My favorite moments of 2014

With a brand new year comes new expectations, new dreams and new committments. Hopefully, if I’m still alive when 2014 ends, I certainly hope, wish and pray that I’ll look back at this very moment and recall all the plans I had for the new year. Having pledged last year to make 2013 the best year ever, and in many ways, it was a good year, 2014 should be even better. 

When it comes to 2014 and photography, I have lots of new plans, creative dreams and great expectations. Whether any of these, and how they eventually will pan out, is left for time to reveal. 


The images below are just a very few samples of the private shots I have done throughout this year. To see many more images from my camera, you basically have no other option than to head to my CaptainsVoyage Forum, and keep a continous watch on the various threads there. 


One of my first images for 2014 was taken just after new year to wish all my friends, colleagues (both former and present), and other acquaintances around the world a very happy new year. The image will to me remind me of the darker season of the year, where night comes early and leaves late. 


The brand new fast ferry terminal opened just as the new year started, and not surprinsingly, right away there were a storm of complaints. Lack of proper waiting room facilities, poor seating arrangements with hard wooden benches, no cafe and no WiFi was the main complaints. Naturally, the local government immediately rejected listening to all the complaints, simply stating that this is excatly what “the travelers wanted”. A few weeks down the road, and into the new year, thecity government eventually decided to listen to the people and refurbish the brand new terminal immediately. 


I have long “admired” this concrete pump-house construction near the massive Dora-building in Trondheim. Many years ago, I voiced my opinion that it would have been cool to see lights in the “stripes” of the construction. Now, there are lights and it looks awesome, almost like a Star Wars trooper helmet. 


In mid-January, whilst driving home from work, I saw the full moon hanging over the golden, illuminated city of Trondheim. The light was truly spectacular, and I could not help myself. I simply had to stop and create this image before going home. 


Car-ferry “Glutra” of the Fjord1 ferry-company serves the Flakk-Rørvik route on the Trondheimsfjord, and is one of the first converted diesel - to LNG gas ferries in Norway, and the world. This image was taken on a cold afternoon in January of 2014. I would later learn that some people actually think of me as a “strange” person, because I seem to like taking pictures of ships and the views of the Trondheimsfjord, and then post them on my websites.  


During my two week work shift in January, most of the days, we experienced strong south-east and southerly winds. it was freezing cold down to -10 degrees Celsius, but with the wind-chill factor, it even felt colder. This image was taken on one of those cold, and windy days, and shows the car ferry Glutra crossing from Flakk to Rørvik. Behind her, you can also see the northbound coastal steamer that has just departed from Trondheim bound for (another place called) Rørvik. 


Furthermore an additional image of the Glutra crossing the Trondheimsfjord in a strong southerly gale. 


Agdenes is currently one of the oldest fast ferries sailing on the Trondheimsfjord. This image was taken at great distance with a focal lenght of 400mm, hence the ferry doesn’t appear sharp through the mist and seaspray. I do however like this image anyway, because the light was so great and all the seaspray coming of the fast moving vessel created an additional mist as she made way towards Trondheim. 


The ferries of the Trondheimsfjord very often have to fight for some space on the - not so crowded - fjord. The many fast ferries crossing the fjord at speeds three times what other traffic makes, often finds themselves having to navigate great distances, and make big turns, to avoid coming in close vicinity of these fast moving ships. 


It would appear as if January would be a really “maritime month” when it comes to motifs in photography. This image is no exception. The image above shows the car ferry Korsfjord, crossing Flakkfjorden to Rørvik, on an early January afternoon. The image was taken as I was heading home from work, and at a time when I once again noticed the very special winter-light. 


Another set of impressions taken whilst at work on a stormy afternoon in January of 2014. HSC Agdenes of Fosen Namsos Sjø returning to Trondheim from a run out the fjord. 


This image might in the future become a historical image of a HSC by the name of Namdalingen. This HSC have served the Leka - Rørvik - Namsos route for many years, until it was replaced by a newer Foldafjord. It was then sold to Finland, but returned to Fosen Namsos Sjø when payment for the vessel was not completed. After it’s return, it was used in several routes as a “replacement-ship”, and at the end of 2013, she was sold to new interests in the Netherlands, which intends to use her in connection with windmill installations offshore. Whilst being prepared for her trip to new owners in January 2014, she once again had to do a stand-in at Leka - Rørvik - Namsos for a couple of additional days due to unexpected repairs to Foldafjord. This image was taken in the morning of January 26th, while she was awaiting future deployment. 


The majority of my inspiration as far as photography goes, comes from dear friends in Thailand. There is certainly a big difference between my Thai and Norwegian friends: not to make anyone feel any less or worse, but I have to admit that my Thai friends are way more supportive of my interest, and have a much greater way of showing their support. Perhaps my feeling is like this because I have few Scandinavian friends, and because I might not understand why it is such a bad thing to try to achieve something good and positive for myself. The above image is my attempt at “copying” a friends image of his new car (congrats on your new car!). Despite his car being a big model Benz, while mine is an overprized Hilux - I loved the way the lights stood out almost like a predator in hiding. 


Olav Duun was a noteworthy author of Norwegian fiction, born on the island of Jøa in the Namsen Fjord of Nord Trøndelag county. Olav Duun was born in 1876 and passed away in 1939. Today, his name lives on as a ferry of the Fosen Namsos Sjø ferry company. Olav Dunn is a 987 GRT car ferry built and delivered from Harstadverftet in 1999. She is just under 70 meters long and can carry some 60 PBE. She currently operates in the Lund-Geisnes-Hofles run in Nord Trøndelag county. 


The end of January 28th 2014 ended with an amazing sunset, here as seen from the foot of the Marøysund Bridge in Nærøy municipality of Nord Trøndelag county. This is a place I have spent quite a few years of my life and which I occationally long back to - especially during fine summer days. The island in the middle of this image is Nærøya - an island where the ruins of old Nærøy Church is situated. The “Nærøya Kirke” was built around 1100, and burnt to the ground both during the 1700’s, and then again in 1848. After the last fire, the church was abandoned until the end of the 1960’s when a roof over the ruins was erected. Behind the island of Nærøya, lies the weather beaten coast and open ocean of Folla: a tretcherous sea stretch which have claimed countless ships and lives over the years. 


This might not be technically an outstanding image, but it shows a tragedy unfolding further to the south. The image was captured under an unusually clear sky, and Aurora Borealis. The red glow in the distance is from a disastrous grass- and forest fire at Flatanger, which destroyed a total of 55 houses in a small community. This winter has been one of the driest winters in an extremely long time, and within the past weeks, several grass- and forest fires have caused un-imaginable pain and suffering to many, many, many people in Norway.  Many have lost everything they own, not only at Flatanger, but also at several other areas where this have happened. The fire at Flatanger appears to have been started by electric cables hitting eachother in the strong winds, creating sparks which again ignited the dry grass- and forest. The fire, and sparks from the fire, then spread extremely fast and violently in the stormy weather - almost impossible to limit or stop. 


This image is one of my favorite shots from May of 2014. It was taken in the middle of the night during a night-watch, after the ferry stopped operating at 2 in the morning and awaiting for the first 5 AM departure  from Flakk. The image itself signifies and exemplifies one of the absolutely most wonderful times of the year. The entire night watch is done with outside light present, as opposed to the pitch black nights of the winter months. This is the time of the year I feel the best, and with most energy. During the dark and cold winter months, everything feels “heavier” if you understand what I mean. 


The two next shots are also among the shots I have long been dreaming of doing. They were taken very late a Sunday evening when the town felt really abandoned. They are taken with the GoPro and my Quad, and they really stand as a testament to the greatness of the quad: the radio controlled platform realises a dream I think many of us have had since childhood: to fly high, and soar like a bird. 


2014 is also the year when I finally managed to grab my own health by the cords, and actually make a difference. For many reasons, I had no other option either - if I wanted to become an old man. Some of it helps, and some may not, but the things I have managed to do so far, has greatly improved my chanses to squeeze an extra few years out of the total I’m destined to get. By the middle of the year, I had shedded some 17 kilos of weight, and reduced the body fat percentage considerably. I still have a little more way to go to reach my ultimate goal, and I have come to learn that the final few kilos and percentages, are definately the hardest. But give me time, I’ll eventually get there. I hope. 


This is also most definately a fvorite of mine for the year. The image is taken from what is popularly called a “drone” high above the grounds of Nidarosdomen, towards the fjord. The sun is setting to the west and the city is about to fall into a new night. For several hundred years, the city have continued to evolve and the sun have set each night. When you walkt the streets of Trondheim, you will definately experience some of this history in old buildings and dockhouses. Don’t get me wrong, I love Trondheim from the bottom of my heart, despite it being a relatively tiny town with a sensible amount of troubling issues (such as tollways everywhere and what feels like a dying city center). Thankfully, new and modern architecture is still being developed in between, and in conjunction with the old history and buildings.  It would be extremely exciting to see what this view will be like in, let’s say 100 years from now. 


I really feel extremely fortunate and priviledged to be a shift worker, and to be working on a ship’s bridge. The sea, the sky and the nature changes every single day. Some moments are more beautiful than others, and some moments last longer than others. That is the way of the nature - always evolving, changing and always reinventing itself. This image in particular was taken at the end of a very long day at work, while we were taking on gas at Flakk. I could not stop thinking it was some kind of reward for a job well done that very long day. 


This image was taken another calm night during the early summer. The sun has set for an hour but will soon return on the horizon. When you see views like these, and when you experience the air that comes with it, you will understand why it sometimes is so hard to leave ships and start working back on shore again. Believe me, I tried it. 


People have always been judging each other, comparing you with someone else, and wanting you to be someone that you definately are not. Through a long spiritual journey which started in July 2013, and which continued throughout the following year of 2014, I have been able to find myself and know myself for what I am. I now realize that I have become a whole lot more confident, and take very little crap from anyone. As a Buddhist monk told me, the transformation from 2010 and till now shows a man of power, reputation and with experience which few others have. I know what I have been through, I know my own journey, and only I can decide where my future voyages will take me. It may sound a bit snobbish perhaps, but I have become extremely strong in mind. Whether that is for better or for worse, I still do not know. I know my profession, I know my experience and I know skills - you make no mistake about it. 


2014 has so far been a terribly hard year with numerous challenges on the health side, but I’m still fighting and doing my part to continue on a healthy path. Amongst the things I have managed to change, is to get off the sofa and completely change my diet. Naturally, when it comes to food, I eat 95% of my meals the Thai way, but on the other hand, I’ve been able to cut all sugary products to an absolute minimum. It has been hard, but the crave for sugar is not as strong any longer. Another benefit I have been able to realize is to get out on hikes almost every single day - it is much thanks to a step counter and simple goals for movement each day. And it has worked! The above image was taken on one of those hikes up to a mountain top in my neighbourhood - one of about 30 or so hikes to that particular top. 30 is perhaps not a great number, but it’s 29 more than last year AND it’s only for this particular top. I have done many different tops around me!


His Majesty King Harald and Her Majesty Queen Sonja came to Trondheim this year, and left the city on board their beautiful, classical Royal Yacht "Norge". Being the profound royalist that I am, I just had to be at the port to watch them board their ship, and set sail. If you head over to my vimeo.com/captainsvoyage account, you will also be able to see the film I created for their departure from town this day. 




During a night watch at work, the cruise ship Aurora also came sailing out the Trondheimsfjord, having departed from Trondhiem at about 1:30 in the morning. I took a series of images from great distance, as she sailed along the shore on the opposite side. It was summer, so the darkness was not complete. I really like this image a whole lot, despite it’s grainy finish, because it reminds me of warm summer nights, and the beautiful light at night. Summers are all hands up the absolutely best time to experience Norway, and to be alive - as opposed to the grey and darkness of the first months of each year. 


Having worked for decades on so many different cruise ships sailing to some 230+ countries and territories of the world, I still love watching these giant ships, and dream about my own experiences and life at sea. Looking at this ship, the Adventure of the Seas leaving Trondheim sailing into the sun, I can recall an ocean of memories from so many parts of the world - from cruiseships on world cruises. I see the cruise ships, and I can imagine what I would be doing on board, what I used to do, and the dreams I used to have. Memories of Caribbean, the Far East, Australia and what not comes to mind - in addition to all the wonderful people I shared the ships with. Those were the great years of my life, if not the greatest. 


On June 10th 2014, it was a great day for Fosen Namsos Sjø, as most of you already know, was one of my previous employers. On this day, they christened two of their newest fast-ferries at Port of Trondheim: Terningen and Osenfjord. Sadly, I wasn’t able to be there for the actual christening as I was on duty, but as my shift ended in the afternoon, and I started driving towards the town, I suddenly noticed their two new ships leaving town heading out the fjord. I immediately stopped at the first stop-area at Trolla, and quickly got my big Canon out, and got this shot, which I was profoundly extatic over having been able to get.  Had I been just a few minutes later, I most definately would not have gotten this set-up at all. 


As opposed to previous years, I must admit that I haven’t been so active at taking photographs of all the cruise ships that came to town through the season, but a few ships have a deeper meaning and a stronger connection to me than others. Prinsendam is one of those ships that I just had to find time in a very hectic schedule to go and see. Not because she is a HAL-ship or because she is the Prinsendam, but because she used to be the Royal Viking Sun where I really started my career as a blue boy in her galley. Having done just a few months on the SS Norway in the deck deparmtent as a sailor, I was transferred to the Royal Viking Sun as a blue-boy instead. On the Sun, I did the ranks: from blue boy back to sailor, eventually to become an AB, and then on to be an Officer Apprentice and finally a Second Officer. I had some really great years on this ship, and got to see so much of the world. This ship will forever have a special place in my heart. 


During the middle of summer, I asked the Captain of SS Hansteen if he would need any crew for his ship, and if I could be of any assistance. I firmly believe that a sailing experience from a ship like this would be increadibly valuable for the future, these kind of ships are nothing like the ferry where I have increadible manouverability in each end. The timing may not have been the most perfect, as the summer was already drawing towards a close. But rest assured, if I’m still around in this town next year, I’ll send them another mail.  

  

The veteran cruise ship Albatros - as she does most years, she returns to Trondheim for a cruise call. On this fine veteran, one of my really good friends which I sailed with on the SS Norway for many years is now on board as an officer and a gentleman. He is an amazing guy, kind, professional and very understanding. As he did last time when he came to town, he invited me back on baord again for a tour, a long chat and a coffee. It is always great to meet up with old ship-mates and good friends like him, and recollect all the old stories and good memories we have. Sadly, time always runs way too fast on days like these. But I had a really great time on board, and I also had the great pleasure of inviting him ashore for a dinner at a local restaurant in town. Welcome back next time, Mr. Chief Financial Officer. ;-)


The great thing with the Albatros is that this is also one of “my ships” - but back then she sailed under a different  name: the Norwegian Star, and thereafter the Norwegian Capricorn. I had some really great months on this fantastic ship, and some of the perhaps greatest challenges in my career as a Safety Officer and Firefighter. I still remember very clearly how terribly sad I was the day I last signed off this ship and was transferred on to my next assignement. In my long career at sea, and on most of the ships I have served on, I have always made a strong connection to each ship. A strong connection which always made it hard to leave each time. Many of these ships, and their crew, were not only my home, but also my family and my “country”. It’s really hard for me to explain it, but there was absolutely a strong attachment. 


I remember the day the Funchal came to town. I was so busy catching up on a deadline, and at the same time not having one of my best days. In a moment of pause, I browsed the webcamera of Trondheim port and realized that this veteran was in town and about to set sail. I remember this ship all the way from my childhood, she have been on NorthCape cruises more times than I probably can count. Back then she was also small, but at the same time big. I remember her gliding through the Nærøysundet passed Rørvik each summer - all white, and with sparkling lights all over. Funchal was always one of the realiable ones. She is now a beautiful veteran - one of a very few quickly dissappearing classical ships left. Nobody know how many more times we will be able to see her, this could perhaps also be her last call to Trondheim - I had to quickly scramble and get to the port, just in time to see her set sail. 


Harald Jarl. Andrea. Serenissima. This is a ship that I have sailed with more times than I can count, as the Harald Jarl, and also last year, on her maiden voyage as the Serenissima from Split to Venice. I have been on three - or perhaps four (?) - roundtrips with this ship in the 1980’s. It was an amazing time. Her crew was amazing, and I this ship is also possibly in great part responsible for my descision to become a navigator and a Captain myself. 


Who would have known, during those hectic last days in Gdansk, prior to her christening and up to the time I sailed her home to Norway for the very first time, that in 2014, I would still be working on her as one of her Captain's - the Korsfjord. I have done some semi-accurate calculations, and I found that I so far have done several thousand arrivals and departures with this ship. 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off - suits me perfect. With a crew of just 5+2,  it’s with no doubt that the people I have on my shift, that makes me still return each time to do another period. They are really all wonderful people and I would not have changed them with anyone else. 


When I quickly scroll this latest update on this page, it quickly dawns on me that a majority of the images are of ships, or related to the maritime industry. The images I have done through my photography business are certainly of a different character, but those images can’t be included here either as my private collection. In the above image, I was once again on duty an early morning when the coastal steamer Nordlys and the cruise ship Oriana were racing for Trondheim. In this image, they really appear as if of similar size, but they are really not. There is also something else about this photograph which makes it special to me: the Oriana is the replacement of the now scrapped Canberra, but still carries a lot of the design features and ideas from her predecessor. Nordlys is a modern ship, and apart from the red and black hull, she has very little historical features in her design. Not even the funnel livery has roots in the history of Hurtigruten. It’s always sad I think, when traditions are not attempted carried over. 


Another meeting between Serenissima and Korsfjord on the Trondheimsfjord: as we have done on previous occasions, we greeted eachother as old, good friends with our horns. She was built in Trondheim, and sailed for the most part of her Hurtigruten career as a Trondheim-ship. She was an Earl - Earl Harald, or as we say in Norwegian, Harald Jarl.  May we see her cross the world’s oceans for many years to come. 


In July, we had to do some underwater maintenance on the Korsfjord and because of that, we were in town for a whole day. You may then think it was a day off for all of us, but believe me not, we worked really hard throughout the whole day and none of the crew on board complained a minute. These “drone” images were taken towards the end of the day as we had ended our long work day. I had for a long while wanted to shoot these photos when in town with the ferry, but most of the time when we sail to town are either at night (in darkness) or in really stormy weather. Hence no good flying conditions for a drone. 


Club Med 2 is in my mind probably one of the finest looking cruise vessels to arrive at Trondheim this year and was already picked out as a ship-to-go-see as soon as the cruise list was made available from Trondheim Port. Her departure was for some reason delayed so it was a long wait to see her set sail. Trondheim Port is definately not a good port for looking at cruise ships when they are at the dock: but when they set sail, they will have to pass land, and that is the time when you might get the best shots of the ships. I (im)patiently waited for her to sail, and after a long while, her moorings were cast, and she made a serious of rather strange turns before heading on her way. It was almost as if they intended to leave in a particular manner, but several times during her departure, they changed their mind on how to sail…. port turn, starboard turn, set sail inside of the Munkholmen, then outside Munkholmen, then a full port turn and eventually falling on a descision to sail inside Munkholmen. Light reflected in the city swimming pool, Pierbadet, was reflected in her ship side giving the image an extra nice touch.  


For the first time since the veteran vessel Nordstjernen ended her career in Hurtigruten, she returned back to Trondheim this year after a massive renovation. Since leaving Hurtigruten, a service she held since 1956, she has recieved her original funnel colors of BDS, and once again, she displays proudly Bergen on her stern - also her original homeport. I didn’t really have time to go to town and see her, but I just felt I had to when she prepared to set sail from the original Hurtigruten-dock in Nidelven. I remember in my childhood when I dreamed of seeing this vessel with her original funnel, and it was also my big dream to see Kong Olav back in a similar condition under the original Stavangerske funnel. Sadly, that ship has sailed. 


The same day Nordstjernen returned to Trondheim, another veteran also came to town. the Gamle Salten. Personally, I do not recall having seen this ship in Trondheim before, but I’m sure she has been her many times as she was also a replacement Hurtigrute for some time in the past. Gamle Salten is susually homeported in Bodø and sails charter trips out of Bodø for the most part. 


Heading to work one afternoon for a night watch, this beauty of a ship came sailing by. The Prinsendam is the former Royal Viking Sun, a ship I worked on for so many years and sailed around the world on many times. I have so many great memories from this very beautiful and still elegant looking Lady of the seas. When I sit down and look at this shot of the ship, they all come flooding in. 


Now this is truly a very personal and extremely special photo for me, and I’m so overly thrilled that I managed to get it like this. In the background, one of my first ships, the former Royal Viking Sunwhere I started as a Blue Boy, and in the foreground, my current ship where I now have been serving as one of her Captains for many years. When I caught this image, I remember thinking in particular about an overnight in Mombasa when we had a drink in the crew area at the bow, and talking about the future. And in this image, this is where I “ended” up (so far). 


Oriana rturns to Trondheim. From my own experience, Birtish cruise passengers are amongst the most delightful to have as guests on board, and as this is a Birtish ship, she have tons of british guests on board. I’m still dreaming of going on a cruise myself soon, as a guest, and within time, I know I will. I dream of a Caribbean cruise on one of the gigantic Royal Caribbean ships, and the plan at the moment is that I will within this winter some time. This image in particular reminds me of the book with images from the SS Norway North Cape cruise in 1984. 


How many times have I been sitting on the bridge of my ship in these very waters and dreamt I was sailing up to a Caribbean Island instead of back and forth across the fjord on 24 minute runs. I have no idea, but it happens quite often I catch myself day dreaming. When I caught this image, it almost felt like a Caribbean scene…. the Costa Pacifica sailing up to Saint John’s Pillsbury Sound or heading up towards the entrance to Tortola. I think there is nothing more wonderful than to stand on the deck of a cruise ship sailing up to a Caribbean destination… feeling the warm breeze over the railing while holding a colorful and tall drink with a slice of Pineapple and a paper-umbrella. As soon as I find myself awaking from this continous day dream, I abruptly wake up having to dock back at Rørvik or Flakk one more time to load cars. 


At the end of August, it suddenly felt like the summer was over. The air changed over night, the light changed and int he evening, it started getting dark again. I must honestly admit that I do love autumn, but then again I fear what is hiding behind autumn… winter! What feels like eternal darkenss, cold weather, snow, dirty snow (cause it’s only white the first day), no leaves on the trees and frozen toes and fingers…. YAIIKKS! 


This “selfie” image was inspired by a new colleague of mine, which is also into photography. He did a similar and many other cool images, which I sure will try to match as time goes by. It proved to become very popular when I shared it at Facebook, gathering the highest number of likes ever. I do not know why it became so popular, but it’s always nice when people enjoy what you share, because I’m not so active on Face any longer either. I truly feel like Face is an intrusion of privacy and there are so many things and setting in the background where they log everything about you and then sell that information onwards. Based on that, I think (and hope?) that within a few years, Face will disappear or become replaced by something else. 


For my birthday some weeks ago, I was given this wonderful limited edition aircraft model with perhaps one of the most beautiful plane liveries that I know. I was told that the simple present was meant as a “thank you” for all the hard work and long hours I put in, working with Public Relations and Marketing for a large Asian airline. To me, it is absolutely no simple item, but instead an item which signifies my connection, love and devotion for the airline industry. The experiences I’ve made, the people I’ve met, the trips I have taken - they are all amongst my most cherished work-relations ever. To work in such a creative environments are sadly no longer the norm in many companies: in a time where employees of all ranks are considered a must-to-do-business, this latest experience has made me see that some companies still look at all their officers and staff as an asset. 


I have no idea how many times I have told my friends and my readers about the pleasure of being involved with the airline industry this past year - probably to the point of utter boredom. Even though I resigned from my asssignements by mid-year, this is an experience I’m immensely proud of having been a part of.  The etichs of the company, the professionalism and the creativity connected with the job is something that I have not been able to find in a Norwegian-based company. In Norway, we have a lot to learn when it comes to taking care of our employees to achieve a common goal, and we have a lot to learn when it comes to looking at staff as purely and only a necessity, but instead as an asset. This Dreamliner was sent to me as a “humble thank you”-gift, and for it’s significance it meant a whole world to me. 


One of the final cruiseship calls to Trondheim this year came at a time when most of the major ports in Norway still had a lot of ships yet to visit. Neverthless, one of these final calls was by the Adventure of the Sea - one of the Caribbean giants of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Thankfully, the weather was OK for flying and thankfully, I was not on duty or otherwise engaged that day. 





…. 2014 has ended, please do return later to see what else my camera captured.




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