Author Topic: Another bit of History bites the dust...  (Read 1732 times)

Offline DC

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Another bit of History bites the dust...
« on: July 04, 2008, 05:07:48 AM »
Hi guys,
 I've just heard that the sea route between Newcastle and Bergen is closing in September, after 160 years. Here's a story of one of my experiences on the route, a memory that will be even more 'special' to me now...

I posted this about eighteen months ago, but seem to have deleted it.

Hi Guys,

I was going to put this in Lin's 'North Sea Ferry' thread, but maybe it belongs in here, as it's about story telling. The last time I returned from Norway, in 1999, I had one of the most fascinating evenings I've ever experienced. Being a cheapskate I didn't book a cabin, prefering to kip down in the 'Aircraft seat' room, just below the bridge. There was enough room for over fifty people. But if there weren't many needing it, they'd close that room and put us in a smaller one next door. This happened that night, there were six of us in the small room. We all happened to be in the room around five o'clock, and somebody started talking. Over the next five hours, we all sat enraptured, as each told his (or her) tale.

There was the somewhat wild looking guy, looked a bit like Sean Connery does now, with long hair. Turns out he's the mountaineer type, lives in Scotland and is involved with Bothies. As such, he knew a friend of mine, the bloke I'd bought my bike from six months earlier. And he was proud of the fact that his daughter, despite a lowly start in life, was now the GP for a large chunk of the Scottish Highlands.

The old fella (71) who had just done the round trip to North Cape on his 1957 Triumph Thunderbird, which he'd bought for fifteen pounds in 1959, and spent the next three months wondering if he'd got a good deal. And which, I might add, looked immaculate, he could easily have just bought it from a shop in Bergen. He told us how it had broken down in the far north, a valve had broken. He'd set up camp by a Fjord, and walked ten miles to town to order a new valve from England. It took four days to arrive, and when it did, it was the wrong one. Not to be deterred, he set to with some emery paper and polished the shaft down until it fit. He then re-assembled his bike and continued his journey.

The 'Dutch Geordie'. He looked the archetypal Dutchman; dressed in denim, denim peaked cap, blonde hair, piercing blue eyes. But when he opened his mouth, he was broad Geordie. Seems he used to work for an electric company as a draughtsman. They had a round of redundancies, which he missed, but realised he'd be in the next one. So he took voluntary redundancy, set up on his own, and got a contract, with the electric company, as a consultant on three times the money he'd earned when he worked for them. He'd just spent the last four months travelling around the North Atlantic by Ferry. Newfoundland. P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Greenland, Iceland, Svaldbard, and had travelled down the coast of Norway to Bergen for the ferry home.

Then there was the girl who spent her life crewing tall ships. She was making her way back to England via Sweden and Norway, having sailed on a two masted Barque from New York to Rotterdam. Being interested in sailing, for years she'd wanted a sextant. She'd finally managed to get hold of one before leaving New York. The first day at sea she was on the aft deck, practising using it, when the captain told her they didn't need such things, she was to put it in her trunk in her locker, and he didn't want to see it again during the voyage. She was obviously upset, and protested, but he was captain, his word was law.
Mid atlantic and a storm hit them, knocking out their power, which meant no GPS. Guess what the Captain asked her to get out? Guess what she reminded him he'd said he didn't want to see again? And he didn't...

There was also the guy on the MZ 250, who had also done the round trip to North Cape, and had a similar experience to the bloke with the Triumph, except in his case it was a wheel bearing. He ended up waiting five days, again camped at the end of a fjord in Northern Norway. Didn't see another person in all that time, but the wildlife, including Dolphins and Whales in the fjord more than made up for that.

Oh, and then there was me... My tale seemed tame compared to the rest, but they sat and listened.

The amazing thing to both myself and Christina (the girl) was the way in which six total strangers had 'bonded' for this one evening, and then gone our separate ways, probably never to meet again. All down to the power of 'Story Telling'.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - open throttle in the other -
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : "Woo Hoo, what
a ride!"

Offline Big T

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Re: Another bit of History bites the dust...
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2008, 05:48:31 AM »
Great recollection ... thanks.
Big T  :o

Offline ma100

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Re: Another bit of History bites the dust...
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 04:59:55 AM »
I really enjoyed reading your memories Dave.  To have six complete strangers bond like that is quite unusual.  :)