Nine men, wearing suits, goggles and gloves. Nine Faroese on their way from Streymoy to Eysturoy. Means of transportation: physical strength. Only stopover: Flesjarnar, a group of skerries located between Hvítanes and Toftir. Distance: approximately 4,5 kilometers.
A weekend in July, receiving the message I have been waiting for. „Hi Anja, we are going to swim tomorrow. You are welcome to participate. Winking smiley icon.“ I have watched Eyðun Húsgarð doing the crawl in the North Atlantic before. He is a member of the swimming club of Tórshavn, Havnar Svimjifelag, he wants all Faroese kids to be able to swim properly, and he’s not cold easily.
In Hvítanes, a village on Streymoy’s east coast, northeast of Hoyvík and Tórshavn, Eyðun wears swimming gloves, climbing slippery rocks and sliding into the water, together with the other swimmers. He will take his gloves off later, getting hot. We watch events on board ship: Jóannes Eidesgaard accompanies the swimmers by boat, together with Anna Eidesgaard.
The Magnificent Nine. Nine men, nine swimmers in triathlon suits. Erlendur Simonsen, Eyðun Húsgarð, Sámal Olsen, Leivur Michelsen, Jon Hestoy, Eyðun Bærentsen, Jákup Enni, Erling Eidesgaard and Remi Lamhauge, on their way to Flesjarnar, at that very moment. Average water temperature: 13 degrees Celsius. Audience: gulls and a nosy seal.
About 50 minutes later. Shadow play against the light, close to the radar reflector and the light signal mast. The swimmers have reached Flesjarnar.
Short break, coming to a decision: almost all swimmers want to carry on. The idea of reaching the other side is too tempting. Fixing suits, goggles and gloves, plunging into water and doing the crawl, again.
Swimmers’ reward: finding a hidden island. A mirage? Nothing of the sort. Rather some kind of underwater rock or flooded skerry the swimmers gather around, „walking“ in water, waving. What a sight!
Another 40 minutes later, and we are happy to declare „mission accomplished“. In the harbor of Nes on Eysturoy, the swimmers go ashore. Hats off! A truly convincing performance.
Post scriptum: In case you’re wondering. On their way back to Streymoy, the swimmers actually took the boat. My guess: They didn't want their akvavit diluted with water.