In Skjálfandi Bay, Two Old Trawlers Resemble a New Era
It wasn’t the most standard greeting in Húsavík; schooner Opal blowing its horn towards Húni II, a visitor in Skjálfandi Bay. Originally built as trawlers, these two boats now serve another purpose, touring and maintaining old sailing traditions.
Of all the 100 oak boats built in Iceland between 1940 and 1970, Húni II is a one-of-a-kind remain. If it had not been for two visionaries, Þorvaldur Skaftason and Erna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, the boat’s saga would have ended on New Year’s Eve in 1994 — as a bonfire material. Instead, it was restored and used for whale watching in Reykjavik, following North Sailing’s success in preserving Icelandic oak fishing-boats for tourism. So, when Húni II sailed into Húsavik’s harbor it stood out less than it would anywhere else in the country.
On board was a band of well known musicians, touring fishing villages in Iceland, using the boat as a venue. The first sounds that day, however, came from Opal’s horn, a welcoming by three generations of the North Sailing family: Sigurbjörn Sörensson (pictured right), father of Hörður (left), father of Heimir (middle). Also pictured are Philipp Grözinger, boatsman, and Sigrún Björg, guide.