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 tought 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 amongst 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 neighbour 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 theatre 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 finnish up the preparations for our wintering of the ship are sleeping with double covers, hats and jackets to keep out the cold. It is time for us to get moving, but before we can do that – the ship must come out of the water and we need to know where to sleep the next couple of days. Not to forget where in the world will we find our next ship?

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Waking up to slippery deck and frost all over.

Our fourth pirates for peace-pirate has once again taken off to Nynäshamn to take care of some business. We will go there one of the next days. Yesterday we were towed from Fyrudden to Gryt early in the morning and later in the day we detached our beautiful mast and sent it to storage. But for now, we are waiting for the people of the wharf to make the time of lifting our boat ashore so we can cover it up and prepare the engine for winter.

There are times where our adventure seem to be a hard nut to crack. But let it be said that this crew will never give up the journey toward world peace. We are not the first pirates to be temporary without a ship – and even in these dark times our crew is masters of keeping up hope and the fight for our cause and will once again, mark my words, soon be back at the sea!

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Being towed in early rainy mornings.

This said, we have lost the fight against the winter and will have to move ourselves in some other way down to a warmer climate. Where, how and when still has to be determined and this will be done within a few short days. The last of our tasks will be to pack whatever we can carry from Harry Louella but it look like there will be a lot of tools, equipment and other useful things left for the next lucky owners of this amazing boat. Let us know if you are interested in a cheap pirate-ship!

This also means that we will not be able to sail down through Europe in this turn around. This is very sad of course – since we have met a lot of great Europeans this summer that it would be a privilege to meet up with on our way south.

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The last voyage for us onboard Harry Louella.

For now however, feel free to check in on the blog for updates. I will keep you posted on our progress for better or worse, but know that we are pirates with great hope and this adventure will go on for a very long time into the future – until we reach our goal of world peace or longer.

Captain Jack

The pirates homeless-fund

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Dealing with an old lady

You wouldn’t think we were about to spend several days in Dalarö as we were passing through the other day. Since then we have tried to leave several times, but it seems that this little place of an island has caught us pretty good. Once we fix one problem – another one is pushing through. At times we are about to give up and when everything is looking good we try – and fail again. 

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Us passing time after long days of work.

We’ve got to remember that this ship is something like 70 years old. We are in theory running a nursing-home, having to medicate the old lady – treating her for all the symptoms. To make it easier for you to understand I have made this list of problems we’ve dealt with since we were last rescued:

  • Nobody told us that there was supposed to be oil in the gear-box. Maybe too obvious to most, we didn’t get the memo. By help of a local we discovered this (hopefully just in time) and filled it with oil that now have to be drained cause it proved to be water in there.
  • The exhaust has been leaking inside the cockpit – making it a bit of a foggy dream to navigate the beast, but we have managed so far. The leaks have been located.
  • The diesel-filters are not working. Probably being the reason for our engine-fail that lead to us having to be rescued the other day. They’ll have to be changed in order for us to continue. We are currently waiting for our friend, the Norwegian pirate, to deliver these after he have fixed his own ship back in Spillersboda.
  • After the fire we’ve had to clean out the kamin in order to stay warm. This should however be back in order.
  • All the water had to be carried all across the harbour since the people running this place have not installed water to the guest harbour.
  • The air-filter has seen better days, it is basically dead – but we have got a new one ready to install.
  • There is still water coming in. We will have to plaster the ship from the inside in places we can reach. It’s totally under control, but we need to keep an eye out for the leaks.
  • There was a hole in the saltwater-cooling system that brought in water. This was solved yesterday.
  • Other problems are not listed here because we want to keep some of them to ourselves.

We are currently 3 crew-members onboard. The fourth left us yesterday to eat veal in Nyneshamn – The harbour we’ve been trying to get to the last week or so. His name is Conny, one of the guys we met on our journey to Finland and back last week. He is an awesome chain smoker with history in hospitality and life. Born in Sweden and previous citizen of Nyneshamn he went to take care of some business until the rest of us can get there.

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In lack of things happening, here’s a picture of the blogging-view.

We tried to make a go for it a couple of mornings ago and made it one-third of the way before the engine let us down. Making us having to sail into the night back to Dalarö. If the winds would go south we might have made it. But that’s not our luck.. not that the winds were strong in the other direction either. We had barely wind in the sails and moved in approximately 1 knot all the way back. When the wind left us drifting we had David, the other new guy onboard, paddle with a homemade paddle we made of a fender and a stick. David has proven to be a great asset onboard – making protein-rich meals and second Captain Simen with the engine. His history of years in the American army gave him, in addition to speaking arabic, the skill set we needed right now.

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David making sure we don’t crash.

It’s another day. We are trying again. Maybe we’ll get there tonight. Maybe not. But we know for sure that snow is coming. The next week, however, is supposed to be pretty warm.

Captain Jack

Rise the mast!

It’s storming again. I woke up this morning to strong winds stretching the ropes and hard rain drumming on deck. The plan of the day was actually to flush the teak-decks before giving it the first of many coats with varnish. Seems like nature took care of the washing and left for me to wait out the storm. Things are suddenly moving forward in a much more satisfying manner, it looks like we are actually getting out of Spillersboda before the snow arrives. 

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The mast has found its place. We are getting there!

The rivers of water have stopped using our new pirate-ship as an amusement ride. When upon checking status this morning, it is my pleasure to announce that Harry Louella is close to completely sealed up! I did throw some sawdust into the water around the ship yesterday, and in combination with what’s coming up on three weeks of soaking have made some magic happen. One of the biggest challenges about buying this ship is overcome.

The next big challenge is of course the engine. We have had it started a couple of minutes, but not had it drive the propeller yet. Captain Simen have spent some time the last days making sure that at least one of our dieseltanks are clean and in working condition. He have hand-pumped out the rest of the old oil and changed all the filters. The electric systems seem to be working fine. We should be able to power our three batteries between a combination of two solar panels and a generator.

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Yesterday we put FF Harry out for sale. It will sell to the highest bidder on blocket.se. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in bidding. We are also selling the old trailer that Harry Louella have been sitting on. These two things is what we have to get rid of, somehow, before we leave town.

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The amazing FF Harry is for sale to the highest bidder!

Another magical thing happened last night. I had spent a few hours prepping the mast. It needed to be fitted with spreaders and to have installed a world-famous Windex wind direction indicator. When Hasse had finished his dinner he was ready to help us lifting the mast into place – and hurray! Our built-to-be a fishing boat, made over to be a motor-boat, is now ready to have it’s sails attached. This of course is impossible to do today due to the wind, but the mast is ready!

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Hasse extended his crane to it fullest to make the magic happen.

This must be the most positive update on our fleet of ships in a long time. It feels great when things are moving forward in the right direction. As soon as the winds calm down – and the rain gives us a break, we’ll make a try on the sails and to varnish the deck. No one likes a grey teak-deck especially when it lets water sink through and fill up the boat. Our goal must be to have no water what so ever coming in unless we want it to. There’s no worries about bad weather when everything else blows in our direction.

Captain Jack

 

 

 

Harry Louella is afloat!

The full moon had just taken over the sky. It was luckily still some daylight to work with for this next critical step. Over the horizon we could make out the planet Mars as we lowered Harry Louella into the murky shipyard-water. There was this magical little moment as we watched our new pirate-ship float by itself for the first time in four years.

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Harry Louella making touchdown.

Earlier in the day we spent hours filling in the cracks in between the boards with a fitting substance. We had the ship lifted from its trailer in the water with the crane of the shipyards rig. In some strange way the trailer had got stuck on the wrong side of the metal boat ramp. This meant we couldn’t just drag the boat back on land – it had to be lifted. So we did. Hasse was nice enough to use his truck as a temporary working-platform for a few hours.

It was a dirty job that just had to be done. And man did it help! We are still on red alert and have to watch the water all the time. We thought there would be a lot more water right now, but it seems fine. Meaning; we only have the two installed bilge-pumps running constantly. The big electric pump we got the other day is set to start by itself if the water-level rises over a certain point. But for now it looks good. We are afloat!

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Harry Louellas last time on the trailer.

 

Now starts a whole new set of stuff to take care of onboard. We need to have another real go-through of the engine, easier said then done when none of us are really born as mechanic-wonderchilds, but I’m sure we can figure out the basics. We also have to install a wind-indicator, a weather-station and run another full check of the older than us-electrical system.

There is also a whole bunch of stuff to take care of regarding the FF Harry. In short – we need to figure out a solution on how to get rid of it in a respectable way. The same goes for the trailer and som excess gear we can’t take with us whenever we are ready to venture on. Then of course, there is the case of rigging the mast, checking the sails and probably learn how to use them.

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Captain Simen giving the tractor a hand.

Yes, there is tons of stuff to do. We have spent two weeks in Spillersboda now, and we are still looking at least on another week before we can be ready. But that is no problem, not when we can optimistically start this week off with our new home tied to the dock.

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Thank you for reading! I challenge you to share our blog on whatever social media you prefer. We would also like to remind you about our fundraiser. As you can imagine this project does not come cheap and we can really use all the help we can get to put this ship back in a respectable shape. If you have the chance, don’t hesitate about supporting us either with a small donation or by sharing our adventures with your friends and family.

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Update you soon!

Captain Jack

 

The waiting-game

Getting old wooden pirate-ships to float takes all the patience in the world – and at least a week. Lucky for us, there is plenty of work to be done around the ship. Time fly by even if we are desperate to get her sailing. Captain Simen has been working hard to make sure the engine and all the electric cabeling is top-notch. I, myself, have mostly been taking care of the paint-jobs and neccesary detail-tasks. 

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Here is a before-picture, taken last time she was seaborne.

There’s a fine line to how much we want to put the ship in the watet at once. Most important is to make sure the engine stays above water, which we have managed so far. At the moment we are mostly conserned about if the trailer can handle all the weight of a sinking ship at the back end. It would totally be best for all if we could get it further out as soon as possible. There is a chance that the whole trailer will brake.. Not good.

A friend we met earlier in Göta kanal came by today with 12 liters of engine oil. A perfect gift at the perfect time. 400 euro worth of oil is something we didn’t think of untill today. It would be kind of stupid to continue on without changing oil. I thought diesel was expensive, but oil is way, way harder on our accounts. Thank you, Jan!

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One handlebar painted.

If you also feel like helping out somehow, you are more than welcome. There isn’t really room for any more hands on deck at this time (we get several requests from aspiring pirates out there, but at this time it would just be more people waiting in the shipyard) But soon, good people. Soon soon soon… If you do however have spare cash, diesel, a GPS, echo sounder (or whatever it is called in english) or knowledge about wood, bedford-engines or this exact ship, feel free to contact us HERE or check out our fundraiser HERE.

We wish we could be sailing right now. The wind and the sun is just perfect and even though tomorrow is supposed to bring rain – it would be an adventure to rise our sail for the first time. But first things first, let’s make the ship seaworthy. And on the positive side; we are not taling in as much water as last night.

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Me looking into the camera with the ship in the background.

Yesterday, we had a visit from the people we bought the ship from. They brought beer all the way from Åland and a contract for us to sign. Great people that was really sad about letting the boat go before they even had the chance to try her out. But the fact is: it takes a lot of time, love and patience to get her back in the water. Something none of the tree previous owners had, one way or the other. We are getting there. I just hate the wait.

Captain Jack

The new pirate-ship

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

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Morning sun.

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

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

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Wrapped pirate ship.

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

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Under the tarp.

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

Captain Jack