Person or institution? In this particular case: both. Tórshavn, the port promenade undir Bryggjubakka next to Tinganes. Alongside the quay: colorful houses and all kinds of boats, including the majestic schooner Norðlýsið, just back from the dry dock. On deck: the person and institution I’m talking about. Skipper Birgir Enni.
Friend, unicum and – to my mind – a sort of unofficial ambassador of the Faroe Islands. A nation of seafarers that needs to be experienced by land and by sea. Birgir Enni makes it possible. It’s not just tourists that love to go on trips with Birgir and the Norðlýsið. It’s also the Faroese.
Always in the thick of the action: that’s where you’ll find Birgir. Born and raised in Tvøroyri on Suðuroy. Mechanic and blacksmith, mostly working with ships. Also industrial and deep-sea diver, trained in Copenhagen, in the field for 30 years. Countless times plunging into water and darkness, all around Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Underwater construction: Bridge piers, foundations, excavation of harbor basins. „Heavy work“, Birgir once told me. „In many cases, we didn’t even have suitable tools. We had to build them ourselves.“ Needless to say that Birgir not only knows all the best places for fish, sea urchins and mussels around the Faroes, but also all the beautiful spots and caves that can be reached by boat.
Sky-blue paint, Canadian oak, built in 1945 and primarily used as a fishing boat around the Faroes until 1980: that’s the Norðlýsið, ready to set sail for another season starting on 16 May, as things are now.
Once again, Birgir and the Norðlýsið will be in the spotlight, with sightseeing trips to Nólsoy and Hestur, concerts in caves („Concerto Grotto“) and spontaneous trips to Koltur and Stóra Dímun.
In the small kitchen under deck, Birgir prepares delicious seafood. The big pots are heavy, a thick rope is needed to lift them up on deck. For the trips to the caves, Birgir brings along dinghies.
On undir Bryggjubakka and on sea: You’ll always find Birgir being surrounded by people. Birgir Enni. Person and Faroese institution.
Birgir Enni and trips with the schooner on the net: Norðlýsið