Chasing the Northern Lights...Come on, I'm running out of Time!


Part 3~Hurtigruten and The North Cape Excursion

Night one on the ship was relatively Northern Lights, no one overboard, and no sea sickness.

We woke up to a cold and chilly morning, that actually provided the perfect light for some great photographs!



Shortly after breakfast we docked in Honningsvag and boarded the bus on our way to North Cape, Norway.  This is the northernmost point of Europe, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea meet, and it feels like the edge of the world.  As the coach drove up the winding road following a snow plow, I wondered how anything could possibly live in this remote location.  Apparently in the summer months there is an abundance of Puffin, Reindeer and even flowers on this desolate island.  But right now, there was only a bus load of crazy tourists hoping to have their picture taken in the cold, windy location.

I had chosen to leave my snow pants behind on this part of the trip, as foolishly I thought that we would be looking out at the ocean from the comfort of a "viewing area".  What was I thinking?  As I stepped off of the coach, I realized that this was going to be a huge mistake.  I have to say, this was the one time on the whole adventure that I was cold...really, really cold!

North Cape Norway

North Cape Norway

Yes, this was the cold, white North and I was experiencing it in jeans, okay and some really great long underwear, but nothing to break that wind.  I was a bit of a wimp on this one.  After I got my pictures, I ran inside, warmed up with a coffee and did some shopping...isn't that what one does at the North Cape?

Once back on the boat and showered for dinner, I walked through the lounge to head back to the deck..."please be there, please be there!" I repeated over and over.  As I was walking, I saw the most amazing photograph of the Northern Lights on a man's computer.  As I looked closer, I realized that he was editing the photo...he had taken the photo!  How, and where did he see them?   

"Where did you get that?''  I asked, like he had stolen something of mine.

"Oh, I took them as we were leaving the port a few minutes ago.  I'm sure that if you hurry, they will still be there."  He replied, ever so helpful.

"Thanks! " I said as excitement overtook me.  The photo that he had taken was amazing.  Dancing greens and pinks over a beautiful port village.  

Off I ran to get my coat and camera and tell the group to hurry, that they were making their appearance...

By now, the Barents Sea had begun to get a bit rough and walking on the deck proved to be difficult.  I didn't care.  Waves could wash over the damn deck and sweep me into the cold, icy ocean...I was getting a picture of the Northern Lights!  So, I waited.  I looked to the North, I looked to the South...NOTHING!   I was really beginning to think that I had paid to come on this excursion to be tortured!  Then, all of the sudden I saw a bit of orange on the horizon.

"Sorry Mom," my oldest said. "That's the light from a village."

But it wasn't, and as I looked even higher in the sky, I saw dancing green clouds swirling above!  By now the whole gang was watching the show.  I have to say, it was incredibly difficult to get a photo.  We were on a very rocky ship, I only had a small tripod and someone literally had to hold on to me to steady me, but I saw them!  I saw the elusive Northern Lights!

Northern Lights

Northern Lights Norway

Northern Lights Norway

I have to admit that they were amazing and I was so frantic to get the "perfect picture" of them, that I almost forgot to just enjoy the moment of seeing them.  They literally danced in the sky and for a few moments they were bright and other moments very light, but as you watched them, you realized just how small you are in this world of ours.


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