Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Matter How Busy I Am, This Needs To Be Written

Tomorrow marks the beginning of an incredible journey, that is best left up to my good friend to tell you about in his own words:

Expedition 2009

Hi Tom, and to all of you out there who have an interest in glass floats and old commercial fishing history,

The last weeks and months have been occupied with planning, researching for information, advertising, phone calls, emails, letters and plenty hours studying museums for information and archives from areas situated on the Norwegian coastline.

I have searched for old fishery districts and retired fishermen, fishermen that still have their income from fishing and other people who might have or know someone who have valuable info from glass floats and other fishing gear. Everyone who can tell something from old Norwegian history related to glass used as fishing gear will and have been asked for a meeting and interview.

Approximately 20 days, that's my planned expedition up north Norway this spring, and as you all know, time is running super fast when you are traveling by vessel, and the Norwegian coastline is long.

There are plenty islands, fjords, ferries and highways. "Highways" are often vehicle roads that fit only one standard vehicle Chevrolet Corvette size, and if you meet another vehicle coming toward you, you have to put your gear shifter into reverse and drive back several hundred meters to find a spot to pull over. I kid you not...roads like that are standard.

High-speed highways here in Norway are a top speed limit of 50. Most roads only two lane, you are lucky if you find a road with two lanes in the same direction. Moose, Reindeer(Rudolf) and plenty Deer jump into highways now and then, and you have to keep your eyes wide open when you are driving up north. So I prefer using ferry as much as I can.

I'm looking forward to this expedition, and I love driving my SUV 4 wheel drive on winter roads. My cow-catcher is mounted on the front of my vehicle, and will hopefully take care of incoming reindeers.

Anyway...I was talking about research and my planning for this expedition. Booking, I have to find a vessel that fit my needs for this expedition...found it; Hurtigruten. A great shipping company. The vessel will start at my hometown Bergen situated at the west coast of Norway. Best of all, you can jump off and on the vessels that are traveling up north and east. There are 35 stops and towns from Bergen on the west coast up to the far north near the Russian border.

You can bring your own vehicle onboard, but you have to book early. There are only 45 vehicle places. Cabins onboard: several standards from single with bath, toilet and shower, to luxury cabins with balcony, several rooms, internet, tv, minibar and you name it. All meals are excellent-breakfast, lunch and dinner. Further, onboard there are, training rooms, sauna, bubble bath and the list goes on.

Packing and luggage include warm clothes (wool underwear is a must at this time of year up north), shovel, rainwear, sleeping bags, blankets, canned food, tools, light, gas, diesel fuel, boiler for hot water, coffee, tea, pen and paper, laptop, dictaphone, headset, photo equipment, bags, knife, scissors, tape, packaging, boxes, ships, wrapping, extra floats from my collection for trade and sale, electric inverter equipment for my photographic equipment and other things that need electrical power, money, visa, hat, gloves, shoes, shirts, suit, tie, cosmetics, woolen socks, glasses, and last but not least, perfect and good winter tires...have I forgotten anything?

Wish me Luck! Per

Per and I have agreed to do our best to provide a day-to-day account of Per's expedition. As long as Per has access to the internet, he will be sending the day's adventures together with photos, for posting to the blog. This should be a fun 3 weeks for all who read the posts, and for all who are deeply interested in sharing Per's adventure.

Per has a very deep desire to help his country recapture and preserve its rich fishing heritage by recording all that he sees, learns and finds from that past. He wishes to donate many of his finds to the local maritime museum in Bergen, and to join with other Norwegian historians. He will be on my mind everyday, and I want to ask all of the readers to think of Per on this journey, wish him good fortune and a safe journey, and if you wish to, send him your thoughts via the comment area of the blog.
The photos for this post were sent to me by Per from a previous expedition.