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

Leaving a Goddess behind

We are getting dangerously close to our destination. In just a couple of  days we’ll be in Burfjord. The place we’re going to spend the next chapter of our lives. But not all of us is going that far and today the Goddess left us in Finnsnes. She found a friend she hadn’t spoken to for 25 years and we sent her off with our blessings. The time we’ve spent together since Trondheim will never be forgotten. The moments are endless and the adventures has been what most people in this world dream about. 

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After leaving Maurnes we tried to follow the meteorologists advice of cutting our days short by half the day, but once again they were far off with no chance of redemption. They said storm – we got sunny beautiful silent water all the way. Way off, they should be ashamed of themselves for making us listen to this crap everyday. Do they think that people on land just believe all the crap they spew out every day? Let me tell you this, it’s correct about 25 percent of the time, meaning it’s pure guessing all the way. I understand weather can be hard to predict, but please stop hiring people with no experience in weather whatsoever. Ask the fishermen, they are way more accurate.

I’m sorry, had to rant about the weather again, but I always get disappointed when people I trust repeatedly lie to me. Point is: We’ve had the most beautiful days at sea. The sun has been shining and life has been absolutely great! The Norwegian landscape is constantly amazing, even for us people that have lived here forever. I can only recommend this journey for anyone that is searching for something else. Something you can remember forever and probably also be the only one to understand.

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A letter from the Goddess

Thanks a lot.

This is my big thank you to the guys I’ve adopted as my brothers from another mothers.
Our journey begins with me and Jack being colleagues in Lillehammer autumn 2016.
Jack moved his caravan from Lillehammer camping to my garden when the snow melted. Simen moved from Alta to Lillehammer in may 2017, and their life together started as couple started.

This two pirate-brothers of mine is the most lovely, caring, funny, blood sugar hunkers in my life. But the three of us together makes the best life three people can have in a sailboat for three weeks. No one where killed because we makes the best of every situation, respect and love each other enough to make personal space in deep understanding for each others personality. This is the deep reason in my heart why i love you.

This three weeks made the journey of my life! 13th of march i traveled by train from Lillehammer to Trondheim to get onboard Ella, and set sail for the northern coastline of Norway. This is a journey I’ve been dreaming for many years . But never could i dreamed that it would be in a sailboat with my brothers . Never could i dream that it would be like this at all. This came out to be much better that i ever could dream about.

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The first stretch from Trondheim to Rørvik we spent 22 hours on sea. The longest stretch we did. I got seasick, I puked, and puked and puked till the hole sea was spinning around with me, i felt so cold that i thought i was going to freeze to death, but i survived, and three weeks of magic started.

At this point after three weeks in magic, i’m not able to pick one moment because I’m stunning for the first time in life i think..

In the blogs that Jack has written while i have been onboard, hi has written about the goddess, my name is Line Gudinne, Gudinne means Goddess in English, and it is my middle name. Onboard I made myself a nickname Tubbie Goddess. Because the color of my sailing-suit was red, the shape of my body is more round than thin, i felt like the red Teletubbie and my middle name is Goddess and so we got the Tubbie Goddess.

Tomorrow, Monday 6th of April, three weeks and one day after we met in Trondheim, i am leaving you guys in Finnsnes. I am sad because it is over, but i am very happy that you gave me this journey for life.

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From the deepest of my heart i will thank you, wish you all the best in your new life on land in a part of Norway you two haven’t lived together before. New adventures, new journey and new beginnings.

Don’t forget to feel free to be the best of you, og with the flow in the name of love.

Blessings from the Tubbie-Goddess

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Tomorrow we’ll be hitting Tromsø gently. Probably. And then just a couple of days more and we’ll be at our final destination. It’s not over until it’s over, and we’ll be fighting till the end. The currents we are facing tomorrow is some of the strongest of the nation. We’ll have to be careful to hit the at the perfect timing with the tides. Let’s see how that turns out.

Captain Jack

Make the most of it

Aside from all the amazing experiences life on a boat gives you – there are basically two types of days onboard. Of course there are variations of all sorts like crew, location, mood or weather. Being liveaboards on a sailboat is probably still the best thing I’ve ever done. Ever. As we only have a few weeks left of this two and a half year adventure, or to divide it further; since packing our bags and leaving our shitty apartment on Malta, the time has come to start contemplating. In a few weeks we will likely be back on solid ground for who knows how long, and I can’t help but to feel a bit uneasy about it.

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A minor storm, hopefully the last one of the winter, is raging outside. It woke me up at six this morning. Of course, this is something you will get coming when sailing arctic waters in the cold season and we have been prepared for this. It does however slow us down and present us with some extra days at port. Except from being a bit more costly due to our hang to cook interesting meals and maybe even get a beer or two, we are far more tied to the boat because of the shitty weather and the ongoing pandemic.

Along our way, since we acquired our first boat a few years back we’ve had plenty of different people traveling with us. Putting the right people together is essential and not everyone turned out to be right ones for us. We believe in giving people chances, some was fit for a while, others not at all. Some I will always welcome back. To live and travel on a boat you need to be open, true and honest. You need to give your crew-mates the space they need and be respectful to all the differences. You better also have the ability to forgive, laugh and play. The hardest crew we’ve had to work with is those who have not been pulling their weight. Onboard with us we try not to order people around, but want each crew to find their own tasks and in that way find their place. There are always things to be done and unless you have been in situations like this before you better get settled fast.

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I imagine it hasn’t always been easy for our recruits to find their place. Since we already have our routines and tasks in automatic place, the only thing they could do in the beginning was to follow orders. Because – even though we let the democracy have it’s say, that’s not really how it works. On a ship there is a hierarchy where the Captain have the final word – And this boat have two.

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The tasks comes down to a few very important things. There is the planning of the route, stops and destinations. We have navigation, weather, fuel and maintainance-planning. We need to think about safety, food, storage, cleaning, crew-scheduling, budget, health and electricity. Many of the things that on land fall into place pretty naturally, changes everyday onboard a boat.

Still I would think we have been very lucky with the people we have brought onboard. And I believe that most have been having a great time, just like us. Travelers are after all usually up for the action. Friends have become better friends and new friendships have been made. We can’t forget the reason for our choice to sail in the beginning; We wanted to travel. Both Captain’s have great experience on the subject, but we have usually been tied to our backpacks. After years of backpacking I suppose most travelers would be looking for a door to close behind them, not just the zipper of a tent. The urge to travel is still there, but in order to get anything out of it you need to get your rest, to have the time to take a brake.

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Imagine yourself traveling constantly for ten years of your life, but not had a good chance to step back and reflect over your experiences. Ten years of life is a long time to contemplate in one sitting. I would think that such a situation could put any healthy mind into depression. Many a traveler before us have trapped themselves in a loop of traveling for too long, where stepping out of it can brake a person or damage the soul. I’ve met many such people and they are no longer happy, they’ve lost touch of sort. In order to travel for real you also need to pull it together once it’s over. When traveling like we do however, although you still have to think through the experience as a whole when it ends, the defragmentation is done as you go. I truly believe that on long adventures such as this, you will benefit much more by travelling slowly. It’s important to remember that any journey, no matter how long, eventually comes to an end.

Back to our different types of days onboard. The first one being the days we are on the move. Our sailing days. I wake up bright and early and get the coffee going. Now as we are three onboard, the Goddess also get up and we have a quick snack and get going. The days route was planned the night before so it’s easy to just smack on the electronics, start the plotter, start the engine and leave the dock. Captain Simen need to sleep a bit longer in order to function so he’ll take the next shift. Then there is the morning shit-chat over the coffee or me talking to the seagulls when we are two-handed. Depending on wind we try to sail as much as possible but we can’t get around a pretty hard use of the engine as long as we have a goal in the end. As the day go on we are enjoying the mountains, fjords, birds and more coffee.

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When it’s time for lunch, Captain Simen is usually up and we eat in turns. This way everyone can get some time inside where it’s much warmer and in case of rain you can get changed and dry off. Unless there is something special going on, we plan to spend about 6-8 hours on the water. That gives us another 30 nautical miles or so under our belts. Once again we take our sailing suits off and go inside to heat up and maybe have another snack. Then there is time for exploring if the weather is good, showers if the marina is open (which it rarely is due to the pandemic) or, if it has been a hard day – pure relaxation.

Then there is time to fix things on the boat, do some shopping and prepare for dinner. To wind off we can watch a movie or a show, play a game or read a book. We have to plan the route for the next day but sooner or later it’s time for bed.

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The second type of days is the the ones at port or resting days. In these instances it is mostly due to weather. We have a certain limit for how much wind we like to sail in. Many of these days we would still go out if we could sit inside to steer or I guess, if it was summer. We don’t care too much about light rain or snow, but when the wind hits more than 10 meter/second, it’s raining or snowing hard and when the waves surpass 3 meters in height we find it more comfortable to wait. Today is such a day.

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Some days we have some work to do, either online or on the boat. Many times the weather is not so bad in port even though it’s raging outside so we often have the chance to explore or go for walks. Usually there is an internet-connection that let us watch series, movies, play games or just plain out go online exploring. It’s alright to have these days once in a while, but if there is more than one in a row things tend to tense up. If the reason for our stop was purely because we wanted, I guess it would be different, but the case is that this usually happen because there is no reason to be outdoors. It get’s good old boring, very fast.

The variations of our days are as everywhere else endless. But the basics are the same. A good cup of coffee in the morning, some type of action during the day, at least one home-cooked meal, some entertainment and sleep. All I can think I would want different was a better mattress. The one we have is typical boat – foamy, way too thin and not really made for long time use. But it’s way better than sleeping in a tent, it’s the price I have to pay. Especially since I no longer have to carry all my stuff in a backpack every morning.

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Everyone should travel. Everyone should have the experience in life of exploring culture and to see how close but different our cultures actually are to each other. I cannot stress enough how important I believe it is to actually feel this difference. There are people in this world that never leave their village, people that never get to discover anything outside their country. But how are you supposed to make sense of a world you only know from a distance? I’m not sure if I believe that seeing is believing, but to recognize that what you get presented as the true world through a screen in your living room – is only a part of the whole picture. It’s not necessarily wrong or fake news, but a picture that do not satisfy all of your senses, instead it gives your brain a chance to fabricate the rest of the story (like human brains like to do) and this will never give you the full picture of the world you are part of. In order to really understand – you have to get out there. To feel and to understand that you are in symbiosis with it all.

Going ashore in a few weeks will be another adventure. It’s been a long time since I had to consider everyday-things and that will be an adjustment. It is however something I know I can handle. Even though I’m moving to a part of the world where I have never had any roots, that’s nothing new either. I and all of you are very able to adapt remarkably to any moves or changes. My experience make me sure that I have nothing to fear. Changes may feel unsafe or scary, but they don’t have to be. We are humans and our instinct for survival is extremely well developed. Sometimes we just have to be pushed over the edge to realize it.

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It’s not over yet. Let the storms come. It’s time for breakfast. I’ll take a slice of week old bread with egg. Sunny side up. And coffee.

Captain Jack

Halfway point

The fjords are still giving is protection from the open Norwegian sea. There have been parts that made us sail in unprotected waters but once again the weather-man has given us great days and we have made some good progress. Passing Stadt, one of the more ‘dangerous’ passages on the Norwegian coast went smooth. We had about 1,5 meter waves a little wind and it was all over and done within a couple of hours. Any other day of these crazy winters it could’ve gotten pretty adventurous out there. We sailed in to Ålesund the same day looking for a much needed, nice hot shower. 

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The guest harbour in Ålesund doesn’t have any shower. No toilet, no service house. Shame on them. But there wasn’t much we could do. Can’t fight the system. Instead we got to take a walk in town and get back in touch with ourselves. Due to rain and tiredness from the long day before we stayed an extra day. Both of us have been to Ålesund before. it’s a nice city with lot’s of rich fishermen and tourists hanging around. Sadly our budget was low, but we got to share a kebab and walk around the down town area.

We had no plans for going to Molde, but since there was no showers in Ålesund we wanted to give it a try. This time I researched it upfront and they had showers! When you haven’t had a real wash since Bergen and long warm and cold days at sea a good shower and maybe a shave is all you want. But Molde gave us a cold one. First of all they had the most expensive showers since Stockholm, then when you were all undressed and soaped in and give the stupid machine your money – no hot water is coming. The water was so cold I could have made you ice-cubes in ten minutes. Now broke until payday we left town bright and early next morning.

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Between Molde and Kristiansund there is also a stretch of open water. We weren’t really worried since the reports said we would have the winds in our back, along with the waves. So it was smooth sailing, though a bit cold it turned out to be a long day but we finally got into the sheltered waters of Kristiansund and with only a few drops left on our tank we could safely pull into the fuel-station as the darkness slowly started to surround us. As we then found our spot in the guest harbour it started to rain and did so for 30 hours, hence we once again decided to stay over an extra day. By coincidence my good old colleague from a few years back was also in town for a job interview and we ended up catching up over a cup of coffee in one of the city’s many places to hang out. The rest of the day went quickly as we relaxed onboard with games and computers.

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This morning I could smell the winter outside. It was so cold that I let the autopilot take care of the job while I watched the monitors inside with my coffee. Lucky the sun came out and heated the air a bit. We are staying in a small place called Vihalsen, 60 nautical miles from Trondheim, where they most definitely should have showers. It’s a bit much to do in one day, but due to some bad weather approaching we might try for it tomorrow. If we’re lucky we’ll continue to stay just ahead of the snow.

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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Slipping, eating, waiting and living life

I was optimistic enough in our last post about getting the ship to the next step – lower in the water by the next day. Well, that didn’t happen and Harry Louella is still sitting in the exact same spot as before. Last time I checked – the water seemed to keep a steady pace forcing itself into our precious new pirate-ship. Adding to our mix of ecstatic joy and rumbling anticipation – the weather do a great job being ambivalent enough for us to keep ourselves mostly indoor. But as the weather-gods keep sending us miniature storms, we do for the first time have a great ship to make sure to keep us warm and dry.

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Patiently making falafel for dinner.

We must be patient. After all, we have gotten a lot further than what we thought was possible when we first arrived in Spillersboda, exactly one week ago. It’s just that time has a funny way of following it’s own rules in these situations.. To slow down like for kids waiting before christmas, or waiting for the school-bell to ring on Friday afternoons – And I should say; this is the first time ever I see Captain Simen being impatient about anything.

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Anna in her office.

Spillersboda keep being nice to us. Anna, at the store, have employed Captain Simen as her personal IT-consultant and pays us by letting us use the laundry-room in the basement. I believe she is taking some online classes in Arabic at the university or something. She’s a funny lady, the other day she decided out of nowhere to only talk to us in English. In the meanwhile her husband left to remove a smelling dead creature from the loft in their summer-cabin, that they haven’t been using. There is always a smile on her face – our new best friend.

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Hasse in his office.

In the shipyard, poor Hasse have no choice but to watch the fleet of Harry ships out the window from his breakfast-table every morning. He’s a very friendly guy nice enough to borrow us any tools we may not have ourselves. At the same time – I’m sure he’ll be a happy camper the day the pirate-ship won’t sink any more. Meaning; he can get his boat-ramp and his amazing pressure-washer pump back. For now, we are all stuck sharing our life together.

We have spent the most wonderful Saturday in a very long time with Per, the guy whom brought us 12 liters of motor-oil last week, and his wife. They had invited us over and man are we happy they did! Their weekend-house, which are spend all the time they have to spare on, is about an hour away from our shipyard (in FF Harry-speed). I can hardly describe our visit, other than it being very giving in many ways. It’s amazing how we can learn from each other and be part of peoples life by being open enough to share our time with new and interesting friends.

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Captain Simen in deep conversation with Per about something.

We had talked about us coming over to look at an VHF-radio. Something we have been wanting to get in order for a long time. When we arrived it was clear that we were in for a whole lot more. We got to take a look at their amazing home, which they have put a whole lot of love into – before being invited for dinner. It was home-made Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes fresh from the garden with souse – a traditional Swedish meal made just perfect. Gordon Ramsay would have bent over squealing. In short, we had a perfect night with new friends, great conversations and great sharing of life-experiences.

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The two Captains getting ready for dinner.

This is exactly why we are traveling! To learn from each other, listen and share our stories. To share great meals, knowledge and experience. Thank you for having two pirates for dinner! We are very happy about making new friends.

Thank you for reading our blog! We are starting to build up a nice group of followers and more people read about our journey every single week! Feel free to share the posts with your friends and family on social media by using the buttons below. Tell everyone – Sharing is caring!

Captain Jack