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  • Writer's pictureAsha

Turning Point

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

After an amazing sail up the fjord between Streymoy and Vagar, we arrived in Vestmanna. As correctly pointed out by a Danish guy who we met on the pontoon in Torshavn, there wasn't much to do. We twice went for a walk to explore the town. We found two small boat harbours and a hydro-electric power station that looked brand new, despite being around 60 years old. As we wondered what people do here to entertain themselves we found two community halls with music and sound equipment set up, but nobody around to use it, perhaps due to the ongoing coronavirus saga. It certainly felt like everyone was staying at home and the only people we met were some local kids playing in a pretty cool outdoor basketball / five-a-side football enclosure. We had a vague plan to meet up with a Faroese friend of mine who lives on Vagar but the wind forecast had other ideas. Instead, we pushed on up and around the north coast of the two biggest island in the Faroes, Streymoy and Eysturoy.

The morning was bleak and foggy and as we exited the fiord we were met by very confused seas. The Atlantic swell rolling in from far away Iceland and Greenland was crashing into the dramatic cliffs of the north coast of the Faroe Islands and then bouncing back out to sea causing a lot of disturbance and making me feel sea sick. I felt very dizzy and nauseous as the boat moved up and down and corkscrewed on the confused waters. I really felt like I'd be hanging over the side of the cockpit any second but in my head I convinced myself that it was all fine! When we were in Stornoway we met a couple called Monique and Drake (YouTube - Drake Paragon - Real Cruising Life) and Monique was kind enough to give me some seasickness tablets that are only available in the Faroe Islands. They seemed to work well for me on the passage up here and on the basis that I wasn’t actually sick today, things are looking up! Fortunately after a couple of hours things calmed down and we had a great run into Fulgafjordur.

As the sun peeked through the clouds it transformed the greyscale world to technicolour. We could admire the luscious green of the cliffs, the steep slopes and colourful villages tucked safely in deep valleys. Despite the amazing views around and interesting culture I cannot imagine how can anyone lives in such a desolate place amongst unforgiving nature, wild winds and the northern cold. This is a recipe for rheumatism!

Although we didn't plan to seek them out, we sailed past two very famous rocks called the Giant and the Witch (or Hag) off the shore of Eysturoy. The Giant (Risin) is the 71m stack further from the coast, and the witch (Kellingin) is the 68m pointed stack nearer land, standing with legs apart. The legend tells a story of Icelandic giants who, envious of Faroes, wanted to drag them across to Iceland. Unsuccessful struggles to do the job at night ended up with a sorry morning, as the sun caught them an turned them to stone. Judging by the size of them in comparison to the Faroe Islands, the outcome sounds right.

We turned to starboard after the next headland of the Eysturoy and headed for Fuglafjordur. Our first impression of the town won our hearts with a neat visitors' pontoon tucked safely in the harbour. It is even equipped with a diesel pump which is good timing because we need a top up! The vibes here feel positive and shortly after our arrival a very friendly local came to talk to us. We already like it here which is just as well because looking at the forecasted wind, we may stay for a while!

Finally, today was quite a momentous day as we reached our most northern latitude of the entire trip before turning the bow towards Fulgafjordur. From here on, it's all south (for a while)!

The Giant and the Witch (or Hag)

North coast - doesn't the world look better with some sunshine :)

Tiny village tucked safely at the bottom of a valley.

Arriving in Fulgafjordur

On the way to Fulgafjordur

Vestmanna - Altor of Down moored against the concrete wall, which gave us a few grey hair.

Friendly Vestmannian

Vestmanna - looking towards fish farms

Panoramic view of Vestmanna

Waterfall beside the hydro-electric power station in Vestmanna

Small boat harbour in Vestmanna

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