Stranda Fjord Uphill Race

Friday we headed up to Stranda from Oslo and had some great weather. Pancho had torn his toenail on a run last Monday, so we didn't go on any extensive hikes since he decided to limp because he didn't like the bandage on his foot. The views as we got closer to Stranda were full of steep mountains. We stopped by Trollveggen (The Troll Wall) and Trollstigen for some pictures before I checked in for the race and got my kit.

Saturday I ran the Stranda Fjord Uphill Race in a part of Norway called "Sunnmørsalpene." The course was originally planned to be a 10 km uphill race ascending 1300 meters; however, due to unexpected bad weather (mainly high winds on the mountains), the course was rerouted to be what they thought was 13 km and still an elevation gain of 1000 meters.

I did not feel very well-prepared for this race since I had to train for it on a treadmill while at sea for five weeks. The morning started out grey and misty, and did not get too warm but the temperatur…

Jan Mayen

This tokt has been quite an experience this year. We were given an amazing feeding show from the humpback whales near Jan Mayen and the next morning we were expecting a trip on the island in the middle of nowhere.

Jan Mayen is a Norwegian volcanic island in the Arctic, northeast of Iceland, that we tend to see from the ship during this tokt every year. This year I was privileged to go on land!

At one end of the island there is a military base and meteorological station with up to 35 non-permanent residents. The other end is a 2277m (7470 ft) volcano called Beerenberg. Last year we saw the volcano perfectly from the boat, but this year there was too much fog to see.

We had to wait for the fog to clear and ask for permission to take the lifeboat to land. We finally got on land around 5AM after climbing a rope ladder down the side of the boat and into the lifeboat. There is no dock so we had to wade through the water and onto the black sand beach. It was a slightly eerie feeling with the…

Akureyri and The Diamond Circle

We docked in the north Icelandic town of Akureyri yesterday to swap out some crew, and I got to enjoy two days in Iceland to recalibrate for round two of the mackerel tokt. Akureyri is the second largest city in Iceland with a population of 18000.

To kick off my layover in Iceland, my co-worker Adam and I decided to take advantage of the great weather and headed up the local mountain called Súlur. It towers 1200m above sea level and the hike was approximately 6 miles round trip. We decided to take a taxi to a parking lot at the start of the hike to save a little time. The terrain transitioned from grass to large rocks and finally to basalt gavel at the top. We held a good pace and got to the top in less than 90 minutes. At the top we slammed down a Snickers bar before running back down. It was a fantastic hike and we were proud of completing the trip in 2 hrs and 18 minutes when we were advised it would take 4 hours.

The next morning my other coworker (Merete) and I rented a car for …

Mackerl tokt so far..

On July 2nd I headed out on the fishing vessel "Kings Bay" for my usual mackerel tokt. This survey is my favorite because of the very calm seas and nice pace in terms of work on board. We have enough work to not get too bored and enough free time to work out and relax.

The first two days were for calibrating the echosounder, so we were back in Bergen the first two nights. On the 4th we headed west toward Shetland. We have had beautiful views and nice sunsets most of the way. We have not seen any whales yet, but we have gotten some nice hauls of mackerel, herring and blue whiting.

In a week we will be in Iceland for a crew change, and I am looking forward to a road trip day with my coworker. Should be some great pictures from that day trip!

Pancho's puppies

Friday night Pancho and I took a little backpacking trip up the hill from where we live. We only walked about 30 minutes and we set up the tent, made a little bonfire and just relaxed. But when we got all set up, a group of people were blasting Frank Sinatra music from the picnic tables by the lake. Luckily, they were only there for about an hour and then we could hear the birds better.

It got a bit cold that night, so I don't think Pancho slept so well. I woke up around 4:30AM with him staring down at me and shivering. I managed to wrap him up in my coat and we slept til around 9AM before heading back down again for breakfast and a lazy day at home.

Sunday we were on a hike with my friend Carey when we got the news that his first litter of puppies were on their way! He is a proud pappa to four little girls, all of them black, three with short tails like his and one with a long tail. All the girls are healthy and happy. I felt oddly proud and very excited. We will go visit them i…