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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Marie

King Crabs, Day 9

Updated: Sep 30, 2018

We are on vacation, but we still have to get up early for breakfast and our excursion. It is one of the best days of the cruise, weather-wise. Bright blue skies, but still cold. The sun makes it feel warmer though.

Today, our major port city is Kirkenes. Kirkenes is the last port on the northbound trip for Hurtigruten and only 10 kilometers from the Russian border. We had scheduled a fishing trip to catch King Crabs. We were picked up in a minivan and brought about 10 minutes down the road to get our equipment. Another RIB trip, so we needed our waterproof one-piece suits, gloves, a warm hat, and life jacket. After everyone was suited up, we climbed aboard the boats. Today was quite a difference than yesterday's trip. We were not going a far distance and there was no wind or waves. The boat captain took us out to a set of buoys in the water and he pulled up his basket of crabs from one of the buoys. He had checked them about 2 days ago. There were a lot of crabs in the basket. He told us that legally, he can only keep crabs that are male and that are of a certain size. He threw back in a female crab and a smaller one. All in all, he took 8 crabs back with us. Then, we boated back to his restaurant where they cook and serve the crabs. First, he showed us the most humane way to kill the crabs and then he began to remove the legs. Under the shell, there is only the vital organs and no meat. He threw the shells over the pier for the fish and seagulls. Of course, he gave us time to hold a crab for a photo op. Mark looked so good holding the crab . He steamed the crab legs in a large pot with a small amount of salt water for about 15 minutes. Finally it was time to eat. It is a lot of work to open the claws and get the meat out. We were given shears to cut through the shell. I couldn't believe how fast I got full eating the crab legs. The people at the table behind ours were still eating long after Mark and I were done. One trick that I learned was to use lemon juice on the crab legs. It helps with the digestion of the protein. The crab legs are all protein.

We got back just in time for lunch. Of course we weren't really hungry, but there is always room for dessert, so that's what we ate. We sat in the front of the ship (inside) all afternoon looking at the beautiful scenery and sky. So relaxing. Mark did walk outside every once in a while to take some pictures. We ported at the small town of Vardø, which is the easternmost town in Europe. We were not able to get out and walk around, just a delivery stop.

For dinner we had Sami Láibi which is soused herring, sour cream, egg and onion salad on a traditional Sami bread. I didn't get this, but was given cooked herring with egg and onion salad and no bread. Mark did not like the hard boiled eggs so I got to eat his. The main dish was reindeer meat with mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and potato purée. It was served with a wine and blueberry reduction. It was interesting to see red blueberries. They looked almost looked like lingonberries. Dessert was a waffle heart with vanilla curd and pickled rhubarb. I was given a gluten free waffle. The rhubarb was more like a jam and it wasn't sour. During dinner, they announced "Northern Lights". We didn't get up and run out as other did, but waited. We weren't disappointed when we went out later, the Northern Lights came to visit. The Northern Lights pictures are posted separately. Having trouble getting pictures posted, slow wifi.

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