February 21, 2017 (Day 6)


  • Visits to the beaches along the western shores of Vestvågøy.
  • Challenges of Arctic Winter

It had snowed a few inches the previous night. When we were in Oslo, on Feb 16, the sunrise was at 820am and sunset was at 420pm. Today, the sunrise was at 8am and sunset was at 440pm resulting in 40 minutes more of daylight. After another terrific breakfast prepared by the trio, we started driving to the beaches along the western shores of Vestvågøy. It was biting cold mainly due to heavy wind. Visibility varied a lot, from a few feet to a few miles. First stop was a very short one at the Vik Beach. Visibility was poor and there were no compelling photo opportunities. We drove on to Haukland Beach. The beach was a short walk from the parking lot. A few tripodites were lingering around after their sunrise shoots.  Due to heavy cloud cover, we decided against any possible sunrise photography. There was a small stream going towards the beach and it was a good spot take some pictures.

Walking to the Haukland Beach (Nikon D7100; 31mm; f14; 1/10 sec; ISO 100)

At the beach was a colony of cormorants engaged in their morning meeting. It was still cloudy but the scene was serene.

Haukland Beach (Nikon D800e; 35mm; f8; 1/30 sec; ISO 100)

When the snow is 2+’ deep, it always good to know where the entrance to the main road is. When we left the Haukland Beach parking lot, we missed it by about 10′ or so and the car got stuck in a ditch with the wheels spinning. We learned the difference between a 4×4 vehicle and a 4WD one. Very soon about 10 able bodied Norwegians appeared magically and helped us out of the mess. We profusely thanked them and marched on to the next stop- Uttakleiv Beach. Moral of the story: Get a 4×4 if at all possible. Else be on the lookout for Norwegians before you start your car 🙂

Super helpful Norwegians pushing to get our car out of the ditch in Haukland Beach (iPhone6 photo by Revathy)

When we reached Uttakleiv, it was snowing heavily and the visibility was about 200′ or so. We saw a nice blue farmhouse at the entrance to the beach from the main road. I shot the image below during the snow storm. There are a few other houses and a mountain behind this house totally invisible. After an hour, the skies cleared and the 2nd image below shows what was around the blue farmhouse.

A Farmhouse near Uttakleiv Beach (Nikon D7100; 35mm; f11; 1/5 sec; ISO 100)
A Farming Community near Uttakleiv Beach (Nikon D7100; 62mm; f11; 1/80 sec; ISO 100)

We parked at the beach and although the clouds started moving in again, the view from the parking lot was quite spectacular. After lunch, Revathy, Susheela, and I hiked down to the beach. Here is an image of Revathy sitting on a picnic bench on the way down to the beach.

Revathy @ Uttakleiv Beach (Nikon D7100; 31mm; f11; 1/50 sec; ISO 100)

We returned the apartment for lunch and returned to the beaches in the afternoon. Weather turned bad again and we did not have much success doing photography as the visibility was quite poor. We returned to the apartment before sunset. A pipe in the apartment was frozen and Dash had called Eirik, the apartment owner, in the morning and requested him to get it fixed. When we returned, there a bunch of people fixing the frozen pipe in the arctic cold weather. They fixed the problem in about an hour or so. As the Aurora Borealis forecast was not favorable, we went to bed after dinner.

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