There is an ice breaker on the way into the Nærøyfjord

There is an ice breaker on the way into the Nærøyfjord

– It's like playing a computer game. You have to be sharp and go back and forth, says captain Gisli Konradson.

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For three days, the Norwegian Coastal Administration used the icebreaker “Stadt Sløvåg” to break up the ice on the Nærøyfjord in Sogn, the world's narrowest fjord.

The video and pictures were taken by Ole Christian Flam on Wednesday when the icebreaker ran for the first time in Gudwangen.

– You hear the whole valley roar when the boat arrives, says Flåm on Thursday.

According to Tor Mikkel Tokvam, port manager at Aurland Port Authority, ice is not unusual in Nærøyfjord.

– It looks spectacular when the boat slides in. On Wednesday, the ice lay four nautical miles across the fjord from Gutvangen. We also had snow in November, otherwise most of the year, says Dokwam.

- After passing through Nærøyfjorden on Friday, a decision will be made on whether to continue breaking the ice.  It depends on the weather, says the captain.

The Harbor Master says that the Coastal Agency is managing the main link and sub link and is engaged in ice breaking.

– This is a trawler with a good glass of ice. All ships are classified according to the type of ice they can navigate. Gutvangen has a shipping route for the rock anorthosite, which is transported to Mos and Slovenia. Cargo ships come here 120 times a year, Dokwam says.

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On average, every three days, a cargo ship arrives at Gudwangen.

Now, when the glaciers are over Nærøyfjorden, tourists are transported to Sagfossen in Nærøyfjorden and back to Undredal.

– Our challenge is that zero-emission ships have light hulls that cannot go through ice. We have to operate all year round for tourism, and now the ice covers half of the Nærøyfjord, says the harbor manager.

Captain Gisli Konradson knows that breaking ice is not a quick job.

Icelander Gisli Konradsson is the captain on board “Stad Slovak”.

– The thickness of the ice varies from 5 to 30 centimeters, and 30 centimeters is the limit we can break. Konradson says the boat is 40 years old but well-maintained and has two engines and two thrusters.

The icebreaker creates a groove in the ice about 20 meters wide.

– Is it hard work?

– No, it's not difficult. But you have to realize what the ship can handle, and you can't get the job done quickly. The captain says to focus on the boat first.

He estimates they spent three hours breaking the ice on Wednesday.

– This morning the fjord froze again. It's now ten degrees below zero. A large river of fresh water flowing into the Nærøyfjord freezes it rapidly. We go back and forth and make a clearing approximately 20 meters wide. We spent two and a half hours today, says Thursday Konradson.

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Joshi Akinjide

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