December 08

Lødingen, 30th november, 2008

Dear Santa Claus,

I'm writing to you, in this winter time, from a famous ship you should know: The Noorderlicht. This proud ship, old wood and five large sails, has offered us protection for one week as we've sailed together around the Lofoten. What a beautiful sunrise as this snow flutters in the pale sky; what a strange feeling of end of the world when climbing up the white mountain in the polar wind; what a deep spiritual silence in the fortress of Trollsund, like a secret.
The light here is so special, slow to come and pale, fragile, but so much coloured: pale lemon, soft mandarine, pastel peach. The light takes a long time to appear and also disappears slowly after the short day. My body needs time to understand: I could sleep all the time! What I read on my watch seems so illogical! If light is different here, so is time. The rhythm of our days is governed by Rolf's walking, Captain Ted's sailing, Renske's encouraging words and Sonja's delicious meals, the greatest chef the world has known! Have you ever eaten like a king everyday? Can you imagine the taste of a hot steaming chocolate in the icing morning air? I do, I just have to remember yesterday....
I also remember the first day we arrived in Lødingen, after 24 hours of travelling from home: by one car, two trains, three planes, one bus …. to eventually sleep in a sailing ship! The Lofoten Islands, the Noorderlicht, it doesn't happen to everybody!

Most of us were here to observe the whales: Tysfjord is famous for the migration of the herrings. From France, from Russia, from The Netherlands, from Switzerland, from England we have come to watch the great meal of the orcas. But in spite of hours and hours spent searching the horizon, in spite of the crew's efforts, in spite of our prayers and eventually a desperate scenario of human sacrifice (?), the sea didn't reveal what we had come to see. Heike Vester from Oceansound in Henningsvær explained to us how the orcas have changed their habits. They were 600 orcas in the Tysfjord until 3 years ago, only 200 last year and probably less this year.

No herrings, no whales! But who must be blamed. The fishermen? The government that creates the fishing regulations? Everyone of us in our consumer society? Every little things we do that polluting the sea and the inhabitants?
I keep wondering but, dear Santa Claus, this is the subject of my letter to you this winter. Instead of the last Nikon lens I already have asked for you, instead of all the books you usually give me, could you please bring this year one or two millions tons of the herrings? So that the orcas return there, for the next guest of the Noorderlicht.

Thank you for all,
see you soon,
Aurore Mamet from France

P.S.: I hope you understood this present is to be delivered directly to the Tysfjord. Lofoten, Norway, and NOT to my home this year. Thank you so much.

P.S. (bis): My cat says that anyway, if few herrings do arrive at home under the Christmas Tree, it won't be a problem – do your best! -