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

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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

Making her seaworthy

Morning fog is surrounding FF Harry with a thick blanket of white nothingness. Giving me the chance to update you on the progress regarding our new ship. The crew has changed into a gettting-up-with-the-sun routine in order to make the most out of the daylight. We are working as hard and fast as we can to make the new vessel ready to head south before the temperatures around here drop dramatically. 

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This is the first look of the new ship.

The ship is built in 1957, it was originally made to be a fishing-vessel but before they could finnish her, there was allready better suited ships in circulation. It therefore never served as what she was built for. For size she is 30 feet (9,14 meter) long and 3 meter wide. They then put up a mast and made it a leasure-boat instead. Adding sail and other features more suited for her new purpose.

The engine is a 220 Bedford that most likely used to serve as the motor of a car. It has 4 cylinders and 62,5 horsepower to our disposal. Our first big quest was to figure out if it would actually start. If there was no life in the engine, I do believe this would be too much of a task for us non-mechanical pirates to take upon us. There would of course be a chance we could make it happen, but it would take a lot of time and money that we don’t have. But after a lot of testing, checking, going through the whole system several times and adding some fresh diesel to one of the three dieseltanks she wasn’t to hard to ask. The engine started without any big hickups after four years of standing untouched on land. Hurray!

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The new office have more space.

But there is no time to celebrate. Captain Simen started the everlasting work on the electrical system. There is hundreds of meters with cables on a ship this size, and we have to check them all. Lucky for us, most of the gear is working just fine, but we had to install an extra bilge-pump and reattatch some cables, change som fuzes, doublecheck everything and make sure everything do the job they are meant to.

I have spent most of the time sealing up the outside of the ship. It has, as mentioned, been laying drydocked for the past four years. It has however been looked after, or meant to be set in water about three years ago – it never happened. There was still a bunch of cracks where water would flow in like a river if we didn’t seal it up properly. After spemding an entire day of sealing up with stuff like PL-400 and Sikaflex, not to forget adding new woodcapsules on several boltholes – there was a whole lot of space in between the boards still wide upen… We had to go to drastical meassures and repaint the whole ship. We used something called cold-asphalt, which is mostly a tar-based substance that both my hands, face and clothes now have been covered in. It’s how they used to do it economically in the old days. It worked a hundred years back and still does today. Just ask FF Harry, he got a coat just four months ago.

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Left side no paint, right side lots of paint.

It took all of yesterday to do the bottom of the ship. Today is a new layer in between the boards before continue the work above the waterline. It’s a whole lot of work, but man.. There is not many things more beautiful than a freshly painted pirate-ship.

Allright, I think that was it for the update. Spillersboda as a town is perfect for this work. There isn’t too many distractions and they have everything we need. They didn’t have the cold-asphalt in the paintshop – but it only took a few hours from we ordered it until they had gotten it for us anyway. The grocery-store is also good, not too busy they either – but today they are supposed to have gotten fresh bread. They even have laundry-machines for us to use in the basement.. The only thing missing in Spillersboda is a shower. There is no showers here – and I really need a shower.

Captain Jack

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FF Harry sulking by himself.

PS

Don’t forget to help us out on our fundraiser, it is still not over. If you feel like giving us a hand, please go to our donationsite HERE.

 

 

The new pirate-ship

The fog is cold and wet, it makes getting up in the morning only bearable with hot coffee and the feel of the morning sun creeping over the top of the trees. Everything is damp and soggy – But there is no sleeping in for pirates that has to get their new ship ready for adventures. 

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Morning sun.

It took us a couple of days to decide about the ship after arrival in Spillersboda. The town is quiet now that most of the summer-guests have gone back to Stockholm or wherever. But there is still a grocery-store, a hardware and woodshop, not to forget the shipyard we are currently located at. It took almost two days to go through the state of the vessel, but it is verified; the engine starts, the ship from 1957 is in good shape, it looks amazing – we bought it.

There is of course a maze of things to take care of even before we can get her on the water. The most important thing was that the engine would start and with a little help from Hasse, the man of the shipyard, we managed to put together the information needed for us to turn the key. None of us is actual mechanics, and there is a total mess of cables, pipes and stuff noone actually know why is there. The ship has been on land for the last 4 years. Lucky for us the people before us have been taking good care of it, and we remain very positive about getting her seaworthy. It looks like we might have to stay in Spillesboda for a couple of weeks to make it happen, but it’s totally worth it. The ship is beautiful!

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Wrapped pirate ship.

This would not be possible without the help from all of you that have donated to our fundraiser. The new pirate-ship is still on a lease-contract, meaning that if you are able to help us out, there is still a chance! Every little krone, euro, dollar or whatever your country have decided is good enough for your people is very much appreciated. Please, don’t feel bad about donating to our ship-cause. It is allready in our hands, but not fully paid for, and the actual fixing up of the ship shouldn’t cost much more than hard labour from the crew. We really want to keep telling you about our adventures – please support our campain by following the link below.

LINK

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Under the tarp.

I should get going, there is way too much to do and I’ve allready finnished my coffee. First point of the agenda is to unwrap the rest of our new ship. I can’t wait to see the whole thing without wrapping – and to show all you good readers of the blog, and all contributors what we’ve got to work with in the future! I’ll make sure to update you all as soon as possible.

Captain Jack

#ffharry

It’s sunday. The last one we have in Pirate Bay at least as of this year. As per usual I have some time to write before the other pirates wake up – demanding coffee and breakfast. The wind is a bitch today and since it’s no fun being outside right now I found the time to reflect on the people met and the pictures taken this so far on this lifechanging adventure we have embarked on. 

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Now, before writing any further, I want to ask for your help. We will of course find a way for us to go on, but we really want to expand and make space for all of our pirates onboard. In order for us to do this as soon as possibly and most neccesary before winter shows up – We have found our new pirate-ship. It’s not a whole lot bigger and in all modesty very cheap. We have started a fundraiser on GoFundMe and I ask in the most possible humble way if you may be able to contribute with what you can. There is no shame in 50 cents, every single bit helps. So please follow this link: THIS BLUE TEXT IS THE LINK to read more about the campain. Everyone that helps out will get a special postcard of FF Harry, made by a local artist, Mathilda Röjdemo from Töcksfors. Just make sure you send us your adress 🙂 If you want to contribute more directly please don’t hesitate to contact either me, Captain Jack, or the handsome Captain Simen.

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When we started our journey from Fredrikstad, Norway in May – there wasn’t much of a plan. Other than finding a place to put up our camp, plant some vegetables and figure it out on the way. Three months later we have made hundreds of friends, taken thousands of pictures, became somewhat of a famous ship on the lake, and as it turned out – we found our calling as holistic pirates.

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Throughout the weeks past, the crew have shifted as pirates have had time to join us. Some have flown in from the great far north, traveled 3000 kilometers just to be with us. Others came paddeling straight into our very own, and may I say, very well hidden Pirate Bay.

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We have arranged full moon parties, other huge parties and we have been the towingship for canoists stuck in the wind. We have hunted away people from illegal bird sancturay islands, been the nose and eyes for the fire department on the water during a fire – and arranged for an ambulance at several occations. In a way, I’m proud to say, we have been pirate rangers. The main goal has allways been to make sure that as many as possible, us included, had a great experience at Lake Foxen this summer.

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We have had a great time with many of the locals and we have made the #ffharry something to be proud of. There is of course a lot of people to thank in the proccess and you are of course all on our list for the special postcard handdrawn and printed just for friends of FF Harry and his Captains with crew. (I would love to show you the postcard, but it’s way to exclusive to be printed as a digital copy.)

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As you probably know by now, we are setting the course toward the Swedish capital very soon. It has been a blast on Foxen, but I would be lying if I said that we are not looking forward to new places, new people and new experiences. We are after all a holistic research wessel before the pirates we have been known to be. We will of course keep sailing our very own handmade pirateflag. But this journey is about more than piracy. It’s about living life as interesting as possible. And in a way where we can connect with great people, learn from your culture and hopefully give you a wonderfull experience back.

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The pirate supermarked is closed. We worked 14 hour days, 6 days a week. The poor engine has really proved it was up to the test and that we can trust it for many miles more. The money made is just enough to get us to Stockholm. You can just imagine the price for the whole ride: there is 11 Euro for each lock – 64 of them, then diesel, oil and food for the crew. I want to say especially a big thanks to all of you that used the Pirate Supermarked, and know that the money is going to be well spent.

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This brings us back to our fundraiser. This is a friendly request – not an order from the Captains. We could really, really, really use your help. Our hopefully new ship is located just north of Stockholm. We have a long journey ahead of us, and as a Captain I would feel much better about taking our crew on this journey in a tinybit bigger boat. One with sails that is. One where can all sit inside to eat and sleep. Not having to cook on the enginetop would also be a big step in the right direction. The autumn rains and the colder winds are also going to make this hard for us unless we upgrade in the near future.

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All the pictures in this post is from Instagram and the hashtag #ffharry. Thank you to all photographers! If nothing else it would be awesome if you followed our hashtag, this blog and jackmikkel + simengeorg on instagram. Also, if you have any great memories with us, it would be fantastic if you posted them under the hashtag #ffharry on Instagram. We would love to bring you with us to the next chapters of this adventure. Also we are still going to host the Foxenfestival outside Lübeck, Germany where we invite all we have met, will meet and friends of friends to a nice get-together when we get there. Stay connected to get the exact time and place!

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For good meassure HERE is the link to our crowdfunding one more time 🙂 Don’t worry, it will open in a new tab so you can keep reading about our amazing adventures so far.

All the best from the Captains,

Jack and Simen

 

Mondays blues from Harry

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We are sinking!

We are taking in water. This is really bad news. There has allways been some water, now there is too much to ignore. I was thinking we could wait a couple of days, maybe even weeks, before we took action. But at this speed that could turn fatal for spiders living on the lower decks. If my calculations are correct (and they usually are) we are increasingly taking in about 20 liters of water every hour. No human can make that kind of condensation. With a broken handpump and a very cheap bilge-pump, it’s getting critical. Now we just have to figure out where the frock this water is coming from. 

Searching the ship port to star, top to bottom. Yes, the wood is as old as the ship but there is only one small crack we can find and it’s well above water-level. also very bad news – Suggesting that one of us might have to go for a swim. We have ruled out leakage due to crash – we’ve been getting very good at not bumping into anything since we decided that FF Harry is a ship, not a boat.

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One posibility is that due to the extreme heat the last couple of weeks; the wood has dried and shrunk a little just at or below the waterline. If this is the case, there is not really much we can do until we get Harry out of the water. We are painfully aware that he would like at least one new coat of whatever, but our original plan was to do this in about five months. Also, the sudden change of intake the last 24 hours speak the story of something more calumniatory.

Our working-theory is not about cracks or crashes. Harry might be old, but his engine even older. In our own euphoric state of getting back to nature there might have been a slight neglect in reading the whole 96 pages of user-manual (of which some parts are written by hand next to some very dark black and white photographs). To be honest, we have been oiling and taking care of the engine in almost every way, but it seems we have forgotten to grease up the system. We knew it had to be done, but not at the frequency listed in the manual.. The grease-cup should be turned every 5th engine hour, and the rest of the system greased every 25th. After about 75 hours. We have turned the grease-cup once.

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If we are lucky, we haven’t broken or worn out anything just yet. Hopefully a good round of grease should take care of the whole sinking of our ship-problem. The parts needed is of course available if anything is broken. But getting them shipped to our floating location and paid for with our non-existant money, not to mention the whole mechanic proscess of figuring out which parts and how to replace them where – would be a lot more complicated to us than mending minor cracks.

This fight is not over. If you need a reminder – remember the title of this blog and then go share it with everyone! (Especially SABB-mechanics and rich people prone to donations).

Blubb blubb.