June 6, 2013
We continued to sail north, crossing the Arctic Circle just after
5:00 am. At 66 degrees 33 minutes north, the Arctic Circle represents
the southernmost latitude where 24 hours of daylight occurs on the
northern summer solstice. We are in the land of the midnight sun
and will not experience another sunrise or sunset.
entered Nordfjord, a branch off of Melfjord. A big submerged rock
in the middle of the entrance limits passage to only smaller ships.
We traveled to the very end of the fjord and entered a remote part
of the Svartisen or "Black Ice" National Park. This park
encompasses a massive ice cap with glaciers spawned off the sides
from high in the mountains. Waterfalls spilled over the glacially
smoothed rocks. The captain nosed the ship right into the mouth
of the glacially fed river. We were then dropped on shore for a
hike, following the river rushing down from the glacier, then bushwacking
through a relatively new birch forest as there was no trail. Our
naturalist guide was very excited to see so many wildflowers in
bloom. (Unfortunately, we can't remember most of their names!) We
got a great view of the glacier when we emerged from the forest.
It was hard to believe we were north of the Arctic Circle as the
weather was gorgeous, sunny and in the 70's.
the hike, we got into zodiacs for a cruise along the coastline.
Beautiful waterfalls cascaded down the rocks. A few seals poked
their heads out of the water to see who was intruding on their territory.
the way out of the fjord, we crossed the Arctic Circle several more
times. We then stopped at the small fishing village of Traena where
we celebrated the crossing with traditional smoked herring on crisp
crackers, served by some of our crew dressed in Viking helmets.
The town has a monument on the spot where the Arctic Circle crosses
so of course we had our picture taken there.
To view more photos from Melfjord and Traena, please go to Melfjord
Photo Gallery. To read about the next location visited, go to
Locations Visited Photos Map