I had two reasons for moving to Tromsø. The first one was the mountains, the second one was the whales. I harbor a very naive love for mammals (and birds, and sometimes fish too). Like many other naivists, my greatest dream is to find a kindred spirit in a member of a different species. I know that it is just plain stupid, but deep down inside I still fantasize about me and that lynx (or fox, or wolf or whale or eagle, or just a magpie) running (or flying, or swimming) over the hills (or sea) happily ever after :).
So whales. Orcas and humpback whales follow the herring that migrate into the Norwegian fjords from November to January. The past couple of years, there has been a lot of herring, and consequently a lot of whales. I’ve heard stories about the fjords almost boiling. I didn’t really believe that, but I have been keeping an eye on the fjords ever since I got here. That has produced very little so far, except two purpoises and quite a lot of weird nightly dreams. One night, I dreamed that I was lying in shallow water and that killer whales came in and sort of swam on me. It was scary and marvelous at the same time. Another time, I dreamed that I had to run down a hill in high heels (I never wear high heels) to get a glimpse of some whales in the fjord.
But now they’re here!
Today, in the narrow window of daylight, i.e., between sunrise (09.24 am) and sunset (1.32 pm), I and some newly found friends headed out to Kaldfjord without much of a plan except to try to catch a glimpse of some whales. I didn’t haver super high hopes, because I thought that you would have to go out with a boat to see them. But suddenly, as we were driving on the road (!!!) just 15 minutes from the house, we could see steam shooting up from the water. Then, we saw some fins.
KILLER WHALES!!! I’ve never seen a killer whale in the wild before! Now, they’re my neighbors!!! That’s just insane! No, I can’t even believe it. How can this be true?
Then, more steam. Humpbacks!!!
Standing on the shore, we were too far off to get any good photos, but we could see them clearly with our eyes: blowing air, feeding, diving. That was nothing less than totally and utterly amazing.