Peace and Pleasure in Honningsvag

27 Jun

When I awake from peaceful slumber we are already anchored in Honningsvag. We’ll be here all day, so there is no need to rush. For a change I take my breakfast roles in the staff mess instead of packing them up for my hike. There is plenty of day time left before I have to return to the ship for the lunch buffet up in the guest area.

Honningsvag has always treated me well, even during the snow-covered days. The wide spread of the town allows for scenic walks around the mountains, and pretty views of picturesque cubbies. Today I decide to walk along the sea-side coast instead of crawling about inland. The icy wind would chill my neck, had ABC Cruises not provided me with a very comfortable jacket. I have to hand it back when I leave ship in a week, but until then I plan to make ample use of the resources provided.

Open sea near Honningsvag, Norway

Even with the clouds and mist blocking out the sun Honningsvag remains a beautiful patch of green

And so I have a peaceful walk, far away from the bullying coworkers, distressed managers, and noisy guests. Just a chill wind blowing across my base cap, and the call of sea gulls hollering across the vast open waters, periodically interrupted by a car speeding past on the nearby highway, shadowed by looming gray clouds. Salty air fills my lungs, and rocky ridges fill the view finder of my camera. Every now and then I bend over the rough-edged brown rocks to examine the scattered remains of plants and animals.

Apparently the sea gulls had a busy week. They wait for the low tide to pick up sea urchins from the low lying rocks, and drop them onto the higher cliffs. When the outer shell of the sea urchin is cracked they peck a whole into the deeper part of it, and dine on their gonads. You can have a similar culinary experience in Japan, where sea urchin testicles are one of the many delicacies. I would argue that not every biomass that can be scratched out of another animals’ abdomen is a welcome food source, but one better not question the feeding habits of those cranky Asians.

Anyway, I have a nice long walk along the shore, and pick up various sea urchin shells that start to bleach out in the sun. I give one to Mateja, just for the look on her face as she realises that small wonders still lie scattered across our rocky path.

sea urchins from Honningsvag, Norway

Here are the ABSea Urchin shells I picked up in Honningsvag. You can see where the sea gulls pecked out the gonads.

Since the passengers and the other photographers are out for a visit to North Cape, I have a rather relaxing time shooting portraits in the atrium. The manager was so kind as to provide me company in the form of Lolek’s wife. She’s only been with us for about ten days, so I try to divide my time equally between helping her with the portraits and listening to her rigorous complaints about the imagined hardships she has to suffer. When Manager Ash asks me why Lolek’s wife has shot three times as many photos as I, and she refuses to acknowledge that the guests I hauled in mostly added to her image count, I just smile and apologize for my lack of enthusiasm. After all, I will be here for another week, and the full depth of her incompetence and sulkiness are far more entertaining if Ash discovers them for himself.

There still are a few days left before I can claim freedom from this clumsy charade of cruise clownery, but I don’t intend to stick out my neck for anyone but myself anymore. Maybe Mateja or Marina, but I certainly won’t lift a bloody finger to push anyone else in this department along their path of self-destruction.

 

Honningsvag, Norway, seaside view

Honningsvag is not always draped in mist. But often I wish my mind was.

 

PS.: There are some final updates to my photo album of Honningsvag and North Cape. It’s worth a few looks.

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