National Geographic : 1971 Jul
In the wardroom the first mate, Olav Morsund-a rangy man whose gray hair tossed and fell like the choppy seas off Ves terlen-deftly dismantled a boiled cod's head for morsels of sweet white flesh. I asked when he thought we would catch a whale. "Not today, I think. Tomorrow, maybe. Only Yesus knows." It turned out to be tomorrow. Napping in the fo'c'sle, I heard muffled shouts. I reached the crow's-nest just as Capt. Lars Breivik, braced wide-legged on the foredeck, fired the harpoon gun. An incredible bang jolted the ship. The barbed iron missile, weighing some 200 pounds, arced out lazily and buried itself deep in the whale's back. The great gray creature shuddered once and sounded, taking out fathom after fathom Vanishing into its own smog, the half-mile-long smelter of the Alnor Alu minum Plant near Haugesund spawns potfuls of molten metal. A cartborne metalworker stirs a caldron at the mam moth works. Hoppers lining both walls feed the pots with powdered alumina-refined bauxite. Rods arrayed like organ pipes and carrying 125,000 amperes of elec tricity generate heat that liberates pure aluminum. Drawn off into crucibles, the metal goes to a casting room to be poured into ingots for export (above). Aided by vast hydroelectric resources, Norway's industry burgeons, adding to the returns from forests, farms, fisheries, and a giant merchant marine.