Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Oldervik again, this time for Easter holidays

This week long Easter holiday we decided to go back to Oldervik, a small fishing village we spent our holidays at on two occasions before, it's approximately 40km north of Tromso. A quiet spot where the closest shop is also an hour away in Kroken, a suburb an hour away from the city across a fjord.

Our cabin, the River House sits on a small bluff overlooking a small river Oldervikelva and an has an amazing direct from the kitchen window view of the massive Lyngen Alps.

We flew via Oslo with Norwegian Air on a 0900hrs flight out of Stavanger Sola Airport  and touched down at Tromso Langness Airport at 1700hrs, we purposefully allowed ourselves a generous lay over at Oslo Gardemoen. Two hours later we were in Oldervik via a rented car. And the place is just as we left it last, just the way we like it.

The view on route to Langness, snowcapped mountains, plenty of total isolation for the 5.0 million Norwegian population.

The River House (in yellow), and our view from the front door towards Lyngen Alps across the fjord.

Part of the draw of the place is it's sheer location north of the 69 deg parallel, that's special on it's own virtue. A cabin close to the village without close neighbours but easily accessible is also a plus point. Though we don't use the bus service, regular village bus service ply the route right in front of our house to the center of the village. There's plenty on offer in terms of great views, nice walks in the woods, and a general quietness of a place away from the center of human activities. 

And then of course we have the northernlights given the right combination of factors, a CME and clear skies.  Our first visit here was end of May mostly for birds and general exploring. The second trip was for northernlights during the end of February (which turned out a balmy 5 deg C that year). We missed 2015 which was supposed to be a trip during autumn break. Now we are back for snow (the kids) and northernlights if it happens to turn up.

The much anticipated northernlights for visitors to Tromso, likely one of the top reasons visitors travel here. These pictures were captured in the backyard of River House.

Trips like this is great for getting out of the day to day routine of normal life. A special place like this always enhances the experience even more. We just love this village.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A year on chasing aurora in Hundvag, behind the house

This is the most recent video made on the Sony A7S (EF50/1.2), a recording made at a nature park locally known as Trolleskogen (or Troll's Woods) behind the house 16th Mar 2016.

Meanwhile this video below was recorded in front of the house also on Sony A7S, 15th of Dec 2015.

And this was recorded on timelapse almost a year ago on Canon 6D (EF24/1.4), 17th Apr 2015. It was  recorded circa 2am on a rocky outcrop just 300m north of Trolleskogen, a stone's throw away from residential spaces and a small marina.

I think it's been a super year for aurora in Stavanger, Norway. Frequent CME outbreaks, more clear nights and more people chasing after the wonderous events throughout the different locations in and around the city.

What started out as an accidental find while out on cold dark nights chasing Milkyway on Sele Beach sometime back in October 2014 has grown to 1100+ loosely grouped enthusiasts from all levels on FB group, Stavanger Aurora Chasers set up by Marisol Vaca.

An aurora event captured at Sele Beach, 17th Oct 2014 while out chasing Milkyway, while  the image on the bottom was from Lundenesset, Hundvag the following night (surely if you can see it in Sele, you can see it from Hundvag).

Actually the first posting I saw about the possibility of aurora this far south is from a blurry mobile phone posting from one of the expats on the FB group, Stavanger Expats suggesting that it was indeed possible to see them here. It's come a long way since then,  there are now appreciable number of people looking out for aurora  whenever the group raises alerts of the possibility of sightings following a CME on good, clear nights in Stavanger. There will be quite a number of folks at numerous locations enjoying the spectacle whenever it's visible here.

Personally as well, I changed from shooting aurora timelapse with Canon 40D or 7D with Samyang 8/2.5 lens to shooting videos and stills on full frame cameras A7S or 6D with a couple of fast lenses. It's a fast learning moment, but it's been a happy one. Next stage will be involving star tracking, pan and tilt and maybe even sliding motion.

It's been a lot of joy for quite a few people especially those who saw it for the first time, and what makes it extra special is the occasions to see them this far south  of the 69.

A year on sine the first sighting on Sele, here's to more CME outbreaks!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Moonlit night over the City

When the fog rolled in at lower elevations, the half moon was just floating over the city of Stavanger, Norway.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A blast with Aurora in the backyard

The past few nights (March 14th -March 16th) has been a blast where the aurora was concerned. Predicted CMEs came as predicted, the nights has been awesome starting early on the 14th and peaking probably the morning of 16th.

This time around I decided to skip the usual beach location down in Sele, as well the Skien site which gets brighter every night with the tunnel work. Just on a whim on the first night, I decided to pop by Trolleskogen, a wooded recreation park near the house. During the day it's popular with family picnickers, joggers and dogwalkers, however at night it was practically empty. On these winter nights you can be sure that it's even less used.

My hunch was rewarded, the sighting spot is slightly elevated and slopes down to the rocky coast. so the fisrt two nights I spent recording from Trolleskogen, 2 m from where the car was parked. On the thrid night I ventured further down the rocky coast and found a gem of a place ... complete with swans, pine trees and rocks. It spot is along a walking trail, but who's walking in the dead of a cold winter's night anyways. I had the spot all to myself ...

March 14th

March 14th

March 15th

March 15th

March 15th 

March 16th

March 16th

March 16th
March 15th

March 15th

March 16th

Watch the recorded aurora video on youtube.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Currency Exchange 18th Feb and back 10 years.

1998 and 2008 saw the biggest financial crash post 1929 depression, too bad there's no way to find any currency exchange data dating back all the way to 1929 and beyond. The "conspiracy theorists" world is abuzz with another imminent crash since 2011. The Big Collapse is projected to take place anyday now within this coming decade. Federal Reserve Bank, Central Banks, Cashless world, deflation, hyper inflation, gold and silver feature heavily in the doomsday prophets speech.

Free market isn't free afterall ... most agree that it's a rigged system. You are either in, or you are out. 

Malaysian Rinngit to the USD

Thai Baht to the USD
Indonesian Rupiah to the USD
South Korean Won to the USD

Brunei Dollars to the USD
Singapore Dollars to the USD
Chinese Renminbi  to the USD
Euro to USD
Norwegian Kroner to USD
Danish Kroner to USD
Swedish Kroner to the USD
Swiss Franc to the USD

Bill Bonner's Run on the Banks in the US Scenario

Moneyweek's Paul Hodges Interview, Sep 2015

Mike Maloney from 2010.

Financial Meltdown 2008, can it happen again?