This was a crazy idea from the very beginning. But since sometimes I can be really stubborn, we dedicated part of our Arctic holidays to go to Norway for a whale safari.
Getting there was an adventure itself.
On the day after the visit in Santa Claus Village, in the very early morning (after all the Sun was shining for almost the whole night) we set off towards Norway. The route was wonderful – no cars, forest everywhere… and 2 moose in the middle of the road!
Moose running away. The second one is already in the woods.
After a smooth ride we arrived to Sweden. However there, after some time, we faced first difficulties. Roadworks. Swedish people treated the job very seriously and they removed most tarmac off the roads on our way. And so for the most part of Sweden our max speed was 30km/h.
And they say that in Poland we have bad roads….
Between one and another non-existent road we made a very nice pit stop. The idyllic atmosphere was broken only by mosquitos.
Under this stone N found lemming’s burrow
We also made few stops in Norway…
Finally in the evening we arrived at our destination – the town of Andenes on Andøya Island. Over the next few days we stayed in the barracks in the harbour at the very foot of the lighthouse!
Whale watching can be one of the most exciting adventures, but it can also turn to a big disappointment. It all depends on the weather conditions (which on open ocean are quite unpredictable) and the location of whales – sometimes they are closer to the shore, sometimes far far away into deep waters. There is also no guarantee of seeing whales (thou safari operators offer a second chance if on the first trip whales weren’t spotted) or the kind you want to. But at the same time we can safely assume the warranty of seasickness.
Their safari begins with a visit in a museum. During the guided tour we’ll see a real skeleton of a sperm whale and we’ll hear some interesting information regarding the whales, like which species and why can be spotted in the area. Although the tour is quite interesting, most of the people (and especially our Little Rascals) could not wait to board the vessel.
Depending on the weather conditions and the location of whales the safari can last shorter or longer. Ours, unfortunately, lasted longer – we spent on the sea approx.4h! Quite much as for the first time on the sea and far too much for our Rascals. The conditions were not favorable – it was cold (although in general we had appropriate clothes we somehow forgot about gloves…), the boat was rocking on the sea, it was raining every now and then and the sperm whales were nowhere to be found. The kiddoes rather quickly (after seeing first pilot whales) hid under the roof where they spent most of the trip lulled by the sea. I’m sure the medicine we gave them against seasickness helped a lot. They did not want to go out on deck even when we finally found sperm whales.
Several times we encountered pilot whales
lulled by the ocean
And while Rascals were sleeping their Mom and Dad looked at the horizon and dreamt of having their own boat…
Finally, after a long search, we met sperm whales. Before the appearance of the first one we listened to their sounds through the speakers. What an amazing experience! You are in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by water, the ship rocks and you are aware that there’s a whale somewhere beneath you!
After seeing sperm whales things started to be difficult. The return way would take another hour and we accidentally ended up at the rear of the boat. We had there a lot of space (and blankets a nice member of the crew brought for us) but it also rocked a lot out there. Struggling with my own body I could only think about what a ridiculous idea this whole trip was. But then we arrived at the port and although we were tired out by the weather and the sea, I thought that after all it was worth it! And that I would do it again (well, maybe I’d wait two years until V grows up a bit). Because it’s not only whales, but the whole cruise on the ocean were an amazing and unusual adventure!
We walked back home talking about our impressions. After lunch we wandered around a bit.
And one curiosity for the end – in Andenes we learned about low and high tides. Next to our home such wonders were happening!
There is a bike…
…and there is not!