Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
Flying into the Faroe Islands from Iceland was pretty spectacular. I had seen pictures of what they looked like, but I’m not sure anything would have prepared me for the steep, treeless green hills, countless waterfalls, and a feeling that I had just discovered one of the world’s best-kept secrets.
Tórshavn, which means “Thor’s harbor” is on the island of Streymoy, and is the capital city of the Faroe Islands. It’s the largest city in the Faroes with about 12,700 people. It’s a charming harbor town with shops, restaurants, and the old town of Tinganes, with its iconic wooden, turf-roofed houses. These grass-covered roofs are found all over the islands and are picturesque wherever they are.
After being awake for over 30 hours, a good night’s sleep was in order. I slept for a full 12 hours or so and quickly adjusted to the 8 hour time difference from then on. It’s amazing how sleeping like the dead and a hot shower can make you feel like a shiny new person.
Before meeting up with the boat and the crew, I had a chance to explore this lovely town. There was a beautiful lighthouse, three different harbors, and time to just soak in the warm sun, new smells and awe-inspiring sights.
Hummingbird is a 60-foot yacht and is very easy to spot. She’s fairly big and has a beautiful painting of a hummingbird on her hull (the body of the boat).
Because I’m slightly accident prone, I nearly fell in as I was getting onto the boat. I stepped right on top of a black mooring rope that was camouflaged by the shadows. The slick rope rolled beneath my foot, and I lost my footing and fell. Luckily I have cat-like reflexes developed from past near death experiences, and I grabbed the wire safety railing. I was able to catch myself before slipping into the water between Hummingbird and the dock. As you can imagine, that would have been very bad, not to mention embarrassing. Bruce, the captain of the boat, was nearby and was able to save the day and help me up. If they didn’t know I was a rookie before, they seriously knew it now.
With that excellent introduction to the crew, things were off to a great start. I found an empty bunk and got my stuff stored away nicely.
We also got all geared up with foulies. “Foulies” or “waterproofs” are what they call intense waterproof and wind proof overalls and the matching jacket. They keep you warm and dry, and that’s one of the biggest keys to enjoying the sailing adventure.
One of the most important ways to ward off seasickness is not to get cold. I’m prone to getting seasick, so I’ll do about anything to NOT get seasick. I consider myself an expert in the stages of seasickness and wrote a little humorous post on the thoughts that go through your head during each stage.
After a full day of instruction and learning our way around the boat, we set off and made our way to one of the 18 other Faroe Islands.
What an amazing feeling to be back on the sea again. The wind in the sails, the water racing past you, and being completely and entirely in the moment. Being with people who share your love of adventure, sharing spectacular views, and just soaking it all in will always be special.
The wind and tide were with us, and we made it to our destination within just a few hours. The little village of Nolsoy had maybe 200 people and was as quaint as you’d imagine. We had some time to get out and explore and just fell in love with this place.
Everything we do depends on the elements and what they are doing. We watch the wind, the tides, and the direction and strength of each. This means we have to be flexible and have lots of options and plan b’s. It’s a skill I hope I will bring home with me.
I’ve learned that sailing doesn’t seem like a lot of work, but it can take some getting used to. All of us started to get a little stiff and sore in places we didn’t realize we had muscles. Mysterious bruises also started to appear. It’s a special skill to walk straight on a rocking boat. We all look a little funny but give us a few more days, and we’ll have it down. It truly amazes me how quickly we all adapt to a variety of some pretty foreign situations.