the Degree Confluence Project

Norway : Troms

3.9 km (2.4 miles) SSW of Hofsøy, Senja (Island), Troms, Norway
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 69°S 163°W

Accuracy: 10 m (32 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: Imram, the arctic sailboat #3: Midnight sun #4: GPS snapshot #5: View to the E #6: View to the S #7: View to the W #8: Clouds

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  69°N 17°E (secondary) 

#1: View to the N and general view of the confluence

(visited by Salvatore Mele, Peter Gallinelli and Imram)

28-May-2005 -- The Imram (Photo #2) is an expedition and performance sailing vessel, an Integral 12.50. In 2003 she explored the East coast of Greenland, leaving from France. In 2004 she sailed from Iceland via Scoreby Sund and Jan Mayen to the Svalbard Islands and passed 80° of latitude North. 2005 is the year of migration back south to Europe: from Tromsø, Norway to St.Malo, France.

During our trip to Spitzbergen we visited some amazing confluences, witnessing majestic, albeit retreating, glaciers in some of the northernmost tips of land, where water, ice, snow, and permafrost (permanently frozen soil) form some of the most primeval sceneries of our planet. We shared this view, which usualy only a few walruses and polar bears enjoy, with you all, through the DCP: 80°N 16°E, 80°N 14°E, 79°N 12°E. Now, on our southbound journey we decided to continue visiting confluences at sea, close to the most spectacular coastlines of the world, thus fully exploiting the potential of traveling by sailboat: after all, wasn't much of the world discovered like that?

Our previous trip had brought us to 69°N 16°E, in late July, and we decided to visit 69°N 17°E, which is -magic of the high latitudes- just 32 nautical miles away. We did not expect the landscape to change dramatically thanks to the distance, but rather thanks to the early seasons. Snow was still falling a few days ago, while in our last passage a warm Summer (july) was at its peak. It would be great if all confluences on DCP would be visited in all seasons, adding a fourth-dimensional time coordinate to the mapping of the planet, like for our Summer visit to 79°N 12°E, which was in a fjord rather than onto a valley full of ice like it is in Winter!

After having left Tromsø around midday at the end of May, the plan was to sail overnight through the confluence en-route to Trollfjord, one of the jewels of the Lofoten islands, on whose rim we had walked in Summer and now will see us clad in snow-walking gear. Magic of late spring above the arctic circle, there is no night, and a inspiring red twilight at midnight UTC, 2am local time, saw us approaching the confluence. At this hour of the day, most confusingly for those of us used to a normal alternance of day and night, the midnight sun shines in the North (Photo #3), a place it never reaches at lower latitudes!

Having learned from our previous experiences, we made no attempt to stop 10 tons of aluminum expedition-vessel on the confluence, but decided to sail through it, taking advantage of the excellent hydrodynamic profile of the boat and its daggerboards, which allow us to sail straight with no drift whatsoever. Westbound, we followed the 69th parallel for half an hour or so, trimming our direction so to smoothly cross the 17th meridian E (Photo #4). The ritual photos to the North (Photo #1), East (Photo #5), South (Photo #6) and West (Photo #7) show a marvelous scenery. Lofty mountains, sheer rock faces, storm brewing in the distance, a shower over a closeby peak, the signs of winter still present all around... all shining in the midnight sun! What a difference with the summer colours which nearby 69°N 16°E boosted last July!

Up in the sky, some beautiful clouds to the South shone in the first light of dawn, after the sun emerged from behind the mountains of Senja (Photo #8). They reminded us of the long trip ahead, and bidding farewell to the confluence, we continued sailing following the direction the clouds seemed to indicate... maybe toward some other confluences.

 All pictures
#1: View to the N and general view of the confluence
#2: Imram, the arctic sailboat
#3: Midnight sun
#4: GPS snapshot
#5: View to the E
#6: View to the S
#7: View to the W
#8: Clouds
ALL: All pictures on one page
In the Vågsfjorden, about 2 km from the shore of Senja.