I know it has been a few days since the last blog. But we have been busy and mostly stuck up in a hill with a great view of Patras in Greece. The hills offer little internet and no electricity. We have been stranded pirates, but have finally moved on with some sort of a plan. We stopped over in Istanbul and landed in Malta a few hours ago.
Patras is the third largest city in Greece. A student city and a great place to visit for a few days. As the penny-pinchers we are, the molo offered several nights of fishing without any outcome to sprak of. Even though it’s winter and the local farmers keep crying about the fact that there is no real rain falling during the rainy-season – we had a great whole night of heavy rain under our tarp.
We comfortably lived on our budget and enjoyed spending the nights with new friends in the park. Some nights the city offered an underground rap concert, other times people danced to the sweet music of salsa. Many nights we really enjoyed the long walks through the city, enjoying new sights on every corner.
The camp was perfectly located on one of the steps of a steep hill on the inside of a hatd turn. The view was perfect across the bay, with Patras City in between. Our thinking was that this could be a good place to stay for a while. But we quickly learned that allthough many spoke english, it could be hard to work up the money needed for us to journey on. We therefore took the bus back to Athens, moved ourselves in direction of the airport and.. Well.. Here we are!
We have moved out of the huge city of Athens. We spent an cold night on the beach of Kiota before venturing further west to our current location – the third largest city of Greece, Patras. At the moment we are sleeping up in a steep hill with the view towards the city and the ocean behind it. But we are looking for an cheap apartment to rent while we search for our new pirate-ship with this city as our base.
We spent our last full day in Athens exploring some of the historical sights it has to offer. Lucky for boat-saving pirates they proved to be free to visit on sundays, fitting our budget perfectly. Athens was a great visit, but like all other capitals tend to be a great deal more expensive, this also goes for the Greek capital. We therefore decided to move to the west-coast. Here it’s 10,53% cheaper to live according to the great internet and so far I suppose it have proved right. As mentioned, we are currently camping out, expecting rain tonight and are looking for a new place to live, maybe even for a few months.
We will have to raise some money in the months to come. Since we don’t speak the language, I guess we have the work cut out for us. But first we want to get to know this city. Patras look like all other greek cities we have seen or passed by train or bus and we spent all day yesterday walking around the streets and have allready talked to a couple of people about a place to live. Apperently it is hard to rent a place for only a few months but with so much vacancy around I have high hopes for a place in the near future.
Just a little update on our progress. The others just got up and are having their morning coffee. Another day is about to begin, and we need to find a tarp before the rain comes around tonight.
We have been walking around Athens for a few days. This city is huge – and wherever we go is a new adventure waiting around the corner. Exploring this capital and it’s sites has once again tought me to be humble in humanity. We have celebrated David’s birthday, climbed a mountain, bought fruit at markets, looked for new shoes without finding any, been living comfortable in a very cheap apartment and had amazing greek food for every meal consumed.
Coming from living on a budget in Sweden, Athens have been the ultimate upgrade. Of course we can speak about the temperature and the climate – but this have only been the necessary change for us. The culture around here, the people, the history and the food have given us a whole new perspective of the pirate life.
The first day here we walked down to the marina to look for a new pirate ship. There was many options and a whole culture in itself to take in. We were of course tired from having spent four whole days at airports but got caught in the excitement of being stranded in the birthplace of our western culture. The tree of us is a great team, we have the respect, patience and love for each other to actually make this journey together. We have built a strong friendship between us on our way to this point and I have great belief in us as the crew, working ourselves toward our next pirate ship.
Walking in Athens is a huge adventure. You have all the traits of an European capital amongst some of the best known historical sites in human history. Combine this with friendly people, no snow and great food and you get an atmosphere worth visiting. I have had no chance but to surpass my goal of ten thousand steps a day, seen architecture transfer moved from the ancient greek to the modern time of my life and discussed life-changing philosophy with my two best friends in this world.
Last night we spent the whole evening selling waffles under our neighbour highway. We had got to know an artist that have his studio there, next to refurnishing-shop, and he was kind enough to let us use his electricity for our waffle-iron. Sadly we was not able to make all the money back for our expenses, but thinking about it – it would probably be far more expensive for us to walk around the city on a friday night without any purpose to speak of.
We are not going to stay in Athens. On monday we’ll catch a bus to the west-coast and the city of Patra. According to people we have met – everything is cheaper there. It’s still Greece’s third largest city and we hope to make a home there for the next couple of months while we regroup and get our plans together for our pirates-for-peace movement. It makes me happy that we have plans to work towards and short-term goals to hit in order for us to get ourselves back on a boat to roam the world. This short week in Athens have given me perspective on my life and I feel strengthened and ready to go.
We still have a couple of days left in Athens. Today is Saturday and if I’m right, whenever the other two awakens to this beautiful warm day, we will have breakfast and go venture into new parts of the city. Tomorrow is Sunday, meaning that all historical sites have free entrance. I will fulfill a life-long dream and finally get to see the first theatre in the world.
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It’s our third day at Arlanda airport outside Stockholm. We found ourselves a dark corner between a noisy escelator and an elevator. This turned out to be our home for two nights. I think I can say with confidence that the tree of us left in the crew are looking forward to some warm weather and to explore the birthplace of our modern society, the crib of known philosophy. We are flying in to Greece and our flight leaves in six hours.
We finnished up our packing and brought whatever we could carry of our belongings from Harry Louella, now for sale at Gryts Varv. After spending our last money on a taxi and then by bus from Valdemarsvik to Stockholm. Our plan was to meet up with our fourth crew-member at a hotel near the central station. But after hours of waiting he proved to be a no-show and since he was the one supposed to take care of the arrangements in the Swedish capital – we were suddenly, and very uncalled for, left to ourselves on the dark and freezing streets of this rich and cultural capital on a saturday night.
The first snow has fallen. Temperatures are lurking around the red numbers. We somehow managed to get ourselves into a hotel by booking a double-room and sneak in an extra pirate for the night. It was of course late at night allready but we all got a nice five hour deep sleep and a huge breakfast before we checked out, had the hotel take care of our bags, and started our long day of wandering the city. At this point we still had hopes for our crew-mate to show. We spent a few hours at an amazing library while we tried to sow together the new plan. By the afternoon we had decided that to wait around Stockholm would be both cold and expensive. We bought some cjeap food at Lidl and booked bus-tickets for the airport.
Yesterday we finally got the money needed for tickets. We are setting course for a warmer climate just like the plan has been all along. We are of course not arriving by boat like we hoped – but we are arriving! None of us know for sure what tomorrow will bring, making this a huge new adventure with endless of options for happy endings. We are learning that the best crew is a crew that stand and works together no matter what happens. Like allways – life must go on and we are going strong into our new pirate-situation down south.
Thanks for all donations to the homeless-pirate fund. It have been golden in this time of need! Next update will come from a place without snow and an nice extra 20 degrees. Enjoy your day and let us know if you have a potential pirate-ship available down there somewhere. You may of course also like this post and share it with someone you love or someone known to own a boat in the Meds.
There was ice this morning. It has been a very cold night onboard the Harry Louella. The three pirates left onboard to finnish up the preparations for our wintering of the ship are sleeping with double covers, hats and jackets to keep out the cold. It is time for us to get moving, but before we can do that – the ship must come out of the water and we need to know where to sleep the next couple of days. Not to forget where in the world will we find our next ship?
Our fourth pirates for peace-pirate has once again taken off to Nynäshamn to take care of some business. We will go there one of the next days. Yesterday we were towed from Fyrudden to Gryt early in the morning and later in the day we detached our beautiful mast and sent it to storage. But for now, we are waiting for the people of the wharf to make the time of lifting our boat ashore so we can cover it up and prepare the engine for winter.
There are times where our adventure seem to be a hard nut to crack. But let it be said that this crew will never give up the journey toward world peace. We are not the first pirates to be temporary without a ship – and even in these dark times our crew is masters of keeping up hope and the fight for our cause and will once again, mark my words, soon be back at the sea!
This said, we have lost the fight against the winter and will have to move ourselves in some other way down to a warmer climate. Where, how and when still has to be determined and this will be done within a few short days. The last of our tasks will be to pack whatever we can carry from Harry Louella but it look like there will be a lot of tools, equipment and other useful things left for the next lucky owners of this amazing boat. Let us know if you are interested in a cheap pirate-ship!
This also means that we will not be able to sail down through Europe in this turn around. This is very sad of course – since we have met a lot of great Europeans this summer that it would be a privilege to meet up with on our way south.
For now however, feel free to check in on the blog for updates. I will keep you posted on our progress for better or worse, but know that we are pirates with great hope and this adventure will go on for a very long time into the future – until we reach our goal of world peace or longer.
The pirates homeless-fund
Any contributions is greatly appreciated. If you are unwilling or unable to help out with cash, it is just as valuable for us if you share our blog with your friends and family!
When your pirate-ship is under attack, in waters toward warmer climates and undiscovered treasures, by enemies and dangers you can’t even imagine – All Captains onboard will have to work as the perfect team we are in order to make it south.
A few days ago we were attacked by the gruesome Transition-monster about five nautical miles out from our current safe harbour. It came out of nowhere – probably as the natural result of our previous two sinkings last week in the harbour of Nynäshamn. We suddenly lost all power of the engine and had to rise the jib with what I would like to refer to as no-wind-whatsoever to sail ourselves into safe shore on an abandoned island.
After having been rescued for the third time on this amazing ship we got into Fyrudden harbour where we are currently located. After having checked and rechecked, gone through all of our scenarios we have collectively among the Captains given the order of abandon ship. Harry Louella is being towed from here to Gryts Varv in 24 hours where it will most likely be spending it’s time until someone in this world have the time to fix this relative simple problem, which we simply don’t have time for if we want to get south before winter arrives.
Dear reader, do not fear! We are not by any chance giving up. I must admit that we have kind of gotten of course the last few weeks and should by the plan have already entered the Kiel-kanal. But as the temperature is pushing for snow we are simply not taking any chances and have decided to skip a few chapters ahead head south on friday morning. Check in at next post to see where our adventures has taken us!
Yes. This ship has had it’s better days, we knew that when we got it. We’ve had a great run – but it seems like the current harbour is the final stop for us on this ship. After having been rescued 3 times, sunk twise, countless fixes and weeks of gentle care has not even gotten us out of the kingdom of Sweden.
Harry Louella isn’t working anymore. Transmission is totally scrucked and we are stuck in yet another harbour, and this time it seems final. There is of course a chance that we can get it running, but the time and cost of this fix might just be what pull us out of the game with this ship.
This do not mean that we are giving up. We need a few days to reconfigure the plan – but I can promise you that we are not of those who give up. We have made some sort of plan, as we spent a few hours on a deserted island about an our tow out in nowhere yesterday. The sea rescue pulled us in to Fyrudden where we now are tied up to the guest harbour.
Lucky for us, there is a grocery-store here and the bus comes several times a day. We should be able to survive in this village for the time being. We even made a friend here allready. Felix, a island-owner across the bay that came over last night, bringing champagne and beer from his fathers brewery up north.
In short – it’s hard to say what to say at this point. We are once again stranded fighting for a plan to make this work for all of us. I suppose this is a turn for the worse. But we are pirates, we never give up!
We are getting used to being stuck in random places. I suppose that’s a good thing since the only real plan we have is to get south and to get started on our ‘Pirates for peace-fundation’. It seems that our plan of sailing around the country of Portugal has changed – most likely we will be journeying through the canals of Europe until we hit the Mediterranean. The months we are entering simply don’t go well with us or Harry Louella entering the open water featuring the Atlantic ocean.
We are standing by in Öxelösund, a small industry town with not much going on east in Sweden. We’ve had to stop for some maintainance of our vessel. It was a planned stop, but it doesn’t seem like we’ll be moving for another day. Conny is working hard to repair our jib-sail that took a hit when were sailing against the wind a week ago. This is an easy fix but we have to put the hours into it.
Yesterday the fog was so thick that it would be straight out dangerous for us to go out through the waters we are now sailing. I doubt there is many places on earth with this many reefs and tiny islands. Today it is of course raining – making Conny’s sowing-job on deck a bit more uncomfortable. But we’ve got time.. The snow isn’t here yet and we still have to get the engine started.
It looks like we found the problem to why we kept losing the engine all the time. The diesel-filters were all clogged up. I mean for real clogged up. Totally black with cloggy clogging-materials built up through the years. Lucky for us we found a gas-station wich was more of a garage and they had in a dark corner of their storage only two filters left that would fit our engine. Of course the guy behind the counter warned us about getting air into the system and the mechanics, being Captain Simen and David, did their best. But this engine is old – and have a hard time being friendly to young pirates. It sucked in whatever air it could handle and here we are. Stranded once again – in a guest harbour of Sweden, forced to push a button every five-minute, hoping that the air will pass through the system.
It’s not all bad of course. We finally got to wash our clothes and take showers ad lib. David holds the record of almost two hours in the showers. The guest-harbour is closed but we were lucky enough to get the codes and stuff from some other people who had been here earlier this year and can therefore enjoy the liberty of the good life of a washing-room and nice clean toilets.
Well, I have to get back to work. We have talked to a mechanic, the guy that sold us our new diesel-filters, and hopefully we can easily ease ourselves out of this within a couple of hours. If you by any chance have it in you to help us out in this increasingly costly journey feel free to use the paypal-button below or share our blog with some friends around the world!
Will keep you posted!
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We have just experienced our first day with no noticeable problems. There was that one point were the engine cut out just as the wind picked up making us sail instead – that was just awesome. The reason was that we are still running on our old diesel-filters – but apart from this tiny winy problem and the hour were the bilge-pump stopped working because of our very much dirty bilge.
We are of course counting on having a fair deal of problems with a wooden boat from 1957, and an engine even older. The old Bedford has been dry-docked for years, so no wonders that it require som love and care from four inexperienced sailors on their journey south. Apart from these two problems and the fact that I couldn’t catch anything but a nice pile of sea-weed – the day started with some of the calmest waters we’ve experienced, warm sunny weather and perfect conditions for anything but sailing. It was so calm that the engine was the only way to go.
Lucky for us the fix we had been working on to stop exhaust filling up the cockpit proved to be working. For the first day in forever we reached our goal and have transported ourselves a fair bit south of Nynäshamn and into the guest harbour of Öxelösund.
The day has been as perfect as perfect can be on the water this time of the year. When the engine stopped and we raised the sail we made a whole 3,5 knots in only 3 ms wind. That was awesome. Starting at 10, we arrived at our destination exactly at the time we had planned out.
Last week felt mostly like a training-week with all the crap that happened but I am proud to say that this crew stood positive through the whole thing. We are really coming together as the crew we set out to be – which of course is essential for our mission for the coming months.
Right now it’s so foggy around us that we can’t see the other boat around us, this is the weather for the night – but tomorrow is supposed to be just as good as what we’ve seen today. We feel we are finally making progress. Captain Simen has even got the diesel-heater that caught on fire the other day back in order. There was quite i bit of water there going into the system when we flooded the engine. We are waiting for dinner made by first-mate David tonight, enjoying some rest after a completely perfect day in the beginning of this adventure. We have officially left Stockholm county.