Time for a gentle ribbing

//Time for a gentle ribbing

quest_leknes.jpgorangesuit.jpgSkimming across the waves at 40 mph, I’m togged up in a fluorescent orange survival suit and a self-inflating life-jacket. The wind is tugging at my cheeks as we race down the coast of the Lofoten Islands in remote northern Norway.
Twelve of us have left the comfort of cruise ship Quest for Adventure behind for an adventure of our own, riding in a RIB – rigid inflatable boat.
It’s a soft adventure really. Little more than an hour on the open sea, leaving our mother ship behind in Leknes to take a spin down to a busy fishing village along the coast and across to a salmon farm on one of the smaller islands.
We slow down to take a closer look at a white-tailed sea eagle – Europe’s biggest bird of prey – surveying the world from on top of a rocky outcrop and haughtily trying to ignore the two gulls screaming around it. We are travelling only at walking pace when our keel bumps across a submerged rock, taking the skipper by surprise as he was sure there were two metres of water to spare.
The mountain peaks of the Lofoten wall are spectacular in their briefly-worn coat of summer green; before too long they will be covered once more in feet of snow which will persist throughout the long, dark winter.
rib.jpgIf there had been more time, our RIB driver could have whisked us across to Trollfjord, where there are many more eagles growing fat off catches of the local herring. But all too soon we are back at the quay and stripping off our protective coats.
The welcome warmth gives Quest’s crew the opportunity to fire up the barbecue for lunch and passengers take advantage of the weather to baste themselves gently under the height of the 24-hour sunshine.
A day earlier, when the ship visited Brønnøysund, there had been cold showers of rain for those of us who took the four-hour excursion to the Vega archipelago.
Famed for its centuries-old tradition of harvesting eider down from the ducks’ nests, the community is inordinately proud of its recent inclusion in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
In a couple of years’ time visitors will be able to visit museum displays in a €15 million heritage centre instead of in the creaking collection of converted fishermen’s huts which do the job admirably now.
There will no doubt be more retail outlets selling eider down-filled mittens for €110 a pair. Imagine how much a full-sized bed cover would cost – although it’s understandable given that it takes about 70 nests to produce the kilo of feathers need for one quilt.
Today we are at sea, as Quest for Adventure ploughs relentlessly north towards the Svalbard Archipelago. More from there soon, if the ship’s excellent new wi-fi connection to the internet holds up.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:31+00:00 30 June 2013|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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