6:30 AM – We are awakened by the Captain informing us of our impending crossing of the Arctic Circle, 66 °33′ N. While we kept our eyes peeled for the appropriate notice of our passage, we somehow managed to miss this milestone.
Stopping in Ornes and then on to Bodo, we are ready to get off the boat in the the 2nd largest town in northern Norway. Bodo with 50,000 inhabitants is home of the Norwegian Air Force. We watch F-16s strife the skies on their daily schedules. In addition to the military, this is a large hub for farmed salmon. While Nordic oil has been a stable in the economy, when the cost of a barrel of oil dropped, the price of salmon rose to cover the slack.
We step off the boat for our excursion to the “World’s Most Powerful Tidal Current”, Saltstraumen. Every tidal change there is a squeezed flow of water through a narrow strait causing the up flow as it hits the rocky bottom. The tides were high on our visit so the holes were not so dramatic but they were not to be messed with in a kayak or canoe. Our trip took us along an island habitat for sea eagles with white tales. In the air, they look similar to hawks although they are known to be larger than the bald eagle. Along the way, parts of the Caledonian Fold Belt – 400 million years – a belt of mountains of uplifted seabed turned to shale were visible.
Several beds of salmon farms, privately owned, caught our attention on the return trip.
In the evening we scouted around the small town of Solvaer before calling it a night.