"A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders." -Lord Dunzany

Archive for September, 2011

1 Year Anniversary – THANK YOU!

Happy 1 Year Anniversary! And THANK YOU for making it fun to write!

Happy 1 Year Anniversary! And THANK YOU for making it fun to write!


HDR – Narvik today

Shot this HDR-photo today. This photo is a composite of 5 photos. The camera was hand held, but inspite of that I ended up with a pretty nifty result..!

5-photo HDR-composite of Narvik today.

5-photo HDR-composite of Narvik today.


1 year minus 2 days

In two days time this blog has been up and running for one year. In this time I’ve had some 8,850 visits to my blog. Not bad for a little “miniblogger”.

While waiting for the 1 Year Anniversary – you’ll might enjoy this photo taken today. It is a High Dynamic Range Photo where I tried emphasizing the very special light on the fjord and in the autumn coloured mountain in the background. Enjoy!

Special light - Autumn fjord

Special light - Autumn fjord


Yet another beautiful autumn day by the Ofoten Fjord

Yet another beautiful autumn day by the Ofoten Fjord

Yet another beautiful autumn day by the Ofoten Fjord


Scene from Narvik Harbour

Yet another beautiful autumn day by the Ofoten Fjord

Scene from Narvik Harbour


Mt. Tøttatoppen 1,249 meters towering above the Rombak Fjord

Mt. Tøttatoppen 1,249 meters - in the foreground the Polytechnical College in Narvik and to the left the new Rica Hotel being built

Mt. Tøttatoppen 1,249 meters - below and a bit to the left - the Polytechnical College in Narvik and to the left the new Rica Hotel being built. In the foreground the red train garrages and workshops.


Cutter “Ariadne” – Narvik – Narvik Kystlag

The cutter “Ariadne” this evening in the port of Narvik. “Ariadne” is owned by Narvik Kystlag – an organization for the preservation of traditional vessels in the Ofoten area. Ariadne was taken over in 2005 by Narvik Kystlag from Nordnorsk Fartøyvernsenter og Båtmuseum – an organization for the preservation of traditional North-Norwegian sea-faring culture.

Classic clipper hull – stunningly beautiful lines – although it looks like tha hull has been somewhat rebuilt throughout the years.

The cutter Ariadne

The cutter Ariadne


Moon is rising – Sun is setting on Narvik

Moon is rising – Sun is setting on Narvik. Our beloved airport Narvik Airport (NVK) is lit in the dusk. In the Foreground you can see the 180,002 ton bulk carrier “Navios Happiness” of Malta being loaded with iron ore by pier 5 – destined for El Dikheila.

Moon is rising - Sun is setting on Narvik

Moon is rising - Sun is setting on Narvik


Treebeard

The black “beard” you see hanging from the branches of this birch has got really nothing to do with Treebeard – the ent – from Tolkien’s “Lord of The Rings”. It is called “treskjegg” in Norwegian – directly translated: “Treebeard”. It is actually one of extremely many species of Lichen (pronounced “lai-kenn”. Lichens are actually a symbiotic organism that consists of fungi and algae. The fungi provides proteines, salts and shelter. The sheltering structures contains, in addition to the fungus cells, algae-cells. The algae has chlorophyll and thus it produces sugar which it feeds to the fungus. A tiny ecological system in it self.

My friend Gunnar has studied lichens for a long time for The University of Tromsoe. Lichens are very sensitive to the environment and mapping lichens in a specific area, species, how much there is of the various species etc., is a very precise indicator of environmental changes; climate, acidity and pollutants. Any change in these paramaeteres can quite quickly be registered in the compositions of lichens, and thus has become a very interesting field in Biology and Ecology.

Treskjegg - "treebeard" - hanging from a birch. This is actually a lichen - a symbiosis between a mycobiont and a photobiont

Treskjegg - "treebeard" - hanging from a birch. This is actually a lichen - a symbiosis between a mycobiont and a photobiont. In the background The Fagernes Mountain bath in sunlight from the setting sun.


Sunset on the village Haakvik (Håkvik)

Sunset on the village Haakvik down to the left

Sunset on the village Haakvik down to the left


She’s simply beautiful

The Sleeping Queen from a different angle. The glaciers shown prominently as blueish white fields. As she towers 1,576 meters over the fjords, she is lightly powdered with freshly fallen snow. The winter is just a thousand meters away now.

In addition to the blueish white glaciers on The Sleeping Queen (1,576 meter) - she is now lightly powdered with freshly fallen snow.

In addition to the blueish white glaciers on The Sleeping Queen (1,576 meter) - she is now lightly powdered with freshly fallen snow.


The Ofoten Fjord this evening

Panorama of The Ofoten Fjord and in the foreground Ankenesstrand in the middle the city of Narvik and in the background Bjerkvik.

Panorama of The Ofoten Fjord and in the foreground Ankenesstrand in the middle the city of Narvik and in the background Bjerkvik.


The Season of The Carotenoids

Why do the leafs on trees become yellow, orange and red in the autumn? Well, the answer is, they have these colours in the spring and summer as well. But then it is not visible because of the strong green colour reflected by chlorophyll. The colours we see are actually the colours that the tree doesn’t use in the production of sugar through photosynthesis. These colours are reflected and the light that is actually used in the photosynthesis is absorbed.

The red, orange and yellow colours we see in the leafs in the autumn is the reflection of light from carotenoids. These substances are cheap for the trees to produce, and the trees can afford to shed these. The chlorophyll on the other hand is a very precious and valuable molecule for the trees, so these are transported to the roots in the autumn leaving the carotenoids to “light up the forests in the beautiful, warm colours. Next spring the trees formes new leafs and pumps chlorophyll back into the freshly formed leafs.

Common Aspen - Populus tremula (local dialect: Osp) - has stored it's chlorophyll for the winter. This photo was shot today.

Common Aspen - Populus tremula (local dialect: Osp) - has stored it's chlorophyll for the winter. This photo was shot today.


The Sleeping Queen – Den Sovende Dronning

Den Sovende Dronning (1,576 meters) – which means “The Sleeping Queen” south of Narvik as seen from Ankenesfjellet (mt.) this evening.

Den Sovende Dronning (1,576 meters) this evening.

Den Sovende Dronning (1,576 meters) this evening.


And the sunset

This photo was taken extremely quicly on semi-automatic, but my camera works best when it is manually set. Anyhow – this is the city of Narvik just after sunset today.

Narvik tonight - Just after sunset

Narvik tonight - Just after sunset


Beautiful Autumn Evening by The Ofoten Fjord

Beautiful Autumn Evening by The Ofoten Fjord

Beautiful Autumn Evening by The Ofoten Fjord


Oh yeah – Winter is coming!

This picture was taken today and the powderd top – Beisfjordtøtta – is only 1,448 meters above sea level.

Beisfjortøtta 1,448 meters

Beisfjortøtta 1,448 meters


“The Big 5’er” – Havleik (N-5-Bø) and my Grandfather

I guess it’s in my Viking Blood. There are few other places I feel more at home than by and – especially – on the seas! And I know at least one place where the genes ran especially salty in the family – my Grandfather, Rolv Meyer Bjugn. Today I am sailing “just for fun” as 1st Officer on the proud Danish Jagt “Klitta” where I help teaching cub scouts about the joys of The Big Blue.

I just revisited some old pictures of my grandfather and the “modern” fishing vessel – the old N-5-Bø (N-5-Boe, in case the last letter in the registration doesn’t show correctly on your screen) – HAVLEIK. They later on bought a new, bigger wooden hull fishing vessel (63 ft.) and took the same registration number – N-5-Bø and the name Havleik. The “new” Havleik  was later sold. She sank after a blazing fire off the coast outside Nesseby in Varangerfjord on the 25th of  March 2008 – the entire crew made it in the rafts – but that’s another story. That fire put an end to the 89 year long Havleik era.

The first Havleik

  • was built in 1919, with
  • a 46 feet clipper hull – width 16.2 feet
  • In 1920 she was registered with a Bergsund 28 hp engine. The shipping company owning the ship at that time was registered to Peder Bjugn from Lynghaugen, Bø (Boe) in Vesteraalen.
  • In 1936 she was registered with a Norwegian Wichmann 30 hp (the Wichmann was a semi-diesel engine – that is a two-stroke diesel engine).
  • Havleik consists of the two Norwegian nouns “hav“, which means sea and “leik” which means “play” (or loosly translated, “joy”). Thanks to Inge M. Johansen – gamlebilderfravesteralen.origo.no – I found these older b/w photos of this classic beauty. Locally she was known as “The Big 5’er” – relating to the registration number N-5-Bø (N for Nordland – the thrid northernmost county – fylke – in Norway).
Havleik - the original vessel

Havleik – the original vessel in the annual North-Atlantic cod fisheries outside the Lofoten Islands. My grandfather – Rolv – on the fore deck.

A good catch! My grandfather Rolv to the left and Leif Bjugn(?) to the right.

A good catch! 45.000 kilograms of pollock in this load. My grandfather Rolv to the left and Johan Bjugn to the right.

No more freeboard to run on! Loaded to the brink! It was always a question to make a living - not always a question of safety at sea...

No more freeboard to run on! Loaded to the brink! It was always a question to make a living – not always a question of safety at sea…

Loaded to the brink. My grandfather Rolv on the aft deck - number two from the left.

Loaded to the brink. My grandfather Rolv on the aft deck – number two from the left.

A Classic Beauty - Havleik with her beautiful clipper lines.

A Classic Beauty – Havleik with her beautiful clipper lines. Slick lines for tackling rough seas.

Havleik - a family business. From the left Johannes Bjugn (a highly decorated officer from the first allied victory in WW2 - The Battle of Narvik), Leif Bjugn (a fantasticly kind man and skillful fisherman), Guttorm Bjugn (former chief of police in Bø in Vesteraalen), Peder Bjugn and Kyrre Bjugn - all my grandfather's brothers - and highly respected men.

Havleik – a family business. From the left Johannes Bjugn (a highly decorated officer – Lieutenant Colonel – from the first Allied Victory in WW2 – The Battle of Narvik), Leif Bjugn (a fantastically kind man and skillful fisherman), Guttorm Bjugn (former chief of police in Bø in Vesteraalen), Peder Bjugn (fisherman) and Kyrre Bjugn (telephone technician) – all highly respected men.

The End

When the new Havleik was bought –  the old one was sold to Kvæfjord outside Harstad. There she laid by an old peer year after year until her hull finally sprung a leak and she sank to the bottom. She was never recovered. An immensely sad way to treat such a gemstone of proud Norwegian culture and a classically beautiful ship.

So what about the fish?

After the fish was landed by the regional fishing vessels and preserved by freeze drying (known as tørrfisk in Norwegian meaning “dried fish” – stockfish), salting and/or – salting and sun drying (known as klippfisk), the produce was loaded onto bigger vessels known as Jekter or Nordlandsjekter. These are quite similar to my vessel – the Danish Yacht Klitta – only bigger. These sailed up and down the perilous Norwegian Coast, primarily to and from Bergen. In Bergen the fish was loaded onto even larger vessels and exported to Europe. Especially Portugal, Spain and Italy has historically been huge importers of Norwegian dried and salted fish.

The North-Atlantic fish (especially the species of cod and herring) is extremely nutritious and the cold, windy climate in the winter was perfect for freeze drying fish. The fish was hung on tall wooden racks and froze while at the same time dried (a process known as sublimation). Freeze dried fish – stockfish – has been known to be edible more than 100 years after being dried…

The other main method of preserving the fish, was salting it and sun drying it on the rocks. One Norwegian word for these rocks – and the same word as the English name “cliff” is “klippe” – hence the name “klippfisk” – “cliff fish” – clipfish.

Of course – fresh fish has been a primary source of nutrition for Norwegians since long before the Viking Period. But preservation has always been necessary for storage in case the weather didn’t allow for fishing. Later on these preserved and highly nutritious “protein bombs” became important sources for proteins in the mediterranean countries like Portugal, Spain and Italy. Later on canned Norwegian fish also became hugely popular in other European countries like Great Brittain.


3 stages of low carb bread

Today’s batch of low-carb bread. Delicious! With Italian highland sun-dried tomatoes – of course!

Low carb bread - the finished product

Low carb bread - the finished product

Resting stage - before the second baking

Resting stage - before the second baking

Low carb bread dough ready for baking

Low carb bread dough ready for baking


The Hops is overly ripe – A shame that we don’t make beer…

The hops in the garden is just for pleasing the eyes. No beer production here – otherwise maybe these delicious fruits would have been harvested already. I am quite amazed that my mother’s Humulus lupulus is blooming this far to the North. After all we’re at 68°26’21” North. In the center of Greenland at the same latitude, the ice sheet is 2,000 meters thick…

Anyway – took a few shots of the hops on a rainy afternoon. Hope you enjoy it!

Hops in Narvik on a rainy day

Hops in Narvik on a rainy day

Hops - close up

Hops - close up


Surplus Water

Ofoten – along with huge parts of Northern-Norway and Western Norway – is a big producer of hydroelectric power. In Narvik there is a small hydroelectric power plant. The water comes from lakes at approximately 800 and 600 meters above sea level. The water is then first used to produce electric power. It is then – as a precautionary measurement UV-radiated, although it is extremely clean and then send out through pipes to supply the citizens with the approximately 200 liters per person used for daily consumption.

Although it has been I dry summer, it has rained enough the past few days to produce enough water for the lowest magazine to spill unused water into the Taraldsvik River.

This picture was taken last night with long exposure. Wondering what the weather is like by the power plant? Click here…

Surplus Water from the hydroelectric powerplant/municipal waterprocessing facility

Surplus Water from the hydroelectric powerplant/municipal waterprocessing facility


Ankenes Mountain Mirror

Ankenes Mountain mirrors in the Beisfjord

Ankenes Mountain mirrors in the Beisfjord


Narvik by Sunset


Beisfjord tonight (where alle the pretty women live)

Beisfjord tonight

Beisfjord tonight