Local surfer and photographer Dean Cothill’s known for his amazing photos of our hometown’s coastline; whether its spectacular sunsets, stunning sunrises or his unique eye-in-the-sky drone shots.
The man and his camera recently swapped the sandy stretches of home for snowy vistas of the Faroe’s. Caught up with him to find out more about his epic trip - and if he found any icy waves.
Most peeps have probably heard of the Faroe Islands, but have no idea where they actually are. Give us a quick Geography 101.
The Faroe Islands are beautifully nestled halfway between Norway and Iceland and around 300km north west from the UK. The Faroe Islands form part of the Danish Kingdom. The people there speak both Danish and the native language of Faroese. There are actually more sheep than people on the islands and that’s how the islands got named: Faroe actually means ”sheep”, so they’re the “Sheep” islands!
How did you end up going to such a remote possie?
Craig Howes and I were invited by the Faroe Islands Tourism Agency (@visitfaroeislands on INSTAGRAM) to explore the islands and take photos for them for their digital media platforms. Craig Howes is the biggest Instagrammer in SA and works with various tourism boards on a social media level as a photographer, influencer and content generator. (@craighowes)
We stayed in the country’s capital of Torshavn at the Hotel Foroyar for a week over February and March. We were incredibly fortunate enough to meet INSTAGRAM greats like @lebackpacker from Belgium and @hannes_bekker and @meunchmax from Germany who were also busy on the islands doing campaigns for @visitfaroeislands.
What were the islands like?
The landscapes are something out of a Tolkien novel and we have never been colder in our lives. We landed in snow with the sun shining on the mountains, lakes and rivers. The landscapes are so incredible vast and different to what we know in PE or South Africa, not better or worse, just incredibly different, imagine Vikings and Game of Thrones. Snow-capped mountains, crazy awesome sheep all over the place and little grass roofed homes like you’ve seen before.
Looked freezing over there, how did you cope with shooting in such cold conditions?
Incredibly difficulty… Hahaha… We used mittens that we could pull our fingers in and out of quickly… So hard shooting with gloves on.
The scenery looks mind-bendingly beautiful; it must have been hard to decide what to take pictures of with everything just looking jaw-dropping?
Yes yes and yes… It was seriously unreal… There is such an incredibly fine line between “You can point your camera anywhere and get a great shot” and just “stop and try and take it all in”. Never really been in a position where I just know that a camera will always fall short of what I’m seeing…
Speaking of jaw-dropping, get any vertigo standing on the edges of those sheer cliffs?
Hahaha… Yes and yes… Especially when it is a clean drop into the ocean. Mountains are great cos there’s often a slow gradient. But with these cliffs, its really 200m straight down into the ocean. Nothing in between.
Happen to spot any waves whilst you were missioning around the coast?
Craig and I are both surfers and were constantly looking for some waves along the coast, sadly nothing while we were there. We hoping to follow in the steps of Chris Burkard and get some waves a little more north, Iceland and the arctic circle.
Get to eat any strange local dishes? A bit of whale maybe!?
Nothing that was really off the charts. But it really was salmon country. So Salmon for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
See anything weird and wonderful besides the landscape?
The most beautiful old churches and homes. All with these incredible grass roofs.
Any recommendations for peeps planning a visit there?
If you go in the winter, pack warm, really warm and a solid pair of hiking boots. We were incredibly well kitted out by Cape Union Mart, can’t go wrong.
Thanks to Dean for sharing his journey, have just added the Faroe's to my bucket list, despite the absence of surf.