Sunday July 2nd:
Usually we always change crews on Saturdays, but yesterday, due to the strong winds on previous days, the waves were too high in order to land to Märket. Our crew had to wait in Åland for one night and we had time to visit the Åland Maritime museum and Stallhagen brewery. Although we were a bit disappointed that we couldn´t get to Märket as planned, we had a nice touristic summer day with the Belgian radio amateurs, who are going to spend the week with us on Märket.
In the morning the phone rang while we were having breakfast and off we went. We picked up the groceries from Hugo´s supermarket, packed the boat and within an hour, we were on our way to Märket. Shortly we met with the old crew and unpacked everything to the East side of the island. The hardest part of the day was definitely carrying all the stuff and food supplies from there to the light house.
Pera had to start his tasks as a guide immediately after arriving. There had a been a group of Swedish paddlers staying overnight on Märket and before they departed, they did the tour on the island and some shopping in the light house shop. The latest release for the shop is the new light house calendar for the year 2018, including also the Autumn of 2017.
Once the paddlers went on towards Åland, a sailing boat appeared next to Märket. A group of four sailors had come all the way from Uusikaupunki via Isokari and overnight stay at Djupviken to Märket. They did the tour with Pera and Eevis and had a nice cup of coffee before continuing their journey.
Also our Belgium radio amateurs arrived in the afternoon on Mats´ boat. After dragging some more stuff again from the East side cliffs to the light house, we finally had a chance for coffee and some sandwich. The radio amateurs started setting their gear up, among others, a 10 metres high antenna in order to get a good connections. We did all kind of basic things to set up the places, carried some water and completed the safety tour etc. Pera also decided to check already on the first day, what was wrong with the chainsaw and hopefully it will be in order tomorrow for us to start the wood chopping.
Sunday was a day full of activities but we´re happy to be here and are looking forward of the coming days. During next week, we´ll tell you more about who we are and how we´re spending our days here.
Monday 3rd of July
Today we started the tasks right after breakfast. Pera chopped the rest of the longer woods with the chainsaw and Minna and Eevis started piling up the ready firewood up to the terrace.
In the afternoon we were continuing the wood works until we got a phone call and heard that there was a group coming over from the Russian Light House society. Eight light house enthusiast came to visit Märket. For many of them, visiting Märket was almost a dream come true.
While the guests were on Märket, a strong thunder storm came right on top of us. In only a few minutes, the whole island was covered with water and there were lightnings and thunder around the island. Unfortunately the storm also caused damage and some of the equipment from the radio amateurs as well from the light house got disturbance. Tomorrow we´ve to see how big the damages were. Hopefully the problems will be solved by just resetting everything.
As promised, we will also introduce to you, who we are. Today is Peras day and you get to know some facts about him. The first time Pera came to Märket during the Easter 2011 and ever since, he has been here every year. The Shortest time Pera has spent on Märket has been one day and the longest period lasted three weeks. This makes Pera our Märket expert and senior. Pera knows a lot about the light house itself, all the technology and the construction works. He´s an excellent guide here on Märket and organizes also trips to other light houses. One special thing to mention from Peras Märket career has been the moment when the sauna was officially opened in the summer 2014. Pera was there to throw the first waters to the stoves. Also you can see that the Teddys are always coming with Pera to Märket since they´re presents from different friends he has got during the time spent with other light house enthusiasts.
Tuesday 4th of July
Windy day. The wind has been just over 10 m/s more or less from the North and the waves are hitting the northern side of Märket. The water that comes with the waves, runs over the island and we were joking that we'll write to our ”done jobs” -list that we've changed the water in the swimming pool (lagoon) :)
The waves were so high that in the afternoon, the radio amateurs had to take their antenna done so that the engine of it wouldn't get damaged when the water splashes over it.
Pera continued the wood chopping today and Minna and was doing all other daily duties. Ilpo is unfortunately not feeling that well so Eevis was more or less covering the tasks in the kitchen. We got some freshly baked bread rolls with the lunch and apple pie with afternoon coffee.
In the afternoon, Pera and Minna also emptied both of our toilets. The first toilet project went well but the other was more challenging so to say. Using sawdust as drying agent had stuck the pipe that is supposed to remove the liquids from the toilet. Therefore had to use extra two hours and different improvised tools to open it again. You can imagine that today was also a day to heat up the sauna.
Yesterday we introduced Pera to you and today is Minnas turn. Minna is now for the fourth time on Märket and every year she has been here during the week 27. This time she's responsible for our week. Meaning that she takes care that everything goes smoothly and the tasks are done as supposed to. Sailing is Minnas passion and her dream is that one day she could arrive to Märket on her own boat. This year she already came to Mariehamn with her own sailing boat s/y Marietta instead of Viking Line.
Wednesday 5th of July
Still windy but nice and sunny day. We continued chopping and piling up the firewood. Ilpo is still sick so Minna and Eevis completed the shopping list for next weeks team. In the afternoon Pera and Minna emptied the compost of Märket so now both toilets and the compost have been serviced during this week.
The radio amateurs also gave us today a lesson about what it is to be a radio amateur and why is it that four guys from Belgium end up here on Märket for one week with us. And since we've been already introducing Pera and Minna, we think that it's fair enough to also introduce our guests, the ones who so far have been mentioned only as radio amateurs. Peter (ON8VP), Mike (ON6QO), Jean-Paul (ON2KMJ) and Ronald (ON5TQ) came all the way from Belgium. Peter and Mike are already for the third time on Märket and Ronald for the second. Jean-Paul is the first timer of the group but definitely has not been any worse than the others. Jean-Paul has been helping out a lot with the wood works, dishes and tonight he prepared a great barbecue dinner for us.
The week on Märket has been both challenging and successful for the radio amateurs. They already have got all together approximately 3500 connections. The thunder storm two days ago caused some problems with antenna but fortunately the antenna is back again on a new spot. The guys mention that Pera has been on the same week with them every time they've been on Märket and they also knew Minna and Ilpo already from last time. Anne was supposed to be with us on Märket this week as well but unfortunately she couldn't make it. The radio amateurs send their best to Anne, get well soon! They brought some souvenirs from Belgium with them for all of us and the one for Anne will be sent by mail.
The radio amateurs told that they're very happy with all the hospitality they've received every time while on Märket. The nature and the quietness here is something very extra-ordinary. If anything negative had to be said from the trips to Märket, it'd be that the transportation and getting here is very challenging and expensive. In all matters, we're happy to have these great Belgian radio amateurs here with us and hope to see you many times again!
Thursday 6th of July
Still windy and no tourists. Last night Eevis decided to sleep outside. She took her sleeping bag to the cliffs and enjoyed the night listening waves. The others were interested in how she was doing there and Peter from the radio amateur group took a picture of her already at 5 a.m. In the morning. Early bird catches the worm they say, and because Eevis and Pera were up early, we got English breakfast in the morning.
During the day we again continued the wood works. Third pile is now already on it's way to the upper terrace. In the afternoon Eevis did the laundry we were planning to wash the floors of the toilet downstairs. Unfortunately Minna and Pera noticed that there's still a leakage in the other toilet despite the fact that they were already trying to fix it the other day. That meant that our official "Märkets Pee & Poop Ltd" -team got to work. Let's see if the leakage is now fixed and we can clean the floors tomorrow.
We've only two more days left on Märket and two more crew members to introduce to you. Today is Ilpos turn. Ilpo is now for the fourth time on Märket and this is the second time also having the radio amateurs on the same week. The radio amateurs have given Ilpo a nick came "Captain Cook". From this you might already guess that he's the one who is responsible from our food supplies and cooking. Ilpo doesn´t speak much English and Jean-Paul from the radio amateurs doesn´t speak English either a lot. Nevertheless these two men get along well together by using hands and speaking mixed Finnish / Swedish / English / German / Flemish / French.
Friday 7th of July
This has been our last whole day on Märket. That means finishing the last wood piles we've been working with and doing some cleaning. Minna cleaned the sauna and fixed the opening system of the ventilation under the seats. Eevis cleaned the kitchen shelves and Ilpo and Eevis took care of the dishes. Pera was responsible of burning the trashes and piled up the rest of the woods. During the week, we altogether have piled 6.2 square metres of wood to the upper terrace and even more is chopped and waiting to be piled. In addition to the chainsaw and the crane, no machines have been used, but all the woods were chopped with man power. Well done Pera, our pro in using axe!
For the whole week, it's been windy and no visitors but yesterday the wind finally turned into south and calmed down. Today during the tasks, we got a visitor who surprised by arriving with a kayak. A German gentleman had paddled from the Swedish side to Märket and had a short break here before continuing his journey towards Åland. In the afternoon, we already thought that we're having more visitors in the light house when a lady and a dog paddled from a sailing boat to Märket. Unfortunately, they had no time for a longer visit than to give the nice dog a possibility to go to the toilet before continuing the journey.
In the evening, when the wind was calm, Pera and Eevis decided to take the rubber boat and make a little tour around Märket. Eevis had a target for this week that she´d learn to use the outboard motor. There was some joy of success to be seen, but perhaps it´d be a good idea to continue practices next year again.
All the others from our crew have already been introduced in our diary and the today for the last but not least, is going to be Eevis. Eevis is on Märket now for the third time. During the previous years, she has been doing the guidance and this year she had the main responsibility from our diary. Since Ilpo has been sick during the week, Eevis took over some kitchen tasks and has been the second cook of the group. Although it has to be mentioned that also Minna and Pera have done a fair share of the kitchen duties. One funny thing to mention, is that Eevis also speaks some Dutch. So, it's been nice to have the Belgian radio amateurs on the same week so she has got a chance to freshen up the language a little bit.
Before we close our week and the diary of the week 27, there's a short note from Pera:
To all those friends who have been on Märket with me at the same time. Farewell my friends, farewell. For now, this has been my last week on Märket. To radioamateurs: 73, QRT now from Märket Reef
With all the best,
Pera & the Teddys
Ps. You know how to reach me.
And then something from our radioamateurs:
"Since 4 years, we went to this nice island... very quiet in winter... after all challenges we have had fun times with all those special guys and girls who always want to give us the best that they can... A dream is alive here... if you don't believe it, just come and sea... oh sorry see! ...Of course!"
Eevis, Ilpo, Minna and Pera