100808 Taking It Easy
Strong wind on my face, the sun almost burning holes in my skin, seals laughing at our silly faces, the waves holding us above the abyss, gently guiding us towards the lighthouse that appears in the horizon.
The first day on Märket. It has been a lovely, warm day. Because of the strong wind we came a day later we were supposed to. We arrived with some tourists and could see the tour guides in full action. With some good advice and instructions from the previous lighkeepers, me and Turulf were left on the island.
Vi tar det lungt, we take it easy, was our motto for today. You never know how the weather will turn out, so we decided to drive around the island with the rubberboat. Actually Turulf drove and I looked at the beautiful landscape.
A couple of hours later two people visited the island briefly, but they did not want to have a tour. Shame. We had a chat though. After that we enjoyd the sunshine on the rocks, studied the sea chart and Turulf told me many interesting stories about the lighthouses around. Turulf is a native so he knows his stuff.
Oh yes, we did also work. Turolf finished repairing the windows, I made a new toilet sign and we planned tomorrow’s jobs. I have to mention also that we only speak Swedish together, so this is a crash course for conversational Swedish for me. So everything is going well and we are looking forward the upcoming week.
110808 A Hard Day's Night
What do you remember of the sea? The meditative waves, which never stop, the smell of the sea that stays in your memory forever, the strong sound, when the sea comes crushing to the shore bursting into millions of tiny little drops.
We have had a full day of working. First it took time to find where things were, but then we got the swing of it and started working on the planned tasks. Look at the shower room for example. It looked really good after the last lightkeepers did some work on it and now it is almost deluxe. We finished painting the door, put some prime on the walls, wrote STÄNG (close in Swedish) on the door and finally - the best of all - Turulf fixed a shelf on the inside wall. It is no doubt the best shower on the island.
Other jobs included priming another door, making a rail for the stairs, looking for bits that go to the machines, making a holder for a hand paper roll, drinking coffee outside, listening for the weather report, cooking soup and talking in Swedish. On top of all this there was an amazing full length rainbow that didn't even fit into the picture.
Hej so länge.
Christa and Turulf
120808 Fixing and Painting
When I look, you are smooth and inviting, warm and so big, but then I turn around and I see you, old and rugged, with many years on your surface. You have seen a lot of drama in your lifetime and witnessed many destinies. Märket, I hope you will stay here for a long time.
Today's tasks have included a lot of painting and fixing the door in the outbuilding. It took a long time to paint, because I had to measure the stripes on the shower room for a few times. Maybe there is something wrong with my measuring methods, but the shower room has brand new white stripes now.
Turulf fixed some cement in the wholes of the door frame in the outbuilding. He made a lot of noise with many different machines, so I think it must have been very effective.
The weather has spoiled us. It's been nice and sunny with warm wind, therefore we had a lovely barbeque dinner on the rocks.
We are here alone, just a woodpecker visited us and was knocking on our kitchen window. I think he felt a bit lonely, too. It is amazing to think that here we are in the middle of the Åland sea, alone. How do they know, if we are still here.
Christa and Turolf
130808 Between Sun and Storm
I was still sleeping, when there was a lot of noise coming from downstairs. It sounded like something had happened. Somebody was running up and down the stairs shouting 'hurry, hurry, the boat is sinking'. I had to get up as quickly as I could, because there was a knock on the door.
Turulf wakes me up every morning half past seven and makes me coffee. Then we start the day's work. I'm glad I took my earplugs with me, otherwise I would not be able to sleep at nights when it rains quite hard. Last night was one of those nights. That is partly the reason I felt really tired today. It must be the constant wind and noise from the sea and also the couple of sleepless nights I had before coming here too.
But we worked hard though. What I don't understand is that all the measurements I made yesterday on the shower room were completely different and wrong today. So it took me quite a while to sort that out. So while being here I will not only learn Swedish but also to calculate and measure things.
Turulf is jättebra (very good) on that kind of things. He continued cementing the door and put some sort of frame there to keep the cement in. It looked very professional. He also put some plastic glass on the broken windows behind the engine room.
The weather changes very quickly here. It's so interesting to look around when on the other side of the lighthouse it can be sunny and on the other side a storm. We are in the middle.
We looked at this funny seal today. He was sunbathing in the sea. You could only see his nose above the water. He had his eyes closed and he obviously enjoyed himself there, just floating, stress free. I think he knows something about life we people don't. I wish he will share his secret one day.
Christa and Turulf
140808 Of Tools, Painting and Basic Needs
Det var hämskt, it was terrible. The ship went down and there was absolutely nothing we could have done. People were crying for help, but the weather was so bad, that the rescuing attemps were called off. Eleven people went down with the ship called Irma and we just had to watch from ashore. It can be 250m deep here, so I think they will never find the wreck nor the people. It is there now at the bottom of the sea, in the cold and dark grave, forever. This is why Märket should be saved, so it can save oth-ers.
It is so windy, all the time. My five year old son said to me on the phone: I think it is quite windy there at the lighthouse and I think it is windy every day. Oh boy, how right he was. It is calm here approximately ten days a year. Well that's not a lot, is it.
The other important questions my son had was what we eat there and if there is a shop where you get the food from. Naturally, he also wanted to know how the toilet facili-ties are arranged. I suppose with that kind of information you can go almost anywhere in the world. What comes to the food, yesterday we had cabbage soup again, because I made maybe 2 liters of it. Lucky us.
We have been pleasantly surprised how many tools and machines there are on the is-land. I think we both expected to find maybe one hammer, saw and a box of nails, but we were wrong. It's well organised, but it also means we can't use the excuse that there are no tools to work with.
The jobs today are the same as yesterday, door and shower room. With the difference that the painting of the shower room is finished now and I named it as Lilla Märket. However, if I'm quite honest, and if you look at the picture closely, you can see one wall is not painted. It's been too windy to be hanging over the cliff without a proper bridge to stand on. I think I have to leave it for now.
After these few days of isolation, we are very happy to know that after all, we are not alone and there are many people reading of our adventure all over the world. We want to say lots of greetings to you all and hugs and kisses especially to our families.
Hej så länge från
Christa and Turulf och det blåsande Märket
150808 Happy Feelings
From the admin: Our apologies for the delay in the diary updates. They were due to a combination of some confusion and a server crash. However, he work continues now with as much enthusiasm as before.
I felt cold wind on my feet last night. It brushed my legs ever so lightly yet so that I could feel it. The storm was coming, I could feel it somehow, although I hadn't heard the weather forecast. I thought to close the attick window just in case. While I was putting my woolly socks on, I heard Torolf arranging some papers in the office. It was best I told him that it might become a windy night, but when I went to the office it was empty. To my surprise, Torolf wasn't in the office, but outside...
The storm did come and the wind was at least 16 m/s, although looking at the weather today you would never believe it. It's been totally cloudless sky and over 20C today.
Before coming to Märket the sea weather forecast never meant anything to me, but now it's been the most important thing to listen to on the radio. We have compared the Finnish and the Swedish forecast and I'm afraid to say, but often the Finnish one seems to be more accurate: Märket 16, sydvästlig vind 17.
I also think the whole house rocks. It feels like I'm on a boat all the time. Kitchen is the worst place and sometimes I have to hold on something so I won't fall over.
We did some small jobs today, finished painting the windows, fixed a locking system on the door, primed the Lilla Märket's roof and cleaned the whole lighthouse. Luckily my house is not this big.
We also went fishing with nets and (this is exciting) got two fish, one herring and one torsk, turska, cod or fish'n'chips in English. Then we cooked it on a grill and ate it on the rocks, helt fantastiskt, very good. We also were suppose to have pancake, but we were so happy about the fish that we forgot all about the pancake and it burned. Never mind.
The wood is burning in the fire and it's nice and cozy. The sound of the waves is at the background and I listen to the stories from the seas. The story is in the waves, on the walls, in the many pictures, in the damp smell, in my whiskey glass, in the glow of the storm light, in our eyes and in our memories.
It's been a fantastic day and a fantastic week. If everything goes well, we will be home tomorrow, so it is adjö, hej så länge, vi sees igen, goodbye, we see you again, my old friend.
Christa and Torolf (last day and I finally learned to write Torolf's name correctly)
100808 Taking It Easy