Saltstraumen is the worlds largest tidal current. The maelstrom is created in a 3 kilometer long and 150 meter wide strait between the Skjerstad Fjord and the Salten Fjord, 32 kilometres from Bodø town centre.
400 million cubic meters of water flow through Saltstraumen n about 6 hours, balancing high and low tide between the two fjord basins.
The maelstraum can reach speeds up to 20 knots. Natures own "Bubble Bath" makes charachteristic whirlpools up to 10 meters in diameter. Locally these are called "cauldrons".
The direction of the current changes every 6 hours or so. For a short period the strait lays quite still, before the current picks up speed and the masses of water again cascades like a river. Nature's regularity causes this to happen four times a day. The time table is available at the tourist imformation office, at the nearby hotel and the camp site imformation kiosk.
The maelstrom brings food for large quantities of fish- Seagulls and fishermen gather round this wealth. The power of the maelstrom varies throughout the day, due to the moons positions, summer and winter solstice, wind and air pressure. Therefore the impression of teh maelstrom might not always be as overwhelming as when the current is strongest.
At the time of this picture, the current had just started running outwards, and would reach it's maximum power 1hour 10 minutes later.