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28th July, 2014


The run to Olden from Flam is fjords all the way, one hundred and eighty five miles, much of which was covered at sixteen knots to ensure our arrival on schedule. Fortunately, for me at least, we always carry two Norwegian pilots whose experience of these waters is far greater than ours. Our bridge officers monitor their progress which allows the Master to get on with the business of the ship and receive sufficient rest during the night time passage.

I particularly like the early morning daylight hours, when the fjords seem to be empty except for us, the water ahead was calm as far as the eye can see, and behind only broken by our wake. The rising sun creates deep shadows where mountains block its light, and a freshness where it shines onto the small green fields on the lowest slopes close to the shore line.

The village of Olden lies at the head of Nordfjord, over forty five miles inland from the small coastal town of Maloy. A river coming off the great Jostedal Glacier runs down into the fjord a mile or so above our berth and on this occasion it appeared to be flowing stronger than normal, carrying with it what is known as rock flower or glacial silt, causing the normally black waters to be somewhat milky. Here our tours went off in varying directions, an all day tour took in Geiranger, another went to the Jostedal National Park, and one of my particular favourites, a hike to the Briksdal Glacier. This glacier used to come right down into the lake below, but over the past five years or so has receded significantly.

The weather stayed relatively fine, with just a few showers in the distance. On board our weekly crew emergency drill took up just about all of the morning. We left on schedule and many of the folks stayed on deck as the ship headed back on a four hour journey towards the sea, until of course, it was time to go and eat. Priorities.

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