Faroe Islands, part 3 -Nólsoy to Suðuroy

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the scenery on the run to Runavik

the scenery on the run to Runavik

Life at sea was starting to grow on me as the days turned into weeks roaming the Faroe Islands. My voyage, on the aging but reasonably comfy boat Johanna, had begun way down south, in Suðuroy, the southernmost island, in early June, visiting the islands of Sandoy, Streymoy and Nólsoy, in the first week.

Leaving Nólsoy, we made a brief overnight stop in capital Tórshavn again, before journeying north in the most glorious sunshine to grace the islands thus far into the trip. We followed Sundalagið, the inlet between two of the main islands, Streymoy and Eysturoy, enjoying excellent panoramic views of both, as we gently cruised past at a leisurely speed. The night was spent in the small community of Runavik, on Eysturoy, where sadly the sun deserted us and some very rough weather was coming our way.

The boat trip from Runavik on south-western Eysturoy to Leirvik, on the east coast of the same island, was by me spent in entirely horizontal fashion, lying in what I came to refer to as “my coffin” – the small hole in the wall assigned to me for sleeping purposes. Just managed to partake of lunch, holding onto my bowl of soup for dear life to stop it falling off the table, before lying down and staying down until we reached Leirvik where the rain was so torrential and the wind so fierce there was little point in venturing out to the boat museum – the reason behind us stopping there.

fishing huts in Klaksvik

fishing huts in Klaksvik

The pitching and rolling continued unabated the whole afternoon, pretty much all the way to Klaksvik, the second largest town on the islands, situated on the island of Borðoy, and our stop for a few nights.

Although it was still raining, just as we were trundling into the harbour, the mist was lifting in places, revealing spectacular high peaks surrounding the town on all sides. Klaksvik, with its 5,000 inhabitants, is the Faroes’ largest port and consequently it has a comparatively cosmopolitan feel and an abundance of bars, ranging from the hip and trendy to the downright scruffy. By an amazing stroke of luck I feel at home in either. I spent a few days exploring both bars and scenery, hiking the nearby hills and then recharging with the locals in Røykstova – yes, that place was on the scruffier side, but my Faroese improved no end after spending several evenings with semi-drunk fishermen and sailors.

Klaksvik in the mist

Klaksvik in the mist

From Klaksvik, Johanna was taking us back down to Suðuroy via Tórshavn, a journey that was set to take us most of the day. Leaving friendly Klaksvik behind, we had gorgeous views of two nearby islands, Kalsoy and Kunoy, rising steeply to the north of us. I stayed on deck, admiring the views as we raced towards Tórshavn, picking up more crew to finally be able to raise more than just the small sail. Johanna seemed to feel she was on the homerun now, heading towards her harbour back down in Vágur with a spring in her “step”.

For a change the seas were calm and quiet, a gentle sun slowly sliding down the horizon, as we sat down to an excellent dinner of freshly caught and freshly cooked salmon, courtesy of John, one of my fellow adventurers, hailing from the U.S. – an artist, lecturer and a very good cook to boot. We sailed past Sandoy, Skúvoy, Stora and Litla Dimun, before reaching the far south and docking at Vágur – our boat adventure around the Faroes was coming to an end.

And goodbye to the Johanna, my home for a few weeks ,

And goodbye to the Johanna, my home for a few weeks ,

Boat tripping might have ended, but we had a few days to spare and our kind Faroese crew took pains to show us some more of Suðuroy before we were leaving. Captain Kai and skipper Hans drove us round some of the nicest places the island had to offer, stopping at Famjin, home to the first Faroese flag ever made, housed in a tiny church by the waterfront. The scenery was all bright greenery, spectacular waterfalls, stunning cliffs and oodles of sheep. This is how I choose to remember these remote islands – pristine, quiet, scenic. And fluffy, very fluffy.

For more information about the Faroe Islands, click here.

Anna Maria travelled with The Clipperton Project which is a non-profit organisation with international reach, organising expeditions, exhibitions and various events. Most expeditions take place onboard ship.

Story and images © Anna Maria Espsäter

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