020808 Rowing and guiding
This morning we, the group of new light house keepers, arrived here with the help of big waves. A few miles before Märket seals were already
welcoming us. Granberg's boat Felicia could not get ashore. One of the keepers staying there came to pick up us with a small rubber boat.
The "old" keepers left dramatically. The outboard motor of the rubber boat suddenly died in the rough sea. A new keeper took a row boat and was already on his way to resque the drifting boat when the motor started working again.
We didn't need to wear any sun lotion but we needed the generator to send these notes. We had some drizzle rain in the evening.
At five pm came a sail boat with a friendly finnish couple. They took the guided tour and decided to stay overnight at the bouy.
030808 A rainy day inside
Ghosts didn't disturb our first night sleep in Märket. It was already raining before breakfast. Yesterday's life saver had slept the night in the warehouse that has no windows and had no door at the doorway. He defied the wild nature by doing the dishes in the early morning.
Because of the rainy day visitors were not to be expected and work had to be done all day indoors. Life guard from yesterday acted as the demolishing man and made a hole in the wall of machine room building. The hole looked like a doorway.
Meanwhile the door master installed the heavy door for the warehouse and repaired the doorway floor with concrete and bricks. Next night the wind will not scream in the ears of the demolishing man that much.
Ladies carried the most of the demolished wall out of the building. They also arranged and labelled the tools. By the way, did you know that vatupassi is vattenpass in Swedish?
The out of order sign from yesterday was partly ruined because of the leaking roof of the middle warehouse. The only guest today was not interested in guided tour nor cookies. She wanted to wander around the islet independently. We determined the guest to be an UWB, unidentified walking bird. Hers wings semmed to be only half-size. Later while still raining birds with full wings tried to enter the lighthouse but mistook the window for the door. The work day was ended by a swim in the green lagoon in Sweden.
Rainy wishes from Märket five
040808 Storm Rising
Last night we had to stay up really late because of severe problems with sending the daily report and pictures. For a moment we even considered to put the mail in a bottle and give it to the sea for delivery. This was perhaps an omen for the incoming storm.
At the breakfast time we noticed that the waves had grown bigger. After the porridge we went out to take some pictures. Some shots were taken in Sweden and some in Finland. Then we rushed to our daily work tasks.
While the others had a break in the kitchen the first day life saver was still slaving with cleaning up bricks and dust.
After the lunch the door master and his assistant started to make the new doorframes for the new doorway. At the same time the ladies started to prepare the old door for painting. They had to make an effort to get all rust and dirt away. The door master had to put a small piece of new steel plate on the door.
At dinner time the strong wind had strengthened further. For the dinner we had pancakes with strawberry and rasberry jam. The cook had some difficulties to get the eager workers to come inside to eat.
050808 Waves Washing Over
Last night we stayed up quite late debating the effects of the arriving storm. The strong wind was blowing from east, directly into the yard of the lighthouse. We decided to move some of the materials and equipment indoors.
Late at night the wind reached storm strength. At this state, the windows started to open and bang. The door master had to take some actions to save the windows. He managed to close and fasten the windows for the night. After this we were able to sleep well to the sound of the storm and enormous waves.
In the morning we started to check the islet and all material outside. Everything seemed to be OK. After the breakfast all of us went outside to take some pictures. Now the waves washed over the islet and there was two big rivers like Rio Grande. There was even a waterfall like Niagara.
Pekka urged our photographer to take many pictures. She was already taking pictures. Due to the strong wind we tied a rope around her waist. She continued to take pictures even if the waves washed over her. She just fetched another dry camera.
The doormaster and his assistant crafted a new bigger table top for the kitchen table. They also arranged and tidied up the whole kitchen.
060808 The First Visitor of the Week (and some news)
Finally the storm calmed down. Sky was clear and the sea bright blue. Past days we had observed both the wind and the sea so closely that the fact we hadn't got any visitors had slipped out of our minds.
Suddenly everybody was tense and waiting. Right after the breakfast the door master called out to bring him a pair of binoculars. The first guest of the week had just ashored on the west coast. There was a young seal sunbathing on the rocks. The photographer was sent to take a picture of it. The seal didn't mind being a model. That's why the photographer was soon accompanied by the doormaster and then the rest of the light keepers. The curious seal got everybody's full attention but crawled even closer to pose in a nice faceshot.
During the shift we have been forced to have lunch inside the lighthouse kitchen. Today everything was different - no storm, no rain, only sunshine. Therefore we decided to have lunch outdoors. After the lunch, while enjoying coffee, we saw a sea eagle flying towards Sweden. It returned to Finland in a few minutes.
Quite unexpectedly the doormaster delighted us day by making a new door. This one is for the old outdoor toilet, nowadays used as a shower room. The door repaired yesterday was painted in red. And now while writing these notes the doormaster is fixing the door of the kitchen closet. This must be the 4th door he has either crafted or fixed during his stay on Märket.
This night everbody is going to sleep outside. It might be the only oppurtunity for star gazing. We are expecting rain later this week.
News from the mainland!
The school class from Meinz, Germany that followed our work at Märket went to holidays on late June. Just before that they did a great thing with their teacher Walter. They all painted a lighthouse! And guess what? They sent the drawings in a post package to us hoping this would help us to save Märket. We will set an exhibition of them next year, on Märket of course! And that will certainly move people. So their contribution really supports our work.
The 25 drawings represent different styles of lighthouses. We publish here the one that - of course - resembles most Märket. This one is by John Tran.
Our best wishes goes to this nice school class that wants to keep Märket alive. We really wish that they or at least some of them can travel all the way to Märket to see the real lighthouse! It only takes two boats and one smaller boat to come here from Germany!
Another piece of news: there is a documentary on Märket, filmed in 2000, way before the era of the new lighthouse keepers, on the Finnish tv channel FST5 on Thursday 7th August at 20.20. Make sure to watch!
070808 The Essence of Grey
Grey, grey and grey. The sky, the sea and the weather. We did not wake up to the sunrise or the bird singing. Four of us slept the night outside under the sky. It was nice and cosy deep inside the sleeping bag. It was so nice to sleep outside that we woke up only when the alarm clock went off. We considered to sleep outside also the next night, but soon all started to be all gray and rainy again.
No visitors today either. Seels are quite far away. Their heads surface every now and then like small dark balloons. They seem to be interested in what we do. Last night we saw a few frogs. Among other birds we also saw a black cormorant drying its wings. Several small birds used the outdoor toilet as a shelter when it was raining.
Today we have done a lot of small tasks like tidying up the office, painting a door, some plastering, emptying the toilet.
080808 Small Tasks
Today the weather has favoured work indoors. It has been quite rainy, windy and grey. The wind was blowing from south in the morning. During the day it changed to east, to north and now almost west.
Many seals has been observed in the sea. We think that they are looking at us and observing what we do on the islet. One seal almost swam into the south harbour. But it turned back at the entrance to the harbour.
Today the installation of the new door frame and the newly painted door began. It is now in place, only some plastering around the doorframe is left to be done. We have also been cleaning in the lighthouse. We are expecting visitors tomorrow, if the weather allows.
In the evening we enjoyed the last meal together in candle light with a nice view over the sea.
090808 Trapped by the Wind
Today weather was so windy that we are still here in the Märket islet. We hope that tomorrow we can leave from Märket and the two new lighthouse keepers can come. Märket has shown us many times and ways in this week that sea, nature is stronger than man. And that you have to respect the sea.
Today we have spent the day resting.
Thanks to Märket for this week.
Ville, Viivi, Karolina, Anne and Markus
020808 Rowing and guiding