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12 July 2005

an elegant simplicity, delicate


i slept in a bit longer this morning, surrounded by a chair enclosure i'd created the night before to shelter myself from the early morning people. shore leave at 0815 in trondheim where we docked behind the ms finnmarken. we wouldn't be departing until noon, so i had a few hours to explore the city. i headed for the green spire in the distance, passing along the way a parking enforcement officer and an interesting looking manhole cover.

the spire belonged to the nidaros cathedral. construction began on this magnificent building in 1077; fire, destruction, rebuild, repeat. scanning the walls, i found the biggest collection of graffiti on a single building yet [gallery]. stunning; these carvings so fascinated me that i spent most of the shore leave walking slowly around the building taking pictures. thinking about someone standing in that exact spot hundreds of years ago hits me somewhere deep inside. i came across many cryptic carvings which i initially thought were some type of runic writing; i later learned after talking with one of the cathedral attendants that the marks were carved by the stonecutters; a sort of branding identification mark.

time was running out on the shore leave. i ran to an internet cafe and typed this entry before returning to the nordlys.

the concrete bridges in northern norway, an elegant simplicity, delicate arches. more bridges than i would have expected connecting the remote islands. we received an excellent reception at this bridge in the afternoon shortly before passing through the narrow stokksund sound and a bend so sharp that the ship needed to blow the horn to warn oncoming traffic. at 2045 the nordlys called at rorvik, meeting the midnatsol on its southbound voyage. the water became choppy before the light rain. i wished i could properly categorize the waves [research]; i recalled reading about the different classes of waves which sailors use to describe the condition of the sea at the maritime museum in grenwich. for the first time i was somewhat affected by the swelling waves, but still i wanted their intensity to increase. how exciting to sail through a thrashing storm.

that night the nordlys was holding an arctic circle competition. the ship would be crossing the arctic circle between 0630 and 0800 tomorrow morning. all passengers were asked to submit their best guess as to when the crossing would take place. guess... ha. i spent about twenty minutes with my gps performing extensive navigational calculations. this competition would be mine. we were scheduled to depart nesna (below the arctic circle) at 0530 and arrive at ornes (above the arctic circle) at 0930; based on our average speed, the average windspeed, the terrain between those ports, and the age and estimated navigational experience of the captain, i determined we would cross 66 degrees 33' latitude at exactly 0718 and 23 seconds.

to the lounge; i built by chair cage, set my alarm for 0700, and went to sleep.

posted by paul on Tue 12 Jul 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)


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