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  • Writer's pictureMark


Torshavn is certainly the quietest capital city I have ever visited. We loved it. I got myself well and truly worked up about every potential hazard we could possibly encounter on our approach to The Faroe Islands so it was fantastic to moor up on a sheltered pontoon and take my brain out!

After four nights we decided to venture out and go cruising! It’s one thing getting somewhere but you don't actually become a cruiser of new waters until you go out for no other purpose than to sail and look around.

Local knowledge of this place would definitely be an advantage. We left the harbour, hoisted the sails and turned the engine off. It was blowing 20 knots. Three minutes later we were totally becalmed and it became clear to me that the topography plays with the wind in very strange ways. Over the next five miles we had headwinds, winds from astern, either side, strong winds and no wind! It totally outfoxed me so we put the engine on and motored clear of the headland where the wind was waiting for us. Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph! The instant we poked our nose beyond the headland, bam! 28 knots of stiff, cold Faroese wind. The fact that it had to blow across Iceland to reach us made it very cold indeed.

We had a lot on our hands but we managed and it was a fantastic sail upwind.

What do I remember about those two hours of sailing? Not much to be honest! All I can say is that it was bright, cold, windy and spectacular. Everywhere you look there is a sight to behold. I’m not going to be a knob about this and say that you can’t possibly imagine this place or that you have to be here in order to appreciate it because you can image it. I did and it looks pretty much what I, and I guess you, would imagine it to look like. What your imagination doesn't do is to prepare you for the sheer scale!

Imagine the greenest, tallest, most rugged hill you have ever seen. Got it? Now inject it with a ridiculous amount, no, a ludicrous amount of steroids. Got that? Ok, now imagine taking some 1960’s hallucinogenic drug that makes the waters running down it sparkle like silver tinsel and the sheer rock faces climb and stretch out of the water vertically and seemingly endlessly towards the sky. Got that? Ok, now imagine it in a fairytale kind of way. Got that too? Finally, turbo charge it, super charge it and turn everything up to the absolute max and then imagine looking up at all of this with wide eyes from a sailing boat way down at sea level. Got that?

Good because now you're onboard Altor of Down wondering how life has got you to this point! Wow! Absolutely f*cking WOW! It’s like waking from an incredibly vivid dream about an otherworldly dimension and then realising that you never actually went to sleep.

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