Self-Quarantined

The Norwegian winter is acting up again. Once again we have been forced to take a brake-day due to extreme rain. The forecast for today is 44 mm rain and a moderate gale from southeast. Even though we could probably press through, we have decided not to for the sake of the Goddess and the ship. This nasty weather is supposed to continue for a few days longer, but we are crossing our fingers that we’ll be able to make a move within a day or two. We are after all not going out to open water for a while. Then there is this pandemic going on, also making things a bit more difficult. We are very much in one of the safest places anyone can be, but it is proving hard to find both showers, bathrooms and specific stores. Lucky for us, we are a great crew together and enjoy good food, homey evenings and time to read. On Captain’s order we are self-quarantined and are avoiding contact with humans. 

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After leaving the magical island we had a long nice sail to Brønnøysund. On the way there we sailed pass “Torghatten” a mountain and beloved tourist-treasure known for it’s specific shape. We passed on the east side and from here it is hard to get a good picture, but I have found you a stock-photo for show.

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The city of Brønnøysund is exactly in the middle of the kingdom. 840 kilometer from each cape. We had a chance to visit the mall by the dock and get some supplies. With bags full of food, beer and a brand new board-game we settled in for a nice Saturday evening onboard. Next day we slept in, and this combined with not the best of weathers made us decide to stay an extra day. Taking extra days in towns and cities these corona-times totally sucks since there is absolutely nothing to do except taking strolls and walking big circles around other people.

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On our last passage between Brønnøysund and Sandnessjøen, where we are currently docked, we had a few minor setbacks. A sudden gust had our mainsail kiss the waves to the panicked screams from the Goddess steering the vessel. Although nothing was broken, except maybe a bit of the Goddess’s confidence, we suffered the loss of our newly acquired red ten meter mooring rope. With both sails hoisted, no engine started, and the weather acting up we risked far more danger than a rope is worth and decided the rope had to be an offer to the sea.

No more than half an hour later another gust triggered another scream from the Goddess, and another kiss of the waves – but sadly we were not that lucky. By this time had however lowered our main and was only sailing the foresail, but in return the foresail ripped apart from the headstay and a lose foresail in hard gust can potentially break your mast. It didn’t go that far, but the Windex on top of the mast snapped right off as the mast was brutally taking some major twitches before Captain Simen could get his safety-clip on, attach it to the fairlead and climb toward the bow to pull down the sail. In this crazy mayhem onboard we somehow also managed to break one of the windows in our sprayhood, but this was a quick but not so beautiful fix done as soon as we arrived in Sandnessjøen harbour.

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We also retreaded the foresail and made our way to yet another mall where the Goddess got to spend some money for food and necessaries. Tired from a long and partly stressful sail we took an early evening after a very enjoyable burger and independent studies.

Yesterday we passed the 66 degree North mark – only 4 to go. A couple of more days sailing and we’ll be in Bodø. Whenever these rainy days have passed we are looking to see some really nice days of the sunny Lofoten.

Captain Jack

Memoires of a puking Goddess

The darkness swallowed our ship as we sailed into whatever was left of the cold clear night. I had spent hours planning our longest passage ever. To stay ahead of the coming storm we had to sail hard for the coming 24 hours, or risk being land-bound for as long as a week. Further up the coast we would be much more likely to keep sailing protected from the raging Norwegian sea. For the journey we had recruited a new crew-member; Line, the goddess traveled through our virus-infected country and arrived just hours before we left the port i Trondheim.

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We have, as everyone else been very much restricted in our movements due to a certain virus that is currently taking over the world. Walking down empty streets in the third largest city of Norway on a Saturday night feels strange and at the same time somewhat calming. At the moment the borders to our country is closed for visitors and even within the country many quarantined zones make it hard for people to move around. So it was with the outmost luck that we got The Goddess onboard before all ways of traveling are closed down further.

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As for our own protection we have gone into what we would refer to as a half-ass-quarantine, meaning we avoid contact with as many as possible and try to keep distance to everyone. This do not help us however when we are no longer allowed to use public spaces like showers and such, but the rules/laws are different everywhere and we’ll do our best to comply, but a sailor got to do what a sailor got to do.

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Leaving Trondheim Captain Simen went to sleep while myself had my hands full teaching the Goddess the ways of the sea. Even they have to know the most important rules of the coast, the buoys and how to make out a safe lead-way. We had the basics down before sunrise and as later everyone was awake we spent a long and wonderful day at sea. I don’t think anyone could ask for a better first day in a sailboat than what the Goddess got served this morning. The winds were great, the scenery just amazing. None of us had any knowledge on anything this part of coastal Norway had to offer.

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Then, of course, as the darkness once again rained upon us the storm started to catch us from West. The wind picked up quite a bit and so did the waves. Once the Goddess lost her inner compass the curse of the first sail got hold of her and she fed the fishes quite generously on multiple occasions. Hanging over the railing in between with certain sea-spray every minute or so – it went on for hours before she finally collapsed in her cabin a few nautical miles from our destination. We didn’t see her until next morning.

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The Captains made sure the boat were safely in the guest harbour of Rørvik before we also went to bed. We had no rush, the slushy weather for the next couple of days gave us more than enough time to get back to our normal selves. Big kudos to Rørvik, this is the first harbour since Mandal with actual working showers and facilities. We all showered, did our laundry and the Goddess had fun with the dishes. We also got oil for the engine and talked the virus-closed pizza restaurant into serving us each a great good old burger. Even though this was probably a law-breaking meal according to a very frustrated owner, we had a good time – also probably the last dinner out in a while.

As this is being typed we have left Rørvik. We are fighting a 6 on the Beaufort’s, a strong breeze from the North making our planned daily sail about double in time. No problem for a ship like ours and tonight we’ll be docking at Leka, an island where people have been living for ten thousand years.

Captain Jack

A thousand year old city

The lights form the city of Trondheim, established in the year 997, lit up the sky in front of us. We were sailing in the light from the stars. It was a bit chilly but we have come to accept that we have entered the parts of Norway where winter is still the standard. A few hours back the wind picked up suddenly an tore our foresail into shreds pieces. There was no way for us to save it. In the ocean outside a small storm was picking up and we now motored besides a whole school whales swimming toward calmer waters. We had of course forgotten about the tide and had therefore strong currents making the passage take double the time. Our decision to make the extra trip in the Trondheim fjord was done before we started out five weeks ago. 

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Trondheim means we have passed the halfway-mark. It meant we could visit Captain Simen’s grandma and gave us time to search out a new sail. It would be extremely hard to keep sailing north without a good foresail to accompany us. Now when the winds have finally started to turn in our favor. Also we were going to pick up an extra crew for the next part of this trip north. It still remains to see if she can make the journey here, but we are trying our best to make it happen.

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As of right now, the world itself and our country is in a bit of crisis. The corona virus have totally closed down most of the cities. We’ll probably end up having to be a bit sneaky on our way from here. Shops, restaurants, services and other stuff are temporarily closed down. People are keeping to themselves and are nowhere to be seen. I almost felt privileged walking downtown Trondheim on a Saturday night with no other people outside. A random taxi and a few confused people were all we could find, if  I didn’t know better I would say it was 4:30 Wednesday morning, not eleven at night on a Saturday..

We have met some friends and found a sail. I made a couple of calls and without much problems we found a sail that would fit. I really hope it will pass the first tests when we are back on the water. It looks strong, is a tiny bit shorter, but that might just be good as we are now entering colder temperatures. And as sailors we have learned that the cold winds are much stronger and harder than the warm summer winds.

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Lucky for us we are not being in contact with too many people, as everyone else we are of course at risk whenever visiting a store or using a public bathroom, but we are crossing our fingers and hoping for the best. We are already stocked up for a month if worst should come to worst in the few weeks remaining. In short, we are probably in the safest place we could be. But the things going on might affect how long we will stay in the places we visit, if we are even aloud to dock when we get there. As of tomorrow morning we will set a steady course north. Trying to stay ahead of the new storm-system building outside of Iceland.

Captain Jack

Prepping for the Norwegian Sea

For the first day since we started our journey north, we’ve had calm seas and hail. Apart from the hail it was amazing to have the autopilot finally getting to do it’s job. Most of the day we enjoyed reading books and sipping a nice cup of coffee. We have this little camera pointing forward to see ships and other things that may get in our way and it seem to work fine whenever there is no rain or anything else blocking the view. We can sit at the chart-table and just pop our heads up to check for other ships once in a while. The sad news is that another storm is coming this weekend. We have to use the days between the storms effectively to get as far as possible, but then there’s this balance of taking care of ourselves, stay safe and enjoy the journey at the same time.  

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A serious Captain Simen reading his book.

We docked in Kristiansand. It’s a fairly big city in Norway of well over a hundred and ten thousand people. Lucky for us they had electricity for heat. My hopes of filling our cans of water disintegrated as I almost walked right off the pier. The people running this place had disconnected the whole pier, no wonder there were no other boats around. Result was; we suddenly had our own little downtown island, cut off from the world with barely enough water for the super-important coffee next morning.

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The trip down the coast to our next destination was short and sweet. We only did 24 nautical miles with an average of 4 knots. It was a beautiful day on the water, the best so far – probably what is know to be the silence before the storm. It’s not that I would ever complain about this horrible weather, but if the gods get what they want it will be shitty for the next 5-6 days. We can take a bit of wind, we can take a bit of waves, we can respectfully take some rain and even snow – but not all at once. Better stay put and await further orders.

In the last post i mentioned that Lindesnes is the most southern point of Norway, I’ll take this back, I stand corrected – cause it’s not. It will however be our most southern point on our venture north from Fredrikstad. The most southern point, and I learned this yesterday, is actually a small reef called “Pysen” and we passed north of it earlier today.

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Mandal is a whole lot smaller than Kristiansand but have ten times the charm. There is only about 15 thousand people here, and they have all the amenities you could need in a small place like this. Time will show if its enough to keep us occupied during our stay. To get here we passed through an amazing archipelago with hundreds of cabins in all shapes and sizes. The people we have met so far have been most welcoming and we’ve found a great spot in the harbour. This is of course one of the best things about living onboard, most of the time you get to live in the down-town area of the cities you visit. This give you short walks to almost anything.

Besides reading a few books and drinking tons of coffee, we are settling in for a few quiet days in the boat. If we are really lucky we’ll even get to take a shower in the service house which for some reason stands unlocked. From here I have calculated about 20 active days of sailing to hit Trondheim. It’s a reach, but our working-goal is to hit Trondheim before March 15th. It’s possible to make it – but as we will be entering the Norwegian Sea whenever we start from Mandal we need to get the boat back to ship shape first. We are likely to encounter quite a few waves and there is still many weeks left of this years storm season.

Captain Jack

Stuck in a storm

Once again we have been forced to move slowly. We haven’t come far since last post. As this is being written the wind hit the boat with storm force and we’ve had to make use of all available fenders. The gusts are supposed to hit 25 meters a second in an hour or so. This is within classification of a storm. Just a few moments ago the wind ripped off our solar panel and cracked the whole protective glass, we’ll take the damage report tomorrow. We have found ourselves a safe harbour in Fjellbacka and will wait out the storm here.

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Great weather earlier today

Due to rain we chose to spent a few days in Kungshamn, an rather large village to small town. It’s obvious that this part of the Swedish Kingdom is mostly built up around the summer part of the year, but that suits our budget well. We met an nice old happy Swedish camper covering up his boat for the season. He had flown in from Florida to take care of business. As we shared stories over a few drinks he offered it came out that he was the inventor of a special type of anchor. As patent owner, Hans gave us one of the prototypes. We are so thankful, meaning we have finally an anchor to use up front. Since our aft anchor is bolted to the railing in the back it’s hard to get a smooth anchorage in higher waves, but with another anchor in front we are positively inspired for the future. Hans of course had plenty of stories and we shared a good meal together on our last night in town.

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My mother with husband also came to visit. Although we are not really far from the border they decided to treat themselves to a Sunday drive, they also brought a nice bag of food. The result is of course that in the two days that have passed since we have eaten royal dinners onboard. It took them about an hour and a half to drive the way that will take us 3 active days. Part of the things to consider now is also the temperatures that are closing down toward zero. Plus an active windchill and rain we are only able to sail for a few hours a day.

Our sail today however was a good one. We enjoyed a beautiful mostly sunny voyage as the wind slowly increased to the howling now tormenting us from the side. We passed through a canal where we had a bridge opened for us and saw some beautiful summer houses all the way here. There was no need to sail on open water so we stayed in between the hundreds of islands an the area.

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I’m extremely happy we selected this spot and not the first we saw that would probably flush us out on open water and crash us into a rocky shore down the coast. I think sleep tonight will be quite an adventure – but it still looks good for us to reach our destination by the end of the week.

Captain Jack

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

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 Kåseberga. 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

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

Our sail broke in open water

Västervik is a cozy small city. It is home to about twenty thousands citizens and in the summer there is hundreds of boats visiting every day. It is also home and birthplace to both men from the a famous little group called ABBA. We were told by an old sailor, that is now retired from sailing for sixteen years in a boat much like ours, that one of them have basically bought the whole harbor-area and with this have build a floating hotel in town.

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In other news, we’ve got diesel! With some good winds we are now fully able to reach the southernmost point of Sweden without too much hassle. We’ll take our time, no worry and according to our logs we had just put our last boat in the water up in Spillersboda this time last year, so in a way we are way ahead of schedule. Except this time, of course, we are not really heading for the Mediterranean this time around. It’s too damn hot down there.

Speaking of hot. It’s not. The weatherman have promised us nights averaging about 5 degrees Celsius. It’s getting close to that time where we need to buy covers for our beds. We made a great hot vegetable-soup for dinner after the two trips to the gas-station. It was a great day of exercise and for the first time in along time I walked twenty thousands steps in one day.

 

The next morning, at about eleven, as I was enjoying my coffee our old retired sailor from the day before pulled up next to our boat on the dock and asked what we thought about some food. And food it was. He took us to a great restaurant serving real Swedish food, buffé-style. It was great and he told us some good stores from his time at sea. After the meal he showed us around town a bit before returning us to our sweet darling home.

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We the proceed ed with our plan, refiled the tank and motored out of the bay. Byebye Västervik. It was a wonderful day and we had a jolly time going 2,8 knots out toward the open sea. We wanted to find a well protected anchorage where we would be ready to ride the wind from north the next morning.

On the way out we had the time to make a pit-stop on one of the small Islands we passe. From distance we could see that the good old swedes had made an lighthouse there back in the 1777’s. Earlier too, but the building now triumphing the landscape was build only 246 years ago. They used to hang cages with burning coal for ships to make somewhat safer passages.

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We proceeded to find ourselves a good place to anchor up for the night. With a forecast of 10ms cold wind from north we found a good place on the south side of an Island called Händelöp, which was locate perfect ly for our coming passage to Öland the next day. We went on a walk around the island to fin a great little summer town that was now basically closed for the season. Only a couple of houses had light in them but I’m sure whoever lived there did it happily.

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We woke up bright and early at 10 in the morning and lighted some candles to heat up the boat a bit before breakfast. Without hanging around too much we sat course for today destinations at Öland. Faith wanted today to be another hard-ass day for the pirates onboard. We got about half an hour out before the foresail ripped in the seem. Not a big danger – this can easily be sowed in less than an hour. Our problem didn’t start until half an hour later as in when the old mainsail ripped all the way over. We had no choice but to motor back into shore. No Öland for us today. Instead we was kind of washed in by what the weather-people said would be 1,5 meter waves but in reality was 4, to a small bay with a settlement called Kråkelund.

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There really wasn’t too many places we could go ashore but one dock that was deep enough for our beloved troublesome ship of the day. We were met by a girl named Olivia and Lucky for us she was not hard to ask when we explained our troubles. She invited us in for coffee an later for dinner as we were figuring out what sails we had available in our collection. We learned that instead of being equipped with two mainsail and two genoas, we had three genoas and only our ripped main. In horror we discussed our options until the solution appeared to us. All we had to do was cut away the bottom reef of the sail and tie it down. We are now officially sailing a much smaller sail. But we are coming into the wind season, so it’s probably for the better anyways.

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For dinner Olivia also invited her twin-sister Lisa and we had a great conversation and a vegetarian meal. Both of us struggled a bit with the land-sickness but survived perfectly. We are very Lucky when all comes to all. There is really great people everywhere and we are very happy that our broken sail was kind of fixable. Tonight we get to stay in a warm boat since the sisters happily helped out with land-power for the night. What a day..

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