I had recently been on an interesting expedition in the arctic. A few of my sailor friends had planned on a whale watching and Northern Light hunting trip. The arctic region in Norway is an ideal point where you can enjoy the authentic Northern atmosphere. You can watch whales during daytime and go Northern light hunting at night. The food is great and additionally the breathtaking spots you find on the way make the trip a complete one.
Winter season is the right place to spend your time in Norway, if you’re keen on whale watching. We had a wonderful time watching the whales feed on fishes and herring. In fact, at a time you can find nearly one thousand humpback whales in Tromso region during winter. When you are in a sail yacht, it is possible to get a very close view of these spectacular animals.
The sails, instead of engines, avoid disturbing the whales. Whales are essentially curious creatures. They see a sail yacht as a new buddy and come over to say hello. We had them very near at arm’s length. Since snapping pictures would startle them, we used our trail camera to capture their movements. Having one of the keen trail cameras helped in getting a nice record of their activities.
While the whales took up our entire daytime, at night, the Northern Lights provided an entertaining time. The spectacular show of light especially in Tromso, which is right in the center of the Northern Lights region, had us all spellbound. The sailboats afforded a closer view without polluting the city atmosphere.
Every Northern Lights appearance is special. You can see green bands mostly. The lights are seen either as rolling smoke or flickering curtains. The luminous green has tinges of pink on its edges and sometimes a deep hue of violet at its core. When the activity rises to a crescendo in the skies, the lights explode into a corona. We even attended a live trumpet show, which seemed a fitting tribute to the Northern lights spectacle.
All in all, the trip was a great one. The modern sailboats used were quite comfortable though I would have felt more comfortable in my Moth. The cuisine too was delicious prepared from fresh produce. The boat also came with adequate safety features and equipment ensuring we had a trouble free and comfortable trip.
For those new to sailing, the trip is a way to practice sailing. As such since our group was a bunch of experience sailors, we just enjoyed the atmosphere and even gave some practical tips to other sailors. We made new friendships and shared experiences making the stay a lively one.
The best time to visit Norway to watch the Northern lights or Aurora Borealis is from the month of September until April. Whales’ season is from October and runs on until January. While sailing experience is not a prerequisite to enjoy the spectacular sights, it helps if you are knowledgeable. You can savor the experience more fully this way.