22 January, 2015

Tough Currents and Women

       (Please do click on these - and all other - photos in my blog, to see them bigger!!!)
Good guy...
the "harbour"
Mykines north face


"Today nobody gets away from Mykines," one of the elders said, overlooking the heavy swells that sent cascades of foam shooting up in the air. The small boat landing had the Atlantic delivering series of waves, making the bay white, breaking over shallows and cliffs.
    He did not know what a kayak can do.
tidal map
    "I will get out," I said, and pointed to an opening in the pattern of waves.
    "You might get out, but you will never get back," another old-timer commented in a factual voice.
    "You're right about that," I answered.

This is how people are on the Faroes. They know the sea. They do not express unnecessary worries. They trust your decisions. But as many islanders I have met in other parts, they care for you and help you, when help is needed. I assume this is an islanders specialty, and that it has always been like that out here, where you never know who will be in dire straits next.
    Today it is my turn, and I have to do my counting right.

the gorge with the rocks


Firstly, I need to get into the water without being washed in by the breakers. Secondly I must get out into open sea. Thirdly I need to analyse the rhythm of the bigger waves, in order to pass through a narrow gorge that split Mykines from Holmur (where the tunnel in the former episode runs parallel to this canyon). Last but not least, I need to do this in time to get along the north side of the island and back east, crossing the open stretch back to the rest of the Faroes during the change of tide. If I am too late, I simply do not know where I will end up.

I have rarely kayaked as hard as I did that day. Something went wrong with my calculations of the countercurrents on the north side of Mykines. Nevertheless I reached the town Vestmanna, where I got to know a wonderful bunch of Women, most notably Mia.


Can you sense the complete awesomeness?
Further north, I skirt the most hostile coast you can imaging, but under perfect conditions. Caves, cliffs, free standing monoliths and finally the small fisherman's village of Gjógv, from where their men has set out to sea in their small boats. Many would never return.

The route followed in this program more than any other, taught me that the best way - by far the best way - to experience the grandeur of the Faroes, is by kayak. See it yourself, and feel free to share or comment if you find it worthy.

It felt unreal to experience such perfect conditions.

Henk again

This weeks extra video is simply the lovely Henk again. He found this harmonica in a shop, in France I believe, and had to buy it. For weeks the instrument was at display in his cabin, before he got the courage to start and play. We had such a good time together in his boat. This is the kind of friendships you get, when you travel alone.

Safe travels!

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