Fjords, headlands, and one island

At the start I need to establish this, we are paddling against headwind. We have been paddling against headwind for the last twenty six days. Each day the headwind was of at least of force 4/5 and then 6,7,8 and more, for whole or part of the day. We have paddled against it up to the force 6, force 7 has reversing power on us. Only two days out of the twenty six we had tail wind of variable force 4-6, which gave us some push, but raised the sea to exciting levels. Now, that I got this of my chest, I can proceed with the writing. The fact that we are battling against the wind has its effect on when we paddle, and how far, but is also slowly taking its toll on our physical strength. 

The last few days we were fighting our way around a rather large headland west of Eyjafjordur. We started this leg in Lónkot with a fairly short leg during the day. Then we decided to have a rest and to continue overnight. We left Olnbogi (Miklavatn) at half past midnight. 

Having the light here 24/7 is great, as one would not really know if it is day or night anyway. The beginning of the paddle was very serene. All was calm, the sea, the air, no one was around, no cars on the road above us, birds were sleeping. We could not hear a sound, not even of the sea crushing on the cliffs, or hum of waterfalls, and no wind yet to whistle past our ears. The smaller fjords, which we could see were a mixture of green, brown, and black and white colours covered by purple tint. This lasted until we approached the west side of Eyjafjordur. A cruise ship appeared in the distance and disappeared into the fjord towards Akureyri long before we came to the corner. Only later could we hear the distant sound of first fishing boat. And slowly the calmness was replaced with the usual cacophony of sounds lead by the wind.   

Soon the Gjogurta lighthouse came into view and we felt that we were almost there. The first bay wasn’t very friendly for landing kayaks, so we had to add another seven kilometres into the Thorgeirfjordur. What was an agony first, became worth it in the end. 

Thorgeirfjodur had a emergency shelter, which has been restored into more plush accommodation resembling a summer house. We arrived at 10.30 in the morning and went straight to have a nap before making decision what next. To do that we had to climb to the top of the hill to catch enough reception. The views were great. Thogeirfjordur is rather large bay, with a long valley along a river, surrounded by showy peeks. We could see many remains of former houses, a settlement has been here since early times until 1944. It had a church with a small graveyard. In 1944 the last three families left, two of which went to Flatey island. 

Flatey island was where we were heading to next. The forecast indicated that there was no rush the next day, as we would only be able to paddle the short distance to the island. We could see it already the previous day. A strip of land, 2,5km long with houses. 

They all seemed strangely empty as we arrived. Once permanently occupied, they are summer houses now. Flatey has a church, lighthouse, community hall and two clean flushing toilets with toilet paper. Something that we consider a luxury at the moment. What it doesn’t have is running water for random visitors. We walked around the whole island, past every house until we found one with people in. Lucky for us, as we need some more water to what we have. The couple was lovely, and true to Icelandic hospitality invited us for coffee and shared the history of the island with us. 

The next morning, quite early, we left to cross the Skjalfandi towards Tjornes. The crossing was foggy and wet. Husavik, which is situated at the south east side of the bay is famous for whale watching, sadly, we saw none. I know, we would have more chances if we were inside, but we would like to continue later on and really, with the constant headwind, we are trying to minimise the distance, we have to make. 

Skagafjordur

We have no pictures from the start of this paddle as there wasn’t much to see in the morning fog and drizzle. Our journey started at the Skagata lighthouse, which resembles a tower and is orange, as many of Icelandic lighthouses are.  Our plan was to cross to the other side of the Skagafjordur. With the north easterly wind, we had to start crossing as far north to allow us to aim slightly more south to cheat the headwind into quarterly wind. We left the Skagi shore quite swiftly, and followed the compass bearing into the grey. 

After some time the outline of Drangey island could be seen. As it slowly made its way out of the fog and mist it became an impressive structure, which looked like a big castle. According to legend a couple of night trolls were once travelling across the fjord. They had their cow with them. When the sun came out the trolls were turned into the rocks. Nowadays only the woman troll can be seen as a stack, standing next to the island – the cow, the man long gone.

The sea was enjoying the wind and the waves were gaily rolling to us, there and now splashing into our faces. We carried on, and at some point the distant outline took a shape of the next island, the Málmey. 

The island is bordered by cliffs, being 156 metres above the sea level at its highest point. It’s flat at the top, and green with pastures. It was inhabited in the past, the last people left in 1950 after their farm burned down. It wasn’t clear how they landed there, but there must be a landing place at the south point of the island hidden from our view. Another local legend says that this island is cursed and no one can live there for longer than twenty years. Another interesting fact is that mice apparently cannot survive there at all. 

Once we passed this island, we still had some time to reach our destination. We chose a random place in the bay. We landed and pulled the boats up the steep bouldery bank. We were close to a cluster of houses and something that indicated a golf course. 
We later learnt that it is a former golf course, still a campsite, and that they have a hot tub open twenty four seven. And so, for now, we were home. 

Skagi

Today can be summarised in very few words, but I will start at the beginning first. Yesterday morning we left very beautiful and very freezing Reykjanes and crossed forty kilometres over to the Skagi peninsula.

 We were greeted by a wall of shingles and warmth. We liked both, and decided to pitch our tent right above the sea on the shingles and bask in the evening sun. We landed quite close to a farm and every animal came to check us out, the horses, the sheep and cows. We decided to go to the farm house as we had no water and didn’t fancy the one flowing across such busy fields. At the farm we were greeted by even warmer arms of the farm lady and were invited to have coffee, and then given bread, butter and smoked fish. This was wonderful as we are running slightly low on some food. 

The night on the shingles was comfortable and we treated ourselves to a slightly lazy start. There’s nowhere to rush, we could see the wind already waiting for us. Today will be hard work, whatever distance we choose to do. It went like this: the wind was a strong F5 headwind, and one had to use the whole body to make any progress forward. However every so often, it went a little still, as if the wind was taking its breath. That was our chance to gain some metres, and then brace ourselves for the gust, here the paddling just managed to maintain our position and not to reverse. 

We have been doing this for five hours paddling around the top of Skegi. The low green land here was a stark contrast to the high cliffs from previous days. It was enjoyable to paddle close to land and there and now see the amazing formations of the basalt columns. 

The last, sixth hour, was different. We rounded a headland and were crossing a bay, the wind was now from side, so the routine changed, the waves took over. They were rocking us up and down, and only there and now one decided to break over a boat, not threatening, but enough to send the cold sea splashing all over us. 

THE MIND GAMES

When we arrived to Sudureyri seventeen days ago we knew we would not be paddling for next day or two. That’s was fine as we have paddled for few days and felt that we were making good progress so far. We were looking forward to the stop as we had to do some shopping before our next leg, the Hornstandir. The first day of rest was fine, the second was ok, then as the forecast wasn’t getting any better came the time to become more creative with planning and paddling and we started to look for smaller weather windows at any time, day or night.
Sometimes those windows turned out to be much shorter than forecasted or not as calm as promised, in the end forecast is just a forecast and local conditions can alter it significantly. The start of the crossing to Adalvik was rough but doable. We had options to continue or turn into the safety of Isafjord. Both options were against the wind. We had quite a long discussion at the corner to agree that it was a good idea to continue, and that we were both happy to commit to the hard crossing. 

Then we became wind bound in Latravik for five days. Surprisingly the first few days were relaxing. The weather forecast was way of beyond paddling so there was no need thinking if we should be or should not be paddling. Finally, after the five long days, already eight since we left Sudureyri, we could see a window coming which might give us chance of passing Straumness. We decided to take on the challenge. 

We hard earned the progress, yet looking back it is interesting to see how decision “should we or shouldn’t” is made. Is having a “chance” to pass certain point and make desired progress good enough to go? Especially with the knowledge that it either has to be made all the way as there may not be a chance to turn back, and definitely no way of stepping out of it? The decision making this time was definitely influenced by the time sitting on land waiting. 

In contrary if long mileage is done and good progress achieved it is almost natural to look on same conditions and decide to stay on land instead of taking chances. We learnt that big part of this decision making progress depends on feelings of being strong or tired, both mentally and physically. Like the morning in Bjarnarfjordur. Day before we achieved a long day of 70kilometres and left the Hornstandir area, where we spent nine days. We were eager to continue. The forecast was ok-ish. We packed everything, changed to drysuits and just when we were ready to start to load the boats the wind came with strong gusts. Fresh on our memory was the knackering finish of previous day, which was giving us a feeling that this paddle would be about taking chances. So we pitched our tent again and decided to wait for better weather laying down in our sleeping bags. Listening to and watching the tent shaking with every gust we were reassured of making a good decision.  

The following day we decided to move on despite the forecast being almost identical to previous day. But looking at the sea, it looked friendlier, and we felt we could do it. And so we left and paddled in big following sea until Reykjaness. Because really, the conditions looked promising for the next day, today, to cross forty plus kilometres across Hunafloi towards Skagi area. 

Both sides of the Point of Straumness

We arrived to Latrar at 1am. Compare to what we have paddled through the bay was calm. It went darker for few moments, but already the light was coming back again. There were houses scattered on both sides of the large bay of Adalvik, we opted for the more sheltered side, called Latravík. We were told that in this part of West fjords we are unlikely to see many people, as all of the houses here are summer houses and it is still quite early. The next morning we decided to explore the place better. We walked to where the school once stood. As before, people have indeed lived here, benefitting from the sheltered bay for fishing and farming. However they have left the place in 1952 as life was really harsh. After that, the only people inhabiting this place were the Americans. 

They decided to build an Air Defence Radar station on top of the mountain Straumness in the 1953. First troops arrived in 1956 with the station starting to fulfil its function in 1958, however it lasted only for two and half years as it was too expensive to operate. 

I guess the nature was not very happy with such structure and tried to dismantle it as much as possible. The old records talk about “Old Friend Gust” throwing stuff around a lifting people of thir feet. We have climbed the mountain in order to catch some signal, and the place didn’t look very welcoming to human beings. 

Anyway, continuing with our explorational walk, we have ventured back down to the water, and there we found some human life. First it was a man painting a side of a shed. We exchanged few words, he in Icelandic, we in English before we parted our ways. Then, as soon as we left him, we came across another man standing next to his house right on the small quay. 

Here, we exchanged few more words, and we got invited to have coffee. We don’t know much Icelandic yet, but we understand the important key words. 

Inside the house were yet more people. And so we found out that these three brothers were here on holidays in what used to be their grandparents and parents’ house. 

When we established who is who, and how did we get there, we were invited to stay with them for few days. As the descendant from Old Friend Gust will be loose for few more days. 

We would like to thank to Frederic, Inky and Gunnar, who invited us in the warmth and dry of their house, and shared their meals with us. We spent the five following days playing cards, walking around in the gales, eating pancakes and waffles, potatoes and fish. I have to admit, that when we were offered the sheep’s heads, we kindly declined. We drank lots of coffee and listened to Icelandic radio. Only the weather wasn’t getting any better. We knew, as every time the weather forecast went, Frederic looked at us and started laughing. 

Then came Saturday, the day that Frederic was due to leave, and the time came for us to move out and back into the rescue hut. The boat arrived quite early in the morning and with it a lot of people and equipment, which was unloaded fairly close to our end of the beach. Someone would be repairing their summer house. The boat came once more, the bay started to fill with summer house owners for the weekend. The weather has also calmed enough, that we made a plan to leave that night. And good decision we made as later in the day, some walkers appeared, also wanting to stay in the hut. Yes, it was time to go, so as they were settling for a night sleep, we started to pack. By half past ten we were ready. As soon as we sat in the boat, I realised that my rudder wasn’t working. So we were delayed by small repair. Finally we were leaving. Earlier we went to bit our good byes to people in the house, and it was heartwarming to see Gunnar standing in the doorway, waving us off as we paddled past. Then, we were on our own, with the deserted wilderness in front of us. 
The main challenge of our paddle that day was the point of Straumnes. The most northerly point of West Fjords and place where currents meet. Earlier in the day the offshore buoy was showing 3.2 metres waves. We were hoping that that would have calmed down a bit by now, and that we could to sneak by closer to the shore. 
I won’t be going into much details of our paddle here. Let’s just say that the sea was the biggest we’ve been in so far, with fairly steep waves coming fast to us as we battled against the head wind. Because of course as soon as we left the calmness of the bay and came to the end of the headland, the wind came in full force. We paddled hard for three hours, slowly making progress. When we started paddling, we were hoping for such conditions to allow us to make reasonable progress and cover some considerable distance. Now, we were only aiming to the next closest bay, and another emergency hut, in Fljótavik. The plan changed to get rest for few hours, and try to continue later. 
We landed at 3.30am, and I decided that by 4am, I would be sleeping, by 8am getting up and 9am, we will be paddling again. We managed to keep this plan, and woke up into reasonably calm morning. The paddle out of the bay was great, we went through some rocks and woke few seals. Then the headland came, and the wind, and the wild sea. It took us ten minutes to make the decision to go back. It would only get worst as the cliffs proceed, and it is a long way to the next landing place. And so, we turned and came back to Fljótavik. The day would now be spent eating, sleeping, exploring and contemplating when would be the next best time to paddle. 
We made a cup of coffee and sat outside the hut. The doorway sheltered us from the wind, but the air outside was fresher than the stale musty one inside. After a while just as we were finishing the cup, the telly was turned on. Today’s program was to be a short sketch of the life of a hiker. Two silhouettes, which reminded us of the two walkers from yesterday, appeared. They were getting ready to cross a fairly wide river mouth across the bay from us. We made second cup of coffee to go along with the program. Fortunately, just when Michal started to think that he would have to put his drysuit back on and go and save them from the middle of the current or sea, they gave up and walked away from our sight. 
What now? 

Then in few moments, a boat appeared and quickly made its way across the bay. Talk about deserted places and no people early in the season. It moored close to our side of the bay. We made a third cup of coffee and decided to watch how they will fare the offloading and disembarking in the strong wind. It didn’t go really well, so after the first round, they decided not to use sandy end of the beach closer to houses, but off load right in front of us as it was a short and more sheltered ride in the dingy. 

And my, was there lots of stuff. As we didn’t fancy any more coffee, and this was happening on our doorstep, we decided to go and help with the offloading. Little did we know, that these guys are arriving for a month, and will be repairing stuff and laying new floor. Soon, Michal felt like at his own work and the pile of random stuff grew next to our hut. 

In the end, we were invited to stay in one of the houses by its owner, who’s mother happens to be Frederic’s cousin. In the past there were several families living here, but like elsewhere, some decided to go as life was very harsh. When only six families were left, life became unsustainable, and in the summer of 1946 the remaining six left. Today, those, whose ancestors lived here own the land, and can come and build houses. However the number of those is limited, and for this bay, it’s only nine. Tonight, in this bay there would be three guys, two dogs and us staying. 

The sleeping plan for the day was postponed, we allowed some time for the guys to settle in and repair their motors to fetch the stuff before moving in. Later, we helped to unpack and stack the new flooring for it to be ready. Now, we just have to wait for the weather to turn in our favour again. Hope it won’t be days. 

Nocturnal creatures

We woke up into what would be our third day in Skalavik. We like to think that we know how to be land bound. One just has to slow down, let the time pass and entertain one self with everything possible. For example, when there are days to be waited through, each action needs to be done as one. So if one is cooking, then that’s it, no coffee drinking or even reading if one is cooking. Also if someone is cooking, the other person, should not waist any other activity, that can be done after cooking. It is ok to help, or even watch, but definitely not go for quick walk, boat check, or tidy tent, these all can be done after. The same goes with reading. When books or even individual lettres in them are sparse, there are some internal rules to apply. So it is not ok to read after waking up. After waking up, it is good to check, if it is possible to sleep some more. If not, then getting up is a good time filler. After that breakfast could be done, then tea, then washing up, then some rest. If coffee is being cooked, then reading is definitely not allowed. Walk before reading is good, followed by another tea. Sticking to one action at the time, with some walk or people watching (if possible) thrown in, then reading may not even happen till later. But if one is sleepy after such exertion, then it is definitely waste of pages trying to sleep on them. And so it goes. The day fills in, and valuable pages might have been saved for another rainy non paddling day. It is also not allowed to reach for book on the first non paddling day, as more may follow after. And then what? 

Fortunately today was meant to be entertaining enough without needing to reach into the bag to get a book. Maggi, the one who helped us with SPOT, finished his weekend task early and promised to come to pick us up for some food shopping. It will be our last chance before crossing over Isafjordur and Jokulfirdir towards Hornstrandir. True to his words he came, and somehow the day worked out, that we ended up in his parents’ house eating their Sunday roast. Thank you Mrs Maggi’s mum. 

After charging everything and much weather checking, we made a decision, we will paddle that evening. 

Maggi dropped us back, and we got to work. It takes us two hours at least to pack our stuff, get ready and launch. By quarter past six we were ready. The wind was a steady F4 with the prospect of it calming down, it was a headwind to go past the headline. But everything could be different as the mountains and fjords tend to do their own thing with the wind. 

The wind at the first headland was more than F4, I didn’t think I wanted to continue with the 23 kilometres crossing in this. We decided to paddle a little bit hoping that the headland is holding the wind more, and it would be calmer further on. It was also blowing quite strongly down from the fjords. We had two options, paddle across with headwind from side or paddle into Bolungarvik with straight on headwind. First meant long by distance, annoying by side waves, tiring by wind paddle but making progress in our aim, second meant headwind paddle round the corner. We decided for the first option, hoping that it would die down as forecasted. 

The whole distance was about 20 nautical miles and with the intended slow progress we prepared for long night. Fortunately, we’re in Iceland, so daylight wasn’t an issue, yet, the day slowly came to an end, the light turned blue, and we watched the midnight sun to go to sleep. 

It was amazing how much fuel an odd roast dinner gives to nighttime kayakers, that and some of Maggi’s bat power gave us enough strength to make good progress. We reached the opposite headland according to plan and marvelled and celebrated with yet more bats. ,

At one o’clock in the morning we landed in Latravik in the bay of Adalvik. Only when out of boats and performing all the necessary actions of getting the boats out of water, and us ready for the rest, we realised how much energy we spent and how tired we were. We opted for a night in the emergency hut, as I only really had enough energy to find my sleeping bag and mat, and blow it up. 

LAND BOUND IN SKALAVIK

There could be worst places to become stuck on land while waiting for the weather to become paddler friendly again. We had an opportunity to see Skalavik before arriving here by kayaks. We have been land bound for a while now. First it was in Sudureyri. We did not mind really as it allowed us time to shop and sort out few things without really loosing valuable paddling time. 

Suduryeri is close to main road to Isajfordur, where the shops are. So for one day, we became tourists. Isafjordur looks great, town once, rich due to fishing trade, has now become an outdoor sport heaven for hiking, skiing, kayaking, and so on. 

On the journey back, on the bus this time, we also continued in the attempt to sort out our unreliable SPOT. Unfortunately the company has not been very helpful, once they could not blame it on us using the wrong batteries, we don’t, just the correct lithium ones, they tried to pin it down to cold weather. They realised we were in Iceland, and probably thought, it must be same as the arctic. Now, when we made it clear to them, that it has not been that cold, and surely ten degree Celsius cannot be that cold, they decided that our device was too old, and they can not help us at all. We will be looking for new options once we can, but now we needed to sort this one out. 

With the help of social media, the Icelanders, and especially Gudni Pall Viktorsson came up with a plan. And so while we were soaking the stress away in the local heated swimming pool it was sorted. 
In the evening Maggi visited us, and kindly brought us his device, same as ours, and allowed us to change it to our account. Then he took us for a ride to Skalavík. 

And Skalavík is where we are now. This time we arrived here by sea. To be able to leave Sudureyri and to paddle within the slight weather windows, we had to get up early and start going by 4.30am. Amazingly the staff in the guest house got up as well and made us breakfast, we even had waffles. I think it was their power that got me pushing against the solid F5 with occasional F6 past the headlands through the big seas into the bay. 
We arrived by 7am. After setting up the camp , sleeping and waking up again, the day has been great. It was sunny and warm so we took a walk around. It is important to get a good view on our surroundings, as we will be here for a while. 

The forecast is still too windy to make a move. And today, Saturday, has been rainy as well. Never mind, even if we are in a fairly remote place, the road here has opened few days ago, and brings different entertainment every so often.  

Three times three

The last stretch, the one that no one not even us, can see on our tracker has been about trios or things that come in threes. 

Firstly, we have paddled across three fjords. First fjord was called Arnarfjordur, and if we paddled inside we could have visited a birth place of Jón Sigurdsson, the leader of the 19th century Icelandic independence movement. We have not done that as that would be just too far in. We stayed on the outside and later spotted a tiny digger fixing a road above the sea on the side of a tall mountain. That was very impressive. After that we crossed the Dýrafjordur. It has a little headland bit, which is very green against black background, with an orange lighthouse at the tip, and surprisingly some sheep as well. The third fjord we have crossed was the Onundarfjordur. Inside which were three identical mountains. All magnificent, black and white, and a little bit surreal. Once again we were taken aback by the scale of the landscape. For the whole day we were imagining being in Greenland. Not that we ever been there, but this is how we imagine it, desolated landscape formed by glaciers. 
Secondly, were our encounters with fishing boats. From previous experiences, any time we see a boat, we are very vary of it, making sure we know where it is all the time, and stay out of its path. So, we had three encounters so far. One boat was trying to create yet bigger conditions on top of the big ones, we already had. The next boat was watching us, waving at us, showing us a fish they just line caught, but failing to give it to us. Something they could have done, just because they might have been nice people, and we could enrich our diet. The third boat will be forever in my memory as the one, who tried to run us over. We were negotiating yet another race at a headland, when this boat started to get really close, we tried to see where it was actually pointing to avoid it. However the confused sea was making it pointing it at us. Why?! We could not understand, until the guy came really close and got his camera out. He just wanted to take pictures. Can I just say that if any other fisherman wants to come close to us, they can, but only at calm seas and when they want to share their catch with us, please? 
Now the third and most important part of this triptych. We spend 12 hours paddling, and were heading some 60 kilometres away towards a town called Sudureyri. It is a town closest to main road, where we were hoping to do some shopping. We started to run short of few things: the power in some of our devices, the whiskey and the toilet paper. I’m no sure which one of the last two is more crucial really. 

It’s getting more interesting

It’s getting more and more interesting. The last two days especially. Yesterday we decided to round the most westerly point and have a look at the most westerly lighthouse of Europe. What started as a leisury sunny paddle across a bay past long sandy beach resulted into something, what I can summarise into the following: rolling big southwesterly swell against strong northerly wind, and tide that was doing who knows what. Fortunately we could see none of it too well as in the same moment the fog descended and left us with 100 metres visibility.Just before we also met some bird watchers on a small boat, when they heard we were going round the west corner they told us about the race, and yachts going backwards there. All in all we managed and landed on a minor surf beach. 
Today we set off for a shorter paddle as we decided against any crossings into forecasted headwind. When it started, we decided not to land in a particularly surfy bay, but see what’s round the corner. And then we were paddling against headwind force five and against waves that I can only describe as huge-hugely-huge with small breaking tops. Wasn’t that just fun! Sadly it was beyond us taking the camera out. And just as we were almost out of it, a fishing boat passed us quite close. I decided to demonstrate that we are someone, who negotiates these every day, and waved. So did this fisherman, and also took it, that we were ok, which we were. Only then sped off full blast, so this hugely huge waves with small breaking tops were joined by fast approaching big surf waves of his wake. 

When it all calmed and we looked around, we almost felt that we got lost. There wasn’t any small sheltered bay, but the Patreksfjordur, the same one against which crossing we decided earlier. 

Oh well, we crossed it then, and found amazing campsite with our own cold pool. And many old ruins. We saw old ruins in all our three previous campsites. They were remains of old farms and former summer fishing stations. For example the one from yesterday,  Brunnar, was an ancient fishing station used till 1620, and then as season station till 1880.

Across Breidafjoerdur

Yesterday we said good bye to Sneafell peninsula and crossed towards Western Fjords. It was about 30NM and we estimated we would need ten hours for this. We set off fairly early in the morning as not to have to land too late. This wasn’t our first crossing of this distance, but the conditions we had, were one of the biggest we experienced so far. Again it was nothing we have not paddled in before, however on such a long exposed water it was something. The wind was mostly from side generating waves, which were then emphasised by big swell. And so it went on all day. Only towards the evening the wind probably decided we must have been too warm, and stared to cool us down in our faces. 

As always, the last three hours were the longest. The land was close enough to see it well, but it took forever to get there closer. 

Then, finally, we were there. It took ten hours and then some time to find suitable landing place. The big rolling swell was rolling exactly towards the same beach as us. Fortunately we found a little-tiny-bit-almost-nothing sheltered bay and manage to execute surf landing between rocks, something I always wanted to do after 12 hours paddling. 

It took forever to get the boats sorted and our tent pitched. To the point that we had to go to sleep without dinner. There was no energy to get the stove going.  

On the plus side, morning was wonderful, sunny, we had great view over the sea, and yet more rolling waves, waterfall was humming in the background, as we enjoyed coffee. Somehow we were still quite tired from yesterday and needed to take it slowly to recover.