shermarama: (diving)
[personal profile] shermarama
I'm not going to review exactly what I did in great textual detail. I'm just going to post a load of photos of excellent things we saw.

I went to Norway and I saw:
Monolith I
Excellent Gustav Vigeland sculptures filling a park in Oslo

Downtown Finse
Snow and skiers, 1200m up at Finse station

Wake Patterns
A boat through sun-filled, wind-ruffled fjords, to...

Village Green
Scenic villages, with mountains, and flowers, and wooden houses (and supermarkets selling interesting junk food: chocolate-covered salty maize snacks, anyone?)

Long Shadows
Roads to the middle of nowhere

Fedje Reflection
Towns in the middle of the sea (this one has a whole 600 people, don't you know)

Diver Ready
And between them, diving... (this is a rebreather diver, and they really do carry a lot of shit, though I didn't have that much less)

Up The Ferndale
On improbable wrecks that sloped up rocks...

The Parat
With ghostly sister wrecks that sat too deep for me to reach (though some did; there were many technical divers on board)

Diver Up
Followed by using the very handy lift to get back on board...

Dive Deck
In order to, you know, hang around, dry the drysuits, look at the scenery...

On Deck
Or the sky. There was good sky.

Art Book
Until we got to Bergen, where we stayed in an artist's house while she was away for the weekend, for very nearly as cheap as it's possible to stay anywhere while there's two festivals on in Bergen, and...

Walking Down Floyen
Did some travelling up (by funicular and cable car) and then walking down mountains. As well as looking at art, eating enormous hot dogs and drinking painfully expensive beer, but I don't have many pictures of that.

It was peaceful, man. Or it was once I'd got over the inhibitions caused by the terrible experience of Dutch diving, and the mild claustrophobia induced by all the cabins in the boat (a converted trawler) being below the waterline and therefore windowless, poorly ventilated and profoundly dark once the door was shut. The trick was to leave the door open, letting in both air and a smidgeon of light from the skylight in the corridor, because this was 61 degrees north in late May and the hours of darkness were neither very dark nor very many. Both the peacefulness and the late night light best encapsulated in this I leave til last, then, taken at not far off the same time of night as I'm posting this:

After Sunset

Date: 2012-06-11 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] braisedbywolves.livejournal.com
Aw, that looks properly lovely. And I'm glad you have your diving joy back!

Date: 2012-06-12 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-elyan.livejournal.com
That looks fantastic - its'a country I very much want to visit. I'm hoping to get something similar in Iceland - as I'll get to within a few miles of the Arctic Circle, and a week of Midsummer, I suspect night will be a rare commodity indeed.

Date: 2012-06-13 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
This suggests that a week away from midsummer, Reykjavik gets three hours of notional darkness a night, with the sun setting only 40 degrees away from where it comes up again. The definition of civil twilight is when the sun is less than 6 degrees below the horizon, and Bergen was still achieving that for three hours of the night while I was there, so, actually, it shouldn't ever get much darker than that last photo. Nice!

Date: 2012-06-12 10:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] openidwouldwork.livejournal.com
Awesomeness! *drools on keyboard* Looks absolutely wonderful! *congratulates you for having a great vacation*

Date: 2012-06-13 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
Seriously, the diving up there was brilliant.

Date: 2012-06-12 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] motodraconis.livejournal.com
This is the kind of holiday review I enjoy. Beautiful and/or interesting pictures punctuated by explanatory blurb. Looks like you had a cracking time!

Date: 2012-06-13 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steer.livejournal.com
Wow... beautiful diving. Looks like some great viz.

Date: 2012-06-13 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
It was generally a bit soupy at the top and therefore a bit darker than it could be, but nowhere as near as dark as I was expecting having got used to the Dutch notion of dark. And once down past the funny layers the vis was very good indeed.

There was a brilliant halocline in Vadheim, where freshwater streams were emptying over the wreck. Between about two metres and the surface you just had to pretend you were on drugs or something, the way everything went wibbly.

Date: 2012-06-14 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steer.livejournal.com
Sounds very weird indeed. Is the vis rubbish for all dutch dives then?

The best halocline dive I ever did was this:
http://www.cenoteangelita.com/cenote_info.htm
Probably a bit far for you to go though.

Date: 2012-06-14 09:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
The problem with Dutch dives (or particularly the lake diving) is not so much the vis, which can be excellent, as the amount of light, which is often absolutely zero. A lot of the lakes are old peat diggings, so the water has bits of the black stuff in it, and beyond a certain point that means it's like doing a night dive in the middle of the day. Where by a certain point, I mean maybe 15 metres.

And that dive looks completely nuts. Was that part of a general diving holiday? And would you recommend Mexico?

Date: 2012-06-14 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] steer.livejournal.com
A lot of the lakes are old peat diggings, so the water has bits of the black stuff in it, and beyond a certain point that means it's like doing a night dive in the middle of the day. Where by a certain point, I mean maybe 15 metres.

Ouchie... mind you I nearly swam into a cliff face in Vobster Quay because what I'm assured was "temporary plankton bloom" (but looked to me like "shed loads of silt which will always be there") reduced viz to about 25cm. My buddy nearly peed himself laughing because he was in a slightly clearer spot and could just see me with my head in a cloud swimming closer and closer to a cliff and then yell obscenities. (It genuinely startled me and I was looking straight ahead).

Was that part of a general diving holiday? And would you recommend Mexico?

Yes... we did 2 weeks of which 8 days was diving. We did a week in Cozumel which has great viz and beautiful scenery. Not much in the way of megafauna (one tiny nurse shark all week) at the time we were there. If you go then the "Devil's throat" is the do not miss dive. Reef tunnel from about 24m to about 42m
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_Throat_at_Punta_Sur
Once we left Cozumel we did a baited shark dive which was insane (but costly) and some cenotes dives (including Angelita and Dos Ojos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistema_Dos_Ojos).

Wikipedia's list of Recreational Dive Sites is a bit insane. Just noticed it. Same list has Devil's Throat, Truk Lagoon, the M2, Hispania and Stanegarth (in Stoney).

Date: 2012-06-16 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
The Stanegarth is a fine dive, entirely deserving of such company! *chokes* (No, okay.)

Date: 2012-06-16 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yiskah.livejournal.com
Wow, it looks gorgeous. (And I really like the long shadows pic - I have a couple of those from when I went to Norway around midsummer.)

Date: 2012-06-16 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
It really was. I have endless pictures of the fjords, mainly from the six-hour steam to Vadheim, but they pretty much all fail to convey how lovely it was. It's all snow-topped steep-edged hills running straight down into the sea, trees balanced precariously on the slopes, but tucked inbetween the headlands like the web of a thumb, there's the little triangular greens that hold the villages. I could just imagine the long-ships pulled up them, you know?

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