Must be the Weather (II)

In the autumn of 2014 I booked a last minute fortnight trip from Bristol Avonmouth up the coast of Norway and back. It was a great trip, I saw the northern lights (awesome), the Alta petroglyphs (stunning), the first snow of the season in Honningsvag (magical), the military museum in Narvik (sobering), the receding Svartisen Glavier (sadly receding), stave churches, troll walls, sea eagles, a seemingly endless procession of beautiful scenery and a swan dissection for children in Stavanger Museum.    

Retreating Svartisen Glacier, Norway

Retreating Svartisen Glacier, Norway

A really great trip. 

Then we sailed out of Bergen to head back to Avonmouth.  We knew from the weather forecasts pinned up near reception and from the captains midday updates  that it might be a bit blowy, it turned out to be the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo. 

Battling against high winds and rough seas it soon became obvious we weren’t  going to make it back to Avonmouth on time (I say we, I spent most of that two days in my cabin trying not to be sick with varying degrees of success).  Once in the Irish sea we spent a day sailing up and down the relative calm of the leeward coast of the Isle of Man.  The plan was to land at Liverpool and transfer us back to Avonmouth by coach, but the pilot couldn’t get out to us and it was too rough for the tugs anyway, so we waited it out until we could get into the Mersey. 

Stormy weather aboard the Funchal 2011

Stormy weather aboard the Funchal 2011

 

Some of the passengers moaned (some always do) but there was an air of stoic resignation mostly.  This was something no one had control of, could control.  We just had to wait for the weather to change, which it did eventually.  Even then over a day late the swell was so great that it took several hours and a couple of tugs to manoeuvre us into position.   

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-29700909