Getting to know…Annukka
Annukka Pekkarinen from Finland has recently joined our team for this summer as a whale watching guide and deckhand on our schooner tours. She has studied Marine Biology and Coastal Marine Management. We sat down together in our cosy staffroom, and I would like to share this short interview with you.
Q: Annukka, welcome to Húsavík. Why did you choose North Sailing as an employer for this summer?
A: The short answer – because of the schooners. But the longer answer would be, because I can combine both my passions, sailing on traditional schooners and studying marine mammals. I did a course on marine mammals with the Research Institute here in Húsavík, and after I had seen the schooners in the harbor I really wanted to work on them, and I enjoy living in Iceland.
Q: Not knowing too much about Finland, but what makes living in Iceland special, compared to life in Finland?
A: In Iceland you find a very special environment and a nice mentality in people. Everything is so cosy here, small scaled, and it is not so much about rules, more about improvising. For example, I spent a winter in Isafjörður in the Westfjords and when people got stuck there because flights were not operating due to weather, nobody got mad or upset or stressed, people just deal with it.
Q: You mentioned the schooners earlier. What makes them so special for you?
A: They are strong boats, made of oak and I love the fact, that they have been given a new life as whale watching boats. In that sense North Sailing is maintaining the heritage.
Q: Do you have a favourite? Haukur or Hildur?
A: No, I don’t. But Haukur is easier to handle for me, everything is a bit smaller and not so heavy than on Hildur. But I am good at delegating, so when we put up sails on our tours I just ask passengers to help me, and they are always more than willing to.
Q: What do you think attracts our passengers on the sailing boats the most? Whales, puffins or sails?
A: I think they enjoy everything, sometimes we have ornithologists on board, that are more interested in birds than in whales. But when we put up sails, turn off the engine and sail back home, everybody loves that.
Q: You have been here only a short time, but is there one moment that you enjoyed most or liked best so far?
A: Yes, when we have put up sails and are heading back to the harbour, no engine is running and then there are whales coming up. I love those moments. Everything is so quiet and peaceful.
Q: Do you have a favorite whale species?
A: I would say the minke whales. They are the most mysterious of all.
Q: Where does your interest in the sea come from?
A: When I was a child I went to summer camps during school holidays. One year I attended a sailing camp, and that is when I discovered my passion for the sea. But I am the only one in the family. I even had my graduation party on a boat. The weather was not perfect and not everybody enjoyed it that much as I did.
Q: What are your plans for after the summer?
A: I will be joining a project in Finnland doing research on sediments in the seabed.
Thank you Annukka!
Húsavík, 12.07.2012, Ute Zimmer