But it’s also a film that allows us to share in Mikalsen’s pleasures by evoking some of what brings them about for him. Balance seems to be at the centre of Mikalsen’s way of living, whether he’s filling a boat with round stones for ballast with his son Bjorn, playing music with his wife Ingvild, or cooking roast reindeer in the oven. Boatbuilding is his key pursuit, the work that he loves, but his approach to it is far from myopic. Along with his daily naked dips, he practises yoga and enjoys all the ways that making boats connects him with the rhythms and caprices of his environment.
In the end, we might see Mikalsen as offering a thoroughly non-didactic suggestion that one good approach to the good life is to do your thing seriously – without taking yourself too seriously.