Norway and its fjords - PDF book by M. A. Wyllie

Norway and its fjords 

Norway and its fjords


There are many ways of seeing Norway, — by liner, fjord steamer, yacht, or on foot. Perhaps it is possible to see most and to learn most by walking, and the help of the post steamer. But then time is needed, and time nowadays goes quicker than of yore, so that I am inclined to think that our way was the best, namely, boarding the Vectis, as she lay in midstream on the Thames, with bag and baggage. One feels like the snail whose shell forms a part of him, that in this great big ship " Home " was always at hand, which added greatly to both pleasure and comfort. It was wonderful to see how men and women, who had come on board more or less weary and jaded from too hard a London season, overworked from a long session in Parliament or in office, revived after a day or two spent at sea. 

They lay drowsily extended in various positions of comfort on their chairs on the broad white after-deck, the happy moment after lunch; too soon to get to work or play, the tremor of the great screw acting as the mother"'s foot on the cradle rocker. The deck was partly in shadow, partly in sunlight with a delightful breeze ruffling the surface of the blue sea, and the long white wake streaming away to the horizon. Care was left behind. 

The stress and hurry of everyday life, like the ship's wake, receded in the distance. We looked calm enough now, basking in the sun with no thought of tomorrow, content to drink in the invigorating forces of air, sea, and sky. 

The ship's kittens gambolled silently, dodging in and out under the chairs of the sleepers; every now and then the gong throbbed as the watching figure in the bow, standing like a black statue, caught sight of a ship to port or starboard. I really think this is what yachting should be — no responsibility, no guests to keep amused, plenty of nice people, and punctual meals. Norway had been discussed, and books referred to and read, whilst the ship steadily forged ahead. But all passes. The sky that looked so blue the day before had slowly become overcast, the sea too was distinctly rising, the frothy wake no longer stretched straight to the horizon, but, like a wounded snake, coiled and curved restlessly. 

sea, deep indigo, rose in waves capped with transparent green and white feathery crests, with a great under swell rolling in from the west like some grand bass motif underlying the music of the lesser turmoil. It was clear that the ship was no longer under the protecting shelter of the Skaw, — and the stormy Skagerak open to the west acted as a highway to the ocean swells. Through the driving mist appeared quite a fleet of sturdy Norse double-ended fishing boats with their foresails a-weather, snugging down as they tacked backwards and forwards over the mackerel shoal. Each carried four long spars resembling great fishing rods, which gave tlie craft a spider-like appearance. 

 One small boat detached itself from the fleet, evidently trying to intercept our ship. She had a red cloth down the middle of her white mainsail, the distinguishing mark of the Norse pilot. As the pilot approached he threw out enormous fenders, great hairy things, masses of rope yarn threaded on chains, but he omitted to hoist his flag. 


Author: M. A. Wyllie

 Publication Date:1907

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