W1610 – Mission Impossible

My last post, W1610 – Mainland, U.K., described my final port of call on this stunning Arctic Adventure cruise. This 18th and final post about this cruise is to reveal what the cryptic comments in earlier posts concerning photographic missions have been about.

On this cruise I have been sharing my evening dinner table with some delightful ladies, and it wasn’t long before each meal was accompanied by me showing them the best of the photographs I had taken that day. Two of them, Pat and Margaret, obviously decided I was finding my photography too easy as they started setting me daily challenges – something that I must photograph during the following day however unlikely. After a dodgy start, I think I managed fairly well – see what you think…

1. While at Akureyri, Iceland – photograph a plane taking off from the nearby runway

The runway for Akureyri Airport could be seen end-on from the moored ship. Photograph a plane taking off from the runway.

My problem here was that I was off the ship almost the whole time it was in port, on a long shore tour. So it was a case of being creative. Instead of ‘photoshopping’ a plane onto my photo of the runway, I took the easier option of finding a plane taking off from that runway on the Internet. Yes, hands up – I cheated! Use of the Internet was quite rightly banned for future challenges. Here is that picture:



2. While at sea sailing around Iceland – photograph a puffin

Yes, we were sailing past cliffs where seabirds nested, but too far out to photograph a bird as small as a puffin, especially as they nest underground! Fortunately I managed to get this shot of several puffins flying near the ship:



3. While in Reykjavik (day 1) – photograph a face in the landscape

That day I was doing the tour in the super truck up into the mountains and up onto a glacier. I was delighted to spot this scene as we took a break from driving high in the mountains, how many faces can you see?



4. While in Reykjavik (day 2) – photograph something quirky

I don’t think they realised how easy a challenge this was for me as I regularly seek out quirky things when exploring new places. I ended up with a whole set of submissions, several taken at the striking Harpa Concert Hall with it’s glass walls – including the self portrait in the first one. I will leave you to guess which of this photos generated the most surprise and laughter at the dinner table:



5. While at sea – photograph a fish looking face on

The previous day Pat had seen a painting of a fish looking face on which she had admired, so I was challenged to get a photograph of one. We were at sea, so provided the captain avoided any icebergs, I was unlikely to encounter any live fish to photograph. So, I had to get creative – and luckily in the ship’s library was a book about sealife in the Pacific Ocean. So some snaps of suitable pages with my phone camera brought these solutions:



6. While sailing Prins Christiansund – photograph a face in the ice

There are many icebergs in Prins Christiansund, the challenge was to get a photograph of a face in the ice – human or animal.
I thought I might get away with a frog in the first picture, but was happy I had nailed it in the next two:



7. While at Qaqortoq, Greenland – photograph Eric the Red

Here I was doing the tour to see the historic Hvalsey church, in a fjord connected with Eric the Red. Margaret, who had done this tour on a previous cruise, set the challenge, expecting the local guide to be a man dressed in red. I had a lady, not dressed in red! However I did notice this red mermaid in the cabin window of the local boat which took us to and from the church – and by claiming she was Erica the Red I just about got away with the challenge:



8. While at Narsarsuaq, Greenland – photograph something surprising

A simple one set by myself as the ladies had not thought of one. Several solutions – Pat on deck before 4am and before I got there, painted stone characters on a wall, a football in the middle of nowhere with no one around, and a mural on the end of a building, only seen when walking back to the ship:



9. While at Nanortalik, Greenland – photograph where bodies are stored in winter

This was an easy one – in winter the ground is frozen so they can’t bury the dead, so bodies are stored in this stone building adjacent to the church:



10. While in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands – photograph a kilt and a seal

For my final day of challenges, one each from the two ladies – Pat wanted a photo of a kilt which may or may not be being worn, and Margaret wanted a picture of a seal, expecting them to be seen on the coast.

The kilt was fine, I spotted this gentleman in the Cathedral. However at the place on the coast where seals were expected, there were none that day. So time for some creative thinking, and fortunately in Kirkwall museum they had a couple of document seals on display – phew!



I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to Pat and Margaret for coming up with so many fun challenges which stretched and entertained me whilst out with my camera, and which entertained us all so well at dinner.


So that is a wrap for my amazing Arctic Adventure cruise – but I will be back sooner than you think posting about my next cruise – something quite different yet again!



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