Prospecting for gold

Exploring the great green mountains of Bekkarfjord, Seiland have given this expedition to nowhere an exploding start. With no cellphone or internet coverage, green as far as you can see and a perfectly round moon raging in the sky above us we had the most amazing visit. This Captain even climbed a steep mountain requiring me to make use of all four limbs in my hunt for gold and diamonds.

Balto was of course ecstatic to have this great huge playground to himself and was not to stop up the steep hills. The Captain’s had their work cut out for them following this wild animal. The first evening was spent with freshly caught fish and vegetables prepared by the Goddess on the fire while we stargazed and enjoyed the full moon in the sky. Even the Northern Lights paid us a visit as we were warming up for a day in search of gold and diamonds.

Bekkarfjord is an entrance to Seiland National Park established in 2006. It contains a rich variety of minerals that makes this island an truly green and rich of species-island. It is capped by a glacier and I couldn’t visit this place without climbing at least one of it’s many peaks. So after breaky the second day I packed my bag and took on the supersteep climp up the hills behind the boat. The tall grass made the hike a hard one, but after and hour or two I could enjoy the wast landscape on top.

There was blueberries as far as I could see and even some cotton-fields I wandered around for quite a long time, hiding from the worst of the wind between the different hills surrounding me. I had a snack and enjoyed the little bit of time to myself while the others enjoyed a slow awakening down by the water.

The decent was just as steep, but equally beautiful. I would like to recommend anyone that have the chance to visit this place. It is truly an experience.

Down at FF Ella, life went on as usual. We caught a fish and had ourselves a fairly quiet and calm afternoon in the windy sun. The fjord is somewhat famous for it’s wind. But we didn’t find it particularly problematic, since the winds were even warm enough for this captain to try out our new USB-shower. Saving fresh water onboard I concluded this mission with a salty scrub from the ocean.

The next, and what proved to be our last day, in Bekkarfjord was great. We had decided to spend the day prospecting for gold and possibly diamonds. But although this place is packed with minerals there was no signs of either. We started by checking four small waterfalls in the bay next to the boat, but the water-flow here was not enough to get a good trial of our river equipment. Instead we relocated to the other side of the fjord, where the large rivers ruled.

The prospecting Captain Simen

To get there we had to make use of our dingy and it’s cute but amazing electric motor and concluded that this part was an adventure in itself. Herders had passed by all morning but we felt safe to set up a prospecting camp up river. Also here, we ran into no luck. The black volcanic sand made it hard to work with the dirt we dug up. We had to conclude that if there was any gold on these locations it was just specks and not worth the man-hours we put into it.

To leave on a high note we decided to move on. We packed our stuff and set off into the sunset. Catching the evening breeze in direction North.

Captain Jack

The New Expedition

We are preparing for our next expedition. Our ship is currently being fitted for another adventure as you read. It will still be a few weeks before our departure, but we’ve had some great luck – Since we arrived at our previous destination at 70 degrees North the boat ran ashore. It was a mess, and totally not our fault. But since we had made sure to insure our beloved boat everything has worked out (so far) as good as it could.. In short the total cost of the rescue and fix of the boat have cost at least the double of what we paid for it, which in return have provided us with some awesome new features to ensure safe journeys for the future.

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For the next weeks we will be working for Captain Simen’s mother at her very own campsite named Arctic FjordCamp. The very reason we made this journey north instead of heading toward Sweden as of the original plan. And of course that wouldn’t be the smartest decision as 2020 proved to be a pretty much scandal for the entire world population. Corona is here and although we seem to be slowing down in the care for it, it keeps growing and is currently airborne. Bad news of course, but until further notice life goes on and it would be stupid not to prepare for it.

We are trying to think forward and despite how much we love living in the arctic, doing it for family is proving to be a bit of a hazzle for two free pirates trying to live their own lives. In short, we are most likely heading south before the end of the year, and we’d better get FF Ella ship shape, cause it will be a long run. (Yes, we could never come up with a new name for such a perfect ship and have decided to name it after the previous owner and builders mother; Ella. However we are attaching the ‘FF’ meaning forskningsfartøy in Norwegian and ‘research vessel’ in English, as our first boat – The FF Harry. Read harryfloats.com.

I’m proud to inform that we have repainted the inside, gotten new bedding, plates and cutlery. A new handheld VHF, ropes, fenders, a new propeller, plenty of important other stuff and not to forget an oven to keep us warm all year long. It eats a bit of diesel and cost about 30 cents an hour to run, but in the long run will save us for any extra costs of having to stay in expensive harbors for electricity on our way south.

How far you ask? We don’t know yet, but we have a dream of going back to Foxen in order to enjoy the amazing landscape and fresh waters of the pirate waters we know way to well. This is just a short update, I would never dream of letting you be in the dark for too long. Hope to see you follow us.

Captain Jack

Expedition: Complete

We have arrived at our latitude, 70 degrees North. We do have another short day tomorrow, but that is basically just crossing the fjord in time for low tide. Since the tide around these northern waters during full moon easily vary about tree meters we have to be there at low tide in order to unload the ship without running the risk of get stuck until the next full moon tide next month. There is no dock at our destination we will have to anchor outside our new home at Arctic Fjordcamp.

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We spent a resting day in Tromsø. It was nice to collect the energy needed for the last haul. The captains got almost 24 hours alone onboard before we had a crew-mate join us for the last couple days of sail. Captain Simen’s little brother, Marius, who also traveled with us on the FF Harry and later visited us in Malta had decided to join for the last days.

From Tromsø we sailed for ten hours and we have now plugged into our last guest harbour for this expedition. The choice fell on Skjervøy, about 20 nautical miles from our goal and final stop for now; Storeng, Burfjord. It will take a while to soak up all experience from this sail. Our trip-counter is currently 1620 nautical since Fredrikstad and about 2850 in total since we left Västerås. That’s about 5300 kilometers sailed, a quarter of the distance between the north and south pole.

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So far I’m impressed by the landscape we are moving into. Tall great mountains, plenty of fjords, and snow that could easily serve an entire winter Olympics for decades to come. I must admit it felt a bit sad to sail away from the blooming spring in the south a few weeks back but sooner or later I’m sure it will follow us here as well.

All that remain is to thank all of you readers for following us through this amazing experience. This blog is officially taking a brake, awaiting new and crazy adventures to come. I’m sure you will find hours of text from earlier blogs. Thanks again, it has been fun.

Until next time, sail safe and enjoy the small things in life.

Signing off,
Captain Jack

Final port of call

We have arrived! Our beloved ship is safely tied to the dock up river from down town Fredrikstad. Our journey of somewhere around 1400 kilometers or just about 755 nautical miles have been completed. Some may say that we have won the prize for slowest passing of this distance ever. And that might just be, but we are extremely pleased with the trip in all aspects. Also, we are back in the exact spot where this blog was started a long long time ago. We are now settling in for a few slow weeks to plan out our future projects and let winter get a real grip on both us and the Norwegian landscape.

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In the days to come we are planning to see some good snow and maybe even climb some mountains, see friends and family. It has taken somewhere in the area of 3 months to complete this first journey with this wonderful boat – Ella, the boats name for now have really proven her value to us, she’s a solid ship and we’ll take great care of her in the months and years to come. We’ve had the pleasure of basically having the whole coastline to ourselves, Captain Simen say we have seen possibly 10 leisure boats throughout this adventure, the rest have been commercial ships and that sort. We have met some great people and seen the amazing landscape surrounding the Swedish Kingdom.

The engine drank 200 Euro worth of fuel and about 1 liter oil, we have spent 180 Euro on harbour fees. I have sown and mended the sails 5 times but other than that there have been amazingly few repairs and fixes. No fish has been caught since Valdemarsvik, we’ve ran through a whole box of salt and pepper. The statistics are endless, but the sum equals one of my life’s most interesting adventures. Including a few investments into equipment, a computer, a metal detector, a new battery, tools, food, drinks and everything that should now keep us afloat throughout the winter – The total amount spent is just over 3200 Euro, this results in about 15 Euro a day for each of us.

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We have many thank you’s to send. Thank you for the support and thank you for following our blog, reading and kind words on our way. Thanks for help, water, food, laughs and gifts. It’s all greatly appreciated. We will now go into hibernation for some time. We need to charge our batteries and get the boat ship shape – ready for our next adventure!

I have decided to make this post short and sweet. Thank you again for following the blog, I hope we’ve at least inspired you to be tiny-bit adventures in the future. Until next time – stay cool, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and I can’t wait to see you again in 2020!

Captain Jack

 

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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

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. 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

Princess Nadia

Once upon a time, not too long ago. In a small little country named Macedonia, on a stormy night – a tiny little girl with a big curly black hair was born. She was born into royalty and was well taken care of her entire childhood. Her father, the King, spoiled her from day one. Before she could take her first steps she had more toys and jewelry than most people would touch in their lifetime.

Years went by and Nadia grew up to be a strong and just as opinionated as her mother, the Queen. She went to school like everybody else in her village and made some great friends with the kids in their neighborhood.

Then came the Day for Nadia to take over the throne, as her parents wanted to travel the world and discover new sides to themselves. They wanted to buy a small little castle on the hillside in Monaco and live out their lives in anonymity away from Macedonia, but first they were going on a three year cruise to all corners of the world.

Princess Nadia was suddenly on her own in the big world. She moved out of the castle and i to a small apartment in the village center. But there was something that bothered her, she wanted to go somewhere new and exciting. She decided to make her butler, Oliver, drive her away to other parts of the big Europe.

As Princess Nadia was leaning over the edge of the ferry she was having her last Macedonian cigarette. When she arrived in Malta she would have to buy some more. She was wondering what she would do when she got there. Oliver, the butler, had made some arrangements at an exclusive hotel on the north side of the island. One with golden bathroom, a pool and everything she could dream to eat for breakfast. Maybe she should get a Job in a bookstore? Or in a bar? The opportunities was endless.

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A few weeks later she woke up one morning and decided she would start working in real estate. So she fired the butler an walked into one of Malta’s hundred real estate offices and paid the manager to hire her.

It wasn’t long before Princess Nadia was the most famous real estate agent Malta had ever seen. With her own YouTube channel, billboards everywhere and airplanes flying huge banner with her face and phone number in circles around the tiny island country. They called her ‘The Quick-let girl’.

Just after a few months she had made billion euro. Already the next year she purchased three hotels and had one under construction in Macedonia. She was invited to the Ellen DeGeneres show and started building her empire of fast food chains in the Americas as well. Serving only healthy meals to prices that every one could afford – if you were homeless you ate for free. Of course.

The whole world would come to forever admire the self made woman with the extremely strong personality and charm. Everyone sheered when she came walking down the street or the highway.

This is the brief story of the amazing Princess Nadia, the first human to build a resort on Mars. Only the future will tell how the story ends.

The pirates go to Athens

We have been walking around Athens for a few days. This city is huge – and wherever we go is a new adventure waiting around the corner. Exploring this capital and it’s sites has once again thought me to be humble in humanity. We have celebrated David’s birthday, climbed a mountain, bought fruit at markets, looked for new shoes without finding any, been living comfortable in a very cheap apartment and had amazing Greek food for every meal consumed.

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David having a moment.

Coming from living on a budget in Sweden, Athens have been the ultimate upgrade. Of course we can speak about the temperature and the climate – but this have only been the necessary change for us. The culture around here, the people, the history and the food have given us a whole new perspective of the pirate life.

The first day here we walked down to the marina to look for a new pirate ship. There was many options and a whole culture in itself to take in. We were of course tired from having spent four whole days at airports but got caught in the excitement of being stranded in the birthplace of our western culture. The tree of us is a great team, we have the respect, patience and love for each other to actually make this journey together. We have built a strong friendship between us on our way to this point and I have great belief in us as the crew, working ourselves toward our next pirate ship.

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Human history was changed here. Forever.

Walking in Athens is a huge adventure. You have all the traits of an European capital among some of the best known historical sites in human history. Combine this with friendly people, no snow and great food and you get an atmosphere worth visiting. I have had no chance but to surpass my goal of ten thousand steps a day, seen architecture transfer moved from the ancient Greek to the modern time of my life and discussed life-changing philosophy with my two best friends in this world.

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The place we got David’s birthday ice-cream.

Last night we spent the whole evening selling waffles under our neighbor highway. We had got to know an artist that have his studio there, next to refurnishing-shop, and he was kind enough to let us use his electricity for our waffle-iron. Sadly we was not able to make all the money back for our expenses, but thinking about it – it would probably be far more expensive for us to walk around the city on a Friday night without any purpose to speak of.

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Norwegian pirate waffles for sale!

We are not going to stay in Athens. On Monday we’ll catch a bus to the west-coast and the city of Patra. According to people we have met – everything is cheaper there. It’s still Greece’s third largest city and we hope to make a home there for the next couple of months while we regroup and get our plans together for our pirates-for-peace movement. It makes me happy that we have plans to work towards and short-term goals to hit in order for us to get ourselves back on a boat to roam the world. This short week in Athens have given me perspective on my life and I feel strengthened and ready to go.

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Let security make sure we are safe.

We still have a couple of days left in Athens. Today is Saturday and if I’m right, whenever the other two awakens to this beautiful warm day, we will have breakfast and go venture into new parts of the city. Tomorrow is Sunday, meaning that all historical sites have free entrance. I will fulfill a life-long dream and finally get to see the first theater in the world.

Captain Jack

 

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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 finish 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

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Game over

Yes. This ship has had it’s better days, we knew that when we got it. We’ve had a great run – but it seems like the current harbour is the final stop for us on this ship. After having been rescued 3 times, sunk twice, countless fixes and weeks of gentle care has not even gotten us out of the kingdom of Sweden.

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Sea rescue to the rescue.

Harry Louella isn’t working anymore. Transmission is totally scrucked and we are stuck in yet another harbour, and this time it seems final. There is of course a chance that we can get it running, but the time and cost of this fix might just be what pull us out of the game with this ship.

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Harry Louella at what might be her last stop.

This do not mean that we are giving up. We need a few days to reconfigure the plan – but I can promise you that we are not of those who give up. We have made some sort of plan, as we spent a few hours on a deserted island about an our tow out in nowhere yesterday. The sea rescue pulled us in to Fyrudden where we now are tied up to the guest harbour.

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Towed by sea rescue.

Lucky for us, there is a grocery-store here and the bus comes several times a day. We should be able to survive in this village for the time being. We even made a friend here already. Felix, a island-owner across the bay that came over last night, bringing champagne and beer from his fathers brewery up north.

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The colors of a great morning.

In short – it’s hard to say what to say at this point. We are once again stranded fighting for a plan to make this work for all of us. I suppose this is a turn for the worse. But we are pirates, we never give up!

Captain Jack