Wednesday, June 11, 2003

When we arrived at the jetty at Skeppsdal to go to Birds Island on Saturday, C. the fashion photographer was sitting in the little motorboat trying to get the engine to do more than just rev and die. He’d just barely made it over from the island to pick us up, but now it was hopeless and we weren’t going to get anywhere fast. So, we filled the boat with bags and packages, and he set off with the husband, the two of them taking turns rowing awkwardly in a boat not meant to be rowed, with the wrong oars and no proper place to sit.

Nearly an hour later, A. the assistant director and I at last stepped into the taxi boat to make our way to the island. We’d gone maybe a sixth of the way when we could finally see C. and the husband struggling against the shore of some other island, still far from being even halfway home.

When we arrived at the island, A. left with the neighbor in another boat to find them and tow them home.

“We saw the Finland ferry coming up and we were so scared, we just rowed and rowed toward whatever shore we could find,” the husband said afterwards. The ferry, which looks like a skyscraper floating on its side in the water, is no doubt a lethal weapon in this type of situation.

They were exhausted, but escaped with only minor blisters, bruises and scrapes.

The Swedish word for the day is hjältar. It means heroes.

- by Francis S.

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