27th August, 2019
Skjolden… this is all about ‘to die for’ scenery as the included photographs show. What a fantastic place!
The overnight passage was calm, as one would expect, with clear skies and the starlight adding a sharp edge to the back drop of the Fjord mountains. Sunrise was at 0605 this morning, but pre-twilight had already given that dew-morn feeling. It was still officially summer, but you could tell by that cool tingle on the morning air that the North Pole was tipping away from the sun and the days now noticeably drawing in.
Simon, Staffy, was driving in this morning. Skjolden sits right at the head of the Fjord with its small pier, aka jetty, located on the south side. It was a straight forward manoeuvre swinging the ship around in a large horseshoe and approaching the berth. It was a half-day call here with an ‘on-the-berth’ time set for 0700. Being now consecutive Norwegian Ports, the ship was ‘automatically’ cleared by the authorities and the Guests started to go ashore as soon as breakfast was consumed.
It was chilly alongside, the berth, being on the south side sat under the shadow of a significantly large mountain, the position being such that we would be in the shade until departure. Walking ashore and within two minutes you were in sunlight and felt the warmth, standing on the ships decks it was cold!
Departure time was set for 1300 and with lunch onboard, and it was a feast of a lunch, opening at 1200, all were back onboard by 1200, more or less. Chief Officer, Hugo, took the ship off the berth and backing into the Fjord, we came out of the eclipse of the mountain – you could almost hear the cheer.
The 1300 departure was dictated by the need to sail the entire length of Sognefjord, westwards back out into the North Sea, some 120 nautical miles. The passage was calm, bathed in beautiful sunshine and with the Viking fest in full swing on the Verandah deck. The size of the crabs which the like, I have not seen before! For me, this was the high-light of the cruise so far and truly enjoyed by all. My thanks to JT, the Officer of the Watch, who kept our Guests updated with spectacle trivia provided by our knowledgeable Pilot.
The Pilot was disembarked at 22.30, it had been a long day and I made my way to my cabin, all of a one minute commute time, as the ship sailed south off the Norwegian coast down toward the Sardine Capital of the world.
See you in Stavanger!
Captain Stuart Horne
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