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  • Writer's pictureMark

Home away from home!

It will be three weeks tomorrow since we arrived in Fuglafjordur. Since leaving Essex in March, this is the longest we have stayed in one place and this, together with Fuglafjordur being beautiful and full of friendly people, is probably why we feel so attached to the place.

Our pace has slowed since being here. We did hire a car and become ‘normal’ tourists for a few days and visited some incredible places. One such place was the island of Mykines and Asha is going to write about our weekend visiting her friend, who has a house on that truly beautiful island, in another blog. We are also going to make an Adventure Now episode about Mykines even though we didn't sail there. Please stay tuned for that!

I have previously written about the importance of having a cruising guide in addition to navigational charts and when I was planning the Faroese part of this adventure I bought a cruising guide written by a guy who has sailed extensively around the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland. His cruising guide covers all these areas and provides exactly the detail that you need. It covers the essentials of entry into ports, fjords and anchorages and includes details of any potential hazards and the effect of tide in easy to understand language plus loads of other good info. It is invaluable as a passage planning guide and also an excellent quick reference guide as you enter a place in real time.

I have often wondered what sort of people write these books. My voyages are always that of discovery and I have never got to a point where I think I can impart anything but the most rudimental advice to anyone else embarking on a similar voyage. Well, I wonder no more because as we were relaxing onboard Altor I spotted the author’s boat coming in and mooring on the other side of the harbour, alongside a fishing boat.

Asha and I wandered over to say hello to a fellow British visiting yacht and met Mike (Henderson) and his partner Helen.

The first thing Mike said to me was ‘You’re on my mooring’! To which I replied ‘I know, and if you hadn't written that book, I wouldn’t be’! When the piss taking starts immediately, you know someone’s company is going to be easy!

We spent a day and a couple of dinners with Mike and Helen and had a great time. Mike has been at this cruising malarky for many years and has sailed thousands of miles singlehanded. Helen also has her own boat and has sailed many miles too, both with crew and single-handed. Together they have sailed extensively and have even started charting areas of Greenland that haven't been charted before. They use a floating sonar ball that is towed behind a dinghy to build a picture of the seabed. It’s an incredible thing that you can hold in your hand. It soon became known as ‘Mike’s Magic Ball’ and if it’s magic, you only need one!

When you are a geek like me you have a million questions about all aspects of someone else’s boat. What equipment? How it’s set up? etc etc etc. However, I didn't need to worry about asking everything right there and then because we soon established that Mike’s daughter lives in Burnham-on-Crouch so we plan to catch up with Mike and Helen back down south around Christmas time! Honestly, it’s a joke how small this world is sometimes!!!

Through Mike and Helen we met Frimund, his wife Maribel and their two young boys, Frank and Fritz. They are a lovely family who live here in Fuglafjordur. We spent time with them also, had a lovely dinner at their house and they visited us aboard Altor. These are good times and we have met so many incredible people. We have socialised more in the last three weeks then we have in the last five months. We feel blessed and talking of socialising, it’s Eileen’s birthday today! Sjúrdur is away at sea, as is their son but we are going to their house to help celebrate her birthday along with their daughter, Ronja and Eileen’s Dad.

As I type it’s raining and it’s done that a lot lately but it really doesn’t matter. This place is so spectacular. I still haven't got it calibrated in my head but I do know that come rain or shine - this place is very special indeed.

The land of the giants!

A lovely view of Fuglafjordur after a hike up!

This is what a boat full of mackerel looks like!

Dinner at Frimund, Maribel, Frank & Fritz's house with Mike and Helen!

Mike's boat, Pangey, departing Fuglafjordur.

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