Second day on my November trip to the Faroe Islands, and we were off on an epic adventure sailing the fjords and open ocean between some of the 18 islands.
Jens had recently bought a new sailboat in Fuglafjørður, the 6th largest village in the country located 70 km from Vestmanna, and Solveig and I were invited to pick it up and sail it home with him! A day on the ocean sounded amazing, so of course we couldn’t say no to such an experience!
The plan was to sail from Fuglafjørður along the southeastern coast of Eysturoy overlooking Kalsoy, Kunoy and Borðoy to the east, then down to Tórshavn on Streymoy with Nólsoy to the east through the Nólsoyarfjørður strait and around the southern tip of Streymoy through the strait of Hestfjørður, where the islands of Sandoy, Hestur and Koltur appear. For the last stretch, we would sail through the strait of Vestmannasund with Vágar to the west and Streymoy to the east and up to Vestmanna. But, unfortunately, Solveig and I only made it halfway, to Nólsoy.
We woke up early on the Sunday morning and left for Fuglafjørður. The drive took just over an hour and it was beautiful with the sun rising over the mountains and the winding fjords.
Once in Fuglafjørður, we met up with the old owner of the boat, who was going to sail with us to Vestmanna. The sun was still rising, reflecting itself and the mountains in the harbour water. It was the most beautiful sight.
We set off at 9.15 AM for a trip that was estimated to take 8 hours.
The first few hours were really smooth. There was no wind at all, and Solveig and I sat on the deck looking out at the calm ocean and the Northern Isles. We sailed past Blankskali, an abandoned village on the southernmost tip of Kalsoy, and in the distance we could see the gorge that leads down to Skarð, another abandoned village with an interesting and frightening history.
The weather was clear and sunny the entire day, so we were really lucky. It was a rare mild – almost warm – November day on the Faroe Islands. Those definitely don’t come in packs!
When we left Borðoy behind, we only had Eysturoy on one side and open ocean on the other. The boat starting rocking like anything, and Solveig started feeling seasick. I’ve never been seasick, but this time I could feel it a bit too! On top of this, the boat’s motor stopped working, so we were sailing slowly only by the seal. When Solveig expressed a wish to get off as soon as possible, I naturally agreed and arranged for Jens to drop us off on Nólsoy, from where we could catch a ferry to Tórshavn.
Of course it was a shame that we wouldn’t get to experience the rest of the trip, but I would much rather stay with Solveig than abandon her for good views! Afterall, the Faroe Islands will always be there!
It felt like forever until we finally reached the one and only village on Nólsoy. At 1 PM, we arrived there, just under four hours after we had left Fuglafjørður. As you might know, I come back to the Faroe Islands a lot. This is my 7th visit, and I’m sure I won’t ever be done with things that I want to see or do here. That’s also why I know that I’ll see that last stretch of the trip by boat some other day.
We went for a small walk through the quaint village, before catching the ferry to Tórshavn at 1.30 PM. 20 minutes later, we arrived in the sunny capital.
Since it was a Sunday, everything was closed, so we didn’t think it would be much fun staying in Tórshavn. But instead of going home, we had promised Jens to pick up the car in Fuglafjørður, so we hitchhiked all the way there, which took about an hour, and got us in the cars of four friendly locals. Hitchhiking that day went smoothly – we didn’t have to wait for long at any of the stops! People in the Faroe Islands are so kind to each other as well as tourists, and they never mind helping out!
When we finally got back to Fuglafjørður, there was just 45 minutes until sunset. We really wanted to spend those minutes exploring something, and had planned on going to Saksun. But… Stupid as I am, I had lost the key to the car!
In the Faroe Islands it’s common to leave your house and car unlocked, because you know everyone and no one will ever try to steal anything there. Also, it’s normal to leave the key in the car! I was the one driving the car in the morning, and Jens had told me where to put the key but when we got back there in the afternoon, I just could not remember where I had put it!
I felt sure that I must’ve taken it with me on the boat or lost it somewhere, and we actually managed to spend 40 minutes looking for the key in – almost – every corner of the car, but it was nowhere to be found. Eventually, we got hold of Rigmor, who told us to look in the exact spot where I had put it in the morning. The only place we hadn’t yet looked.
I felt so stupid. Had I just been able to think, we would’ve made it to Saksun in daylight, but nope. At least we had something to laugh about for the entire trip home 😉
Although the sun had already set and it was getting dark, we decided to take a trip out to Saksun anyways. Saksun is a quaint and tiny village with a population of just 8. It’s the cutest village in the country, surrounded by high mountains above a tidal lagoon with turf-roof houses and an isolated, turf-roofed church. A man I know called Erling (I stayed with him and his wife Asa for two weeks back in March 2015) owns one of the turf-roofed houses, and he has told me that I’m always welcome there.
I wanted to show the quaint little house to Solveig. It looks like a museum, like time has stopped in there in 1910. I’ve been there many times since March 2015, but unfortunately, it’s now for sale, so this time might have been my last.
In complete darkness, we headed back to the main road and further on to Vestmanna, happy to be back home after a long, at times stressful, but lovely day in the majestic Faroese wilderness.