Real pirates will never give up!

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?

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Waking up to slippery deck and frost all over.

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!

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Being towed in early rainy mornings.

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.

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The last voyage for us onboard Harry Louella.

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.

Captain Jack

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!

$1.00

 

 

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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.

Donation

I would like to make a donation to your adventures! Easily choose how much you can give and make it easy with paypal!

€1.00

Update you soon!

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

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

Adventuring forward

Stockholm may be an extremely clean, safe and proud capital city – but like all other crowded places, you pay for what you get. Since the crew left onboard is dying to save every bit of money that comes through our hands; we decided to leave town before the sun went down yesterday. We are located about 6 hours of Harry-speed northwest of the city at a small island called Rävsund. 

We got to do a little sightseeing and all that stuff, there is a lot to see and we had an interesting venture visiting the two museumships laying in front of the Vasa-museum. These are free to visit, well worth the money. I know you are probably supposed to take a bunch of pictures when you are visiting big cities like this, but to be honest I forgot all about the camera and didn’t really take any  during our long walks in the streets and the old town.. except this one:

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The mess onboard the lighthouse-ship in the harbour.

It should be mentioned that our friend in the Wasa guest harbour helped us out a lot by only charging us 50 euro for our whole stay (instead of 120) – and that the nice guy named Fredrick came over to hear our story, and for that gave us 500 kroner. Also the guys that knocked on the ship to order waffles at 11 pm for 490 kroner. All in all we came out of our 3 day visit alot better than feared. Of course we had to bunker up, the Swedish diesel prices are crazy, but the tank is now full and in a few hours we will most likely get to inspect our new pirate ship with our own eyes.

Speaking of our new ship. We are halfway there on the cash side of it. The crew will of course sell more waffles, maybe even some of the gear we have onboard the FF Harry, but feel free to help out on our fundraiser. We have got some major donations lately, and this means a lot!

The link to our donation site is HERE

I do not fear that we won’t be able to make it. But since we just hit september, it is now a race against time before we will freeze in or have to deal with a lot more weather on our way out. The new ship has to be rigged and overhauled, it also need some good soaking days in the water before we can consider it safe. The previous owners are telling us they did a great job taking care of the boat, even though it sits on land at the moment. We will see for ourselves in a couple of hours.

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Found one more picture taken as we sail into Stockholm.

We have gotten a few requests from people that want to join the piratelife with us – and yes! This is possible, but not until the new ship is ready and we have the neccesary bunks. We have learned that setting up camp with tents and all that stuff take away much needed time. Feel free to send us a message, I’m sure we can find solutions.

But for now our minds are set to scrape together the funds. Please check out our fundraiser, I think the lowest you can give is about 5 kroner or 1 usd. But for smaller amounts, feel free to use paypal, every single cent helps out 🙂

Link to donationsite

We are finally at a place where we can make a coffee-fire, and thats exactly what I’m doing after posting this. Varg took off to Copenhagen to meet up with his girlfriend. Captain Simen is still asleep, we watched a movie last night for the first time in months. Oh yeah – the sun is shining! It’s time for coffee.

I wish you all the best for the coming week. Subscribe or check in regulary for updates on this crazy adventure!

Captain Jack

Entering the Baltic

We are currently breaking through the waves of the Baltic sea. Our journey through Göta Canal is over. We have said our goodbyes to our convoy-friends and ended our last night under a full red moon and later on the aft deck of a russian pirate ship that were heading the other way. They came over for a chat, bringing beer while we ended our waffle-sale on the dock in order to pay for our diesel needed to get to the next port of call – Stockholm.

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The view from our office.

Captain Simen is working his skills on navigating through wind, rain and baltic waves. Varg is sleeping, trying to make sense of his stomach after knocked out by Russian pirate alcohol. I thought I would spend a second imforming you about our fundraiser we have started in order to be able to purchase our new pirate ship.

We are at 13.326 Norwegian kroner. This is amazing and we are extremely happy and maybe a little exstatic about the help and support many of you have given us! It warms our hearts to tell people we meet about our journey. We remain positive about reaching our goal on 40.000 kroner, but we still need your help, so if you have the chance to throw some change in our direction – we would be forever thankfull. All you have to do is follow this link.

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A shipshape ship ready for adventure.

We will highly recomend that you consider taking a trip on Göta canal. It was something we had been looking forward to all summer and was well worth the money. Also the fact that got to take the trip during the low season made everything a whole lot better. There was close to no waiting in, before or after the locks and the bridges was waiting openly for us. Riding in a convoy also invited us to get to know some great people and make new friends. Varg actually rode most of the journey with Captain Tommy and his crew. There may be two captains onboard the FF Harry but Captain Tommy was the captain of the whole convoy, which in the end counted five boats.

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One of 64 locks passed.

Taking a boat through a canal is a very special feeling. We are however tired of locks and are looking forward to the next months of boating open waters. I spent a long time last night trying to figure out what the Russian pirates kept in their cargo, but this remain a secret. They did however have a bottomless bottle of Russian alcohol – which have set the paze of today. But we are heading for the Swedish capital and aim to be there Thursday morning. It should go smooth and not considering the weather it should take us about 24 engine hours.

A big shoutout to everyone we met throughout both Dalslandscanal and Göta canal! It was great to meet you all. Also a big thank you to everyone who bought our pirate waffles, postcards and philosophy.

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Please check out our fundraiser, and if you yourself are not able to give – share the link (and this site) with somebody you think will like our story 🙂 Or of course, if we drop anchor somewhere near you, feel free to pop in for a waffle.

Thank you, see you soon,

Captain Jack

In the waterways of Baltzar

For a hundred years, starting in 1832 and all the way through the 1930’s and 40’s, this canal-system was Swedens most important route and way of transport. The system is 190 kilometers long, 87 kilometres of these was dug out by hand by 58.000 Swedish Soldiers during the 22 years it took to create us this wonderfull journey, and also the shortest way for us, to Stockholm.

If you entered this site by a mistake and actually tried to find our fundraiser CLICK HERE and it will open in a new tab so you can keep reading.

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FF Harry gloding through the water.

A visionary by the name of Baltzar von Platen trumped through his plan of these waterways. At the time they used bulls to pull boats through the canals – boaters paid 8 cents every thosand alen or about 594 meters. Sadly he died in 1829 and never got to make this journey by himself. We are therefore taking it upon us to make this trip for him a 186 years since it’s opening. Tonight we docked in Motala – the city of which Mr. Baltzar was burried.

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Red line for the distance traveled. We are basically half way there, but tons of water has to be moved for us to hit the sea.

We are driving a convoy with two sailboats. Great people in both of them. The first is brother and sister on their way back home, after having ventured since May (just like us) The other two musicians and a real sailor of 72. Having sailed for 60 of them we feel safe about pimping out Varg this afternoon since the Musicians have to make their living. This ship is also going to Stockholm to be used for a temporary home this winter.

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Varg is steerinng narrow canals for the first time.

The weather could of course be more willing, but as hard as it is to admit – the summer is over. We are looking for ways to make enough money. We have come a good way and have a lot of supporters all the way from Spain, Germany and the US, maybe a couple in Norway and hundreds in Sweden. After finishing this blog I’m heading out to track down a used waffle-iron. Maybe pirate-waffles can be a good way to attract people to buy our amazing pirate-postcards (that you’ll get for free in the mail if you suppoŕt our fundraiser HERE)

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Making our way forward.

I think that must be it for this little update. There is laundry to take care of, dishes to wash, a ship to clean, and garbage recycled before we leave town this afternoon.

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Juno has made a habit of passing by.

Ship O’hoy,

Captain Jack

This ship can handle any storm

Two pirate aspirants joined us to explore life onboard FF Harry. Their plan was to spend a couple of days with us. They left this morning, having given us close to two weeks of their valuble time. As observant Captains it is our strong belief that they learned a bunch of new things about themselves, made some strong friendships and gained neccesary knowledge about the world we live in. It wouldn’t surprise me the slightest bit if they both quit school and come back knocking in a few months.

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FF Harry resting for a few hours on a small island in the middle of Vänern.

We are docked in Sjötorp. At the very start or the end of Göta Canal. This small little village seem to survive on visitors like ourself. We are waiting for our colone to take is through this long waterway that eventually will take us to the open ocean. Tomorrow morning at 8:30 we will embark on this 5 day journey where we will average 40 kilometers every day out to the sea.

The last few days have been a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. We still need to rise quite a bit of cash for our new ship that is waiting for us a miles north of Stockholm. Many people have contributed and we are forever greatfull! At this moment we are at 11326 kroner and we have still a few weeks left before we are supposed to take over the ship. We are very confident about making this happen. But all help you can give us will take us a long way.

Please check out our fundraiser HERE and feel free to help us out with as much or a little as you can. Please don’t be shy, we really do need your help as soon as possible!

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We met up with a new friend in Säffle. He had seen us from his car as we were sluising down one of the locks of Dalslandscanal and invited us to visit his cabin for food and drinks. How could we say no.. Of course, there was this jourmey of crossing over from Åmål. We tried one time first but the waves was just way to high for our overloaded pirate-ship. But about four five hours and a couple of six-packs later the weather had cleared a littlebit and all we had to deal with was 1,5 meter waves and a bottle of gin. Usually we should be able to sail this distance in about an hour – we spent four hours and didn’t get into the harbour until midnight. Way too late for our friend Jens Petter.

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Crewmate Varg had tried to put up his tent, but Gin decided this was good enough.

But the next morning he showed up during breakfast. The sluise was sadly closed for the season, but we left Harry alone and took a ride on Jens Petters boat. Besides: we planned to cross the infamous lake Vänern’s hard-to-ride waters at night, in hope that the winds would have calmed down enough for us to make a more pleasant crossing than the night before. We had a great time with our new friend, it was nice with a little excution with nice talks, time to reflect, good food and a plastic glass of wine.

The night crossing went well, but it took way longer than expected, so after about eight hours we decided it would be smart to rest for a few hours. We therefore made up camp on a rocky island about halfway across the lake. Of wich most of we never saw anything. It was pitch dark and impossible to navigate by anything but our cellphone-draft. In the morning, after a nice little breakfast we ventured the rest of the way, and six hours later we anchored here; in Sjötorp.

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The Captains prove once again, that anyone can sing.

Since the high season for the canal ended a few days ago, we are now in what is refered to as to booking season, meaning we are now waiting for our convoy, the first available. It was a little pricy, we paid 3560 kroner, about 350 euro to go all the way through. But then again, it is supposed to be an extremely beautiful journey, and we have been looking forward to it all summer long.

Best of luck to all you wonderfull readers for the next few days. We’ll be back with the tale of Göta Canal as soon as possible. Probably with an update before we get all the way through.

Captain Jack

If you havent allready visited our fundraiser, this is a good time. Just click HERE and it will open in a new tab so it’s easy for you to keep reading ; )