local celebration

Fri 11 Jul 2014 21:13
We managed final bit of sorting out of boat, including washing out and refilling water tank, this morning. This involved rather Heath-Robinson joining of two hoses with self-amalgamating rubber tape (fourth time lucky – when we realised join was blowing apart because our hose was closed off). The large old vessel moored by us, the Torshavn, chugged off into town (slow revved 70 year-old diesel engine) for the town celebration, which necessitated moving another yacht, from Belgium, around.
Then we hiked through Tvoroyri to the top of the hill on the NE lip of the fjord, rather longer and steeper than we imagined. Lots of Wheatears tchakking around, Whimbrels and drumming Snipe. (Snipe display on their breeding grounds by flying around, rising and dropping, calling chukka chukka chukka and, on the downward phase, splaying out their outer tail feathers which vibrate against the others making a noise called ‘drumming’ but sounding more like a rough purring.) View, which would have been glorious and showing the other Faeroes, was obscured by cloud above 800 feet or so.
Back in town, we ate fish and chips and visited the turf-roofed museum (old doctor’s house & surgery), stocked by local communal effort with antique radios, sewing machines, typewriters, lighthouse bulbs, farm implements, boating paraphernalia etc, and a pair of frightening Neville-Barnes obstetric forceps among the old medical equipment. After stepping aboard the Torshavn to renew our acquaintance with the skipper and the former Danish royal yacht, we sampled local herring and mackerel petit fours prepared by the town fish processing factory, which is responsible for the rejuvenation of the local economy over the last 5-7 years.
There we met the three from the Belgian boat – a spritely 75 year-old orthopaedic/plastic surgeon and his specialist nurse wife and the boat’s skipper, a not-so-retired ITU/anaesthetist consultant. The former two returned last month form their 17th visit to Congo, operating on congenital limb deformities and clawed hands of children who had been severely burned, all well out of the major cities. The three of them were sailing to Greenland to look at wildlife – Polar bears, Baluga whales, Narwhals. Inside their boat (where we were invited to see their charts and their route through Orkney this morning), the cabin space is on two storeys! Like so much of this trip, this all seems so unreal.
The selected photo is of Knut the welder repairing the pushpit yesterday, before returning home to make a platform for shearing his 30 sheep. There are 48-50,000 people on the Faeroes, and 70,000 sheep.
It’s now drizzling – the more typical Faeroes weather. Steve served up drinking chocolate and it’s nearly time for bed. It’s a lot warmer now so we can remove clothes rather than put more on before tucking into our sleeping bags.
Greetings to all.
Trevor and Steve

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