This article is directly translated to English from the Sami newspaper: Ságat.
This is what Filip Nilsen says to Ságat. He has, together with other investors, taken over the fishing camp facility in Gjesvær from Helene J. Walsø-Kanstad. Investments of around one million kroner have so far been made in the facility, and the development continues. Now a large barbecue hut, sauna and whirlpool will be established in connection with the facility.
Filip Nilsen (34) is from Asker. He was adopted from Thailand as a child and has a Danish father and a Norwegian mother. He went to fishing school in Bergen, and after that he took work on board autotline boats. He worked as a fisherman on such boats for 13 years. In addition to fishing as a profession, he has always been a passionate angler. He travels around several countries and participates in competitions in sport fishing.
Bought the facility
- A friend of mine took over the family's summer house in Gjesvær, and I went upstairs to visit him. I soon learned that Helene was considering selling the fishing tourism facility she and her late husband had built. In the beginning of 2020, I bought the plant; just before the corona inserted. The complex consists of three apartments over two floors, each with three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Here are 24 beds in total. Then we have pier facilities, boats for rent, cold storage and fillet hall.
The experience that counts
Corona naturally put an abrupt stop to fishing tourism in Gjesvær. But Filip and his staff have used the time to make future plans for the tourist facility. - We look ten years ahead in terms of development and operation of the facility. This will not be a completely normal fishing camp. We place great emphasis on giving people an offer of sport fishing; that is, you lie for many hours out there and, for example, hunt for large halibut. Then you get it, take photos, and put it out again. This has become a form of fishing that is becoming increasingly popular. It is - the experience that counts, he points out. While the facility was first operated as Gjesvær Fishing Camp, it has now changed its name to Northcape Nature.
Good occupancy in July and August
But of course you also welcome more ordinary fishing tourists. - They get the opportunity to fish and fillet their own fish. We follow the rules strictly. No one is allowed to bring more fish than is legal from our facility. We will specialize in creating good and exciting halibut fishing. This is something that more and more people want to take part in. We now have regular groups of tourists who visit the facility. But our peak season is in the months of July and August, and for these months this year we have a good occupancy of tourists. Just over half of them come from Germany, and the rest are spread over several nations; including Norwegians, Filip states.
Young «søringer» to Gjesvær
In addition to developing and operating the facility, Filip is strongly concerned with doing something for the Gjesvær community. - I myself and my employees have been so warm and well received by the people here. It is a nice relaxed atmosphere. Here tourists can be invited home to people for dinner. While I myself ran the plant alone for two years, I have now hired a vigorous 25-year-old "søring". Three other "søringer" have also moved here to live and work. They are all under 30 years old. The place has for many years experienced eviction and "forgubbing". But Gjesvær has so many qualities that young people are now discovering. Beyond the hospitable and friendly people we have a wonderful nature; not least with the bird mountain right outside here. Here you can also see whales, porpoises and seals. In my view, there are great future opportunities in Gjesvær, says an enthusiastic Filip Nilsen.
So many possibilities
He points out that it was no coincidence that Gjesvær was named "Norway's best destination" by Innovation Norway in 2012. - There are so many opportunities here. It is a short way to rich fishing grounds, and the place has particularly strong fishing traditions. At our facility, we offer tourists the opportunity to live in good premises in the middle of a living fishing village with skerries, the open sea and the plateau right outside the door. My employees and I do not drive here to get rich on money. However, we get rich from good experiences, and this is the most important thing we can offer people who come here, he says.
The autumn air up here is so strong, clean and clear that you really feel that you are breathing. Raw air. The first frosty night comes already in end August. Then the summer colors are still strong, and it is great to experience the contrast in this: The autumn colors on the plateau mix with a bright blue sky.
September can often offer stable good weather, but it can also give a taste of a real winter storm. Autumn is a great time for those who want to experience the raw and the harsh here in the north. Autumn also offers hunting for hares and grouse, here there is a lot to take away - both in the number of animals and terrain.
Spring is the locals' favorite season. We are so fond of it that we almost want to keep it a secret. Then the light is on its way into us northerners again, there is still skiing and scooter riding on the plateau, and both ice fishing and cod fishing are at their peak. To put it that way; then it is good lead in every arena of life
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS AND THE MIDNIGHT SUN
The sun has a sunrise in mid-May, before she is waiting for the next sunset in end July.
Living under the midnight sun is an experience in itself.
You can experience it from Mid may to End July.
And in mid-November, the sun takes its last sunset this year and then we see her again around the New Year once.
Many call this time "the time of darkness". But we do not know if the northern lights, the stars and the moon agree. Nor the eternal blue hour of the day. It is a good time to see the northern lights from September to March. Gjesvær is a unique place to experience both the northern lights and the blue hour. We are surrounded by sea and plateau, and there is little electric light from our cormorant hundred permanent residents.
These experiences can be enjoyed on the terrace - with the coffee cup or wine glass in hand - completely free. No guides. No hikes. No stress. No nothing. Just the lights and you.
Gjesvær is a living fishing village today and also has a long history. Gjesvær is an old residence from the Viking Age and is mentioned in the old Icelandic saga "Heimskringla" as Geirsver.
Geirsver was the last stop before they rounded the North Cape on the way to Bjarmaland (Russia).
The story from the spring of 1026 tells that Olav the Holy sent his herdsman Karle on a cruise in Bjarmaland. The agreement was that the king would have half the dividend. When Tore Hund heard this, he went with him, but in his own ship, and said they should share equally. The dividend was rich, and in Geirver there was an argument about the dividend, whereupon Tore Hund runs his spear through Karle and says "Here you will get to know a bear cub, Karle". This battle made Olav the Holy so indignant that it nurtured the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. Perhaps one can say that the origin of the Battle of Stiklestad started here in Gjersvær.
The site of the fight is right behind our camp.
In Gjesvær, we live in the middle of the best nature has to offer. And we welcome you and yours to us!
To first talk about fish: We live where the world famous Lofoten fishermen themselves travel if their own season is meager. So we actually live in the definition of Norway's largest fishing "lie": "Lofoten fish just as easily come from here." The expression "one should not bring a cod to Lofoten" is not entirely true.
In the sea there are halibut, sea trout, redfish, cod, saithe, haddock, catfish and in fact many more varieties. And in the mountain lakes close to Gjesvær, there is char and trout. Here there are still more fish than fishermen.
And not least the gold of the sea, the king crab. It is often enjoyed in the evening with the midnight sun on the horizon. Unforgettable food that is easily forgotten in good company.
It is a blessing to stay here.
And secondly, we can talk about birds: We have 3 million birds on the nearest mountain. Puffins in millions. And during a trip we see dozens of sea eagles.
And seagulls yes. They are the very messenger that we have got the fish in the boat!
Northern Lights and midnight sun
Feel free to come to us when it is winter as well. The Northern Lights have no electric light to contend with for miles here, and it's really spectacular to see the colors.
The sun is our companion throughout the summer. In May the sun rises and it does not set until August.
"Vidda" (the mountain plateau)
Gjesvær is a good starting point for experiencing vidda - the mountain plateau. It is not far to the nearest mountain peak or mountain lake. Walking in the middle of the skerries with both the smell of blueberry heather and the salty ocean, it is an experience in itself. We should consider selling Gjesvær air in a box!
Our fisherman's cabins
Currently, there may be more heart space than house space here with us.
We have four fisherman's cabins with room for 6 people in each.
In return, you will feel at home.
You will feel so much at home here that you will feel yourself as a local. The locals themselves, the Finnmark people, they will immidiately consider you as one of them. They will certainly laugh with you and swear at you at the local store. And you will also realize how lucky you are. That you are one of the few people of this world, who can be here in this overwhelming nature, where there is still an abundance of space and natural resources, and where you meet people like us who are happy to take you out to their own secrets and favorite places.
And we admit it, being here, it's like being in another world. That's why we ask you to stay a minimum of two nights. Not because we are so much against one-night stands. But our happiest guests are those who are with us for a long time. Maybe it takes time to take in this world.
Yes. So; Back to people! We are happy fishing guides and life enjoyers, who love that our guests have fun with us.
We are a good place for a family holiday, the team on a trip, the group of friends and not least the anglers who dream of big halibut.
It is a good northern Norwegian quote to say: "We got the dark time to get lucky and the midnight sun to get a good fish bite". We would therefore recommend you to come both seasons.
In any case, we would very much like to be part of your next fishing trip and holiday memory.
Welcome to us at Northcape nature in Gjesvær!
Driving to Gjesvær is an experience in itself. It actually feels like driving in a movie. Just bunker up with popcorn and soda, good music on the car stereo and sit relaxed in the car seat. Is it possible that it is this "cinema feeling" that gives the locals their backward-leaning driving style? We dont know, but at least the scenery is beautiful. And the drive certainly has a happy ending when it ends in Gjesvær! And even better, a beer on the terrace even if it is in the middle of the night.
Gjesvær is 3.5 hours to drive from Alta, 35 minutes from Honningsvåg and 35 minutes from the North Cape.
Gjesvær is an alive and thriving fishing village, where all boats are out from the pier on good days.
Gjesvær has a long history as a meeting place, home and fishing village. As the only place in Finnmark, Geirsver is mentioned in Heimskringla by Snorre Sturlason from 1225. We are barely 100 people living here now.
We dream and plan for that Gjesvær develops as a fishing village and a good place to be for residents, fishermen and guests.
Gjesværinger - as we are called - we love to travel by boat.
Certainly for fishing of course, but also for sightseeing. It is only ten minutes to the bird mountain, and some of us do not get tired of watching puffins, sea eagles, sea otters, auks, guillemots, cormorants and crutches. And if a whale appears, then happiness is complete. Yes, even though we see whales quite often, it is still just as majestic. Seals also thrive on the skerries.
Maybe we'll take a boat trip north, it is short to the North Cape. We look up at the queue of cars and people on the North Cape, laugh out loud and then go ashore at Knivskjellodden, which is actually the Northernmost point. We might head further around Magerøya and have lunch in Honningsvåg, and then pull up some King Crabs on the way home.
Or we just lie down in the nearest bay to relax and fish a bit again.
We live in the northernmost (well, everything here is the northernmost), but we probably also live in the only skerries in Finnmark.
It provides varied nature and good shelter from the weather and wind, for both birds and fish - and people.
It's good that the wine glass does not get spilled all the time.
We also love being in the mountains. There are countless hiking trails, fishing lakes, as well as small tourist cabins. And an overwhelming landscape, where there is only sky and mountains. Quite apart from the fact that we have the northernmost birch forest in the world. Which is actually a sight for us Finnmarkers, because it is several tens of miles to the next three!
Reindeer are probably also a sight for visitors. For us, they are practically as our house animals. The reindeer herd grazes in our gardens, and the reindeer ox greets us "good morning" by our front door.
In August, the berries are on our minds. Or, rather: We stand on our heads in the bog. But already in May, there is a smell of cloudberry heather throughout Finnmark. It is an experience in itself to feel the smell of cloudberry heather mixing with salty sea in the nose.
But for many of us, it is sport fishing who wins our time. "God has given us the time of darkness to give us luck and love. And the midnight sun to give us a good fish bite."
In the dark we can also lie and "look at the ceiling". Yes, at the Northern Lights. If you have not experienced the Northern Lights in a place that does not have electric light for miles, well, then you almost have to come JUST for that reason!
We are a little unsure whether we should start calling Finnmark "Funmark" instead
So well summed up: We have the sky and the sea. And heaven and mountains.
And a little bit in between.
And of course, you can also experience all this!
Nature is free, and nature is for free. What is often needed are some good tips on what and how. It costs nothing.
But if you are going to the sea or out into the wilderness, you need a boat and an acquaintance. And we can offer you that.
What to do under the Northern lights?
In an article in the biggest Norwegian newspaper VG on 30 October, Pål Brekke, head of space research at the Norwegian Space Center, gives a good look at why Gjesvær is a good place to see the northern lights.
"Pål Brekke encourages everyone who wants to experience the phenomenon of moving out of the cities. Darkness is crucial, something especially city dwellers should be aware of. - It is no use sitting in a city near houses or street lights. You have to get away from roads and buildings. If you then see many faint stars in addition to the biggest ones, you have found a good place. Thus, the sky does not become black enough in cities, but grayish and acts as a glare over the Northern lights. Darkness has become scarce, which worries Brekke. - Many have never seen the Milky Way and the little stars all their lives. It's because there are more and more lights and people. "
Here in Gjesvær, there is light from our few houses and pure nature. A perfect place to experience the Northern Lights.
And well, we are probably also a good place to enjoy ourselves inside as well:
"- The mystery lingers. Some cultures have strong faith in the northern lights. The Japanese dream of conceiving a child under the northern lights, so then you know what the Japanese are doing in Northern Norway, so to speak," says Brekke with a warm laugh. "
They are all in their twenties and share a house and a car, work, everyday life and parties!
Klas-Andre Elisenberg resigned from a secure job in the south to live in Gjesvær. So have Filip from Asker, Sindre from Sandefjord and Betina from Brumunddal.
- We are excited to see what the year brings now. Now it's the cod fishing in the fishing boat that counts, soon the king crab catch, and eventually we hope that the tourists and anglers flock to us, says Elisenberg, and adds:
- Fortunately, there is midnight sun in the summer and many bright hours to work.
The friends from Innlandet follow everyday life in Finnmark on social media. There are already many records of scooter riding, cod fishing, northern lights, storms, yoik and radio bingo on Mondays.
It is a big leap in both everyday life and culture, and sometimes the longing for home also emerges.
- And if I want a regular job and everyday life again, I can always move "home," chuckles Elisenberg.
Because it may not be possible to turn a "Southener" into a "Northerner" overnight - even if he changes both address and fishing from inland to sea:
- And I hope that I also get a vacation home to meet family and friends - and to fish a little on Lake Mjøsa.
Link to the article at Finnmarksposten:
Nordkapp, Fiskeri og havbruk | De er alle i tjueårene og deler både hus og bil, arbeid, hverdag og fest (finnmarksposten.no)