I don't, but I would like to...
... have one cover or postcard with post mark from each post office from Faroe Islands.
They are not so many, but without you will not be possible.
I'm waiting your feedback... and of course I will support the cost deliveries or I'll send you back some nice cover with stamps from Portugal.

Please e-mail me for details...

Monday, 22 February 2010

Baleia Piloto / Long-finned Pilot Whale

Issue: Long-finned Pilot Whale
Values: 50.00 DKK
Issue: 22-II-2010
Author: Edward Fuglø
Technique: Offset + Metal FX
Printer: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand

The pilot whale (Globicephala melas) is an extremely gregarious animal that regularly swims along the Faroese coast on its migration within its habitat in the northern Atlantic Ocean. During the approximately 300 years for which we have statistics, somewhere between 800 and 1500 whales have been killed annually in the Faroes. It is estimated that 1000 whales can produce roughly 500 tonnes of meat and blubber, and the pilot whale has thus been immensely important to the population of the islands down the ages.

The only terrestrial mammals on the Faroes are a few small rodents. Therefore, the only mammals that have been hunted regularly are seals, to be found in abundance along the coast. One exception is the hare, but it was introduced onto the islands in the 19th century. The capture of pilot whales is not hunting in the true sense of the word. They are not hunted. They are driven ashore when a pod happens to swim by.

On the Faroes there has always been free access to the resources of the sea. This also applies to pilot whales. On the other hand, catching them requires extensive social organisation. On account of the topography of the islands, there are only a few places where it is possible to drive a pod of whales ashore and slaughter them. Since 1832, legislation has governed where pilot whales may be caught. There were probably also rules on this earlier. However, the legislation does not give the inhabitants of a village with a specified catch site a preferential right to catch the whales. The meat and blubber of pilot whales is equally distributed among all inhabitants, whether newborn or elderly. Even visitors get their lawful share. For practical reasons, the country is divided into pilot whale districts, but over time there will be food for all. In this way, a unique distribution system has emerged in connection with the exploitation of this important resource.

Everyone is entitled to participate in the catch. However, it has not been common to have women in the boats as the Faroese were previously very superstitious about women at sea. Things are probably different now. There have been no gender differences in connection with the distribution of the catch.

Some foreigners have often been fascinated by the capture of pilot whales in the Faroes. These include the Danish official Chr. Pløyen, who composed the poem Grindevise in 1832. This enthusiastic poem of homage is in the style of a traditional ballad and has been in common use for the traditional pilot whale dance, a chain dance, often outdoors after a successful catch while people waited for distribution by the sheriff, celebrated the catch and needed to keep warm. The pilot whale dance is hardly danced any more.

In this way, the capture of pilot whales has also assumed a visible position in cultural life. A number of Faroese poets have also written about the capture of pilot whales in their poetry, in particular patriotic and regional poetry. These include Hans Andreas Djurhuus, Mikkjal á Ryggi and Jóannes Patursson.

In pictorial art, the capture of pilot whales has assumed an almost iconic position via the works of the well-known painter Sámal Joensen-Mikines. The slaughter of pilot whales is one of his main motifs and his works in this genre are among those that have made him best known. In recent years, there has been occasionally severe international criticism of the traditional capture of pilot whales. The method of capture is criticised as being cruel to the animals and it is alleged that pilot whales are an endangered species. The Faroese maintain that, as the annual catch only represents just over 0.01% of the total population, it can hardly be said that they are under threat of extinction. On the other hand, significant improvements have been made to the method of slaughter. It is strictly monitored and governed by detailed rules to eliminate animal suffering. The Faroese have kept to their traditional capture of pilot whales despite the criticism and most still greatly appreciate a good meal of pilot whale meat and blubber. However, there is some indication that the youngest generation do not fully share their parents’ taste, so we may find that the conflict between time-honoured tradition and modern philosophy of nature will be resolved entirely of its own accord in the not too distant future.

Eyðun Andreasen

Borboletas / Butterflies

Issue: Butterflies
Values: 6.00, 8.00, 14.00 and 16.00 DKK
Issue: 22-II-2010
Author: Astrid Andreasen
Technique: Offset
Printer: LM-Group, Canada

To date, 154 different species of butterflies have been registered in the Faroe Islands. Most of them do not breed here, but arrive with the help of warm currents of air from the south, sometimes all the way from Southern Europe and Africa. New species are constantly being registered. It can be mentioned as an example that only 54 species had been registered in 1954 and that this had increased to 106 by 1999. Compared with the countries that lie to the south of the Faroes, 154 species is no great number. In Denmark, for instance, 2,500 species have been registered.

None of the species mentioned here are native to the Faroes, but can be seen here from time to time. The painted lady, Vanessa cardui, and the peacock butterfly belong to the brush-footed family, Nymphalidae, and fly during the day. The hawk-moth, Agrius convolvuli, and the death’s-head hawk-moth, Acherontia atropos, belong to the Sphingidae family of moths and fly from twilight until late at night.

The peacock butterfly, Inachis io
(Linnaeus, 1758)
The peacock butterfly is a rare guest in the Faeroes and was first registered here in 1938. The species is native to the countries south of us, such as Great Britain, Denmark and Norway. It has a wingspan of between 5-6 cm and an eye-spot at the tip of all four wings that resemble the ‘eyes’ on a peacock’s tail. The caterpillar, which lives on stinging nettles, (Urtica dioica) has been found in the Faroes only once and that was at Haldórsvík in 1992. In the countries the peacock butterfly is native to, it usually hibernates in such locations as warehouse buildings so it sometimes arrives in the country together with freight.

The painted lady, Vanessa cardui
(Linnaeus, 1758)
The painted lady has a wingspan of 5-6 cm and is resident in North Africa. It is not seen in the Faroes every year, but some years see an invasion of them, such as in 2009, which has been called a record year throughout Europe. When they come to the Faroes they fly immediately to the top of the mountains. This phenomenon is known as “hill topping” and gives them a fine opportunity to find a mate once they have arrived in the new country. They then lay their eggs on the creeping thistle (Cirsium arvense) and on stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) that the caterpillars feed on. A new generation hatches in the autumn if the summer has been fine and the butterflies fly south to winter in warmer countries.

The first time we hear about the painted lady in the Faroes is from expeditions during the period 1863-68. The butterfly can travel long distances and one found its way to the far north in Svalbard in 1978.

The hawk-moth Agrius convolvuli
(Linnaeus, 1758)
The hawk-moth, which was first registered in the Faroes in 1947, comes from North Africa. Eleven of them were observed in the Faroes in 2003 and, as they are very rare here, this constituted a record year. They can have a wingspan of 12 cm and can fly as fast as 55 kilometres an hour. The hawk-moth lives on nectar and, like the hummingbird, it can hover in mid-air on its rapidly-beating wings while it feeds on nectar with the help of its long proboscis. The caterpillar lives on various species of the Convolvulaceae family, in the Faroes on plants of the dock family, Rumex.

The death’s-head hawk-moth, Acherontia atropos (Linnaeus, 1758)
This very rare guest from North Africa is the biggest moth ever found in the Faroes and can have a wingspan of more than 13 cm. The death’s head hawk moth is one of the few moths that can whistle by blowing air through its proboscis. The first time anything was heard of this moth in the Faroes was on 20 October 1933. Leif Dahl (Firvaldar 1956) wrote as follows:

“A man was fishing along the coast east of Fugloy. Suddenly, he saw what he thought were three small birds flying in from the sea. One of them fell into the water while the two others continued towards the land. When the man reached what he had thought was a bird, it proved to be a death’s- head hawk-moth.”

The female moth lays between 150 and 200 eggs, but the population has declined greatly. This is due to the fact that the caterpillar lives in areas where potatoes are grown and the commercialisation of potato-growing has led to the use of large quantities of pesticides. New, modern agricultural machinery is also believed to have had a negative effect on the population.

Hans Eli Sivertsen

O Fundo do mar / The bottom of the sea

Issue: The bottom of the sea

Values: 1.00, 6.00, 8.00 and 12.00 DKK

Issue: 22-II-2010

Author: Ingi Sørensen


Technique: Offset + Metal Silver

Printer:Southern Colour Print, New Zealand

A fabulous submarine world seen through Ingi Sørensen’s camera lens

The Faroe Islands have many unique and beautiful submarine landscapes. Absolutely fantastic places where nobody has ever been. And many, many years will pass before even half of this exceptional, uncharted world at the bottom of the sea has been explored.

For my part, I take photographs in an attempt to make people aware of this unknown area of the Faroes that is simply waiting for divers to explore it.

There are also many hidden and forgotten shipwrecks from previous centuries here that conceal numerous exciting, thought-provoking secrets.

What makes diving in the Faroes so unique is the ever-varying submarine landscape, extensive thickets of seaweed alternating with attractive “sand eyes” (patches of sand on the bottom called sandeyga in Faroese), vertical walls that disappear into the depths and a host of submarine chasms and grottoes in shapes of all kinds that are really exciting to explore. The water is crystal clear in many places and allows the sun’s rays to throw shadows on the sea floor. Plaice, flounder, dab, small halibut and angler fish lie immobile in the sand while they observe the diver gliding soundlessly through the water like a bird floating across the firmament.

The Faroes are truly a diver’s paradise that compares favourably with any other place on earth. Expressing the experience of sailing beneath the bird cliffs in fine weather before diving is no easy matter. The sun, the towering cliffs, the birds, the sea, the fish, the thickets of seaweed, the play of colours and incredible rock formations on the bottom where everything forms a synthesis are quite indescribable.

The four photos reproduced on the postage stamps were taken at Kvívík. Diving at Kvívík is like taking a walk in an enchanted grove, with the difference that you can see beautiful, multicoloured thickets of seaweed and the sandy bottom, or “sand eyes”. You can either swim on the surface or negotiate a tangled thicket of seaweed to reach the sand and it was here, at a depth of about five metres, that the photos for the postage stamps were taken. Many different life forms can be seen such as the big starfish that lives on horse mussels, which are also found here – very well camouflaged.

It’s often possible to take the makings of a good dinner home with you: plaice, flounder or angler fish.

Another reason why I often dive at Kvívík is that it is fast and easy to get there from Tórshavn. Sailing is unnecessary as a 15-minute drive is all it takes. So it’s easy to get out into the water and up again, and equipment can be rinsed with fresh water on the jetty.

My interest in diving was aroused when I worked as a lifeguard at a swimming pool in Tórshavn. I took the Padi Open Water course seven years ago and will never forget the absolutely fantastic feeling of diving at Hoyvík for the first time. It was an experience that made a deep impression on my soul. Since then, I have dived more or less every day and I have received many certificates for something that has given me countless unique experiences. I now work as a commercial diver, but also dive on a recreational basis, which has also made taking photographs a passion. Diving is living! It is a world of its own that most people can experience if they have the will and make an effort. We have two diving schools in the Faroes where people can learn recreational diving. So put your name down – and the gateway to our beautiful submarine world will open for you!

Over the years I have dived on many occasions with tourists in the Faroes and seen the pleasure they take in our beautiful submarine landscapes. Many of them have told me that it was the best diving experience they have ever had – in spite of the fact that they have dived in many other places in the world. So this is something that the Faroese tourist industry could take up to advantage.

I hope that my photos will help to promote the development of the Faroes as a North Atlantic diver’s paradise.

Ingi Sørensen

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Covers of the Faroe Islands XIX

Registered FDC sent from Torshavn to Torshavn in Faroe Islands.

Cover sent on 6 of October 1980.

Technical data: Europa - Celebrities

Linguists and folklorists

Values: 150 and 200 øre

Date of issue: 6-X-1980

Date of withdraw: 30-IV-1982

Author: Cz. Slania

Perforation: 12×11¾

Technique: Engraved

Printer: Postes Suisse - Berne