Still in dry suits after kayaking in the cold North Sea surrounding the Faroe Islands we are met by others in a tough little boat. Made with hard plastic rather than the softer stuff of which a normal rubber dingy is comprised, the rib boat takes us out into rougher water until the spray we make is twice the height of a man. The birds; mostly Northern Gannets that breed only in Mykines (pronounced mich-in-ess), veer around us in pattens that make me think of the formation of attacking spaceship destroyers in a sci-fi film. This adds to the sense of exhilaration resulting from speed, fresh air, clean salt water on my face and the bump of the boat as our hull lands on the trough of each wave.
Sea swell makes the horizon so close that I feel I can reach out and touch it and we turn into a cave that seems to glow from within. Steep, stark, intricately broken rock vaults above us. Not silver, black, brown, green or red, but depending on the light a combination of these colours and more. The rock walls arch above us with cathedral – like impressiveness and the cave echoes well as our able steerswoman demonstrates.
My new friends jump into the water and invite me to do the same. I decline. It’s probably silly, but the many layers of clothing under my dry suit already make me feel as if my entire body’s wrapped in a tight pressure bandage. While not restrictive it’s not comfortable either and I can’t imagine how I might be able to get back in the boat again, let alone swim in the green-black sea. The spray they make while playing in the water glows and I wish that I had my good camera to record the wonder of it all.
On our return the sea’s so bumpy that I find with surprise that it has jogged me off my seat and onto the floor. Better in than out! The dry suit would keep me warm but the current is strong and those waves are high. As we follow the coast back to our dock Eyðun Berg of CoastZone tells of how he helps friends herd sheep on the nearby land, once or twice a year. It’s a long hard day as they walk for 6 hours before reaching the sheep, which seem perfectly comfortable on the steepest incline with the tiniest patches of grass. Sometimes hauled up by ropes, the sheep are joined in twos and taken back into town which takes at least another 6 hours, so they must be exhausted at the end.