Authored by Dave Forcucci
It was a nice day for a boat ride and Guðni Hrafn Pétursson Olsen was heading out to the Westfjords on a mission. His Uncles have a house on a remote stretch of beach that was abandoned back in the mid sixties due to unusually severe ice conditions. Now they use the house seasonally during the summer months. One of his uncles had the day off from fishing cod and invited Guðni, an expert hunter, to pay a visit and hunt mink. The mink are invasive and will prey on the protected Eider ducks whose nests have provided down to a thriving eiderdown industry for centuries: Click here for video on Eider down. Guðni was enthusiastic about the task ahead but what was he really hunting for that day?
Back in August 2020 Guðni had found a Float Your Boat in the Westfjords region of Iceland and since then he has become an ambassador for the program. And incredibly enough, has reported four additional boats that were found by friends and family along that same coast.
A year after he found his boat, he was visiting his grandfather and discovered that a boat, which was displayed on a side table, had been found by his uncle at least a year before Guðni found his.
Both boats came from Box 4 which was deployed at the positing 85N 150W on September 15, 2015 from the US Icebreaker Healy. The boats were found on the same stretch of Munaðarnes coast within a few miles from each other.
Then in February 2022 Guðni got a call from a friend who was walking his dog, Blíða, along another stretch of beach on the Westfjords near Reykjaneshyrna. Thomas Cedric and Delphine had known about Float Your Boat from Guðni prior to finding the boat and knew just who to call. It seems unfathomable that after this, yet another boat discovery would be connected to Guðni.
As his uncle navigated past the Drangaskörð, the ghosts were probably snickering about what was in store for Guðni visit. I can only imagine what was on Guðni's mind as they landed ashore. Was he scoping every inch of beach in sight for toy wood boats? Probably? Had he imagined discovering a boat sitting on the side table in his uncle's house? I can only imagine his reaction when he found not one but TWO boats on the window sill! His Uncle could not recall who had found them but it didn’t matter, the stamps and the wood grain were traced back to Box 3 deployed with Box 4. Not only were the two boats in the same box but they were next to each other and actually touching each other. How they managed to find their way, together, to the same beach can only be imagined.
Back in 2015 as Healy pulled away from the boxes of boats left behind on a lonely expanse of sea ice, no one could ever imagine seeing the boats again. With a dozen boats reported and a number of fun stories behind their discovery we wait with anticipation for what’s to come next for Float Your Boat.