National Geographic Endurance wound its way to the back of Nordfjorden, a branch off the larger Melfjord. Heavy rains and low clouds gave an air of mystery to the fjord. The fjord is only accessible by smaller ships due to the large rocks just under the surface of the water towards the entrance. The steep walls were so close that we felt we could reach out and touch them as we entered the narrow entrance.

At the back of the fjord, we had an excellent view of a birch forest with a floor of deep green moss. Silver birch trees are pioneer species that prefer acidic soils, so this low-lying area beneath steep and snow-covered cliffs is an excellent place for them. After taking in the view, the captain maneuvered towards the middle of Nordfjorden, to an area with a few small islands to cruise around in Zodiacs. The cruises were wet but worthwhile. We were thankful for our rain gear, as the common seals were plentiful and the oystercatchers were calling loudly.

After returning and drying off, we spent the afternoon cruising along the scenic Norwegian coastline towards Traena, where we went exploring after dinner. We visited Traena Church and the museum to learn more about the history of the area. The Arctic Circle cuts through the islands of Traena, making this an exciting place to end our day.