Northern Norway greeted us with another beautiful morning. We were at the entrance of a small fjord on the southern side of Sørøya. This island is the fourth largest along Norway’s mainland. In such weather, kayaking and a Zodiac cruise were the natural choices. Most guests went paddling, and all enjoyed the stunning scenery inside a very narrow fjord.
After lunch, National Geographic Endurance reached Mefjord on the northeastern part of the island. We were offered hikes of various lengths, as well as a Zodiac cruise. This area has relatively lush vegetation that is being grazed by sheep and domesticated reindeer. For ages, Sørøya has been an important area for the Sámis. This group of Indigenous people consist of reindeer herders as well as Sea Sámis. A large proportion of these people live in Finnmark, the northernmost region in Norway. Sørøya is an important area for the reindeer. They are transported to the island in the spring and then brought back to the mainland where they stay inland during the winter. The Sea Sámis are stationary by the coast and make a living by fishing, hunting, berry picking, and small-scale farming.
Those who went on the Zodiac cruise were fortunate to spot a couple white-tailed eagles. With a wingspan of up to eight feet, this is Norway’s largest bird. Today was our last day of outings in the fjords of the mainland, and we are now heading north for more adventures in the High Arctic of Svalbard.