050910 Visitors From Sweden


We had an interesting journey to the lighthouse today. Unfortunately our cabin in Viking Cabriella was next to very lively and noisy group of young men so sleeping was out of the question. In Maarianhamina we dosed off and woke up in 30 minute periods since we waited our special guest from Sweden. Our finnish guests were Tuomas and Lotta, they came for checking up the wind power devices. The final boat ride with Bengt was then much more pleasant and he also took us to see seals on the way over.

Special guests were art photographer Katerina and her son Sasha. She was making a photo installation of borders to Ålendska Museum and we all got to partisipate in it, also the old crew. Directions were interesting, we were standing in different kinds of lines, and it would be nice to see how the end results looks like. Katerina brought us swedish wedding chocolate so we had bit of luxury as well. Chocolate is always a good way to get people to do funny things.

Old crew gave us briefing about things here at Märket, not much changes regarding last year. Minna and Outi have been here last summer, but Päivi is a first timer. Päivi is exited and happy to finally be here and actually that is the way we all feel. There are only three of us so we will have a lot to do, especially since the Märket's 125 year anniversary is going to be here on friday with all the guests. Today there were some preparations done for the anniversary party but that is top secret at this point. You will have to wait until friday or come and see for yourself!

Otherwise we have carried things to the lighthouse such as oil for the agregat, water, gas and lots of food. First day is always also reserved for getting to know the surroundings and a Märket way of living. One of the decicions made is the place to sleep. Us three ladys fell in love with the view of the top room on Märket, so we are sleeping there. An option is also sleeping outside which is facinating idea since the seals are allready singing nicely.

Outi, Minna, Päivi


060910 Wood and Bakery


Sleeping is so nice activity when you have been awake almost 48 hours. We woke up in sunshine and started day with attaching tires to the laguun harbour in case some tourists are interested in us. On the way to the laguun We saw many different kind on birds and our friends seals are waveing us from their own island.

One of the jobs before autumn rains is to take firewood inside "makasiini". Wheelbarrow race was going on with increasing speed, all three of us passed the tricky drivings licence test. It was fun and swetty job but we managed to complete that before lunch. Yesterday's salmon soup tasted very good also today. Wheather was so warm and nice that it feels like summer again. That is why "Lilla Märket" tempted for washing up, Outi was brave enough to take a dip in the sea at south harbour.

We made test run with cinnamon buns just to make sure how the gas oven works before friday's party. When we got in to baking business we also made rolls from porrige left overs, that is real Martta-spirit! Result was very successful or what do you think?

Inspite of our efforts in laguun harbour and kitchen, fresh buns and rolls, no turists or other visitors today. We saw one motorboat cruising around Märket but it didn't stop and visit. Well on friday we will have a lot of visitors so it is nice to enjoy this atmosphere just among us lighthouse keepers.

Outi, Minna, Päivi


070910 Concrete and More Concrete


Last night we admired the wonderful scenery of stars and the weird singing of seals. You can't see any stars in the city that is why the sky looked so beautiful. We only recognized "otava" and "pohjantähti", a book of stars would be also nice here.

Today we worked very hard with concrete. Humell brought us 1250 kg of concrete, that is 49 bags. So the race with wheelbarrows continued again but this time with much more heavy load than yesterday. One bag is 25 kg and there is no need to go to gym anymore. Humell was very helpful and he also took quite a lot metal waste with him. Now we have nicer surroundings for friday.

While going around with wheelbarrows we spotted a boat approaching. Our first tourists came, four people from Åland. They were astonished about our task in hand an decided to help us. But first we gave them a guided tour and they were very interested in Märket and well prepared also since they allready knew quite a lot about Märket's history. They were happy to buy coffee and cinnamon buns along some souvenirs from our shop. Before they left one older gentlemen helped us to lift concrete bags up closer to wheelbarrows and one of the ladys took also one wheelbarrow tour to the warehouse and back. Very nice tourists, thank you again!

Day was swetty and tiring so we took longer lunch brake than usual and washed ourselves. Päivi and Outi took a swim in south harbour and Minna had a little bit warmer wash up in Lilla Märket.

There are lots of small birds in the island, propably taking a brake while moving to south before winter. One of them took also a tour in lighthouse,it was Red Robin (Punarinta, Rödhake). We tried to guide it out but it kept flying and finally against the window. Then it was easy to pick up and we carried it outside. After a while of recovering it flew away.

Outi, Minna, Päivi


080910 Day off Märket's style


Yesterday's work has gone in to muscles. Everybody woke up more or less sore and stiff, massage would be nice!

Yesterday we decided that today we don't need to do anything since we had worked so hard. After a slow start up we anyway sort of drifted in to doing some front yard organizing. There has been all kinds of piles of stuff, wood, iron and different kind of garbage.

This was not a typical cleaning though because our equipment were ax, saw, hammer and crowbar. We pull out nails from waste wood, sawed it into smaller pieces and finally made it with ax more suitable for fire places. It was fun and everybody were proud of the fine result, much more organized and cleaner looking yard!

We start every day by burning wood and paper trash in water heater outside. Filling the heater and cold water tub with sea water is also a daily routine. This morning it got more "interesting" since there was a lot of some kind of algae in our usual water lifting place. Wheelbarrows were taken into work again but this time for water buckets.

North harbour seemed clean enough so it took a little bit longer than usual to get water for use. Operation rescue red robin has continued. For some reason they are very interested in lighthouse interiors. Today we had to hunt two of them, one was in our bedroom and one was taking a look in lighthouse shop.

Outi, Minna, Päivi


090910 Anniversary Eve


Yesterday's day off plan went better today. In the morning we enjoyed sunshine, took photographs and just took a time off for ourselves since this was the last day here when we are among us three. Tomorrow there will be lots of people coming and going and some of them are also going to stay for the weekend to do some plastering etc.

We did do something anyway, we organized lighthouse interiors and brushed and cleaned it from top to bottom. Plans were made for tomorrow and the old quite bad shaped Lighthouse Society's flag were changed to more nicer one which we found from the shop. Shop was also organized and supplies inventored for tomorrow's big rush hour, or at least we hope it will be succesful shopping day. To make shopping easier we have licked stamps for postcards, nice and somehow not so good tasting work...

After lunch we decided to use cinnamon buns from monday as a delicious dessert called "köyhät ritarit" which is poor knights in english. Tomorrow we will wake up early and bake a lot of fresh cinnamon buns for anniversary guests.

After cleaning Märket we took a cleaning of ourselves, Lilla Märket is always a refreshing experience!

Red robins and other small birds left us alone today but there is probably a reason for that. We saw a couple of hawks flying around the island and a sea eagle. What a majestetic big bird that is!

Outi, Minna, Päivi


100910 Märket's 125th Anniversary


Day started early with baking. Practise makes master, our cinnamon buns were succesful and almost everything got eaten at the party. But before anniversary guests we had interesting action as well because group of men from Ålands Vidkraft Andelslag came with Tuomas, Ari and Petri to build up windpower tower for electricity. They worked hard to execute the dream of getting wind power in the island. Unfortunately though lady fortuna was not on our side today and the dream did not come true yet. What a shame, but the work will go on this autumn.

Wind power nearly came true today, but finally the lifting was stopped because of too small lifting power. The work goes on.

The press has been and actually is still well represented, we had during the day a radio reporter from Radio Åland, one reporter and a photographer from newspaper Nya Åland as well as from Helsingin Sanomat.

One special group arrived as a surprise during the day. Divers from Finland took a stop here at Märket after diving in swedish waters looking for several shipwrecks. They were surprised about all the people here but also delighted of the idea of 125th anniversary.

Finnish divers of the boat "Eva" from Kaarina visited Märket today. Minna guided.

Party guests arrived in the afternoon with the Finnish Coast Guard vessel Tursas. A smaller patrol boat took then few trips to bring everybody on the island near north harbour. Among visitors there were a lot of Märket's supporters and co-operative partners with Lighthouse Society. Party started with speaches from our chairman Pekka Väisänen and vice chairman Gun-Mari Lindholm from Lagtinget Åland.

Guests for the 125th anniversary party of Märket came by patrol boat from the big ship Tursas.

The Holmberg family gave a big lantern as a gift to Märket on its birthday. Mother Tiina with Tia and Tim handed the gift to chairman Pekka.

The guests on the lighthouse yard seconds before the revealing of the memory plaque on the ground wall.

Then the top secret project was revieled. It is a beautiful plaque of Märket's history and a map of the unusual bordeline. Coffee and buns were welcomed in a sunny but quite windy day. Other servings for making people warm were also presented, a cognac (a greeting from our new supporter Pernod Richard) is always nice bonus as in this anniversary party as well.

Vice chairman Gun-Mari Lindholm and commander Henrik Wärnhjelm revealed the memory plaque on the wall.

Old lighthouse keeper Karl-Erik Eriksson told stories how thigs were in his time and guests took a look around lighthouse and interiors which are now in quite good shape. Some of the guests remembered that this situation has not been for long period of time, Lighthouse Society has done remarkable job. Anniversary atmosphere was perfect with accordian music and enthusiastic spirit along the guests and the crew.

So happy and tired! Good party, everybody enjoyed themselves and now back to business. Tonight is free and we will relax, enjoy the company and start a new day tomorrow!

Outi, Minna, Päivi with Pekka, Tuomas, Ari, Petri, Katja, Teija, Jon and Ragnar


110910 Concrete Continues


Day started with foggy and moist wheather, perfect for concrete work, said Ari. Before the dirty work we did have six tourists in the morning, Pekka took the swedish guiding tour and Minna finnish. Some shopping and coffee with buns, tourists were pleased to see this lighthouse and one of them even got so inspirated that she is going to join our society and come back next summer to work for this good cause herself. The others planned to come shooting photos in the winter with us! These tourist were really interested about Märket!

Pekka pointing the anno 1900 water level mark to tourists - some 80-100 cm higher than today.

Breakwater wall had gone into quite bad shape during the years and so we continued the hard work of casting concrete matress on top of the wall. We had swetty times on tuesday with the concrete bags and we thought that there will be enough for the whole wall, but not even close! We used all 49 sacks just today! The wall is suprisingly long and regardless of our effots to fill the holes with small rocks as much as possible it took so much concrete that there will be a good job for some other group too.

Today´s main work: covering the breakwater with cement. Outi (in front) and Katja at work.

Ari had also a small plastering session on magazine wall with our smallest lighthousekeeper Ragnar, four years old. He is endlessly interested about everything that is happening and joins gladly to work. His father naturally guards him. Ragnar did even go swimming to one of the ponds!

This is our last night here but we will come back next season for sure. For the next ten days there will be only one lighthouse keeper, so we decided to help him with cleaning the place and lifting the rubber boat agains the lighthouse wall to protect it from hard winds.

The rubber boat got shifted to shelter from the storm.

Päivi counting today´s incomes from the tourists. Wellcome all millionaires to spend Your money here! Märket needs them!

PS. A short notice from yesterdays ceremonies: With us there was a very speacial man regarding Märkets history. Mr. Pekka Tätilä from the Finnish Landsurvey Authority is the man who put the border in 1981 where it is now! He was the practical guy in the Finnish-Swedish delegation who came here in 1981 to make an suggestion how to devide Märket. And so they did with famous results. Before that point there was no border drawn on Märket, only the center point was marked. So thanks to him and for the whole delegation for the great border that we have here now!

The Man and the border. He did it!

Now it is time to grill some sausages for a goodbye dinner and remember all the great times here. We will be back, and You out somewhere there on dry land, join us! The "big" season ends now and we leave this place for small crews and radio amateurs, who are still coming here this autumn. The diary will continue, for sure!

Teija opening the lighthouse security gate which was finally taken to active use today. Great work by Mr. J. Ketola!

Outi, Minna, Päivi with Pekka, Tuomas, Ari, Petri, Katja, Teija, Jon and Ragnar


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