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værøy - the text



VÆRØY lies at 12°35' W and 67°40' N in the polar sea. It is nearly the most southern inhabited island of the Lofotes and is to be found 120 km north of the polar circle. It is separated in the north from the other islands by the WATER and the malice of the Maelstroem.

In January, when it is dark throughout the day and the storm shatters the drying-racks of the fishermen, the boats are coming from the north and the south. For centuries the fathers have been moving northwards to harvest the abundance of the sea. It is an adventure of which all sons at the coasts are dreaming of for generations; the fever has gripped them all.

The north-west-wind carries the young codfish along. It comes from the regions between the nothcape, Spitzbergen and Nowaja Semlja. The great shoal to the south unites billions of fish searching for the warmer water levels to be found next to the Lofotes, between the cold water-surface and the warm gulf stream. As soon as the mating season is over, they wander to the north and end up in the Vestfjord funnel, where the is no way out. Now the fishermen can start catching and catching and catching.

Here the EARTH is the soil to stand on. Here the post has been knocked in to moor the boat. The island itself is a ship in the ocean.

Not the FIRE of the sun is making life possible, but the WATER of the gulf stream is warming the land and the AIR. The WATER nourishes the people, who have to survive the storm and the endless night of the winter. During the summer they see the sun in the north and it doesn't even touch the horizon. The light is softened by the clouds, and their rain envelops the skin like a fairy veil. On this island the EARTH submits its life-creating gift to the WATER.