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the Degree Confluence Project
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Faroe Islands

1.5 km (0.9 miles) NW of Koltur (Island), Faroe Islands
Approx. altitude: 0 m (0 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 62°S 173°E

Accuracy: 19 m (62 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: View west #3: View north #4: View east #5: GPS #6: Boat crew Pol and Gudrid

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  62°N 7°W (visit #2)  

#1: View sorth

(visited by Henrik Sunden, Pol Patursson and Gudrid Patursson)

19-Jul-2002 -- The confluence is located in the Hestfjördur - Vagafjördur straits, about 20 m north of the shore of island Koltur.

I reached Thorshavn in the Faroe Islands on my way home from Iceland, at 05:50 on Friday 19 July. I visited the Strandfaraskip Landsins office when they opened at 07:00 to find out how to get to Koltur. There is no ferry any more, since only one farmer is living on the island. There was a helicopter leaving Thorshavn at 14:44, arriving Koltur at 14:59 at a cost of 85 DKK. Back again on Sunday 21 July. That meant 2 nights on Koltur, and a permission from the farmer was necessary. I got the telephone numbers to the farmer and the helicopter company, found a coin telephone and tried to phone the farmer, Björn Patursson. His telephone line was busy at all attempts, and at 08:00 the helicopter company's office opened, so I phoned them. The Friday tour to Koltur was full, but there was a seat free on the Sunday tour to Thorshavn. Well, I could try to show up at the helicopter pad at 14:30, a seat may be free in the last minute. I decided to cycle to Velbastadur, which is ont the east shore of Hestfjördur and only 5 km from Koltur and 8 km from the confluence. Maybe I could find a boat there. In the little harbour at Velbastadur, there actually was a small rowingboat with two pairs of oars. I cycled up to the village and asked the first man (he drove a fuel truck) I met about the possibility to hire the rowingboat and row across Hestfjördur to Koltur. The answer was: Er Du sindssyg?!, Er Du sindssyg?! (Are You completely mad?!). Hestfjördur is known for the wild currents, 8 - 9 knots, and I would need a motorboat of sufficient size to cross Hestfjördur. The truck driver advised me to ask at a yellow-white house in the north part of the village. I cycled there, but the people there didn't have the motorboat any more, so they advised me to got to Kirkjuböur 4 km further southeast and ask for Johannes. I did so. Johannes was out with the boat, but came in after half an hour. He could not go to Koltur, because he had to drive to Thorshavn with a dead cow that must be burnt, and he had the harvest to do. But maybe his brother Pol could run the boat. Pol was standing just nearby, so we asked him. He waas not very anxious to go to Koltur, the currents will be stronger in the afternoon. But, after rethinking, he said, that if we go right now, it can be done. OK, how much will it cost. No answer. But we made us ready to go.

Pol's wife Gudrid came as an extra crew member and at 12:20 we headed nortwest across Hestfjördur to Hestur and followed its shore to Kolturssund straits. The currents cross at Kolturssund, and there were white caps on the waves, but it was not windy at all. The motoboat Vardin kept its speed of 25 km/h steadily and we passed the Koltur landing and waved at Björn Patursson, who was harvesting. The sun had been shining the last hour, so now was the right time to cut the grass. We went close to Koltur's northeast sheer cliff, which is almost black. Many puffins started from the water when we passed. Their wing beat frequency is lower as long as they run on the water surface and is doubled when they leave the water surface and go into the free air.

We reached 62Nx7W at 13:10 and I took a series of pictures of the surroundings, the crew members and the GPS. It was a bit tricky to keep the boat on the same spot due to the currents, but we were less than 10 m from the confluence several times, but when the blurry GPS picture was exposed, the GPS showed 61 degrees 59 minutes 59.5 seconds N, 6 degrees 59 minutes 59.6 seconds W and a distance of 16.8 m to the confluence. We were then just 5 - 10 m from the cliffs. The accuracy of the GPS as told by the EPE figure was 10 m. So we were definitely within 20 m from the confluence, probably within 15 m several times.

While we went back to Kirkjuböur, clouds were appearing on the 478 m top of Koltur, and soon it was raining there. But the sun was still shining in Kirkjuböur when we arrived there at 13:40. The speed regulator broke just as Pol manouvred the boat in the harbour, so he had to jump out and push at it to save it from crashing into another boat.

I asked Pol for the price and he said 500 DKK. I said that was all right, but I had only 400 DKK in faroese bank notes (they have their own bank notes in the Faroe Islands, they are as good as Danish ones everywhere). I offered an unused telophne card and 20 DKK in coins, but Pol said the 400 would be OK. I thank Pol and Gudrid Patursson for a nice boat trip to Koltur.

Back home I saw on the confluence project web site that on 9 July there had been an attempt to reach the Koltur confluence from the north, especially mentioning the dangers of the currents.


 All pictures
#1: View sorth
#2: View west
#3: View north
#4: View east
#5: GPS
#6: Boat crew Pol and Gudrid
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)
  Notes
Just about 50 m off the coast of the small island Koltur.