Let the winds take us south!

Around midnight last night we had an alarm go off in the ship. It beeped for a whole minute – notifying us that we have reached the point of zero degree celsius outside. Lucky for us there was no ice but it’s really getting a bit to cold for us around here. There will still be another week before we can actually start our journey, it all depends on the engine, if it runs smoothly you will most likely see us head south within next saturday.

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Our wind-engine!

 

One of the neighbours, a couple with two kids invited us over for dinner the other night. It was a warming experience spending an evening with them. He is a former world traveller, now a carpenter with a side job of marking baby eagles in the area. She was until the end of December a stay-at-home mom with their two adorable kids, one at the age of three, the other just learning to walk at the age of one. A very nice little family focusing on living sustainable in a modern Sweden. We were served self-shot Bambi with creamed potatoes from the garden. Thank you for a perfect evening!

Yesterday we took the time needed to install our sails. We hadn’t actually checked them out yet, just taking for good that they were both in a sailing condition. Since none of us had even touched a sail in our lives until yesterday, there was a need to scratch our heads a few times before we could figure out the basics. But in a couple of hours we had made up a pretty good understanding of how they’re supposed to work and I’m proud to announce that the ship is now able to sail. In theory.

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Never touched a sail before, it will be fine.

There is no way to steer this ship without having to run the engines. The steering is sadly running on a hydraulic system, which we are hoping also is in a working condition. We will have to find a solution for this little problem. But if we could do it on FF Harry we can do it with Harry Louella. First step now is either way to fuel up with oil and make sure the engine is running. We haven’t had it started in the water yet, only on land, so this should be interesting. We should all have our little projects for the weekends!

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Laundry is a nice activity in the rain.

FF Harry and the trailer is still out for sale. We’ve had no luck so far getting them sold, can you imagine? The old boat is selling to the highest bidder, you can litterary get a perfectly working pirate-ship for nada..! What we did get sold was the pile of free materials used to hold Harry Louella dry during the last four years. Not much cash in those though, we sold them for a six-pack of light beer. If you don’t feel like buying a ship but still feel like supporting our mission you can use the paypal-function below.

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That will be the blog of the day! Thank you for reading, keep following our journey and please share with your friends using the icons below! We appreciate all our new and old readers and can happily annonce that since this blog started we have surpassed the previous number of readers every single month! 10 points for sharing!

Captain Jack

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Rise the mast!

It’s storming again. I woke up this morning to strong winds stretching the ropes and hard rain drumming on deck. The plan of the day was actually to flush the teak-decks before giving it the first of many coats with varnish. Seems like nature took care of the washing and left for me to wait out the storm. Things are suddenly moving forward in a much more satisfying manner, it looks like we are actually getting out of Spillersboda before the snow arrives. 

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The mast has found its place. We are getting there!

The rivers of water have stopped using our new pirate-ship as an amusement ride. When upon checking status this morning, it is my pleasure to announce that Harry Louella is close to completely sealed up! I did throw some sawdust into the water around the ship yesterday, and in combination with what’s coming up on three weeks of soaking have made some magic happen. One of the biggest challenges about buying this ship is overcome.

The next big challenge is of course the engine. We have had it started a couple of minutes, but not had it drive the propeller yet. Captain Simen have spent some time the last days making sure that at least one of our dieseltanks are clean and in working condition. He have hand-pumped out the rest of the old oil and changed all the filters. The electric systems seem to be working fine. We should be able to power our three batteries between a combination of two solar panels and a generator.

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Yesterday we put FF Harry out for sale. It will sell to the highest bidder on blocket.se. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in bidding. We are also selling the old trailer that Harry Louella have been sitting on. These two things is what we have to get rid of, somehow, before we leave town.

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The amazing FF Harry is for sale to the highest bidder!

Another magical thing happened last night. I had spent a few hours prepping the mast. It needed to be fitted with spreaders and to have installed a world-famous Windex wind direction indicator. When Hasse had finished his dinner he was ready to help us lifting the mast into place – and hurray! Our built-to-be a fishing boat, made over to be a motor-boat, is now ready to have it’s sails attached. This of course is impossible to do today due to the wind, but the mast is ready!

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Hasse extended his crane to it fullest to make the magic happen.

This must be the most positive update on our fleet of ships in a long time. It feels great when things are moving forward in the right direction. As soon as the winds calm down – and the rain gives us a break, we’ll make a try on the sails and to varnish the deck. No one likes a grey teak-deck especially when it lets water sink through and fill up the boat. Our goal must be to have no water what so ever coming in unless we want it to. There’s no worries about bad weather when everything else blows in our direction.

Captain Jack

 

 

 

Harry Louella is afloat!

The full moon had just taken over the sky. It was luckily still some daylight to work with for this next critical step. Over the horizon we could make out the planet Mars as we lowered Harry Louella into the murky shipyard-water. There was this magical little moment as we watched our new pirate-ship float by itself for the first time in four years.

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Harry Louella making touchdown.

Earlier in the day we spent hours filling in the cracks in between the boards with a fitting substance. We had the ship lifted from its trailer in the water with the crane of the shipyards rig. In some strange way the trailer had got stuck on the wrong side of the metal boat ramp. This meant we couldn’t just drag the boat back on land – it had to be lifted. So we did. Hasse was nice enough to use his truck as a temporary working-platform for a few hours.

It was a dirty job that just had to be done. And man did it help! We are still on red alert and have to watch the water all the time. We thought there would be a lot more water right now, but it seems fine. Meaning; we only have the two installed bilge-pumps running constantly. The big electric pump we got the other day is set to start by itself if the water-level rises over a certain point. But for now it looks good. We are afloat!

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Harry Louellas last time on the trailer.

 

Now starts a whole new set of stuff to take care of onboard. We need to have another real go-through of the engine, easier said then done when none of us are really born as mechanic-wonderchilds, but I’m sure we can figure out the basics. We also have to install a wind-indicator, a weather-station and run another full check of the older than us-electrical system.

There is also a whole bunch of stuff to take care of regarding the FF Harry. In short – we need to figure out a solution on how to get rid of it in a respectable way. The same goes for the trailer and som excess gear we can’t take with us whenever we are ready to venture on. Then of course, there is the case of rigging the mast, checking the sails and probably learn how to use them.

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Captain Simen giving the tractor a hand.

Yes, there is tons of stuff to do. We have spent two weeks in Spillersboda now, and we are still looking at least on another week before we can be ready. But that is no problem, not when we can optimistically start this week off with our new home tied to the dock.

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Thank you for reading! I challenge you to share our blog on whatever social media you prefer. We would also like to remind you about our fundraiser. As you can imagine this project does not come cheap and we can really use all the help we can get to put this ship back in a respectable shape. If you have the chance, don’t hesitate about supporting us either with a small donation or by sharing our adventures with your friends and family.

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Captain Jack

 

Geocatching while waiting to float

Today, I promise, we are lowering the ship to stand on its keel before the waiting makes us totally crazy. This will be our second to last step before our new home is supposedly going to float by itself. It’s sunday and this weekend we had a visit from my geocatching pirate-mother and brother Morten. It’s always nice to have family over, and it was totally great if we’re not counting the fact that all four of us have been feeling a little shabby. 

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Captain Simen feeling sick in the back of a car.

A little regular sickness won’t stop our mission of getting this ship afloat. We will make it happen at any cost, and since we really are spending absolutely every little penny to make it happen, I assure you it will. We are actually being optimistic about getting the whole boat afloat within next sunday. We are still not in a bad position time wise, but the sooner we can get our asses to warmer countries – the easier it will be to make a safe sailing.

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Sorry, but not even I have been allowed to take a decent picture of my mother in all my years of living. Here with my brother checking out the next geocatch to find.

Since we’ve had visitors these last days, we finally got a couple of days off from fixing big and small things on the ship. There was originally a plan of making a the trip to Stockholm, but since all four of us felt a bit sicky – we mostly ate food, drove around our whole new neighbourhood going geocatching instead. They have a great Thai-reataurant in Norrtälje.. If you don’t know about geocatching, you should probably check it out on geocatching.com and get just as hooked as my mother and husband have been for the last five years or so. It’s a great sport with an amazing fan base all around the world. They spend all their free time traveling the world to explore hidden forgotten places. They are actually one of the most active catchers of Norway, and if your into the community you probably know them as Teamvesla. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found their first real old forgotten pirate-treasure before the pirates onboard Harry Louella will.

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My mother going for the ‘catch’ laying on the 60’th latitude on this point in Sweden.

I think all we are going to do today is lifting the ship and seal it up with another layer of Ettan, a grease, fat-like substance in between all the boards below the waterline. We are then going to remove the trailor it now stays on and lower it as much as possible – making all our pumps prove they’ve been worth whatever we paid for them. At the moment we are running two pumps and it’s going just fine. So fine that the next step is imminent within the next few hours. At this moment, either the tide is higher than it has been in all our time here or we are actually, slowly, being dragged toward the ocean. Come on big ship, get your ship together – we are ready!

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This is the case five minutes ago.

It’s about to become a new week. Again. Along with our visit this weekend, we have also had a small storm in the area. The weather has been a hazzle. Having a boat staying on pilars sticking out from a trailer in waves will hurt your boat. We would be better off sailing the open water.

Captain Jack

We made the news!

Time is passing slower for every day we have to wait here in Spillersboda. There is nothing to complain about in this little pearl of a Swedish village – but we are ready to move on, to get this ship sailing and go treasure-hunting southward. There is of course great things happening all the time. Like today, my mother and brother is coming to visit all the way from the distant Norway and before I could wash my face this morning this guy knocked on the window inviting us to dinner next week. 

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Spillersbodas mainstreet.

When I say, ‘before I could wash my face’ (something I don’t usually do every morning) it probably should’ve happened today. You see, yesterday we went to Norrtälje to get an antenna for the new VHF we was gifted this week. And at the same time got a wind-indicator to put at the top of our mast before we put it up. But not stopping there, we got a weather-station and kept our promise of singing karaoke with people met last Wednesday. It seems that Wednesdays are our new Norrtälje-day. Anyways, before we could return safely to the shipyard, after having spent a whole day and night in society – we had some trouble with the wind in the pitch dark and crashed into the dock by accident.

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Damages caused by hitting the dock to hard.

Everything went well of course, not counting the Captains ending up in a brawl over spilt milk. Waiting for something to happen can’t be good for anyone – And let me assure you that although we all love each other, it is for the best if the new ship get’s floating as soon as possible. Apart from the fact that autumn is rapidly approaching, thereby also harder weather – we are still going for our goal of hitting the mediterranean by the time of new year.

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Pirate-lunch.

Also we happened to cover a whole page in the local newspaper yesterday. It seems like the swedes find it extremely interesting that we are stuck, waiting for our new pirate-ship to float. We too, of course, but like we talk to other sailors and previous sailors about – slipping, is the worst part of the cake. We had a reporter visiting us, her name was Britta, which of had been tipped off about pirates being in town. True stories are worth telling I suppose, which is the reason we couldn’t walk through town yesterday without being recognized by many.

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The article in Nortälje Tidning.

The ship is getting there. I don’t dare writing about when we will actually get to sail away from here, but my best guess is within october first. We’ll probably take the chance of lowering the ship another notch or two within the next few days. We did after all get a new pump yesterday, my hope is that we can cover most of the bottom with seawater as soon as possible. It just takes time – and we are no good at waiting.

Captain Jack

Slipping, eating, waiting and living life

I was optimistic enough in our last post about getting the ship to the next step – lower in the water by the next day. Well, that didn’t happen and Harry Louella is still sitting in the exact same spot as before. Last time I checked – the water seemed to keep a steady pace forcing itself into our presious new pirate-ship. Adding to our mix of exstatic joy and rumbeling anticipation – the weather do a great job being ambivalent enough for us to keep ourselves mostly indoor. But as the weather-gods keep sending us miniature storms, we do for the first time have a great ship to make sure to keep us warm and dry.

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Patiently making falafel for dinner.

We must be patient. After all, we have gotten a lot further than what we thought was possible when we first arrived in Spillersboda, exactly one week ago. It’s just that time has a funny way of following it’s own rules in these situations.. To slow down like for kids waiting before christmas, or waiting for the school-bell to ring on friday afternoons – And I should say; this is the first time ever I see Captain Simen being impatiant about anything.

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Anna in her office.

Spillersboda keep being nice to us. Anna, at the store, have employed Captain Simen as her personal IT-consultant and pays us by letting us use the laundry-room in the basement. I believe she is taking som online classes in Arabic at the universety or something. She’s a funny lady, the other day she decided out of nowhere to only talk to us in English. In the meanwhile her husband left to remove a smelling dead creature from the loft in their summer-cabin, that they haven’t been using. There is always a smile on her face – our new best friend.

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Hasse in his office.

In the shipyard, poor Hasse have no choice but to watch the fleet of Harry ships out the window from his breakfast-table every morning. He’s a very friendly guy nice enough to borrow us any tools we may not have ourselves. At the same time – I’m sure he’ll be a happy camper the day the pirate-ship won’t sink any more. Meaning; he can get his boat-ramp and his amazing preassure-washer pump back. For now, we are all stuck sharing our life together.

We have spent the most wonderful saturday in a very long time with Per, the guy whom brought us 12 liters of motoroil last week, and his wife. They had invited us over and man are we happy they did! Their weekend-house, which are spend all the time they have to spare on, is about an hour away from our shipyard (in FF Harry-speed). I can hardly describe our visit, other than it being very giving in many ways. It’s amazing how we can learn from each other and be part of peoples life by being open enough to share our time with new and interesting friends.

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Captain Simen in deep conversation with Per about something.

We had talked about us coming over to look at an VHF-radio. Something we have been wanting to get in order for a long time. When we arrived it was clear that we were in for a whole lot more. We got to take a look at their amazing home, which they have put a whole lot of love into – before being invited for dinner. It was home-made Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes fresh from the garden with saus – a traditional Swedish meal made just perfect. Gordon Ramsay would have bent over squealing. In short, we had a perfect night with new friends, great conversations and great sharing of life-experiences.

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The two Captains getting ready for dinner.

This is exactly why we are traveling! To learn from each other, listen and share our stories. To share great meals, knowledge and experience. Thank you for having two pirates for dinner! We are very happy about making new friends.

Thank you for reading our blog! We are starting to build up a nice group of followers and more people read about our journey every single week! Feel free to share the posts with your friends and family on social media by using the buttons below. Tell everyone – Sharing is caring!

Captain Jack

We bought a bilge-pump with cash!

Our ship is built in oak. A very hard but sturdy type of wood that takes forever to seal up. It has only been five days, but it seems like a lot longer since all we want to do is continue our journey south before it gets too cold. The last two days have been super windy so we tried to spend the time wisely by hitchhiking into the next town to buy a new bilge-pump. 

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FF Harry enjoyingtime to himself.

Sweden is a wonderful country in many ways. But there is this one thing we have discovered that will most likely and hopefully take this country down. They are slowly ruling out the good old cash-payment method. On more than one occation we have been stopped in our way just because we haven’t had the option of paying with a credit-card. We can’t even go to the bank to top up our accounts – because the banks don’t even accept cash.. what the heck is this? One thing is that this so called EU-country won’t accept Euro, but cash in general? Everything now has to be logged and even more of our freedom is being taken away from us. How and why would you ever want this for your country? Thank all gods that we’re leaving this country and are not Swedish.

That was my morning-rant. I get that way when I haven’t had my morning coffee yet. But seriously, how do the Swedes think this is gonna play out? We had to have the waitor pay our bill with his credit-card, while he got cash from us. I can easily smell how that bill was canceled from the register.

Norrtälje is a nice little city. It’s only about 15 kilometers from here and have absolutely everything you need to live the good life. We are of course very happy here in Spillersboda where they have the local grocery-store accepting cash and a nice small community – but Norrtälje is a city, and we wish we had a whole lot more money to spend on stuff we actually need for the new ship. Instead we spent the day walking around, checking out the stores and in the end got to know some of the local karaoke-singers. We might have promised to give them a show next wednesday.

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But we also got what we came for: a new bilge-pump to take care of 93 liters every single minute. This means that we most likely tomorrow morning will be ready to lift the ship up with a crane, use a tractor to remove the trailer it is now standing on and then lower it down till it sits on the keel and have three pumps taking care of the rivers flowing in trying to drown our engine. But this isn’t the sinking Swedish cash-economy. We will float, because that’s what Harry’s do – Harry Floats.

Captain Jack

Pumping water in Spillersboda

It looks like the backend, the aft, of our new ship is starting to get used to be back in water. The pumps are now only pumping two thirds of the time. This is very good news. And even though there is days before she can be lifted of her trailer and float on her own, things are happening! Of course – We were about to burn down the whole boat last night, when an electrical fire broke out in the waterpump-pedal to our new bathroom sink. 

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Looking at Harry Louella from FF Harry.

I kinda wish we were back in the old days. When boats were built in this shipyard – and more people than the two of us and the shipyard-master, Hasse, is up bright and early like today. A long time before the sun comes up. It’s strange how the long days of painting, wiring, pumping and screwing makes one want to get up in the morning. It is amazing to totally trying to learn how all the previous owners have all put in at least one cable or fix idea on how to solve a problem onboard before us.

This place was built in 1919 and had it’s grand glorious days between the 1930’s and 50’s. Spillersboda, the village itself was first mentioned in history in the year 1535. In the 1970’s there was only one farm in Spillersboda, and tree others in the area. A man named Carl Fridolf Westerblom opened the first filial of a general-store here in 1888. A few years later, there was built a new store that still stands today. This shop is today kept alive by a nice lady named Anna and her husband, Ahmed, who is an pescetarian.

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Spillersboda general store, picture from their site; http://www.spillersbodalanthandel.se

There was also a sawmill started here in 1903, that is still today one of Spillersbodas biggest employers. Today there is 479 registered inhabitants of this little pearl of a place to visit. Because of the short distance to Stockholm, there is well over 1500 people that also use this place for recreation. Even though Ahmed says the numbers are BS, and that most people actually don’t live here most of the year – The population is on the rise and have gained well over a hundred souls since 2005. At least on paper.

Onboard the boats in our newly aqired fleet, we have gone through all of the important tasks needed to be done before having both ships float by themselves. Captain Simen spent a few hours and probably most of the bad words he have ever learned to pump out the old oil and change the oil-filter. We still have to make sure the other dieseltank will actually hold diesel, but I can’t imagine that both tanks are actually broken. The damage is most likely not caused by rust, but rather something caused by friction.

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Captain Simen changing the oilfilter.

The best part so far is to finally have a place to cook decent meals and a functioning cooling-box to keep the food fresh. We can finally eat stuff that doesn’t come out of a tube and use milk that isn’t made to last for two years. In short, things are going great and we are enjoying our peaceful days in sweet little Spillersboda.

There was of course this case of fire.. Because we are taking in a few hundred litres a minute, the waterlevel rose a little too much, but lucky for all of us – we were there, and quick response from a well emergency-trained crew fixed the problem in a swoop.

Captain Jack

The waiting-game

Getting old wooden pirate-ships to float takes all the patience in the world – and at least a week. Lucky for us, there is plenty of work to be done around the ship. Time fly by even if we are desperate to get her sailing. Captain Simen has been working hard to make sure the engine and all the electric cabeling is top-notch. I, myself, have mostly been taking care of the paint-jobs and neccesary detail-tasks. 

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Here is a before-picture, taken last time she was seaborne.

There’s a fine line to how much we want to put the ship in the watet at once. Most important is to make sure the engine stays above water, which we have managed so far. At the moment we are mostly conserned about if the trailer can handle all the weight of a sinking ship at the back end. It would totally be best for all if we could get it further out as soon as possible. There is a chance that the whole trailer will brake.. Not good.

A friend we met earlier in Göta kanal came by today with 12 liters of engine oil. A perfect gift at the perfect time. 400 euro worth of oil is something we didn’t think of untill today. It would be kind of stupid to continue on without changing oil. I thought diesel was expensive, but oil is way, way harder on our accounts. Thank you, Jan!

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One handlebar painted.

If you also feel like helping out somehow, you are more than welcome. There isn’t really room for any more hands on deck at this time (we get several requests from aspiring pirates out there, but at this time it would just be more people waiting in the shipyard) But soon, good people. Soon soon soon… If you do however have spare cash, diesel, a GPS, echo sounder (or whatever it is called in english) or knowledge about wood, bedford-engines or this exact ship, feel free to contact us HERE or check out our fundraiser HERE.

We wish we could be sailing right now. The wind and the sun is just perfect and even though tomorrow is supposed to bring rain – it would be an adventure to rise our sail for the first time. But first things first, let’s make the ship seaworthy. And on the positive side; we are not taling in as much water as last night.

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Me looking into the camera with the ship in the background.

Yesterday, we had a visit from the people we bought the ship from. They brought beer all the way from Åland and a contract for us to sign. Great people that was really sad about letting the boat go before they even had the chance to try her out. But the fact is: it takes a lot of time, love and patience to get her back in the water. Something none of the tree previous owners had, one way or the other. We are getting there. I just hate the wait.

Captain Jack

The Harry Float

Just five months ago we were stranded pirates in suburbia of a midsize city in the Kingdom of Norway. Now, somehow, we have a small fleet of two ships where one of which are halfway actually floating. We started the process of letting our new ship make friends with the salty water of Sweden this morning, we got about two feet deep before the automatic bilge-pumps started working. 

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New ship entering the water.

There is not much we can do about that at the moment, but the list of things to take care of is pretty long. While we wait for the area around the propellar getting used to be back in it’s natural element after having dried for four years we have gotten started at the other stuff that needs to happen before we set sail.

I have preassure-washed the deck – it took forever but it is now as clean as it can get. It will need a coat of paint in not too long but it’s fine for now. One of the dieseltanks was leaking as we transported the ship to the water, and since the boat is pretty much built around the tank it is nearly impossible to fix the problem withoit disembeling the whole thing. We have therefore decided to give the tank a sick-leave until further notice. Lucky for us – we have two tanks onboard. Captain Simen has spent some time making sure that the other one is in working condition.

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Oh you dirty dirty ship..

The first payment for the ship left our account today. The ship is officially ours. This means that as soon as the new one floats by itself, not by being strapped to a trailer on a tractor, we will be ready to pass over FF Harry to some lucky new owners. The marked for used wooden pirate-ships in Sweden is pretty weak, but I’m sure we will find a suitable captain soon enough.

Hasse, the king of the shipyard, has been great help during the last couple of days. His knowledge of boats and equipment has been essential for us. Even though we work from early morning to far beyond the sunset we couldn’t have done this without his support. And speaking of support, thank you to all of you following this journey either on the blog, instagram or other social media. Also to all that have donated – some even by multible occations! If you also feel like contribute – you can check out our donationpage.

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New ship as far out as she can go at the moment. Just waiting for the mast to be attatched.

I should get back to work. By the look of it, we’ll probably be stuck here for at least a week or two more. Lucky for us we got to borrow a key to the local sportsclubs referee-lounge, that by the look of it hasn’t been used for years – But there is a warm shower. We are presentable again.

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Captain Simen lookin extremely presentable at 0800.

Captain Jack