Woke up in our Hamningberg home and drove the beautiful drive back to Vardø but not before taking some last photos in the beautiful landscape.

Back in Vardø we did some filming of us walking into the fortress (which I explored exhaustively with Jeff and Joni a few days before inevitably making my “surprised” reactions far less believable.) It’s here that Fridtjof explained the team competition – each team would be dressed as witches, and would cast spells on the townsfolk, all while on flying broomsticks. With the troll, I’d be sitting this one out – but it sounded like a TON of fun – even more so when I saw the “flying broomsticks” were actually all terrain Segway’s equipped with brooms!

My next three hours consisted of napping, showering, and listening to three podcasts out at the lighthouse.

People came back and we all had a late lunch, before returning to the fortress for results. (Admittedly I was a bit jealous when I learned that “casting spells” on villagers meant hitting them with water balloons! I’d have done great in this competition!)

The Red Team had the advantage of 2 extra water balloons, but in the end it didn’t matter at all – red hit 11 villagers while blue only hit 6. Apparently Richard and Tom went a combined 7 for 10. This was a week built for Richard – he used to play baseball too. Combine that with carrying 8 people and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him get the spirit award this week. If Lauren goes home, I could see it going to Joni (keep reading today’s entry) to keep more girls around… BUT my guesses haven’t been great thus far, so it’s all up in the air. This means Wednesday we’ll lose Johnny, Jeff, Joni, or Lauren. Tough stuff. Kelsey extends her winning streak to 4 weeks in a row with the victory.

After the competition we check into our hotel rooms. (I’d been checked in all day), but then quickly head out on a walk. We’re taken towards some really cool street art of 2 guys from the renaissance fencing. It’s a great piece, but again, I’d seen it twice on walks to the lighthouse, so my “surprise” reaction may seem a little overacted or fake. With that said, Thomas recognizes the artist by their style immediately (Connor Harrington). He’s known for his use of negative space, the era of art he depicts, and paint drips coming off his work.

Not much later on our walk, we’re taken to the pier where we’re greeted by a couple of official looking guys. We learn one is a crab fisherman, and the other is a crab buyer – and that they’d just caught some king crab and needed our help! Excellent!

We soon see a bin FULL of enormous king crab. We’re talking 9 lb (4+ kg) animals. They look like a mix between a spider and a beetle, but gigantic! I’m used to seeing Dungeness crab, but haven’t seen as many king crab in my life.

We all sort and weigh the crabs before choosing a couple for dinner that Joni and Jeff split in half on a metal edge like savages! (Joni was particularly excited it seemed!)

We were then treated to a fresh meal of king crab. Unfortunately I’m allergic to shellfish, so while I could pick the crab up – I couldn’t chow down like the rest. Regardless, I love the smell, and Lauren (vegan) and I had a great time crushing the bread and garlic butter. We chatted as if it were almost midnight, even though it was around 8:30, a white lie I’m happy to tell being that we were discussing the midnight sun and from 8:30 to 11:30 there’s essentially no change in lighting.

We came back to the hotel for a “real” dinner (all that king crab didn’t count I guess?) – our 5th meal of the day.

After dinner we crowd around a TV and watch a slideshow of Tormud’s top 422 pics of the trip so far, followed by all the behind the scenes video’s Fridtjof has put together for Facebook! This was all sooooo cool, and a reminder of all that we’ve done in the last month. Our typical limit of one “unit” (beer or glass of wine or soda) was 2 on this night, which was then increased again to 3, and then 4. I’m not a beer or wine fan, so I slipped each of my units to friends who would enjoy them more. The slide show and videos didn’t end until midnight, but with it still being light out, it was easy for folks to stay up.

While most folks stuck around having a few more drinks, I ventured to the other side of the bridge (just “opened up” for us) to check out the street art and anything else I may find. I felt like another part of town had just opened in Grand Theft Auto – I could instantly explore everything, but it was a ghost town at 12:30 AM. I liked the Eternal Light Eternal Night up close, along with COD IS GREAT – both done by Steve Powers. There were a few other great pieces by Pobel, and a spiderman done by “The Norwegian Banksy” (Dolk) according to Thomas.

When I got back to the hotel around 1:30 I expected it to be quiet and everyone to be in bed, but the party was just starting! After a couple more hours of cards and having a great time with the cast and crew (kudos to the crew for going hard) I went to bed around 3AM. About 15 folks kept the party going into the night.