260708 Rush on Märket
Today was the busiest day so far, we had nearly 100 visitors! Along with the first group came the new shift of lighthouse keepers: Jens, Katariina and Tatu, who are normally working in Bengtskär lighthouse in the south. The new shift was very impressed of the warm cosiness of Märket and everyone was working hard on their first day. Jens was busy all day guiding the visitors, he had 11 tours altogether. Päivi and Jake continue next week.
Other big news from Märket today was a visit of Eriksson brothers, who had worked here before the 1976 automation. Karl-Erik, "Kee", was wery delighted to visit Märket once again and told stories during the guiding. "It is a very positive thing that the young are interested in saving this special lighthouse" he added.
We also heard greetings and news from Gustavsvärn, the ”home” lighthouse for the Finnish Lighthouse Society near Hanko. The team of five volunteers the worked very hard today, managing to remove the metal structures that were causing fatigue to the structures of the building they are repairing. The tough aspect of the job is that the structures weighed over half a tonne! After this laborious task they – naturally - enjoyed sauna.
Greetings from the reef
Jens, Katariina, Tatu, Päivi and Jake
270708 Animals and Algae
Second day for the new shift, sunny (21deg) and a bit windy (8NE). Constructions and repairs were carried out as there were only few tourists visiting today. One particularly brave man from Turku came with a small rubber boat from Understen. He had been visiting Finnish lighthouses in the archipelago area. After Katariina’s sturdy guiding session he was ready to set off. Along he went with his 5hp engine on the back. We wish good luck on his voyage!
Animal news update from Märket: A frontline fighter against small insects was lost as we found a small swallow lying breathless from the roof of our boatshed. A small and traditional sea funeral was held. Another more positive piece of news was that a frog was removed from the cellar and was set free to enjoy the nice weather.
The work for the repair of the window frames continued along the day. Jens also repaired a small split from the NE corner of the old toilet.
Few paddlers (two of which overnighted) waited until the wind eased in the afternoon and left the Märket rock. The algae raft finally arrived to Märket, the "porridge" is situated on the southern bay area of the rock.
Ville sent us more work for tomorrow. The sauna will be cleaned and all the window repairs continue.
We are having a celebrational dinner outside as Päivi and Jake are having their second engagement day today. Congratulations!
280708 Findings in the Cellar
Another day, another dollar, this is true unless you are a volunteer lighthouse keeper. Today the wind continued from NE with 10m/s and we completed our tasks to upkeep and repair the Märket lighthouse. Tatu fixed and cleaned the rubber boat. Katariina and Jake did an excellent job building a shelf to the boatshed. Jens also started a shelf building project. The project outcome looks promising.
Exceptionally, all tourists who visited Märket today were Finns. A boatload came with a big sailing boat from Naantali, and they were enthusiasticly photographing every aspect of the rock. They thanked us and left for their ship for a nice dinner.
We found some original paint from the cellar while cleaning it. Some ideas were heard to paint the lighthouse after finishing the window repairs. Jens and Katariina removed the sink and the wooden plate holding it from the sauna.
Jake is soon going to try the "deodosoap" we encountered during the tidying of the cellar. Tomorrow we will report if Jake is still with us or is his skin fragrance evolved with this special product.
290708 Findings in the Cellar, part 2
Greetings from Märket. Today we were listening sea weather reports from the radio: "Märket +19, NE 7m/s, good visibility". We agreed with the reporter as we looked out of the window. Enjoyable weather.
There were no visitors today, only a boat from Åland came with divers. They spend most of the day on the rock next to Märket. Maybe the sea was cold. Also the coast guard came to see what the divers are up to. Apparently the intentions were honourable and the permission was granted to continue diving.
The cleaning of the cellar continued. We found a shelf full of paint and oil. Unfortunately the buckets were rusted through and we had a minor leakage on the first floor. Luckily we had the situation quickly under control and soon the buckets were placed into strong plastics bags.
We are also gladly reporting that Jake is still unharmed, after he used the notorious "deodosoap". Today the brave two new lighthouse keepers, Katariina and Jens, are going to test the product. We really hope that this "deodosoap" does not give any suprising long term effects.
Jens finished his shelf today. Rock solid piece of work. Katariina says that her shelf needs paint before putting the last pieces together. We are looking forward for the results with great interest.
300708 Visitors, visitors!
Weather in Märket +22, NE about 6 m/s, sunny, no clouds. My skin burned again...
Visitors today: some paddlers, a couple of motorboats and sailing boats. Because of the windy southern side, we had to pick most visitors up with our rubberboat. First visitors came about 9.30 am and the last ones left after 9 pm, so it was a day full of action. We also got a new team member. Risto replaced Tatu, who left Märket in the morning.
Tomorrow will be a busy day, a lot of visitors are coming. We also expect a boatfull of new tasks from the Lighthouse Society delegation, who will come and check out the job we have done.
Now its time for bed and listening some seals singing (or cargo ship engines...).
Good night! (tomorrow we'll write more details... :-)
310708 A Day in the Life on Märket
7.34 The day begins with a refreshing morning swim as the seals are watching curiously. After a few days of NE winds we now enjoy some southern wind.
8.15 We start the generator to hoover the 2nd floor from all the dust and to load all the electronical equipment on the island.
9.55 After the guiding the painting work continues inside the lighthouse.
10.57 Some boats are closing up in the horizon, might be some visitors, we'll see.
11.44 A rope system is tightened on the bridge, securing tourists and the lighthouse keepers from dropping three meters on solid rock.
12.32 Ville Holmberg arrives with Bror Humell and Villes children from Marienhamn. They start assembeling the door for the south house. The door has been built by former Märket lighthouse keeper Roland Carlberg. Ville also gives us new ideas to the reconstruction project.
13.16 We enjoy a tasty lunch: gulasch soup and traditional Åland bread.
14.03 The sun is shining and life is great, allthough Jens ate too much.
14.20 We have some visitors from Germany visiting the island for the second time. One of them is a journalist and he will write an article about Märket to a German travelling magazine.
14.55 The sun is still shining, but the wind has strenghtened quite much compared to the morning, scarying away all the small boats.
15.02 A group of local Archipelago natives come with a couple of New Zealanders to explore the resemblance between the two countries.
16.23 We have a lovely break as we enjoy coffee with delicious doughnuts baked by Päivi and Tiia. Ville revealed a new side of himself, he is a great fan of well done (=almost black) doughnuts.
16.40 Katariina and Jake start to strengthten the inner roof of the boat shed. Riski Risto and Power Päivi, our dynamic duo, reinstall the window frames.
17.57 We fix the shutter hooks for the window frames.
18.37 Jens cooks some outstanding vegan food as Jake takes care of the barbequeing.
21.09 Some of the lighthouse keepers transform into beachbums on the western side of the island hoping a night without rain.
Märket over and out.
010808 Feelings of leaving
The singing of two seals woke us up today. The fee was too high for the seals and language difficult - so we didn't get any guests today.
Instead of guiding Katariina made a weekly organizational schedule and we filled it up with next week tasks to help the new lighthousekeepers, who will arrive tomorrow.
Jens finished the outher surface on the concrete toilet with a manual grinder whereas Katariina prepared the futural grassfields with some biocompostal materia, though the area is kind of tiny.
We strenghtened the inner roof construction in the boatshelder and organized the tools to make sure that the new lighthousekeepers will find Märket in order. Risto and Jake repainted an old landmark compass situated on the eastern side of lighthouse as Päivi made some extremely tasty pancakes for our last night supper.
As the northern waves are raging, we wonder if it will be too stormy tomorrow to leave the island.
260708 Rush on Märket