Dateline: Norway

The Norwegian coastline from several miles offshore. Bodo is vaguely visible on the waterline in the distance

Arrived in Bodo, Norway, (posts written en route are below) yesterday evening right after dinner. And appearances have turned into reality: it truly is stunning here…helped by bright, warm sunshine. Alaska-like mountains cut by fjords, offshore islands rising out of the sea, dolphins and whales bounding around the bay…I could get used to this.

It is, however, incredibly expensive. Eight bucks for a beer; $18 for a rum-and-coke! But the people are friendly and enjoying the northern summer with its 24-hour sunshine. All eight crew members adjourned to a waterfront bar upon arrival (I had a shower in the harbor facilities first: $5 for 10 minutes) where a couple of serious drunks took a liking to our group and provided some serious entertainment: tall tales of the area’s fauna, sparking up a joint on the patio, stumbling to get refills.

Approaching Bodo…a little closer this time

The bartender was a Brazilian guy named Tchiago who came to Bodo a few years ago to play professional soccer a collegiate career at UC-Santa Barbara. Now he tends bar while he starts up a surfing service in the area. You got it: surfing. He gave me the beta on breaks and a place the rents boards and wetsuits out in the Lofoten Islands — where we’re headed on Friday for the first of two, one-week cruises — so I’m cautiously optimistic that I can grab a wave or two while I’m here, though I can only imagine how expensive a rental board will be.

The Bodo harborfront in warm sunshine

One other observation: in addition to being a lot like Alaska — think Seward or Valdez, only Bodo is a MUCH bigger city — it’s also kinda like San Diego: fighter jets take off from the nearby airbase pretty much constantly.

The Bodo Welcoming Committee

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