Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 25 Along the Norwegian Coast North of Bergen

We have been told that at 11: 00 pm we will cross into the Arctic Circle and that we will not see the sun set for nine days.  We had a port talk today on the Lofoten Islands.  During World War II these islands off the coast of Norway and inside the Arctic Circle became a remote but significant arena of fighting.  Hitler’s surprise attack on Norway was met by landings of a small force of British, French and Polish troops on the Lofoten Islands on April 14, 1940.  The Germans forced them to withdraw on June 8.  The Norwegian King and Cabinet went with them on their way to setting up a government in exile.  The convoy was hounded by German planes all the way back to Scotland and just barely avoided disaster.  We also had a talk on the Titanic by our maritime historian.  He had actually spoken to a survivor of the Titanic.  His main emphasis was on the ship, The California, which did not lend assistance, and the ship, The Carpathia, which travelled 54 miles to reach the Titanic and render assistance.  Tonight, at 12:00am we saw the sun reach the horizon and then start to rise with a wide band of red and orange along the horizon.  It is very strange having 24 hours daylight.  We did not sleep much.  At 4:00 am I was up taking photos of the dragon back shaped mountains of the Lofoten islands.  The mountains of these islands near the entrance of the fiord look exactly like the back of a dragon.

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