under the coconut tree

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Whale of a time..!

Last year was a birthday to remember, KL surprised me with a snorkelling trip with killer whales (orcas) up in Tysfjord, a Norwegian fishing village 200km north of the Arctic Circle.

It was an exhilarating trip right from the start. If you think swimming in the cold arctic waters was ridiculous, you should have seen the sight of me and KL squeezing into the thicker-than-thick double layered rubber dry suit!!!! I needed 2 sets of hands, loads of talcum powder and after much tugging, stretching and squeezing did I manage to get into the full gear!!!!

I could not contain my excitement as I got on the zodiac rubber boats, scanning the horizons for the distinct water spouts of the orcas. It was awhile before we managed to spot a pod of whales and when we did, a surreal and almost magical moment indeed! Posted by Hello

The whales were so close to us - their black fins breaking the surface of the water as they swam gracefully along, rising up and down in synchronised rhythm as the rising arctic sun illuminated the snow-peaked mountains with a faint tint of pink. It was just picture perfect!! Posted by Hello

Cameras were clicking away - attempting to capture the moment. Me, on the other hand was one of the first few frantic ones to jump into the freezing Norwegian Sea in hope of catching glimpses of the whales underwater. No such luck! *sigh* KL, being the more rational one stayed back on the boat to see the shiny black dorsals gliding further away from the boat!! Posted by Hello

In the evenings, we took slow strolls to the nearby fishing village. To cap the day off we were fortunate enough to be treated to the magical theatre in the sky that is the Northern Lights. All in all the Arctic Circle provided us with such beautiful memories - where else can you swim with whales, tuck into as much fresh salmon as your heart desires..... and wake up to scenery like that below, where the shallower shores of the fjord are frozen and the last splashes of water transformed into ice crystals. Posted by Hello

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