Saturday, 25 July 2015

Skarvanes and Sandúr in Sandoy

All these are in the Faroe Islands, and there are more: Skálavik, Skopun...

Skarvanes  is a settlement in the west coast of Sandoy, one if the Faroe islands. Other settlements on the island are Húsavík, Sandoy, Dalur, Sandúr  (the main town) and Skopun (the main harbour).

Skarvanes is a tiny hamlet - there are only three families living there.

Most of the houses in the scenic village are used as summer house.

The old watermill with grass roofs is still well preserved.

Coordinates: 61°47′ N, 6°44′ W
Population :  ~ 13

The seaside road views to the nearby smaller islands. Watch for sheep !

The faroese painter Díðrikur á Skarvanesi (1802-1865) was born in Skarvanes. Another Faroese artist, Ruth Smith, has a few paintings of Skarvanes:

Sakarvanes, by Ruth Smith

Sandúr is the largest village on the island Sandoy. Sandúr means ‘Sand’ and Sandoy means ‘sandy island’.

The settlement is located between an inlet and the largest lake on the island , the Sandsvatn, rich in trout and salmon.

Sandúr was a site of the Viking parliament, the Thing, where every year the spring assembly Várting was held.

Coordinates: 61°50′ N, 6°48′ W
Population: ~560

There are two main attractions in Sandúr: the museum and the church.

Sands Listasavn Art Museum

The museum and the art works displayed inside were a gift from Sofus Olsen. It was built in 2005.

The church, also under a grass-covered roof, was built in 1839 over several other previous older churches - the oldest found to be from the 11th century!

Excavations have shown that around year 1000 a norse stave church was standing where the present church is now.

Entrance door

The island of Sandoy is rather flat, with good farming land, and not so spectacular as some other in the Faroese archipelago.

Scenic roads are narrow and dangerously winding above the ocean.

But its coast allows fabulous views to neighbour Stóra Dimun and Lítla Dimun, rough cliffs near Sandúr, and there are more sand and beach areas on Sandoy than on the other islands.

The dunes near Sandúr

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Good! Thick sea ice persisted northwest of Greenland !

As I showed in a previous post, this was not a bad year for Arctic ice. In fact, the volume of Arctic sea ice increased by a third following the unusually cool summer of 2013.

Lead author Rachel Tilling, from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at UCL, said,

The summer of 2013 was much cooler than recent years, with temperatures typical of those seen in the late 1990s. This allowed thick sea ice to persist northwest of Greenland because there were fewer days when it could melt. Although models have suggested that the volume of Arctic sea ice is in long-term decline, we know now that it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short.