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8th May, 2014


As we approached the coast south of Bergen the sky could perhaps be best described as being ‘moody’. Rain had cleared and the clouds were just starting to break allowing the dawn to peak through in thin bands of bronze. A sliver of sun made a brief appearance then disappeared and gradually the grey sombre hills on either side of the fjord took on some colour. A few hours later and we were alongside ‘Skolten north’, across the dock from a number of large oil rig support vessels, laid up and waiting for work. Just half a mile away was the celebrated Fish Market, the focus for those strolling into town and where one can taste, amongst other things, whale meat. From my experience some years ago I can tell you that it tastes even worse than it looks.

Tours were off in good time and in a brightening sky. The not exactly pleasant forecast of a few days ago proved to be totally wrong and when the folks returned there was an obvious expression of surprise and delight (a Saga speciality), particularly as they had been advised that Bergen is the rain capital of Europe. Not today. Two Norwegian pilots joined to take us up through the fjords, compulsory and very welcome. On sailing, we exchanged friendly waves with the guys on the bridge of the rig boat directly opposite, their wheelhouse just a little higher than ours. They get the money, we get the glory.

Once clear of the fjords I dine with three of my ‘more experienced’ colleagues who I had known for almost ten years. We had not sailed together for a long time so it was an opportunity to catch up and in so doing we worked out that there was around 200 years of maritime experience between us. And I was the youngest, how about that?

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.