After 45 hours at sea we arrived in Torshavn. When you read about the approach, it is scary. The tides are significant and the seas that they can generate, depending on the wind conditions, can be dangerous. As a sailor born and bred on the east coast of England, the tide and it’s effect on the sea state is very familiar to me. When we approached the islands I was nervous but the wind wasn’t strong and I interpreted the tide atlas in such a way that I chose a route close in to a headland and up the shore beyond it. We worked along this shoreline for a couple of miles, out of the main tidal stream, before turning 90 degrees and heading across the fjord to Torshavn. The strategy worked and we evaded the strongest current and maintained a good speed all the way in. The trip was awesome and arriving in the Faroe Islands is a dream come true. However, I’m not going to say anything more about it now because we will cover that in a forthcoming Adventure Now video. Instead, this blog is about making obscene, and I do mean obscene, amounts of money!!!
For the sake of full disclosure the need for a coronavirus test upon our arrival was something we were aware about following research prior to departing Stornoway. Up until a few weeks ago, quarantine was the requirement on arrival but that isn't an option anymore. Anyone arriving here ‘must’ have a test prior to being free to move around these islands.
Yesterday morning at 7.30 we got into a ‘corona approved’ taxi. The beauty of being a sailor is that you can drink at any time of the day and not be considered an alcoholic. You are a pirate! I was bitterly disappointed not to be handed a corona on entering the taxi. An early morning beer without judgement was something I was looking forward to. I was wrong! ‘Corona approved’ simply meant that the driver had been tested for the virus. He was not about to crack open a beer!
All jokes aside, this is the tale of the tape......
We had previously been told by someone from the Port Authority that the test was free. On arrival at the test station, a building in an industrial estate with a crude tent erected outside, we registered online and joined the queue. At that time we were about 30th in line but within half an hour there were roughly 100 or so behind us and the queue was growing. There were some guys from a German boat, us and the rest were locals. After about 45 minutes we were inside the ‘medical facility’. This was just an empty room with some rather strange art inside and a partition each side where the test was being carried out. Here comes the rub! The test could only be carried out after you were handed a test tube with a bar code on it in exchange for the equivalent of GBP 47 per person. We had arrived at the pay station! Everyone in that queue was getting their hard earned money out and paying the fee. Taking the money was the time consuming part because after that we were guided to a seat, sat down, an extra long ear bud type of thing was rubbed for two or three seconds over the back of our tongues, placed in the test tube and we were told to exit the building!
I would estimate that less than 2 percent of people in the queue were wearing a mask, this includes being inside the building and it was only the testing staff wearing masks who were also feverishly wiping the payment machines down after every use!
Anyone who has read my blogs or seen our videos will know that I own more than a hint of cynicism about this whole affair but now that view has been concrete reinforced!
The ‘must have’ test was the least convincing medical procedure that I have ever witnessed as was the ‘chucked up’ medical facility itself. Must have? By what legislation? It seems that no one asks these questions because we are all being so very beautifully controlled by fear. For some it is the fear of contracting Covid 19 but for us, this is not the case. Our fear is simply not being able to be free and by having the test, assuming it comes back negative, we can then roam these beautiful islands freely. However, more than anything else, the most significant thing that has been achieved here is the extraction of Asha and my GBP 94 pounds. We have paid this to be told what we already know and to grant us the freedom that we should never have lost and certainly shouldn't have to pay for. Someone is making a killing from all of this!
Questions, questions, questions!
1) Where will this lead to? Will there be a Covid 20, 21, 22 or will it countdown to zero in such a way to increase fear in the masses of its increasing severity and thus increase control. Control by fear! It’s the number one tool for control, it’s been used forever and Covid 19 is a masterstroke of the modern day use of such fear.
2) Will we have to have a test every time we cross a border and if so, will this be at additional cost. If so, this is just payment for freedom. I thought the clue was in the part of the word that is ‘free’.
3) Will there be a compulsory vaccination? To even wonder this you must believe that it is even possible to vaccinate against a virus despite what we have all been previously told. Tell that to the millions of people suffering from HIV. If a vaccine against Covid can be potentially created so quickly then after 50 years of HIV surely a vaccine must be close? I am no expert, and couldn’t be further from it, but they are both virus’s so by definition they have to share some similarities, don't they? Just like different bacteria, fungus etc etc.
This is simply a question and a question, by definition, means I don’t know so in terms of its validity, this question is valid. In order to demonstrate true cynicism, I would have to say that scaring people into a vaccine for a virus that threatens each and every one of us (unless you are under 12) is much more lucrative than a virus that, in comparative terms, effects far less people in terms of numbers.
4) After compulsory vaccination, will there be compulsory boosters? Again, for a monetary fee or course. If not directly from your own pocket then maybe from the NHS or taxes. i.e indirectly from your own pocket.
5) This one is not really a question. It’s a statement. Asha and I feel a little used and abused and we now feel that we should have put two fingers up when we were asked to pay and sailed away again but fear of not being able to see this place made us diligently cough up so whatever the motivation, we too are guilty of going along with this. I need time to reflect on my / our actions, see how we feel and come to terms with having had our strings pulled. I am a little disappointed in myself but I hope that feeling will pass with time and freedom to look around. Well, let’s see what the test results say first!
Finally, I realise that more than ever, I have publicly put my cock on the block with this post and if I have offended anyone then you are free to ignore me, never read what I type again, dislike me, be angered by what I have said, report me or whatever you want to do. You are also, of course, free to agree with me. All I ask is that whatever your view and whatever you choose, just acknowledge that you can choose because you have the freedom to choose and if what has been going on over the last six months or so throughout the world is anything to go by, you should make the most of that freedom while you can.
Above all, questions, questions, questions! We are all free to ask them. We should ask them and we should demand answers that satisfy us.
The sun is out, Torshavn harbour looks wonderful and as soon as we can go out for a look, we will.