The Bottom at the Top of the World: diving in Norway

by Lana Rodlie

First published in Viking magazine in August 1993 with current updates.

Photography (in the original article) by Nils Aukan

Atlantic Highway has a weird curve to counteract North Sea storms – photo by Lana Rodlie

There they are – the seals, hundreds of them, basking in the sun, lounging on the rocks, playing with one another. But the perfect view is just out of reach – unless the photographer shifts into a precarious position. Nils Aukan straddles the boat`s railing, trailing his bare foot in the cool water, and leans out, taking picture after idyllic picture.

Suddenly Aukan realizes he`s not the seals`only afternoon visitor; and instantaneously, brings his leg bck in the boat as killer whales speed like torpedoes toward the seals – and him. Aukan pauses just long enough to count nine whales before surrendering the area.

“They came out of nowhere and went for the seals,” he says. Ì don`t believe the whales would have gone for me, but in that terrific speed, I am not sure they would see the difference between a seal and a diver.”

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