Arriving in Suðuroy on a Sunday morning in June

It was in a world of fair-weather fog…

Forty-four hours of blank horizons and seasickness and suddenly, unannounced, we’re here. We sail slowly up the shelterered waters of the fjord. Cold fog blows over the sheeny surface. A kittiwake arcs over us and a couple of terns pick deftly at the sea to port. The fog rises, showing the hems of steep green hills, then settles back down. A pair of great northern divers, big dark birds, sit placidly in the sea ahead.

We tie up to a tyre-lined dock and step ashore. The town is pale-streeted and quiet except for the intermittent tolling of bells. We walk the length of the town, exchanging smiles with the odd passer-by, then come back to the boat to make a cup of tea. The customs officer steps aboard, apologising for coming late due to being at church. He asks us if we have any contraband then immediately answers for us, “of course you don’t,” laughs heartily, and welcomes us to the Faroes.

“We like it here already,” we tell him truthfully. And we set off once more to explore this island behind the fog, unable to shake the uncanny feeling that we’ve sailed out of time and have arrived in an earliness of some kind; as a native poet might put it, that we’re somehow here

with the whole unspoiled world
that God had made in the first days.

(Christian Matras)

silhouette of metal sculpture of rowing boat with three rowers and a coxon, mounted above a rock in mist

Vágur, Suðuroy, Føroyar / Faroe
16th June 2019