27 May 2005

cruising, Reykjavik style

Monday evening found J and I a little restless, and in need of some entertainment, so we decided to go for a drive. We had heard about the new pride of Iceland, their largest fishing ship ever that had just arrived in the harbor here, so we thought we'd check it out. It´s named Engey, and is over 100 meters long, so it wasn't hard to spot in the harbor. When something that big is in town, everyone knows because there is so little else in the area that sticks up that far.

The ship was off on the far side of the harbor, and we wanted to get up close, so J took us down the secret side road. It starts near the recycling center, passes a local coffeeshop, and winds through the business end of the harbor, where the oil tankers unload and some of the fish catch is processed. There also happens to be some places to pick up tents and lawn ornaments (want a fountain? how about a concrete dinosaur?) down next to the massive oil tanks at the end of the road. We thought we would be mixing with the real salt-of-the-earth shipyard workers, so we weren't prepared for a guy in a 4x4 to drive by, sipping on a milkshake. When he took off down the dock towards Engey, slaloming between the tugboat gangplank and the empty fish-storage boxes stacked along the wharf buildings, so J followed him, since he had no more business being there than we did.

At the end of the dock, surrounded by wharf equipment and cranes, we found an odd assemblage of cars and people, all seemingly with the same plan to see what the new ship was all about. Here we thought it was this crazy and unusual thing to do, and it was just business as usual for these people who had all caravanned out to see the new arrival.

We got more of the story yesterday we were at coffee with some locals, and one of them said that it's what some people always do- there is a certain population of old fishermen who make it their business to know exactly which boats have arrived and go down to inspect them on a daily basis. I guess J and I are just getting an early start on it.

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