from polar circle. It’s a region where whole Norway seems to be on one place: Fjords, Mountains, Moors, and a little village with about 5000 inhabitants. Some went hiking and on the Discovery bus to explore the beaches, and most of the passengers went to the valley of Sommerdalen on a National Scenic Route. The cinnamon buns there where great and coffee was served at a coffee shop. In the afternoon lectures and workshops on colors of nature, the islandic volcano Eyfafjallajökull and foxes in Norway.

Daily Blurb / September 25, 2022 (Sunday) | Svolvær

While there was quite a storm brewing in the Atlantic, we travelled in still waters today towards the Lofotes. MS Otto Sverdrup entered Trollfjord at 7 o’clock, a two km branch of Raftsund. Hot chocolate and coffee were offered on deck. Several trolls have been seen along the shore. Reached Svolvær at noon to visit the Magic Ice Bar and see Stockfish drying racks all over the islands. Stunning mountain-and-sea-scenery. And the statue of the fisherman’s wife. Many went to the fishing village Henningsvær with the famous soccer field on a little island surrounded by rocks.

Daily Blurb / September 26, 2022 (Monday) | Day at Sea

We spent the day at sea. In the morning some guests participated in a Scavenger hunt. Members of the Science team – normally wearing their uniform and carrying a name tag, dressed in different uniforms without a name tag. They had to be identified on a location throughout the ship, and their “special letter” had to be recorded. All letters formed “Abenteuerreise”. Lectures and workshops about Whales, Knots, Volcanoes and Photography (Birds in Flight) took place throughout the day.

Daily Blurb / September 27, 2022 (Tuesday) | Ålesund

It was an early start in Ålesund. Some went hiking to Sukkertoppen and got a phantastic view over the city, also the view from Aksla, the famous viewpoint close to the city center was stunning. back from the cities attractions in the afternoon a Tiny Talk: How does a ship swim, another workshop on knots and lectures about fisheries of the world in our days an update on the state of fish stocks worldwide.

Daily Blurb / September 28, 2022 (Wednesday) | Rosendal

Tender boats transferred the guests of MS Otto Sverdrup to the port of Rosendal in Hardanger Fjord. Nice hike to the stone garden with a fairy-tale like path surrounded by fern, moos, stones, and a little river passing along. Big hike with a wonderful view and encounter with a goat. Kayaking. Lectures and workshops about knots and the “success story of science” later in the afternoon.

Daily Blurb / September 29, 2022 (Thursday) | Esbjerg

Wildlife watching in the morning: though there is no land in sight as we are travelling along the Danish coast, there are many birds to watch. Our Chief engineer gave a lecture on the mechanic and electric system on board the ship. After sailing along the Danish coast, we landed in Esbjerg, the second largest harbor in Denmark.  Some visited the city museum about the Wiking Age the “Denmark museum of the sea” and the “Border tower museum” as well as the “Man at the sea” monument. In the afternoon preparation started for travelling back to Hamburg – destination and starting point of our expedition.