Monday, 20 June 2011

River kayaking and packrafting

We have been paddling on rivers for 2 weekends in the last 2 weeks: first a river kayaking course, the same we took last year but now on local rivers. We didn't do any river kayaking after the course last year so wanted to refresh our technique and get some confidence back. We paddled on the rivers Målselva and Divielva. The second weekend was a river paddling gathering, a gathering to try to get local river enthusiasts together; a very good way for us beginners to get more experience. Unfortunately I don't have a waterproof camera (yet), so I don't have any photos from the paddling itself, but only from the (lunch) breaks and evenings. But a good account of the river kayaking course, in Norwegian, but with some action photos, can be found on the blog of one of the other participants at

River kayaking theory lesson in camp

Theory lesson

At camp after the first course day

Tipped kayaker helped ashore

Last weekend there was a 'padlesamling', a river paddling gathering, in Målselv. Eighteen people turned up, while another 8 were doing a river kayaking course and joined us the second day on Divielva. There was a good mixture with 5-6 canoes, 5-6 river kayaks, 3 Alpacka packrafts and 1 swimmer with a riverboard. The first day we paddled a relatively quiet stretch of the upper Divielva and stopped for lunch and rescue training at a gravel bar. The second day we did a shorter section on the lower Divielva, but with some more interesting and challenging white water for us beginners. Great to try out our packrafts on these rivers and nice to know that there is at least one other packrafter in Troms! A very pleasant and instructive weekend in beautiful summer weather. One of the participants made a great movie summary of the weekend for the local newspaper the Nordlys:

A colourful collection of canoes, river kayaks and packrafts


rescue training

playing with rapids

lunch on the second day

Nordtinden on Kvaløya in midnight sun

We have had beautiful summer weather for the last 2 weeks. One evening last week we decided to go for an evening walk and have a late night dinner on the top of Nordtinden, on northwestern Kvaløya. A few other hikers came down when we were heading up, but we had the top for ourselves, with beautiful views and midnight sun.

View from the top of Nordtinden

Late night (ca 22:30) dinner on the top

On our way down just before midnight

Last kilometer back to the car in the early morning (ca 01:00)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Partial midnight sun eclipse

On June 1st a partial midnight sun eclipse was visible in northern Norway. The initial weather forecast wasn't very promising, rain and overcast, but about an hour before the start of the eclipse it started to clear up and it stayed clear the whole period. The eclipse lasted from 22:43 h to 00:24 h, and at the maximum of the eclipse, at 23:33 h, about 58% of the sun was covered. 

Start of the eclipse projected on our kitchen wall

We could probably have watched much of the eclipse from our house, but we decided to drive up to the pass in Finnvikdalen to get a nicer view with the sun over the outer islands. The parking lot at the pass was full, quite a few people had decided that this was a good spot to watch the eclipse. 

Second half of the eclipse (click on photo to enlarge)

Other eclipse watchers basking in midnight sun light

Projection of the eclipse maximum

Looking back towards Tromsø, still a lot of snow around

Midnight paragliders that had watched the eclipse from a nearby top