4.
In spite of being so close to the sea Unstad has not been a traditional fishing village as the landing conditions are very poor. However, down by the beach there is a row of red boathouses belonging to the farms. By the end of the 19th century several “fembøringer” (open combined rowing and sailing boats typically 12m long with 5-6 pairs of oars and a square sail) were owned by people in Unstad. In the autumn the boats were rowed to Eggum in preparation for the winter fishing season, when the fishermen would walk home to Unstad on Saturday and walk back to Eggum on Sunday. The route they followed went through Kleiva and it was a steep and at times very difficult walk in heavy wind and snow.

At the end of the winter fishing season the boats were rowed back to Unstad and hawled up into the boathouses. To get the large boats out of the sea was a major operation and all the men would join in. Each boathouse had its own landing place, “stø” where the beach was cleared and kept as smooth as possible. The boats were hawled up sliding on a series of smooth round logs. The logs would be moved and placed in front of the boat as it journeyed towards the boathouse. The logs were greased with “levergrakse”, the waste from cod liver oil production. A barrel of this stuff was kept in the boathouse. Each “stø” had its own name according to its location and who looked after it. As the landing places went out of use the sea and vegetation have almost removed all traces.

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Unstad