Getting to know Agnés
Agnés Fournier comes from Montréal in Canada and has worked for North Sailing for the past two summers.
I sat down with her to learn a little about her and how she ended up here, in the far North.
“I lived here for a few years when I was a kid. My parents were music teachers and needed a job. They had the choice between moving to Japan or coming here to Húsavík and work in the local music school.
Three summers ago, in 2009, I came back to Iceland to visit some friends. I started by traveling up the east coast -stopped in Húsavík and was then suppose to keep on down to the south. But once I got here I couldn’t leave, so I stayed here for the remaining three weeks of my holiday! And before I left I asked if I could come back the next summer to work. And I did.”
Last year, 2010, Agnés worked in the “Lighthouse” selling tickets on our whale-watching tours but spent almost all the time off she had on the sailing boats, just for fun and to learn, but she has a big passion for sailing.
So this summer she is back on the sailing boats, full time, both as a guide and deckhand.
“In late August I will go back to Canada, I have enrolled myself in a school that trains people as boatsman on sailing boats. It’s a three month course where I will learn more about sailing and how to do almost every job that needs to be done on sailing boats. Rigging, sailmaking and the nature of rope work, to name a few things.
The course is taught onboard Picton Castle, which is a three-masted tall ship based in a small town called Lunenburg in Nova Scotia. The town is about the same size as Húsavík and I’ve heard it has the same charm, so I’m very excited!”
Agnés plans to come back to Húsavík to work for North Sailing next summer, and the summer after that and the one after that. And she hopes she will be able to bring with her all the things she will learn in Lunenburg to pass it on to new crew members.
I asked her what her role on our sailing boats, Haukur and Hildur, is?
“When I am a guide on a tour my job is to make sure passengers feel well and are comfortable as well as to entertain them. I have to find whales to show them, but that of course is a collaboration between all crew members and the passengers even, and then educate people about the whales that we see. And in general just be there for people the whole tour. As a deckhand I also need to be conscious about the people on board, I take part in handling the sails and explain to people about sailing so they enjoy it as much as possible. And deckhands also make the hot chocolate to give to passengers at the end of the tour!”
Agnés onboard Hildur in Greenland last summer
Halla Marín Hafþórsdóttir