Yes, we are taking a break from Sweden. The time has come for us to visit our next country on the list. Denmark, you have been deeply missed and even though the forecast is rain, even snow and plenty of degrees in the blue – we are truly looking forward to hang around for a week or so. I must admit I’m excited to actually have a place to stay this time around, our last few visits have been deeply colored by our tendencies to live in a mix of couch-surfing and tents on all sort of illegal sites.
The south of Sweden have been conquered. We arrived in Smygehamn at the perfect moment after having live-streamed the passage there. The sun was just about to go down in the distance and after securing the boat to the dock we walked to the very tip of the guest harbour. This point marked the tip of mainland-Scandinavia and to us the halfway-point. Even though this is halfway, the first half also represent the hardest and slowest part of this trip to Norway. From now on, everything should in theory go smooth and much faster from here on.
Smygehamn smells bad, very bad. there’s a strong stench of rotten eggs or something much worse in the whole area. This make the place a bit unpleasant, but the guest harbour was free(!) and we got to enjoy the peace of an ended summer season by ourselves. Not counting the smell, I’m sure the people running the place could do much more to advertise this place.
Next morning we aimed for Trelleborg. They do however not have a guest harbour at all, so we ended up stopping in the harbour before, in Gislövs läge. This is a small little village with not too much going on, the little grocery store had some light-beers for sale and this somehow inspired us to take the bus in to Trelleborg to check out the nightlife. We grabbed a great IPA at a nice restaurant in the city center, and when they closed we were sent to the only bar that was still open where we had a few more. This would have to do for our Halloween celebration. We are doing perfectly well by ourselves, and that’s good when except from an elderly couple and a bartender that didn’t look like she wanted to be there at all – we had a blast.
We are of course setting course for the King’s city, Copenhagen. I’m a bit concerned about finding a free place to anchor up, but surly there will be a place for people like us. Our lovely ship can take just about any harbour but as our budget once again is running low, we’ll have to do this the pirate-way.
It seem we might have landed in ‘the bay of silent weather’, also used for a huge military exercise these days. Since the last post we have only moved about 30 nautical miles. We cut the first day short due to a certain Captain Simen being a bit hungover as we happened to be invited to ‘Sail Inn’ – the local waterhole in Sandhamn the night before. We are not the ones to say no to free drinks and happily joined the party. But the next day was a hard one to deal with the waves created in 10 meter wind coming in from Poland. After a nice bumpy day we settled in at a ferry-stop on Drottningskar only 25 nautical miles from Sandhamn.
The next morning woke me up with no wind at all. It was as quiet as it can get and super-foggy. The day before we noticed that we might be in the middle of a huge military thing as well, I mean, signs were pretty clear. There was scatter on the VHF of ships setting off explosives and a variation of camouflage vessels of all sorts and sizes surrounding us at any time. As basically the only boat still on the water at this time of the year, I suppose we were quite visible. But we are sailing a Norwegian flag, we’re friends of the enemy.
Since the weather wasn’t supposed to clear up we decided it was no point in just basically wasting diesel for a whole day and settled in for a quiet day in the boat. But after a long day with no real good opportunity to enjoy the outside we had emptied our batteries using the laptop, and besides having no fresh water left we figured out it would be better to move over to the next islands guest-harbour so we could get a bit charged up and maybe even some heat. The journey over to Hasselø took only about half an hour, and we passed no less than 17 different military speedboats and ships on the way.
Despite the rain we went for a walk on the island. It is connected to land by a bridge so for once we found an island where people are actually living all year around. I believe it is a nice little place to visit for anyone traveling around these parts of the world, but since we were basically already swallowed by the darkness there was not much to see and we returned to the warm safety of our floating home. Of course also here, in the harbour, we were accompanied by 6 military boats.
It was during this slow day that we decided to finally go through with one of our plans. I am proud to inform that we have now launched our own online store! Harry’s Shop is open for business and you are free to start shopping! This of course come at an extremely convenient time for you since you of course are about to get some christmas presents going!
In Harry’s Shop you can find a fine assortment of clothing and accessories that is of great quality and serve multiple purposes. You get clothing in all shapes or sizes, either you are of any gender or age. Our catalog may change in the future, but for now you’ll find plenty of good stuff for your whole crew and yourself! Please take a look at our store, it may just be the best store online. You don’t have to worry, it is not all pirate and sailor-stuff we have some pretty cute motives, even suited for toddlers and office workers. For the next two weeks you get 15% off on everything in the store!
Sorry to say, but it seems that our beloved American followers will have to wait a bit to access these very fine pieces of merch, but for all of Europe you should be good to go! Just make sure you pick your country so you don’t pay for international shipping. Follow this link or use the one in the menu and get your stuff today!
Well, I’m off to prepare today’s sail. Hopefully we’ll get a bit further today and put some nautical miles behind us. We only have two months left to get to Norway, at this speed we better get moving.
Sailing these waters at this time of year offer some exciting problems for our journey to the south of Sweden. We studied the same winds on our previous attempt last year and it’s a hard route to sail due to wind directions on days where it’s no rain or strong winds. For these reasons we ended up using the engine for an entire day down from Kristianopel to Sandhamn, the first small village on the mainland for boats going north toward Kalmar. Our plan was to get to Sandhamn before the rain came in from southeast, and although Captain Simen got soaking wet on his shift – we’ve made it to shore.
Sailing in rain is not the most pleasurable experience in October. We therefore decided to stand our grounds for two nights before proceeding. In a way this is great, since the guest-harbour here offer showers and free bikes. It was also time for us to clean up the ship again. A couple of miscalculations on the waves have tossed things around a bit, this is not the first time this happens, but we have not figured out all the solutions for where to put everything onboard yet. I suppose I’ve learned now, and will consequently pack stuff away before going out sailing in the future.
A stop like this also give some time to reflect and drink tons of coffee. We are basically sailing through three of the Scandinavian capital areas; Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo. Without all the tacking and jibing this calculates to about 1300 kilometers or 700 nautical miles. In other measurements that’s about the same distance as vertically sailing USA on it’s slimmest or a little shorter than the Sahara desert. Of course, we are enjoying our time and is really starting to get back into living on a boat again. That said; this wonderful boat is a whole different story than our previous ones. Here we can actually keep warm, dry and store all our belongings safely, unlike our previous I can now drink my morning coffee in my boxers.
We don’t have to work everyday to make sure we don’t sink or actually have a functioning engine. Before we purchased this adventure of an home, we had some beautiful boats in wood, but life was more a struggle and the upkeep of an old wooden boat would no doubt eat our entire non-existing budget. Having steel presents its own set of tasks to take care of but none of these have so far been critical. I must applaud Kaj who built this boat for his excellent care and craftsmanship.
Our adventures doesn’t come free and we are always looking for ways to make some quick cash. We are extremely flexible and will be searching out small jobs around, let me know if you need a fence painted or your boat washed. We can do just about anything! If you want to support us, there is plenty of ways to do this. Take a look at our support-page in the menu or click here.
We are very lucky to be able to be able to live our lives as free as we are. Having you read and follow our journey is making me feel proud of the choices we have made. There is nothing I’ve experienced that have offered me this kind of peace with myself. Maybe only backpacking, but then you always have to carry your stuff around and you know that it eventually have to come to an end. Slow-traveling by water, with sails and without an end-date, offer the most unique ways to see and have time to experience the world around us.
If I’m to be totally honest – my mental health need this freedom. It need to be experiencing new things and to be moving in order to be healthy. I don’t mind being ‘stuck’ somewhere for a while or even take a job, but in the long run and talking from experience my happiness and love for life disintegrate over time when I feel locked in. I’m sure people probably have thousands of ways to deal with these feelings, this is just the one that works for me at this point in time. Some people ask if this is about running away, and not take responsibility and I can assure you it is not. It’s about the freedom I personally need to do in order to make myself feel that life is valuable.
Freedom is relative, of course. We have things we need to do onboard a boat as well. But when it comes down to it; Being your own Captain, almost always being able to make the choices that shape your day and at the same time being able to do absolutely nothing is the best life-enhancing recipe I’ve ever know. I will not speak for Captain Simen, but I suppose there is a reason to why we stick together. Having someone like him to share these experiences and this life with make life at the moment just perfect.
When we are ready to leave this place, I hope we can get a good run down the coast. The bay-area ahead of us could get us a long way if the winds are with us. There is also a chance that we might have to back down and turn north, but so far the forecast for tomorrow is very promising.
Getting back in salty water have been one of our main goals since we came back to Sweden. When the boat was ready to rock we said goodbye to Södertälje and called on the bridge-master to open the gates. Since we are raging more than fifteen meters over water-level the bridge had to be opened. We then entered the single lock that lowered us 0.7 meters down and released us to the same water touching all the worlds oceans.
It still took us about 4 hours to exit the long arm of a fjord leading out to the Baltic sea. But it was an amazing ride. The weather was magnificent, spoiling us with a 19 degree, sunny breeze. This might be the warmest day we’ll see of Scandinavia in 2019. Since it was so calm we let the sail, engine and autopilot do most of the work onboard and we ended up sailing almost double the distance from our original plan. This took us to the small lighthouse island of Hävringe which up until 1986 served as a pilot station for ships trying to master the Swedish archipelago.
Maneuvering this part of the world is quite a task for any sailor out there. It is no way we would’ve followed the route we did if we didn’t have our digital equipment onboard, also we are getting quite familiar with this particular part of the coast. Not to forget that the weather this afternoon was just spectacular. There is shallows, islands and reefs just about everywhere you look and there is with no surprise you’ll find plenty of shipwrecks on the charts of these waters.
We had a great night after a long tiring day of sailing and were expecting some pretty good winds the following day. True enough, and as always with these two Captains set of on adventure there is always a steep learning curve.. The forecast said it would be cloudy and somewhere around 0.7 meters waves. True enough was it cloudy, but we got to test the ships abilities in double the wave-size and quite a bit of wind. It was awesome. Our goal was to reach the wharf where our previous ship is resting and awaiting a patient, caring and handy new owner. It is also where our journey southbound by boat ended about 11 months ago.
I must admit, it was quite a mess inside good old Harry Louella. We kind of lived onboard while it was hauled up on land awaiting our plans to come together back then. And the smell hadn’t changed a bit. Mostly diesel, but now also a pretty good stench of good old fashion mold after what must have been a pretty moist winter. Other than now also being in need of a complete change of curtains, mattresses and pillows she was in pretty good shape and I’m sure any potential owner will be thriller to take her on as a new project.
We spent a couple of hours cleaning out our salvageable belongings, it did after all almost sink twice, so things like books and some electrical stuff and tools and so on was nothing we would bring with us. Two things we really wanted was our solar panel and the weather station. Then of course there was our fishing gear and other items like spices, kitchen knives, the fly smacker and some other small things we even forgot we once possessed.
When all this was done and we had carried everything back to our new home, it took us a few minutes to get organized and then karma decided we needed a little kick in the ass. Since we haven’t been connected to shore-power since Västerås – the start-battery decided this would be a great time to flat out die on us. This mean we are now stuck on the same place as our beloved Harry Louella until people here come back to work tomorrow morning and can lend us a hand once again.
I don’t care any more. At least we get to sneak ourselves to a free night at a dock and won’t have to drop anchor in unfamiliar waters in the dark. We’ll deal with this mess tomorrow.
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!
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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The weight of towing FF Harry was a bit too much for poor Harry Louella. The engine overheated and stopped about fifty meters from a guest harbour, the winds slowly took us the rest of the way and in a mysterious way FF Harry found his own little pocket by crashing gently into his own space right next to our new ship. We decided that this would have to be his last stop on our journey with him and took a walk to see if we could find someone who wanted him for free. We had just given up and had decided to just let him rest in his place when a father with two kids parked next to us. After a few minutes of convincing we signed a contract of giving it to him for free and took off before he would change his mind. Besides, we left them a case of chocolate sticks under the bed.
Not having a tow made our new ship behave in a totally different way. We made a pleasant sailing rehearsal by rising the sails for the first time ever – a first for all of us! Learning by doing has gotten a whole new meaning so far on this journey. Once again we have found ourselves in a position of a steep learning-curve. At the end of the day we found ourselves in a very nice marina where we got to have dinner and rest out for a while. According to the weather the next day should be some piece of work for all of us.
The lines and cables from the hundreds of sailboats around us in the marina were smashing and singing through the night and as we woke up I could swear they were singing to us about storms and hard weather to come. We packed our stuff and set out to sea with our heads high and ready for anything.
When the winds hit 15 meters a second and the waves are trying to reach higher than my own hight, there is no better feeling of being alive. Harry Louella is squeaking and dancing over every top and smacking down flushing water – taking care of the ship-cleaning we were planning to do the same night. This is also of course a bit hard for our mind and body to take like this the first day in rough sea. We therefore made it short day and found our own little nature harbour where we spent about half an hour figuring how the freaking anchor actually works.
Since we took to harbour early in the day, we made time to make a nice big fire to grill our giant marshmallows and have both lunch and dinner. We also made an attempt on fishing but weren’t lucky cause there was this sea-lion that superswam into the bay and scared away all the fishy’s.
Today when we woke up, we decided to get an early start, packed everything and waited for Simen to top off the hydraulic oil. As we got ready we tried to start the engine, it snarled for a second and went dead. We were all out of power. Battery: Dead. We tried everything and we do of course have our solar panels, but there was no way the sun was going to show up anytime soon. Besides, our ship is still taking in water and we need power to run the pumps. Of course, somehow the exhoust-pipe had burned a hole or five in the pipe for the hand pump (explaining the smoke we’ve had in the cockpit the last few days)… In other words, we needed help as we were kind of stranded out in nowhere.
We somehow got a hold of the sea rescue and they promised to send a boat within a few hours. And so they did! We spent the time trying to fix the hand-pump in case the power went all out. It was of course quick-fix for the guys who had the right equipment and we were leaving within minutes of them taking of into the horizon.
The seas were good, only a few waves splashing over deck as we navigated perfectly in direction of our first actually planned port of call, Nyneshamn. We didn’t get that far. About an hour before we could reach our destination, after having had a great lunch of potatoes and macaronies with sild, just as the wind was starting to peak – the engined stopped.
Drifting toward a reef and with only forty meters to go before crashing badly, the anchor finally got hold to something down at the bottom. We were safe for the time being. But as we saw no way out and with the chain being the most rusty pile of shit I’ve seen in a long time we made use of our VHF and called out our first Mayday. The four crew members onboard worked as best as we could as the sea rescue sent out not only one ship, but two, and then another military vessel from further south. Ten minute later we could see they come toward us and without too much trouble got a rope tied too our slightly non-cooperative ship. Problem was, the anchor was stuck. Problems seldom come alone I guess, we had of course in the middle of everything got ourselves stuck to one of those cables you are not supposed to anchor close to. Only option was to lose the anchor and in the try of giving us the tool needed their ship crashed into our ship cracking our handrail and breaking the Norwegian flag, we all watched it disappear into nothing in the waves.
But we were at least free and they took us into the guest harbour to fix our engine and sleep through the little storm that was building. Little did they know that we were about to start a fire in our boat creating another crisis when first at it. But since great teamwork was already established this day – we ended the fire within minutes and spent half an hour airing out smoke and cleaning up the crap from the fire-extinguisher.
That’s all. I don’t remember where we are, but we are connected to land-power and will not need help to get started tomorrow.
It’s been busy for a few days. We’ve had to train two new crewmembers onboard, an American and a Swedish man we happend to find while cruising to Turku, Finland. They were going south toward France and were sitting in the cigar-bar debating wether to get airplane-tickets when we got chatting. After 20 minutes of sharing our stories we decided to travel south together. They left all their belongings, only bringing whatever they were carrying, in Stockholm and came along to Spillersboda where we started our venture south the next morning.
There was of course a lot to organize before we were able to actually see if the engine would actually take us anywhere. And then there is the case of our old ship. There was this man came to see the boat an hour before we left the shipyard in Spillersboda, paid for it – but didn’t actually take it.. meaning we are now towing it with us toward the Swedish capital. Today will probably be our last day doing this. Straining our new engine towing another boat seems a bit over the top, but we have the nicest convoy around. We’re trying to give it away to friends of friends we have met from Stockholm.
We did 13 nautical miles yesterday, going pretty slow for about five hours. We are heading for our first port of call; Nyneshavn where will probably stock up, wait out some wind and for another Norwegian pirate that is going to escort us over some parts with open water.
Since the engine started to smoke a lot last night we decided to dock at some Swedish millionairs private island. We needed a place to fix the problem it turned out to be our best solution. It was an easy fix, we just needed to change the totally worn down impeller, but had to wait till the morning for the engine to cool down. The owner of course came speeding toward us, but proved to be a very nice guy and even let us use his bathroom while we were there.
Todays mission is to get rid of FF Harry. We have been debating options, but it looks like we will leave it for whoever is in need of a free boat. Contact us if you want the coordinates!
That’s it for this short update. There is too much to learn onboard and we are rising the sails for the first time in a few hours. Write you soon.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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