Saturday, July 3, 1976
Reindeer's 1976 Transatlantic Crossing
Blog Entry #23
Statue on the heights overlooking Vestmanna.
The bottom point of the spar almost points to
berth at the town ferry pier.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
After a brief look at Sakshavn, a very pretty bay with no people or houses, we sailed around to Vestmanna, where we tied to the pier and prepared for our 200th birthday. The significance of our hail-port on the transom - Philadelphia - was apparently not lost on the population, who knew that was where the liberty bell rang on the first fourth of July. We heard it mentioned frequently on the radio
~ p 102 ;
Down Denmark Strait
arrived in Vestmanna on an chilly misty Saturday, we found ourselves in an enchanting harbor wedged between high green mountains. Even though the town had a fishing village appearance, it appeared deserted with few boats along the shore or docks - no human activity when we pulled up alongside a concrete wharf and tied up. Within an hour, our presence attracted some young blonde boys who wanted to see what had had appeared on their wharf. It wasn't much later that activity began to show itself. People and cars began to arrive on a ferry very close to where we were located. My first impression was that maybe Reindeer had scared the locals to close their doors and lock their windows. We were, after all, an apparition of sorts; there were few sailboats and certainly no foreign craft that had our lines or look. Maybe their lighthouse lookouts had signalled ahead and warned the populace of our impending landing. The Americans are coming! I imagined that could be scary for a foreign vessel to invade the Faroese's private, remote waters. We certainly didn't expect any sort of greeting party, but we were surprised that maybe we had landed in a ghost town.
The Customs Officer at Sorvagur suggested the previous day that we we visit the festival at Vestmanna on Sunday, July 4th. He told us that it is a Danish tradition in the Faroes to celebrate July 4th, America's independence. As we were to discover, Denmark is the only other country in the world that celebrates American freedom on July 4th. So we could not believe our luck. It felt surreal that we had sailed over 2,000 miles to a foreign island nation, 450 miles from anywhere, to join in the freedom festivities of our nation.
However, somehow there wasn't the buzz of weekend activity I was used to back in the states as people picnic and prepare to celebrate the 4th.
Phil Parish and Frank Daiber strolled the town wharf while
is positioned between a naval cruiser and a trawler.
Eventually many curious young boys came by
to check us out.
A view of
mast between cruiser and trawler.
Another heightened view of
location in Vestmanna.
A view of Vestmanna, Faroes with
in foreground at town / ferry wharf.
We received an invite to tour the cruiser.