021010 First Day, Getting Settled
This is our first day on Märket. We are now three voluntary workers: Kalle, Seppo and Teemu and two radio amateurs. We came in the afternoon. The weather was perfect. Sun shining and no wind at all. Today we did not do really anything. We looked around the places and helped the radio amateurs with their antennas. Tomorrow we'll start our work in covering the upper side of the wave breaker with cement.
Teemu is from Pori and chef for his profession. We are lucky to have our own chef. Teemu will be responsible for our meals but he will of course participate in all the tasks. And Seppo has promised to prepare the breakfasts. Teemu is also responsible for making lists of minimum provisions. Minimum provisions are the amounts of cereals, crisp bread, coffee, sugar, salt etc. that there must always be in the lighthouse. These lists help the future amateur chefs to plan the shopping lists and menus. Not all crews have a professional chef and would maybe appreciate also a Märket cookbook with easy recipes but large portions for 10-14 persons.
This is the second time for Teemu to be on Märket. He was here last year in September and then learned to know Kalle. Teemu loves sea - he even chooses restaurants to work in by the sea always when possible. Last summer he worked in Houtskär and will go to Lapland for the winter. His other passions are fishing, physical exercise and reading. But at the moment his dearest hobby is the Lighthouse Society.
Kalle, Seppo & Teemu
031010 Sunday - Not a Sunny Day
Today the weather changed. The wind grew and was about 6-7 meters per second. The temperature also sank and no sun was seen.
Seppo is from Espoo. He is a chief engineer and has sailed the seas for 50 years. He has retired already 10 years ago but still works occasionally and also in voluntary projects. In the summer he worked on a geological exploration ship - Geomarin which sails in the Finnish territorial waters. He also works as a voluntary in restoring Turso, an old icebreaker in Helsinki. The project aims to get her sailing again. And she'll will be pretty too - like a real old time's beauty.
This is Seppo's first visit to Märket. He has of course seen it many times when passing on a ship. He has so often seen lighthouses from the ship's window but could not visit them. Lighthouses: so beautiful, old and mysterious. That's why he joined the Lighthouse Society and that's why he is here now exploring the treasures of Märket.
Kalle, Seppo & Teemu
051010 The Goal to Finish the Big Job
Today`s seaweather forecast: very stormy morning, then little bit heavy wind from southwest, temperature little over 10 celsius.
Today we had a great goal to end our main work here, do the concrete topping on the wavebreaker. It might be possible! We must also study our IT problem, how we could send photos and stories to mainland. Let´s see how it will work out. Anyway we try very heavy!
At 10 AM the internet connection began work: GREAT! 13.30 we had a nice coffee break during which we had briefing how we could do rest of the wavebreaker job - only some 4 meters left. And do we have enough cement? Seppo had it counted: Yes we have!
At 4.30 PM we had washed all the sand and dirt off ourselves. 5 PM we started a deliciuos dinner; fish soap with rye bread. On dinner we heard some nice radioamateur stories (they eat their meals together with us). They have been in contact all the way to Hawaii, New Seeland and Nigeria.
After the dinner we will do the dishes, and then we will have some free time.
Kalle, Seppo and Teemu
081010 Only two men left
Today´s forecast was 6 m/s SW wind, temperature plus 6 Celsius. Last night was first rainy, but the night was over at 04.50 AM when Teemu started bake rolls!
Wind has gone down to 4m/s and later it calmed more. After the breakfast we helped the radio amateurs; Wind had broken their longest antenna. First we took the mast down and did a little bit of fixing and then rose the mast back up. It was almost a two hours hard job.
Then we heard that the radio amateurs would leave the islet today. Reason for that was the weather forecast which promised very hard wind between Sunday and Tuesday, some 10-17m/s. Kalle would leave with them.
Suddenly a white-tailed eagle (Halicaetus albicilla) flew over the islet. During our 12 o´clock coffee break we got our first visitor to the kitchen. It was a bird called Hippiäinen (Regulus Regulus, the smallest bird in Finland!). Seppo hypnotized the bird with blinked light and got it out. At 4 PM we are going to go fishing with nets. Let see if we shall tomorrow have a fish dinner.
At 7 PM Mats came with his boat Serena to pick up the two radio amateurs and Kalle. They will travel from Mariehamn to Helsinki on the midnight ferry. Have a nice trip! To be continued...
Seppo and Teemu
091010 The Day of Fishing
Sea weather 3 m/s, tempature plus 6,5 Celsius, water plus 10 Celsius. After the breakfast we began to fish. Today´s question was how much can we catch or how many kilos will we get? And on the first time the catch was one e white fish, one flounder and three baltic herries. Great start!
During the fishing we saw suddently four seals around us just heads up from the water!
After 9 AM we started cast fishing. Seppo worked with so called baltic herring "LITKA" (a Finnish expression). After the noon coffee break we set more fish nets on the north side of Märket. The idea was that we could catch baltic herries. Let´s see what will happen?
About 2 PM we started heating all of the lighthouse's fireplaces. Due to the short daylight time we must do every kind of work in daylight. After coffee at 3 PM we are going to lift up our fish net. After that we had same contest as earlier; which vessels that pass us are the biggest. At 5 PM there was m/s Nordcap Dk m-tanker 225m going to Raahe.
At 5.10 PM we started the dinner. Today´s menu was Lighthouse's Hunter's steak with garlic potatoes and steamed carrots in honey. In the evening we heard some music.
To be continued.....good night - sleep well!
Seppo and Teemu
101010 Sunday duties at the lighthouse
Yesterday evening we had cheese and small pancake with stawberry jam. Tasty! OK, back to the facts!
The weather forecast promised wind 8 m/s, tempature plus 8 Celsius, water still +10 Celsius. After the breakfast we wondered how to get the fishing net up. It was very difficult because the wind rose to storm numbers between 12-17 ms. We have active tracking how the storm progresses, and that helps us to solve the problem.
During the breakfast we planned days agenda, which is the most important things here. Then we had 10 o´clock coffee at 10.10 AM, that is something special because today it is 10.10.10! After that we should had caught nets but we had no chance to go out of the harbour because waves have risen higher and higher.
Despite Sunday it is also a working day because of the lighthouse has different routines; cleaning, dishing, clothes washing, motor service, heating etc... and of course monitoring what happens aroud.
Then we saw a little bird Robin (erithacus rubecula) which visited our kitchen; maybe birds are hungry, who knows? For dinner we had Pasta Carbonare in the seamens way. In the evening we will have again ship contest IF ships are sailing. Then 20.30 news, after that: good night!
Seppo and Teemu
111010 A New Working Week
Monday is beginning for all new. The second working week has started with hard wind, about 14m/s from north, no worries, we are both accustomed to wind and rain.
After the breakfast we had to check the lighthouse area to see that everything is OK after stormy night; that boats and things are where they should be. They were.
Before 10 coffee we had cleaned compost, washed the dishes, checked the area and carried firewood up to lighthouse. On the coffee break we had discussion about our departure from Märket next Saturday. The weather forecast have promised hard wind from North (14m/s) and we thought that we can stay a few days longer, perhaps one week is possible if necessary. But that is the limit because we wouldn´t have enough food after that.
Before noon Teemu desided to bake cinnamon buns, yes fresh buns! For the lunch or merely for snack we had a lime marined whitefish with ryebread. Then we took same photos of the storm and checked the area again, all OK.
After that we took traditionel siesta which every seaman who stays long period on the sea will have! After coffee we had service work in lighthouse's machine room; the tail pipe of one genator had a leak. After that we ate dinner: bouillebaisse a la Märket with ryebread. Then bathing in Little Märket and after that listening radio: some music and 20.30 news on the net - and Good Night!
Seppo and Teemu
121010 Stormy day for Football
Yesterday evening when we watched a DVD video film called Stormrock's lighthouse we realized how much work The Lighthouse Society has done on Märket. That video was filmed in 2007 during th first shift here.
We saw in how bad condition the lighthouse was. It was lucky that the first workers here were women , they have smoother touch to all old things. I personally believe that if they had been were men, they had burned off almost all!
Anyway, great work, ladies! We thought too that it was stupid to drive down the lighthouse and leave it to its own luck in the first place. Think if some institute deside shut down for example all police stations or turn light off on all trafficlights! Perhaps we could then find a society called "police station friends" which would begin to restaurate a police station?
Anyone who have worked on Märket are doing marvelous job! What is magnetic spirit that fascinate the people to came year after year to this rock? Lighthouse itself, nature etc., maybe, but I think on Märket are all pieces so that should be; that it create the marvelous atmosphere. This were the feelings after the short movie! And when I woke up in the midnight I heard waves when they hit Märket's rock; that was unforgetable feeling!
OK, then to day's agenda... we woke up on the morning to stormy day 19 m/s from north , great! Maybe we have same storm photos after the day. At the breakfast we planned which work we can do; northside wind is quite a difficult and strong; we can only work on the frontyard, that is a shelter. Then we heard the 7.50 a.m. see weather ,19m/s N-NW in the evening, wind goes down to 11 m/s. After that decided we would lift up our resque boat. Seppo continued with the machines and I thought starting to clean up the lighthouse. At 10 o´clock coffee we had a discussion about how strong the storm can arise, and how long it can last?
After the coffee we vacuumed lighthouse's public spaces. Then little machine serviceworks. After midday we marined meat that we shall steak tomorrow.Then service works on outside area and took same wave photos.
When we watched the big waves we were thinking how little a human being is. Little before 3 p.m.we ended our works because the yard had gone smaller and smaller and we have done everything in this area. Then we think to swim backside of the wavebreaker; it is the only safe and calm area. After that we had dinner; chicken wok with pasta. In the evening we listened to football match Finland-Hungary live, then news at 20.30, after that good sleep. ... You will hear from us tomorrow again...
Seppo and Teemu
At the breakfast we had a discussion if there is life after Finland had lost football match against Hungary yesterday evening? Yes there is! Then we had a chat about today's duties. Seppo had planned to plaster the warehouse's backside. But first we had to make the routine lighthouse's jobs, washing dishes, carrying fire wood, controlling generators etc.
During the 10 o´clock coffee Seppo found in the net the live show which was direct from San Jose in the Chile. It was unbelieveable to watch live pictures from other side on the earth on Märket rock! After coffee to work; At first we repaired stands on the backside wall. Seppo worked as head mason. I was his assistant who makes mortar and keeps tools etc. clean.
At 12 o´clock coffee we continued looking the webcast from Atacama's desert. It was hypnotic feeling. Then we talked a little about how we would continue with wall. Back to work. At 3.40 PM we decided to finish the job for today. After cleaning the tools I took care of dinner; owen steak pork and sliced potatoes with garlic carrots.
After dishing we started listening the program "Nature Finland" from radio. Then some free discussion of all kind of things and then finally the 20.30 news and then good night...
Seppo and Teemu
14010 Waiting for the Storm
Already at 05.50 Märket was awake! In the morning we were listening radio and heard that all the miners in Chile are back on the ground. Good to hear some great news while drinking morning coffee. We were wondering how does it feel to spend 70 days under the ground. Sounds unbelieveable!
Then we planned our day. Seppo went outside and said today we have to work inside due to the weather conditions. After coffee Seppo started to clean the engine room and washing the kitchen floor. At 10 o'clock coffee break we realised that the storm is really coming. When exactly,we didn't know, but on afternoon was supposed. After coffee (yes, we drink a lot of coffee here, but here it does taste better than nowhere else) we checked our brand new wind geneator and carried rest of the things to the shelter. In Märket it is well known that the wawes have enormous power and the sea really can take all the objects from the yard. So took we boats, water boiling pot ect. inside.
At middays coffee break we were having freshly baked buns. Since it was time for the storm, we decided to check once more if everything was ok. Then 14 o'clock it started, I mean storm. First the wind was blowing from north-west and then from north, even 22 m/s! As you can see from the pictures, it is good that the breakwater was repaired this summer.
We took many brilliant photos of storm and it was so exiting that we didn't remember to eat anything before 18.00. Then we listened on the radio the ice hockey tour, news and forecast for tomorrow. Now it is time to go to sleep, the sound of the storm as a lullaby...
Seppo & Teemu
151010 After the storm
Last nights big question was if we have lost same things because of the storm. The wind was as hard as 25m/s, and in gusts even 29m/s. It was dangerous to go out, because it was too slippery and we had water on front yard too. Wind was so strong that when waves hit the wavebreaker the water were flying above the lighthouses roof! Yes, that is true, even if it might be impossible to imagine if you have visited here only on summertime.
We were told that we were the first members of crew who have been here in such a hard weather conditions. It was very difficult to take photos of the waves because we have only phonecameras with us, and when taking a picture there is a little delay of two seconds. So if you wait too long , the wave is gone.
When we woke up at 05.50 the storm was still going on but the wind had weaken to 16 m/s. The air tempature was plus 5 celsius degrees and the air pressure 1000.9hPA. We discussed if it is possible to go home on Saturday. The waves, they are still high even the wind has calmed down. Now it seems we’re going home on Sunday, that’s what we believe in, but sometimes an human being is so weak compared to the power of nature.
After breakfast we checked out the damages. And here we go, the list of the things the sea took away: a cement mixer, a dishbench, one bollard and some other pieces of the barrier are now at the bottom of harbour, and one water container is gone as well. The wind generator had turned 90 degrees to the south. Positive thing is both our boats were still left. After the morning coffee Seppo started disconnecting wind generators engine. Afternoon we continued disconnecting, and it took almost four hours. When done that, we packed all the pieces to the warehouse and then we had rest of the day off. For a dinner we ate sausage soap, and then we listened a little bit of radio as usual.
Time to say good night now
Seppo and Teemu
161010 The Last Whole Day
At 7 o'clock we ate our second last breakfast, we discussed about day's work list. It was quite long. We had to clean almost the whole area, because the storm and waves have throwed things around the rock.
We began when the sun had risen. First we cleaned the front yard. There were things which should not be there; in the under warehouse were lot of sand , which we brushed away. Then we checked the wind motor and packed it to transportion to mainland. It need to be checked. At 10-coffee we decided to disconnect the mast, take one of three pieces away and lock the rest to the rock. It took much more time as we have counted - nearly two hours. After that I decided that we must have just baked bread to 13-coffee. After that Seppo dressed on resque suit; he must go to the water because in the bottom of our harbour there was lot of iron, stands pieces and many other things.
Then the another resqueboat inside to the woodwarehouse and the second just stay still. At 17 o'clock we warmed water to wash ourselves. At 18 o´clock we had our last dinner here this year; chicken carbonara with rice. After that radio listening and remembering what happened during two weeks. We laughed to crazy occurence. Then we decided goming back next year if it is possible - let´s see!
Seppo and Teemu
021010 First Day, Getting Settled