3 more weeks

The sky is flaring in smoke and colors around the clock, the explosions throughout the island frighteningly resemble times of war and unrest. But this is Malta, the pulsating country of extreme heat and festivities all year along. I’ve been mostly pleasantly shielded from the rivers of tourists, despite basically living on the Beverly Hills of Paceville. Having found the darkest of alleyways to maneuver between my need-to-go destinations – Strolling the shaded side of siesta-infested streets with a sweat soaked shirt. sunglasses and melting ice cream dripping along my way to work. 

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The Captains assortment of food

We are pretty sure we have found our new ship. But as we have learned; nothing is a 100% before the papers are signed and we hoist the main in open water for the first time. I don’t want to jump the gun, but we are currently not looking further. For now it looks like we are flying into Arlanda, Stockholm in less than a Gregorian month.

Once again we’ll be sailing the famous Swedish archipelago. They say that third time is the charm, and this time we also get to experience the inner waters of the Swedish capital. Mälaren is raging 0,7 meters above sea level and covers an area of 1 072 km². Back in the Stone-age the area used to be a fjord of the Baltic Sea, but about a thousand years ago it was slowly separated from the open water by an post-glacial land rise. By the end of the Viking age the water stood 5 meters higher than it does today.

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From here, after passing through Stockholm, there is no plan really. Not yet. I suppose we’ll make up the plan as we go and journey day by day. Fitting the ship for expedition, get a feeling for the vessel and test it’s abilities. I really can’t wait. All we can ask for now is some nice-weathered months before Scandinavian winter hit good.

For now we are stuck in a planning phase. It sucks, but we are making the best of it. We are studying maps, plotting potential crossings and making sure we are on top of the equipment situation. There is still the task of getting together the cash, but it should work itself out. On the flip-side – Airplane tickets are safely booked and paid for. Be aware, we’re on our way.

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Captain Simen smiling for the camera

Guess this is bad news for those of you that were planning on visiting us, but time has come to breath some real Scandinavian air again. Saturday morning in 3 weeks and 1 day you’ll find us at the airport lounge sipping or last free drinks on the island hours before departure – Traveling tip for those saying that airport food is overpriced and unbearable. In the lounge they have free food, free internet, free drinks of all sorts and spacious waiting areas for a small fee only.

Captain Jack

Contemplating Malta

There hasn’t been a single day or night the last two months with lower temperatures than 22 degrees Celsius. This is above average on this side of climate change for two hardnecked Norwegians. Since we of course have managed to find ourselves an apartment without any form of air condition, a place where all doors and windows are crushed up against one small wall – making it totally impossible for air to circulate – we are living extremely hot days on Malta. Our landlord is a pennypincher and wouldn’t get an AC if I blackmailed his family. Worst part is that we have yet to reach the peak of summer before we part with this chapter of our journey. 

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I personally love to visit warm places. There’s a freedom in travel through dry or wet tropical climate. As long as you get to be free enough to move at your own pace that is. Living a more permanent situation in any of these places can get quite draining two or three months in. The body’s constant fight to keep down and stabilize the temperature take away all the energy – As the body has a hard time accepting food until late in the evening when the breeze swoosh through our street and leave us with a welcome small token of relief.

Lucky for us we have gained new power and inspiration by coming to the conclusion that it is time to get our asses back on the water. Instead of living without short-sighted goals within reach, without a concrete plan for the future.. – We are finally back!

Our time on Malta have been a time to reflect over everything we have learned. Life in a boat is quite an adventure in itself, one that we are not done exploring. We miss the hard work of getting everything in order and getting ready to set sail. The fact that we have now come to the conclusion to get back in a boat – we see as a healthy sign on us staking out the right course.

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We should probably have explored more of this country but in the beginning we were, truth be told, mentally down on the situation we had mixed ourselves up in, with an unsailable ship back in Sweden. Following a long period of not knowing what to do with our future. Then out of nowhere it got to damn hot to do anything sensible at all.

The country is dominated by pretty much the same color, or basically the whole variety of limestone. Something the locals seem to take great pride in, and rightfully so. But as the spoiled traveling personalities we are, we would wish for a tiny bit more living landscape, talking life in wild forests and raging Mountains. We visited the highest point, when Marius – Captain Simen’s Brother, and written crew from our time on FF Harry, came down to lick some sun. The high-point is actually more the top of a cliff and it was so hot that day that we taxied our self to the top, and walked the last 23 steps.

Other than that we have endorsed pretty much the whole city area that marks the borders for our base, as in Saint Julian, Msida, Paceville and Sliema regularly.

Saving money has been hard since stuff on the island is priced as in a developed European country. Our rent has been the killer. If I’m not wrong the price for living has pretty much triple the last 10 to 15 years around the area. Food here is average high and the restaurants equally so. Maybe especially in our area which is the visiting Mecca for young tourists seeking out their own kind and the so called pulsating nightlife of the island.

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Captain Simen has spent the time strengthening his skills in many areas. On the side of building a respectable tolerance for extreme heat, he have gained even greater patience and is now handling boredom like it should be a part of a normal life. He has also proven that there is an end to the videos on YouTube and has worked as our own personal plumber on several occasions.

Yours truly have been working in the iGaming industry. A growing part of Malta’s economy, last year it covered something like 16% of it and so I have been serving mainly the online Scandinavian casino-players through their winnings and losses for the better part of 2019. I have worked with lovely colleagues at the infamous Jackpotjoy LTC. The company is a great one for the industry and showed me a whole New side in how to deal with their employees. Any company I have worked at or visited before could have something to learn from it.

Ever since David, our companion sailor, left us at the merge of winter – in order to pursue his global water campaign-plan – from his new rolling office in the United States of America left us – our very own highness became our best friend. Nadia, the Macedonian Princess that has been relentlessly keeping us company through her ups and downs. Since we got to know her she has become an real-estate agent. She has also grown on us like a great friend and even stayed in our apartment for a while as she was seeking out her own nest. Now she comes over to play some Minecraft on a regular basis.

The two of us have spent the time slinging ideas and plans on how to move from here.  Launching the final stages of flying somewhere to move into our new floating property. One that will keep us warm, dry and somewhat comfortable as we explore wherever, whenever we feel like it. At the moment it looks like our next destination first will be Sweden. Then we ride from there, but first – 5 more weeks of survival.

Captain Jack

 

Princess Nadia

Once upon a time, not too long ago. In a small little country named Macedonia, on a stormy night – a tiny little girl with a big curly black hair was born. She was born into royalty and was well taken care of her entire childhood. Her father, the King, spoiled her from day one. Before she could take her first steps she had more toys and jewelry than most people would touch in their lifetime.

Years went by and Nadia grew up to be a strong and just as opinionated as her mother, the Queen. She went to school like everybody else in her village and made some great friends with the kids in their neighborhood.

Then came the Day for Nadia to take over the throne, as her parents wanted to travel the world and discover new sides to themselves. They wanted to buy a small little castle on the hillside in Monaco and live out their lives in anonymity away from Macedonia, but first they were going on a three year cruise to all corners of the world.

Princess Nadia was suddenly on her own in the big world. She moved out of the castle and i to a small apartment in the village center. But there was something that bothered her, she wanted to go somewhere new and exciting. She decided to make her butler, Oliver, drive her away to other parts of the big Europe.

As Princess Nadia was leaning over the edge of the ferry she was having her last Macedonian cigarette. When she arrived in Malta she would have to buy some more. She was wondering what she would do when she got there. Oliver, the butler, had made some arrangements at an exclusive hotel on the north side of the island. One with golden bathroom, a pool and everything she could dream to eat for breakfast. Maybe she should get a Job in a bookstore? Or in a bar? The opportunities was endless.

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A few weeks later she woke up one morning and decided she would start working in real estate. So she fired the butler an walked into one of Malta’s hundred real estate offices and paid the manager to hire her.

It wasn’t long before Princess Nadia was the most famous real estate agent Malta had ever seen. With her own YouTube channel, billboards everywhere and airplanes flying huge banner with her face and phone number in circles around the tiny island country. They called her ‘The Quick-let girl’.

Just after a few months she had made billion euro. Already the next year she purchased three hotels and had one under construction in Macedonia. She was invited to the Ellen DeGeneres show and started building her empire of fast food chains in the Americas as well. Serving only healthy meals to prices that every one could afford – if you were homeless you ate for free. Of course.

The whole world would come to forever admire the self made woman with the extremely strong personality and charm. Everyone sheered when she came walking down the street or the highway.

This is the brief story of the amazing Princess Nadia, the first human to build a resort on Mars. Only the future will tell how the story ends.

Finding our new ship

As of right now, I believe we have full control of the Scandinavian market for sailboats within our criteria. Problem is that it is still a few weeks ahead so it’s hard to make any concrete plans with any of the sellers. There is no lack of potential ships and I have a strong belief that we’ll be able to find something even cheaper as we get closer to end of the Scandinavian summer. Who in their right mind would pay for winter storage and take all that work if they are planning to sell anyway..?

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Since this whole adventure is done on a close to zero-budget, there are certain things we need to make sure are in order for us to even survive the first few months. The list below reflects our highest priorities.

28 foot plus
Since we are living onboard we have calculated that our minimum length is 28 feet. We don’t really have a max-length but it shouldn’t be too much boat either. This to keep running costs down. 
Working engine

Preferably not too big in order to keep diesel-costs down. We are looking at engines between 8 and 35 HP.  We don’t have a need to be fast moving, but rather an engine that can take a beating and cold nights.
Sails
All sails must be onboard and ready for use. We also need it to be a rolling jib and if possible also a nice Spinnaker.
No leaks
We’re done patching up ships before we can use them. The boat also need to have at least 2 working bilge-pumps. One may be manual. The tanks, both water and diesel, even grey water need to be completely sealed.
Spray-hood/Cover
As we are not only traveling in warm summer weather we find this part very important in order to stay warm at sea during the colder seasons. This also allow us to take use of a bigger part of the boat when in harbour or at anchor even in cold weather.
Dinghy
In order to save money when at anchorage we find this a necessity. We are of course more than happy with oars, but a small engine wouldn’t hurt either.
Working electric system
This include batteries, fuses, lights and VHF and plotter.

Other equipment needed includes: Good ropes and anchor, fenders, tools, electronic, navigational, safety, and fishing-gear. And this is of course just to get us started 🙂 Nobody said it would be easy, but we do have the time for basically whatever. If we get the chance we will also make a visit to Harry Louella, where we have a bunch of stuff we could use for the new boat. So in a way I have a hope that we find our new vessel on the east coast of Sweden or at least somewhere in the Baltic.

As you can imagine, finding a boat with all of this stuff is not an easy task, especially when we don’t really know what our budget will be for sure. We will at the time we leave Malta, but for now we are fishing a bit in the blind. Planned departure is September 20th.

Captain Jack