National Geographic : 1930 Nov
VIKING LIFE IN THE STORM-CURSED FAEROES to a tiny harbor, safe from the wind, but not from the swell, which sent the water splashing against the rock ledges that were to serve us as a landing place. I took off my shoes and in my heavy, waterproof Faeroe wool socks crouched waiting in the bow. Shoes cannot be trusted on wet, slippery rocks. In my hand was a rope. Bech brought the Tusk near the ledge. A wave carried the boat up and in 12 feet, o1 feet, 6 feet. I jumped for the rock. Bech threw the motor into reverse, racing backward. Smack, the wave hit the rock, but the Tusk was not with it. I clung to the best handholds within reach and dug in my toes. As Bech backed away, the rope, whose end I held, ran off from the Tusk's deck. When my com panion had lowered the heavy anchor, the boat swung around to the pull of the outgo ing tide. Indeed, to sail among The Faer oes a man must know the tide changes of every inlet and all the strange tricks of the tidal currents among the islands. Seldom did Bech anchor the Tusk unless the tide was going out. Now came my part in the difficult proc ess of landing. I pulled on my rope, bring ing the stern of the boat near enough to shore to permit Bech to pass over the cameras and luggage. Then he made the jump ashore and I slackened the rope, per mitting the Tusk to ride at a safe distance. IT IS HARD TO KEEP DRY That is how we landed on Videro and on every other island, and how the na tives themselves land, if everything goes well. Three times in the course of our expeditions, however, my jump was too short or the rocks were too slippery. Into the cold water I plunged. Bech was ready always for such an accident. Quickly he would pull on the landing rope, to which I held firmly. Thus the Tusk, moving out, dragged me away from a battering on the rocks, and in deep water I would climb aboard once more. Wetting was not pleas ant, of course, but since in The Faeroes it is impossible to keep dry, once away from a town, I learned not to mind being damp. After a submergence I always dried off to my usual degree of dampness in the sun or beside a campfire, if we were in the hills or at a farmhouse. In one tiny, rock-walled harbor inlet we were not so fortunate. Bech was making SAILING UNDER A NATURAL BRIDGE Layers of lava rock laid down by old volca noes are occasionally interrupted by rock wedges or dikes of different consistency. Pounding surf wears away the dikes first, opening great caves or carving deep, fjordlike inlets which provide sheltered landing places.