Monday, 4 July 2016

Birgir Enni

Birgir Enni 4.07.16

Ohmygod Ohmygod Ohmygod!

How do I get myself away from here? I think I need a chat with Marita, but when? Last seen heading to Tórshavn, (a place I've yet to visit but there was no invitation to join her.) It's now 7.45pm and I've not seen her. Not that I necessarily should have done but this is the first evening that there actually are no guests! It would be good to talk, I wonder how to pin her down

In fact, I enjoyed my earlier, bench writing, time and then went home for a doze. I woke with a start not knowing what the time was, thinking my alarm had gone off and I'd accidentally pressed off rather than snooze and just gone back to sleep. I was relieved to find it 5.30pm. No housekeeping chores for me this afternoon then. 

Ohmygod, I found an advert for sailing trips and, just as you do, sent off an email the other day......
Hi Birgir
It's a bit of a long shot but worth a try! 
I'm in the Faroes for the rest of July and am looking for adventure. I've stumbled upon Nordlysid and am mailing you in the hope that you might need an unpaid cook/deck hand! I've seen pictures of food being served on board. 
I worked on an Australian prawn trawler out at sea for a month in 2003 with responsibility for cooking for the crew and some deckhand work.
I worked on a dive boat in the Whitsundays as cook and deckhand in 2003.
I worked on a learn to sail yacht, sailing between Corsica and Sardinia for two weeks in 2014, mainly as translator (English skipper, French student) but also cook and deckhand.
I'm a friend of ocean rower, Tiny Little, just in case that might help for my cheek!
So I'm here, planning what to do, I love the ocean and thought I'd ask. I'm working unpaid in a guesthouse at the moment and trying to make a plan.
Here's hoping you like cheeky emails!!
Best wishes
Tina Potter
I've just received this reply....

Hey Tina !
you are more than wellcom to sail vith use we are busy at the moment.
you can stay ombord if you want.
Best Regards Birgir telefon +298218520

Ohmygod Ohmygod Ohmygod here's where commitment gets tricky but how can I not accept?!?! I HAVE to go!

On he is listed as number one of the 'must do's' and described thus...

A boat trip with the old wooden vessel Norðlýsið and skipper Birgir Enni is one of the top things to do after conference hours. Nature continues to surprise people during these trips, while puffins are skimming the waves, seals are basking on cliffs and a school of whales follow the vessel closely. Sailing close to the little islands of Hestur and Koltur you will be left in awe over the unbelievable power and glory of nature.

You'll also find him on FB if you search Birgir Enni.

You can't buy experiences like this. I love the risks, the disenchantment, the hard work, the payoffs.. You have to BE somewhere in order to make things happen. Trying to fix it all in advance is too hard, too much commitment usually for the host. Say I'm here, can you use me and bingo! Most of my experiences of working for my keep have been happen chance arrangements, being in the right place at the right time. I have a workaway host profile myself, I could use help with all manner of tasks but I can't handle the 'can we come in two months time' requests. Ask me for next week and I'm more likely to say yes, more likely to know whether I'll be home.

I think I stay until my next days off which seem as they might, after all, be when her family visit, and then take off. Dare I? Or maybe hang around until about the 15th taking my backpack with me but I can't take my backpack on a boat. No room! So then, do I negotiate to leave here then return?  No, I never go back, only move forwards. Maybe I could negotiate with an airbnb host to store my backpack in Tórshavn? 

I think I need to make more of my time here first, take advantage of the car and permission to roam, but just be sure to miss out the southern islands. Make a plan but always be ready to change the plan, that's what I learnt in Australia.

Happen chance. That's the best thing about travelling alone, the ever present option to up and away, the rewards that follow and always, of course, the ability to manage the inevitable pitfalls, the loneliness, the how could I get it so wrongness. The latter most clearly expressed, perhaps, by the Sami guys I thought were genuinely interested that I was interested in their culture. I accepted their hospitality, ate their raw dried reindeer meat, learned about ear marking and drank their moonshine with them. It came to a head one day with an unexpected 'if you don't fuck then fuck off' ah, ok, I got the message and put my thumb out the next day. It was May and the long Arctic winter was finally thawing.

The cost of accommodation is generally a minimum £50 a night so just leaving is not something I can do without careful thought. My couch surfing/virtual tourist connections have come to nothing, I have found other workaway  placements here but am reluctant to contact them unless, or until, I leave, it's too small a world to risk messing things up by other people talking to her before I do.

I'll wait a few days before I reply to Birgir. Perhaps. I do so hate using the telephone and I think he wants me to ring having given me his number. Maybe I'll mail a brief reply about being busy til the middle of the month and available thereafter. How does that sound?

I need to talk to her, need to persuade her to get another workawayer in so we have flexibility. There's another team of football referees coming in tomorrow so it'll be full on again for a few days without time to talk. Or, of course, I could seek confirmation that there really really REALLY are no bookings after the referees! Then she might like some time to herself.

It's times like this I feel disgruntled. Understandably so, I hope. If there was a diary I could look at bookings but it seems it's all kept in her head! Do you notice how she becomes 'her' or 'my host' when I'm feeling under pressure or miffed but its Marita when I'm in a good mood?

Remember that small unopened bottle of sauvignon blanc I found in the cupboard in the loo several days ago? It's just been lying around, moved from place to place, homeless. Her sisters last night had a major tidy up, including throwing away my rye bread so i think that's probably where it's gone too, though to be honest, I've found rather a special home for it and in the highly unlikely event of her missing it, I'll just tell her I drank it. It'll be cool. There's various carafes of wine lying around, untouched since I arrived, I dread to think what might happen if she offer one to a guest, it's probably vinegar!

The building is left unlocked 99% of the time and there's piles of money in the corner of the kitchen. The guests this morning handed me 600 kroner as they left, I didn't know they needed to pay. I popped it under the book she writes shopping lists in and told her later when she came in. She took  the shopping list book and just left the cash lying on the worktop. The building has been empty and unlocked all afternoon. I've tucked it with the other piles of dosh now.

I would like to know where I stand though. There's various tasks like doing the laundry, folding towels, putting the rubbish out, throwing away rotten food from the fridge, that I'm just doing automatically and whilst I can't help but feel she must be aware, she shows no signs of it.  I am reminded of Cathie, in Caernarvon, Western Australia begging me just to stay on when I finally said I would be leaving, catching the Coca Cola lorry at 4.30 in the morning. 

Fair Isle

Variable 4, becoming northwesterly 4 or 5.
Sea state
Slight or moderate.