fredag 21. august 2009

Faroe Islands - the green cliffs westward. Part 2 

The next day we sail around Kalsoy("oy" is island). It is a long but beautiful detour we sail, on the way to Klaksvík. First, we motor out between Eysturoy and Nólsoy, before we head northeast towards Mjovanæs. From there we can see Botnstindur on the south end of Kalsoy. Botnstindur gives me associations to buildings on far more southern latitudes, and I come up with the implausible theory that the ancient pharaohs once have been here. Perhaps it was here they found the inspiration for what would later become the pyramids in the country of the sungods, namely Egypt. Of course this is just silly and trifling philosophing on my part. It is believed that the name Faroe Islands derrives from the far away islands or sheep islands witch will in nordic countries translate in to færøyene or the Faroe Islands.
When the Norwegian Vikings came to the islands in the year 795, they found Irish monks living on the islands. The monks were unable to convert the natives and later moved to Iceland. Since monks weren't engaged in what one might call sustainable development with its celibacy, it is likely to believe that Norwegian Vikings were responsible for most of the genepool. Later, it was diluted with Irish and Scottish genes, making the Faroe Islanders the fine men and women they are today. 
We proceed on the west side of Kalsoy and eventually come to the northern end of the island, and Kallur Headland which is Europes third-highest headland, with its almost 750 meters. Here, we anchor up and go by   rubber dinghy through a natural tunnel through the mountains. The whole thing is pretty spectacular. After a while, here we sail south along the east side of Kalsoy and reach Klaksvík out in the afternoon. 
In Klaksvík they are having a Summer Festival and all the Faroe Islands Varangians go out of their houses to participate, young and old side by side. We pay our six hundred crowns (120$) and go into the festival area. There are food stalls, trade stalls, barbeques and beertents with local bands and troubadours. We eat and drink a drop, while we are waiting for the Robin Gibb from the BeeGees to enter the scene. For us this was a surprise, we did not know what to expect from a festival in a small town of 5,000 people. The concert is great, and the only thing breaking the mood of Bee Gees classics is when the female choir sings the falsetto voices in the songs. It is just completely wrong. 
We had a great evening and night in Klaksvík and we met many nice Faroese people, including one who was willing to drive 30 minutes away to look for a radiator cap that maybe would fit the Volvo heat exchanger. Fortunately, Al fixed the problem before he was ready to go. 
Next day we sail north of Cape Enniberg 754 meters. Europe's second highest sea cliff promontory, or headland if you want. We sail onwards past Fugloy which is said to have been continuously inhabited since the 600's, the island has no safe haven nor good anchoring conditions. We have to be satisfied with waving and whistling from some of the 40 residents on the island. They are divided into two villages with a two mile piece of road between them. If people wish to go away from the islands they would either go by ferry which only docks in good weather, or use a helicopter transport to and from the island.

We sail on to Torshavn for Erik to disembark and for David and Delphine to embark. When we arrive, we keep a combined welcome and farewell party for the new and the old crew.

On board the Nordlysid we'll go the next day, along with a group of ordinary tourists on a short southbound cruise. We get time to become a little better acquainted with our new crew, as well as some of the other tourists on board. Along the way we ride straight  through the mountain in a spectacular naturemade cave, with Norlysid's tender. We get to tug a little halyards and sheets, and I am finally allowed by Captain Enni to climb up the rig to get a birds view perspective. In the evening Birgir invites the crew of Maryam on O-shells and mussels. It becomes be a late night, in the log it says: " good food and too much good drink".

After six days of education the day has come for farewell and departure. We have learned a desire to come back and much more about the Faroe Islands. We give our goodbye and so long to Birgir, Havard and others we have met. Then we are cast off by Bigir, and sails north among the majestic mountains. We are at sea again. Maryam baths in the golden and ruby red rays of the setting sun, as we head into a more Western course. We allow Europe's second and third highest promontory, or headland if you wish,  to slowly sink below the horizon with the rest of the Faroe Islands.

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