Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Voyage of the Vikings, Day 25 - Djupivogur, Iceland

Pronounced ju'-p-vor

6:30am in the Crow's Nest, Approaching Iceland. Brooding peaks and ridges with softly eroded slopes sliding down into the sea. A subtle difference from the Faeroes, which have a craggier, more rugged coastline.

Map Showing Djupivogur Approach


The Dark Icelandic Coastline

We cruised about 16kt. through the night, northwest into a light breeze and kindly sea. Kathy looked out the window this morning and said "interesting clouds". And they were interesting, and pretty. Most mornings have been overcast, or hazy, or just plain foggy. This morning was partly sunny, with the picturesque type of clouds.


A Rare Moment of Early Morning Sunshine

I keep reminding myself, and Kathy, what the captain said about the North Atlantic climate: "If you want sunshine and calm seas, visit the South Pacific. This is the North Atlantic; deal with it." I know I've reported this before, but it bears repeating.

Our Cruise Director Moyra dropped by the Crow's Nest to chat this morning. I asked her to convey my compliments to the Captain for his boat handling skills, and in particular his extraction from Glasgow. She expressed surprise at my comment, and said that many passengers complained, I guess because it was not a placid exit. Or maybe it was the 10 degree list to port. My view, inherited from the Captain, is "this is the North Atlantic; deal with it". We're gonna say this over and over and over again until we get it right.

Moyra commented that the captain was over 40, with 3 children. He looks younger. She also commented how intelligent he is, and what a joy to work with. Those two qualities don't always go together.

We have no plans for this day. The vessel is anchoring and tendering, and we have no tours scheduled. If the town looks interesting from the deck, we will take the ride and maybe walk about. Keith enjoys tendering, just for the sake of the small boat ride. It brings back fond memories.


Djupivogur is a Tender Port

Having exhausted the range of "normal!" entrees, Keith had bagels and lox for breakfast today. Not bad, but the cream cheese seemed a bit tasteless. This was, of course, after his early breakfast of danish, and was followed with a mixture of fresh fruit and raisins.


Breakfast in the Lido Cafe

My son in law complains that his mother's travel journals are all about food. I suppose he thinks the same of mine, if he reads them, which I think he doesn’t. But after all, isn't food what life is all about?

What a difference time (and age) make in life. Twenty years ago Keith would have been out riding the dingy and tramping about the town. Today, at 10am, after sleeping 11 hours, he is lingering with a cup of tea over a long breakfast, while Kathy does the crossword.

I am reminded of a visit with the sled dogs in Denali National Park. As the musher was getting the sled ready, the dogs became increasingly excited, prancing and leaping at their chains in their anxiety to get out on the trail. All except one old retiree, who sat on top of his kennel, watching the world go by. Keith has become this retired sled dog, sitting in the Crow's Nest, watching the world go by.

After breakfast we spent an hour or so sorting photos, then Keith got motivated to dingy ashore and sniff the local color. As said above, Keith enjoys the tender ride, just for the sake of being on the water in a “small” boat.


Tendering Into Djupivogur


Tender Interior


One Hundred Fifty Persons

Seems a Bit Much for This Craft!

Djupivogur is a truly small village, population just a few hundred. Teenage children meet us at the top of the ramp with brochures. They seem a bit sullen, and will not return smiles. Forced labor?


Sullen Djupivogur Tweens Greet Passengers From the Maasdam


A Humorless Ubergreeter Superintends Young Greeters

There is not much about the town but a small hotel and a café/gift shop/information center. Keith walked half a block to a good place to photograph the Maasdam, then returned to the picturesque dock to photograph the small boats and then reboard the tender. He thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air and the short walk, but he especially enjoyed the 15 minute tender ride, and the small boats in the harbor. There was a bit of sea, running 2 to 3 feet in from the ocean, on the beam, lending a comforting roll to the ride in and out.


Djupivogur Harbor


A Unique Flagpole Base


Close Up of Flagpole Base


Beautiful Small Boats in Djupivogur Harbor


Beautiful Big Boat Anchored in Djupivogur

Up to the Crow’s Nest to watch the sail away at 4:30. The weather has turned cloudy (big surprise), so it's not clear how scenic this one will be. I was told that we will be sailing relatively close to the coast around the south of Iceland.

5pm and here we sit, waiting for the last of the shore tours. The captain seems a bit impatient to get underway. He promises a smooth night, and hopes to make good time to Reykjavik, our next destination.


In the Crow’s Nest for Sail Away

In the meantime we watch the gigolos (their badges read "dance host"), waiting eagerly for the opportunity to dance with single old ladies in the lounge.


Dance Hosts Eagerly Await Clients

"I cannot say this is the prettiest place we have visited." Kathy's parting shot for Djupivogur.

5:30pm, and finally we are under way. We shall see if the captain can make up an hour delay overnight. We shall paddle as hard as we can.


We Sail Away From Djupivogur

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