December sailing

December is here. The deck is covered with frost in the morning and the inner shallow bays of the west-Swedish archipelago is covered in a layer of thin ice all day long. The sun rarely peek through the clouds but we are able to keep up the temperature with warm clothing and electric heat during the windy nights. Life is magical and just as we were running out of fresh food, Captain Tommy came by with a Christmas present of two bags with great stuff to fill our stomachs. For those of you that are long time followers you’ll remember we shared a week with the amazing Captain Tommy as we were traveling in the waterways of Baltzar about 14 months ago.

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Due to the short days of daylight and mixed weather we have decided to go a bit slower this last part than originally planned. There is no lack of harbors to visit and since we are out of season most placed don’t charge anything, although showers are lacking. The one we found was one in the corner of an unheated public bathroom –  that would have to do for the week. Now also with a bag full of potatoes and a box of creme fraiche we are not stressing anything.

So far the sails have been holding up since the last repair. We are crossing all fingers that the stitches will hold it together for another week. If not, I believe we do have enough diesel onboard to make it anyways. Sailing this last bit is most amazing. We are enjoying great winter winds and are pretty much sticking to the inside fareways. This said, we do need to keep an eye on the strong winds to the north and the ones coming in from east. There may even be another break-day to let some hard weather get through in front of us.

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One of many wonderful places

Our journey since the last post have been good. We are visiting plenty of harbors and are not having any concern to how far we go in a day. But a look out the window right now as the time is 16:12 it’s basically already dark and I would much rather enjoy the sights of this landscape. Captain Simen has been awake bright and early this week and have therefor been naturally taking the first shifts. I keep getting late to bed due to some way to interesting crime-series. At night we’ve had no problems finding electricity to keep warm and enlightened.

IMG_20191203_120639.jpgThere have been no luck with our desperate attempts of fishing. But one of these days we are bound to get something big. One of our poles broke to something that must have been a monster-fish, but luckily we have a more poles laying around here somewhere. I am lobbying to get a net onboard and hopefully this can get into our next budget, if of course we can’t find one that is being given away somewhere..

All in all, we are having a great time. We have even secured a dock for our arrival. The harbor master in Lisleby, Petter, have given us permission to use FF Harry’s old spot for the duration of our stay in Fredrikstad.

Captain Jack

X-mas gift

A small donation is always greatly appreciated. One unit buys one liter of fuel 🙂

€1.00

Reaching another milestone

We have sailed quite a distance since last post. At the moment we are docked in Erikstad, part of the large port of Gothenburg. First we crossed Laholm bay which was quite a windy adventure with some pretty sharp waves making the passage pretty bumpy – but nothing good old, still unnamed sailboat, couldn’t handle. As for now we still sail her under her original name; ‘Ella’ and I suppose this will do just fine for 2019. When we had crossed the bay we arrived in Halmstad. Here we finally found a shower to cleanse our rather dirty corpus’s. It was a very nice guest harbour along the river to visit and since we got to take a good rest, showers and dealt with some rather cold rainy weather we decided to stay for a few days before continuing north. 

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From Halmstad there is not really any harbors deep enough for a sailboat until Falkenberg. We could of course anchor up on the way, but the landline is basically just one long slope bay unprotected from any wind or weather washing in from the unruly Kattegat. We therefore settled in for a long haul across. This time however we had the chance to wait for great conditions and on the day we sailed the wind was so perfect that we decided to sail throughout the night. When we anchored up in the first suitable place we had covered more than 60 nautical miles in 14 hours, a new personal record for us(!)

Night-sailing is great. We pulled up the laptop and watched an entire season of a Norwegian TV-drama and made great speed along the way. On the open water the dark is no problem at night, you basically just stick out the course and let the wind do the rest. As we however got closer to Gothenburg you’ll have to stay pretty far away from land to avoid the many reefs of the western archipelago of Sweden. Lucky for me I actually paid attention when learning how to navigate by night and even though it’s a bit more work to count seconds between light-flashes and double checking the plotter ever so often we found ourselves a quiet little trench between land and the island of Ockero to sleep through the forecasted morning rain.

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The view during our night-sail.

Next morning I grabbed some breakfast and set sail right away. Since most harbors have prepared for winter we had ran out of fresh water onboard, so I had to kiss my beloved morning coffee goodbye anyway. Besides, the last bit to reach Gothenburg was just a few hours sail. We arrived at about six o clock Friday evening and decided it was time to get a couple of anchor beers to celebrate that we have reached our last milestone before crossing the Norwegian border in a week or two. I guess, if we sailed nonstop from here we would make the trip in just a couple of days. This last bit of the way however, I think we’ll take nice and slow. After all, we don’t have any plans whatsoever when we complete this last bit.

If we had continued up the river toward Trollhettan we would now have cut out the lower part of the country away from the rest of the mainland. This of course counting the part we traveled with FF Harry through the inland canals last year. In a way the circle will be completed anyway when we arrive at our destination in Fredrikstad which is also where we started out in May, one and a half year ago. We then took FF Harry to Halden and loaded it on a truck, making our way through dense forest to reach the Swedish border. There have of course been plenty of distractions and detours, but it feels great to soon have completed this huge adventure. I wonder what comes next.

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For now we are enjoying a weekend in the second largest city of the Swedish kingdom. Our only real mission here is to fill the water tank and to go for a walk in the city center. Both of us have been in the area before, but never really had the time to check out what the city really looks like, so this could be a nice little stop for us.

Captain Jack

X-mas gift

A small donation is always greatly appreciated. One unit buys one liter of fuel 🙂

€1.00

Northbound

We have started the last stretch on our journey to Norway. The break in Copenhagen was a much needed one and we have almost recharged our batteries. I learned yesterday that it is basically just five weeks until my mother have demanded our presence for Christmas eve. Unless the weather turn stormy or something radical happen on the way – we will make it, no problem. Over the Angelholm bay however, the strong wind ate our foresail and we are once again down for repairs. The problem is those damn seams that is supposed to hold the sheets of the sail together. Over the years these seams have loosened or rotted away. The result is that I’ll have to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 hours to now sow meters of sail by hand. 

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It’s all part of the game. I don’t really mind and so far it looks like we have found a protected harbour that is closed down for the season. That mean they have turned of the machine to pay and sadly also closed down the showers. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that the time has come to once again get ourselves cleaned up. This is harder than you would think actually. We have resigned to boiling water and wet-wipes. Living on a boat like this take away the everyday need to shower, but once in a while even hard-knocked free-living creatures have to wash up. We have high hopes for our next stop on the journey; Halmstad. If I can finish the sail-mending today, we should be there tomorrow afternoon. We’ll be coming in hot with 10 meter wind in our back and 1,5 meter waves.

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Arriving in Halmstad we’ll be a quarter of the way to reach our final destination for this voyage from Copenhagen to Fredrikstad, Norway. We are prepared to be a bit more limited in our movements as we get north, of course due to the winter weather. So far we have been lucky to stay out of the big storms or any snowfall, but this is bound to change in the coming weeks. Southern Norway is already snowed down and slushy yuk is covering the streets in the cities. I can’t wait. Last time I saw real snow, and not just flakes in the air, was two and a half year ago, so this is something I really look forward to!

One year ago exactly we landed in Malta. The plan then was to stay there for a couple of months only, this of course didn’t happen and we got sucked into the island-life before we knew it. Back in freedom we are coming up with plenty ideas for how to tackle 2020, but we haven’t 100% decided how to attack this yet. We have many great ideas and it will for sure be one of the most exciting years in my life. I don’t want to reveal any details in case things change or we get any other great ideas, so this will have to wait til later.

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I better get back to sowing, my morning coffee is starting to sink in. The forecast for today is rain rain rain, so in a way this happened on a good day. Please follow and share our journey! I’ll make sure to keep you updated on our progress the coming weeks. Until next time, stay safe and enjoy every day.

Captain Jack

Copenhagen here we come!

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Captain Jack

Making our way to Ale’s Stones

We have made our longest passage so far in this boat. With an average of 4 knots we crossed the Hano-bay in about ten hours. The voyage was totally great and we had great conditions. I will admit that the last hour was one of the harder type. Mostly due to pitch-dark, fog with subtle rain and meter-high waves from the side and wind in an awkward direction. But our skill set is building quickly and we pulled through and found a safe harbour 3 nautical miles north of Simrishamn. We spent the night in this small village and got some good rest. The next day we only completed the journey southward to Simrishamn and found a dock to tie the boat safely enough to stay the two days of forecasted gale passing through the area. 

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Simrishamn is a beautiful little town. They obviously have a high-rise ban because all the houses are small and tightly packed together only separated by brick-laid streets. It’s history go back to the year 1123 and was in the hundreds of years after an important city for the connection between the mainland and the island of Bornholm which is today governed by Denmark. At the time, up until 1658 the mainland was also part of Denmark – but this changed with the visit of Frederik the 3rd the year ahead.

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We spent the days mostly onboard. There is plenty of stuff to take care of in the boat. We are battling things like moist and ways to stay warm on cold nights. The last not being a big problem since we are often connected to shore-power. Condensation is however becoming a bit of a fight. We are looking to keep mold away, but since we are often tightly packed it has become a job to air out the areas and then especially under mattresses and pillows. This have forced Captain Simen to start the everlasting job of drilling hundreds of holes in the bed-boards. Not an easy task when what we have to work with is a manual hand-drill. We have also installed netting in the ceiling to store all of our vegetables and secure other fresh food.

When the winds calmed down we could safely journey on. We made our way 20 miles down the coast to the harbour of KĂĄseberga. This is the mystical and historic site of Ale’s Stones. This being a powerful symbol of power and faith. The rocks on top of the cliffs was probably raised somewhere between of 1000 and 1500 years ago and was described by travelers in the 1600’s. Today the formation called a stone ship consist of 58 standing stones and one horizontal block. The formation represent a type of grave built during the late Iron age. It is the largest known Swedish stone ship, measuring 67 meters long and 19 meters wide.

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Ale’s Stones may have been a cult-center for sun-worshipers and we had the joy of having the best sun in weeks upon our visit. At midsummer the sun sets at the north-western apex and and at midwinter the opposite. Why and how it has gotten it’s name is unknown. There is no record of anyone named Ale, and many researchers claim that Ale is an ancient word for temple or sacred place.

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We are setting course for the southernmost point of Sweden today. It is a bit of a milestone for me. By the end of the week we are will with all luck be crossing over to the Kingdom of Denmark. We are also getting ready for some live-streaming and did our first test-run yesterday! Until next time, have a safe ride!

Captain Jack

Onboard we are strong supporters of #Teamtrees who are fundraising money to plant 20 million trees all across the planet. Please check it out if you haven’t already. LINK

In the path of a dragon

Many years ago, a dragon lived on Hanö, the island we are currently located. The story tell that the dragon every day flew between this island and another one placed about 20 kilometers away, just about where we started this morning. This was a short distance for the dragon and it only had to swing his enormous wings twice in order to make the trip. Then one day the humans had build a lighthouse and the dragon was blended by the strong light and crashed into the hard rock on the east side of the island. Today the same lighthouse has the strongest light of all lighthouse in the Baltic sea and is raging 74 meters above sea-level.

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Our voyage from Hasselö to Karlshamn was a great one. We enjoyed setting off in the morning with a perfect breeze and almost no waves to rock us around. This presented a great opportunity to get some scrubbing done in the cockpit. The old teak is going to take a while to get in perfect shape, but we have started the process and is so far very happy with the result. With time it shall look good as new and the value of the whole boat will have changed drastically. The cockpit is now pretty much scrubbed clean of all algae and moss and is ready to be sanded down before we coat it with a couple of nice coats with oil.

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It was pitch dark as we made our way the last hour into the harbour of Karlshamn, but we arrived just in time to search out a large supermarket for us to do some necessary shopping to restock. You’ll be amazed of how many potatoes a hungry sailor can eat after a long day at sea. We’ve had no luck with fishing and I’ll be the first to admit that this is mostly due to our lack of trying. But to fish in the Baltic has been no fun at all. The fish won’t bite, at least not where ever we are passing through. This is something we’ll have to pick up, but there is always so much else to do and take care of that when the evenings come we are either too tired, cold or in the middle of a marina where it’s strictly speaking not allowed to fish. Our diet have therefore been a bit differently than we had originally planned. For now we are sticking to pasta and stew.

Karlshamn was not my favorite town. It’s fairly small and the whole city area is brick-laid, grey, pretty square and a bit dull. I suppose there is nothing wrong with the place, but it didn’t offer me any good vibes. My favorite part was the one street that had four or five second hand stores next to each other. My view on the city may be colored by the fact that the guest harbour sucked. The showers were dirty and the heat was turned off, it was expensive and the only other amenity offered was a free washing-machine with a broken handle and a dryer that spewed dust all around the room when you turned it on. On top of this the boat was rocking constantly because they had placed the births at the run-out from the river so the stream constantly got hold of our keel. Oh, did I forget to mention that the harbor’s closest neighbor was the main gate of a huge factory that smelled bad and had trucks coming and leaving without breaks? I guess we can’t like all the places we visit of course and hopefully other travelers have a better experience than us.

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Despite all of this we decided to stay an extra night to make sure we had some good wind the next few days. It has become a huge part of our week to plan ahead according to the weather. If we stayed an extra night in Karlshamn this would in theory give us the best winds for the coming four days so it was an easy choice in order for us to save on diesel and get the most out of our sails.

Today has been much better. I got up early in order to catch the morning breeze out of town. The plan was simply to re position ourselves by sailing to Hanö and be ready for tomorrows wind to take us all across the Hanö Bay. It was a fairly short sail of only 10 nautical miles and it took about two and a half hour.

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The island is beautiful. Surrounding the harbour is the little village where now only 8 people have their permanent addresses, according to the internet. The village is fenced in to keep out the hundreds of deer living here. We went for a pretty good walk and could enjoy both forests and open landscape. The lighthouse was a treat and so were the many colors of the leafs preparing for winter.

Back in the boat I had to sew the foresail again, the poor old sail is living a hard life in retirement but it still have lots of life left in it. Later we both could settle in for a relaxing evening of Swedish meatballs and finally a boat that enjoy not being tossed around by a river twenty-four seven. Tonight we’ll sleep great, cause that’s what potatoes and gravy does to a man. I’m sure the dragon would agree.

Captain Jack

Harry’s Shop is online!

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

Captain Jack

A Captain’s reflections

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. 

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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.

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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.

qrfOur 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.

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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.

Captain Jack

Hard days at sea

The nice old couple that let us use their dock proved not to be as nice after all the next morning. The old man was cool enough, but his wife was screaming something in Swedish about calling the police in the background. So I told her we would move the boat. After breakfast. “That’s a late breakfast!” she yelled back – I didn’t bother explaining to her that her husband had given us permission the night before, something he obviously hadn’t informed her of. Or maybe he did and she just wouldn’t listen. I started the engine and powered about 150 meters down-shore and anchored there, making sure we were clearly visible from the dock. Take that – you xenophobic hag.

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There was still no wind. Not a breeze – and the forecast was scattered rain, so we settle in for another night in the area. Luckily for us this was an area with an OK internet coverage, read; we got to catch up on some visual entertainment. We also have plenty of books to read and yours truly was in the mood to get some writing done. The deck seem to be a perfect nurturing ground for moss and algae so I have done my best to scrub it with saltwater. This is supposed to do the job but I have a feeling that the problem is growing a bit deeper. We will have to sand down everything and coat it well with some sort of natural oil, but that’s a long term project as it at the moment is way too wet to do any good sanding.

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Captain Simen climbed the mast again. This time it was to make an attempt on switching the VHF antenna with the one we had on our last boat. When I say he climbed the mast that mean I winched him up in a harness and of course he forgot the antenna on the boat, but it didn’t matter since it wouldn’t fit the connection after all.

We had a nice evening and went pretty early to bed in order to be well rested for the day to come. According to the weather Gods the wind was supposed to be in our favor and we were looking forward to get moving south.

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We woke up to a tiny breeze. Once again we were forced to make use of the engine. It’s not like it use a ton of diesel, but we are at the moment in a situation where every drop counts. This is of course part of the reason for us to start up our Patreon which you are welcome to support us at if you feel like it. You can do so by following this link. Simen is still working on making it pretty and up to date, but it’s otherwise fully operational 🙂

As the day progressed the wind picked up to something at least sailable, the problem was that whatever course we sat the wind turned with us so we always had to sail straight into the wind.

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Not a happy Captain

The good old engine had to take over and I was in my worst mood so far on this journey. It didn’t get much better as we anchored up just outside Västervik. Because we can’t really pay any marina, we found a nice spot just outside of one. Because the weather was supposed to pick up much more this evening we secured ourselves by also stretching a line into the rocky shore. Pulling our boat with my teeth while rowing our tiny dinghy toward land was not my favorite moment either.

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With the boat finally secure we decided to take the boat into land again. This time to spend the very rest of our cash on a box of snus. As we sat down in the dinghy it started pouring down. We were wet within the minute, but nothing stops us when there is snus on the line. First we went ashore in an area that was strictly fenced in and secured by Securitas and barb-wire. Our next try led us right into a dense forest-area with thorns and bushes everywhere. We tried for a bit, but after plenty of scratches and slippery rocks and whatnot we were forced to turn around again. As the rain came down heavy with full force we finally found a place with clear access to the road.

After about twenty minutes we found a store, did our business and our mood lightened. Life is not a dance on roses, but my hands and legs are full of their thorns at the moment. Tomorrow will be a new day, a new month. September ends here in Västervik and I can’t wait to see what October holds for us. Hopefully a more cooperating wind. Good night.

Captain Jack

A visit in Valdemarsvik

It took us of course forever to figure out what was wrong with the starter. We tried charging the start-battery and then jump-start it with equipment borrowed from the wharf. In the end we didn’t see any other option but to invite one of the resident mechanics onboard. He had told us to knock on the starter with a hammer, cause these types of starter-engines had a tendency to get stuck sometimes. The knocking didn’t work. But then, very well hidden behind the batteries we found an 80 amp blown fuse.

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Pew! We could get going. The journey from the wharf to Valdemarsvik is not really one for sailing. Instead we made the engine do the work while my new best friend, the autopilot, made the four hour passage a pleasant one. We had decided to come to this little town due to a cheap guest harbor and washing facilities we had been wanting for a long time. Our last shower was actually back on Malta, it was time to get ourselves cleaned up and somewhat presentable again.

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My father came around. It was actually pretty great, I hadn’t seen him in about two years. No hard feeling of course, we have just been riding different horses. While in harbor we caught 3 fishes and they played the part of an amazing little snack later that evening, served with a box of red wine.

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The next morning there was another 16 fishes in the cage. Since we were going out sailing we let them back in the water and went for a short morning walk downtown Valdemarsvik before we went on a mini-trip for the following night. We made a deal with the tourist office that we could extend our stay with an extra day. I also got the short version of the towns history by the nice lady in the tourist office.

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Valdemarsvik has a long history dating all the way back to the year 1500bc, This era was part of the bronze-age and the Town and it’s surrounding have throughout time been heavily invested in mining for metals in the surrounding landscape. It was established a marketplace in the bay already in the year 1630 and have also a very long tradition for leather production. Back in the good old days this industry employed over 700 people. Today there is about 3000 people that call this very nice little town for home.

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This is the kind of town where people say hi to each other. Walking down the streets here you can’t help but feeling welcomed. They are genuinely interested in you and this was a welcome change from how we’ve been living since we left our earlier boats. People will be people everywhere, but when they have the time it takes to get to know new people it is very easily taken into the calculations on how we feel about the places we live or visit. Valdemarsvik is a great place to live out your years on this planet, I don’t know if I can give it a higher praise.

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We took the time to bring my father the 3-4 hours out the fjord. A great opportunity to learn how the other berths onboard works. We tacked 12 times, of which two of them could’ve been done much smoother, but in the end we found a perfectly secluded bay for the night.

This morning we returned to town. We have laundry to take care of and a boat to clean. There is also some minor projects we would like to fix. Because of this we will hang around for a couple of days before we continue southward in direction of our next port of call; Kalmar. We’ll of course visit plenty of other places on the way. It’s kind of exciting since the waters ahead of us represent places we have never seen before. We won’t be back in familiar waters until we hit the border of Norway – whenever that may be.

Captain Jack