The vestfjord with the " Lofoten "
The vestfjord is the bay that separates the island chain of the Lofoten from the Norwegian mainland. The importance of Vestfjord is that spawns in this bay of cod that comes every spring from the Barents Sea. Although the importance of fishing for cod has declined sharply by the quotas of the EU, 2005 or 37,000 tonnes of cod were caught in vestfjord.
The " gateway" to vestfjord is the town of Bodø, located about 100 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. From there, the vestfjord draws about 200 km to the north- east to the Vesterålen Hinnøya. The main towns on vestfjord besides the Lofotenstädte Svolvær and Bodø Stamsund, both docking stations for ships of the Hurtigruten. Ferry connections are there between Bodø and Moskenes at Sørvågen and between Skutvika and Svolvær. Famous is the maelstrom or Moskenstraumen in vestfjord, the " 20,000 miles under the sea " plays a role in the literature, for example, in Jules Verne in his novel and Edgar Allan Poe. The Maelstrom is a tidal current caused by the fact that at high tide the water is pressed with tremendous force through the narrow gap between the Lofoten Moskenesøy and Værøy through.
The vestfjord lies above the Arctic Circle, about the same height as the northern Alaska and central Greenland. Nevertheless, the climate for these high latitudes is very mild, because the Gulf Stream ensures that the waters in the winter when the sun does not come six weeks over the horizon and the polar night is lit only by polar lights, remain free of ice. The temperature drops in winter hardly below -10 degrees Celsius. However, the winters are long - until the end of May beginning of spring and the end of September, it may already snowing again. Summers can be quite hot - up to 30 degrees are quite possible in August. Then bathe the Norwegians in the Arctic Ocean. In summer, the sun sets over the vestfjord four to six weeks (depending on latitude) not under the midnight sun and offers a fascinating spectacle.
The vestfjord was for the Norwegian society of very great importance, because in the months of February and March met since the 12th century, thousands of fishermen to chase the cod, also known as cod or Skrei. The fish came out of the Barents Sea in the north to spawn here. The Norwegian dried fish, dried cod and stockfish as he came on the market, especially the Italians and Portuguese bought him to feed the teams from their merchant ships, which were often months at a time. In these countries, the codfish is also true today as a delicacy. Today, the importance of fishing for cod in Norway has declined, a source of wealth for the country is now more oil. Yet still come hundreds of fishermen every year to hunt the cod in vestfjord. On the coast, numerous fish processing factories, the capture, and on the banks, especially on the offshore island group of Lofoten, until mid- June, the large drying racks can be seen on which dries the salted cod. In March there are in the fjord for anglers the world championship in cod fishing - a reference by the way, that the coasts are very accessible to tourists today on vestfjord. Anglers will find there next cod and halibut, wolffish, haddock, saithe, herring and some other delicacy. Also whaling has on vestfjord tradition. Today, however, chasing the few whalers, which still exist, especially on the high seas. With a bit of luck in vestfjord pork and orcas and sometimes even larger specimens of the whale family can be seen cavorting in the rich fishing grounds.