The ferry to Senja island, where I was headed, departs from Brensholmen in Troms. Right next to it is a beautiful little island called Sommarøy, where an acquaintance I met in Lofoten during last year’s bicycle tour happens to live. So I paid her a visit.
Elaine is one of those fun people who seems to have life figured out. She knows what makes her happy and then simply goes out to do it. She’s even more of an outdoor person than me, spending a lot of time out on her kayak in the fjords, sometimes even paddling among orcas and other whales. Or she’s hiking, sailing, biking, or just generally enjoying nature however and whenever she can. Usually with her camera - she has quite a good eye for photography. She says she tries to learn a new hobby or activity every year, which sounds like an excellent idea.
It was great to see a familiar face, so we talked for hours while I recharged my various devices. I suppose few people know the area as well as Elaine, so I interrogated her for tips on where to go for the good views and photo opportunities. Often when I see a photo of a great location, I try to find out where it is and mark it with a star in Google Maps. Now that I’m on tour I do the same by asking people for suggestions on where to go.
When I left, armed with many new stars on my map, I first head to the nearby hill. She had said eagles like to play there in the winds rising up the cliff wall in the mornings. While waiting for the midnight sun to climb higher, I shot several time-lapses of the far-reaching ocean landscape.
Eventually, just as promised, I saw a great brown eagle with a massive wingspan flying below me. It circled for a while and then dove out of sight. I did some quick calculation. If I ran to get the camera, the time-lapse it was taking would be ruined. But I would have many opportunities to shoot similar videos, while this could be the only chance in a long time to score an eagle in the viewfinder. Despite my 24-70mm lens being a poor choice for bird photography, I decided it was worth trying.
I scampered off to fetch the camera and tried my best to stroll back inconspicuously. But the bird was already gone. While waiting for it to return I spotted its nest in the cliff face about 50 meters away. Realizing I may an unwelcome visitor too close to the eagle’s home, I made a wise choice to remove myself from the premises.
After all, I was standing very close to the edge of a sheer drop into the ocean. An altogether precarious position. My mind conjured an image of a pissed off sea eagle with talons the size of my head raining great vengeance and furious anger from the sky. It could probably toss me off the mountain like a toddler discarding a lollipop.
It was not a comforting thought. I took my stuff and left, making a mental note to do some research on these killer eagles.