The day everything went according to plan

We have just experienced our first day with no noticeable problems. There was that one point were the engine cut out just as the wind picked up making us sail instead – that was just awesome. The reason was that we are still running on our old diesel-filters – but apart from this tiny winy problem and the hour were the bilge-pump stopped working because of our very much dirty bilge.

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The wonderful view on deck.

We are of course counting on having a fair deal of problems with a wooden boat from 1957, and an engine even older. The old Bedford has been dry-docked for years, so no wonders that it require som love and care from four inexperienced sailors on their journey south. Apart from these two problems and the fact that I couldn’t catch anything but a nice pile of sea-weed – the day started with some of the calmest waters we’ve experienced, warm sunny weather and perfect conditions for anything but sailing. It was so calm that the engine was the only way to go.

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Conny on watch while David maneuver us graciously.

Lucky for us the fix we had been working on to stop exhaust filling up the cockpit proved to be working. For the first day in forever we reached our goal and have transported ourselves a fair bit south of Nynäshamn and into the guest harbour of Öxelösund.

The day has been as perfect as perfect can be on the water this time of the year. When the engine stopped and we raised the sail we made a whole 3,5 knots in only 3 ms wind. That was awesome. Starting at 10, we arrived at our destination exactly at the time we had planned out.

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Captain Simen writing the text for our first message in a bottle.

Last week felt mostly like a training-week with all the crap that happened but I am proud to say that this crew stood positive through the whole thing. We are really coming together as the crew we set out to be – which of course is essential for our mission for the coming months.

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Captain Simen practising his amazing guitar-skills.

Right now it’s so foggy around us that we can’t see the other boat around us, this is the weather for the night – but tomorrow is supposed to be just as good as what we’ve seen today. We feel we are finally making progress. Captain Simen has even got the diesel-heater that caught on fire the other day back in order. There was quite i bit of water there going into the system when we flooded the engine. We are waiting for dinner made by first-mate David tonight, enjoying some rest after a completely perfect day in the beginning of this adventure. We have officially left Stockholm county.

Captain Jack

 

 

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Let the winds take us south!

Around midnight last night we had an alarm go off in the ship. It beeped for a whole minute – notifying us that we have reached the point of zero degree celsius outside. Lucky for us there was no ice but it’s really getting a bit to cold for us around here. There will still be another week before we can actually start our journey, it all depends on the engine, if it runs smoothly you will most likely see us head south within next saturday.

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Our wind-engine!

 

One of the neighbours, a couple with two kids invited us over for dinner the other night. It was a warming experience spending an evening with them. He is a former world traveller, now a carpenter with a side job of marking baby eagles in the area. She was until the end of December a stay-at-home mom with their two adorable kids, one at the age of three, the other just learning to walk at the age of one. A very nice little family focusing on living sustainable in a modern Sweden. We were served self-shot Bambi with creamed potatoes from the garden. Thank you for a perfect evening!

Yesterday we took the time needed to install our sails. We hadn’t actually checked them out yet, just taking for good that they were both in a sailing condition. Since none of us had even touched a sail in our lives until yesterday, there was a need to scratch our heads a few times before we could figure out the basics. But in a couple of hours we had made up a pretty good understanding of how they’re supposed to work and I’m proud to announce that the ship is now able to sail. In theory.

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Never touched a sail before, it will be fine.

There is no way to steer this ship without having to run the engines. The steering is sadly running on a hydraulic system, which we are hoping also is in a working condition. We will have to find a solution for this little problem. But if we could do it on FF Harry we can do it with Harry Louella. First step now is either way to fuel up with oil and make sure the engine is running. We haven’t had it started in the water yet, only on land, so this should be interesting. We should all have our little projects for the weekends!

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Laundry is a nice activity in the rain.

FF Harry and the trailer is still out for sale. We’ve had no luck so far getting them sold, can you imagine? The old boat is selling to the highest bidder, you can litterary get a perfectly working pirate-ship for nada..! What we did get sold was the pile of free materials used to hold Harry Louella dry during the last four years. Not much cash in those though, we sold them for a six-pack of light beer. If you don’t feel like buying a ship but still feel like supporting our mission you can use the paypal-function below.

A little gift

Just choose the amounts of money and click the button!

€1.00

That will be the blog of the day! Thank you for reading, keep following our journey and please share with your friends using the icons below! We appreciate all our new and old readers and can happily annonce that since this blog started we have surpassed the previous number of readers every single month! 10 points for sharing!

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

 

 

 

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 presious new pirate-ship. Adding to our mix of exstatic joy and rumbeling 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 impatiant 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 som online classes in Arabic at the universety 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 preassure-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 motoroil 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 saus – 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

RAPPORT: BLÆIK

NORWEGIAN: THIS POST IS IN NORWEGIAN – PLEASE USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE OR COMMON SENSE IF YOU NEED TRANSLATION

Denne rapporten må regnes som et tillegg eller eventuelt en vidererapportering til den tidligere rapporten om Eventyreren Blake fra Dortmund, Tyskland. Mannskapet ombord det holistiske forskningsfartøyet FF Harry forsøker etter beste evne å gjenfortelle hendelsesforløpet fritt etter hukommelsen og i førsteperson. Også denne rapporten vil dessverre inneholde en rekke skrivefeil som ikke vil kunne påklages ettersom vi ikke har altfor god tid til å gå gjennom spontanrapporteringene våre. 

Etter møtet med piratene satte jeg kursen mot det jeg valgte å kalle for Nordvestpassasjen. Denne var en lang tarm som førte meg et stykke unna vannet som Svenskene kalte for Stora Le. Jeg følte meg straks alene igjen, men etter en dag med ville pirater var jeg mer en klar nok for å sette av sted på mitt livs reise. Jeg nølte derfor ikke med å kaste ut snøret og fulgte med på den lille røde plastduppen med falkeblikk. Ved hjelp av padlekartet mitt fant jeg utover kvelden frem til en liten øy som lå litt for seg selv akkurat der Nordvestpassasjen svingte rett østover. Øya så ut til å ligge helt for seg selv og det var ikke et menneske å se.

Jeg hadde selvfølgelig kjørt meg helt tom for energi, hadde glemt å spise og nesten ikke fått i meg vann. Derfor var jeg naturlig nok helt utslitt og møkka lei av å se på den forbanna duppen. Riktignok hadde piratene gitt meg et helt glass med agn, men det så ikke ut til at fisken fantes videre interessert. Av ren skjær utmattelse tok jeg meg til å skrike til noen store fugler som jeg var overbevist om at var kommet for å gjøre livet mitt til et helvete. Jeg huiet og ropte helt til det kom en hel rekke med tyske kanopadlere løpende fra den andre siden av øya. Jeg var altså ikke alene, men klarte å overbevise dem om at det var det som var planen min og til slutt fikk jeg jaget dem tilbake til sin side. Jeg roet meg til slutt, fikk i meg en matbit og kollapset til slutt i åpningen av teltet mitt.

Den neste dagen brukte jeg på å finne roen. Jeg gjorde meg selv opptatt med ting som å hente ved og matlaging. Det tar sinnsykt mye lengre tid å mekka mat når alt må gjøres i en enkel kjele over et gassbluss. Men det gjorde meg ingenting. Jeg begynte straks å kose meg i campen min mens jeg røykte et par jointer og utforsket den fascinerende Scandinaviske naturen. Og slik gikk egentlig den neste dagen eller to. Jeg hadde akkurat bestemt meg for å gi fiskestanga en siste sjanse før jeg knakk den over kneet og påkalte alle guder jeg visste om da det svære flotte piratskipet svingte inn i de trange sundet mellom øya mi og den andre som var fast tilholdssted for to svært bråkete måker.
– “Ohoi, bygutt!”

Jeg må innrømme at det var godt å se ekte mennesker igjen, ikke bare andre tyske kanopadlere. Piratene svingte elegant skuta inn mot øya og la til. Jeg ønsket dem hjertelig velkommen og lurte ikke engang på før lenge etterpå hvordan de klarte å spore meg opp, jeg burde visst at pirater alltid har full kontroll på hvem som ferdes i farevannene deres.
Stolt viste jeg dem rundt i campen min og et par av prosjektene mine. Det største var at jeg hadde brukt halve dagen på å sette sammen et seil med pinner og presenning. Det lå klart på bakken så jeg så ofte som muig kunne gå bort å se på det, og tenke meg hvordan det kom til å bli når jeg brukte det for første gang. Jeg hadde jo aldri seilt før.
– “Men hvorfor setter du ikke utpå med en gang?” Spurte han høye.
– “Hva mener du?” spurte jeg litt forfjamset.
– “Seilet er klart, vinden blåser, hvorfor er du ikke ute på vannet?”
Han hadde selvfølgelig helt rett. Jeg fikk hjelp av piratene til å bære seilet ned til kanoen og et par minutter senere padlet jeg ut med seilet som eneste bagasje.
Det tok meg et par minutter å skjønne at vinden piratene snakket om muligens ikke befant seg helt inne i vika, men ute på åpent farevann var det akkurat nok vind til at den fikk skikkelig tak og jeg kunne løfte opp konstruksjonen min og stolt sette seil for første gang i mitt liv.

Piratene applauderte meg. Men det begynte å bli sent og piratene ville gjerne bruke lyset fra månen på ferden sin sørover igjen. Men de dro ikke før de hadde invitert meg tilbake til campen deres på min egen ferd sørover.

To dager senere hadde jeg fremdeles ikke fått noen fisk. Derfor satte jeg kursen tilbake nedover Nordvestpassasjen igjen. Etter noen timer med hard padling var jeg tilbake i piratenes hemmelige bukt. Til min overraskelse hadde mannskapet doblet seg, to andre bypirater hadde mønstret på og nå fikk jeg beskjed om å bli med dem på tokt. Man sier ikke imot pirater, så jeg fulgte lydig orderen om å mønstre på for å plukke opp ytterligere ett mannskapsmedlem. Havnen lå et par timer nordover, og for meg var det først og fremst en flott mulighet til å se deler av dette Svenske vannet jeg ellers muligens aldri ville fått oppleve. I Tøcksfors mønstret sistemann på, vi fikk til og med muligheten til å gjøre noen enkle innkjøp før kompassnålen skiftet retning og vi durte avsted sydover. På veien tilbake ble det avgjort at vi skulle besøke West Bird Bay som er et bittelite samfunn hvor noe sånt som halvparten av husa er skole, kirke og menighetshus. Men på dette idylliske stedet var det også en ballbinge så hele crewet fikk muligheten til å freshe opp hockey og basketballegeneskapene sine før vi fortsatte.

Tilbake i piratcampen fikk jeg tildelt plass til å sette opp teltet mitt før en av piratene beordre meg til å gjøre klar kanoen. Vi skulle ut å fiske. Med garn denne gangen. De ville ikke ha noe av at jeg aldri skulle få oppleve å sløye en fisk. Derfor padlet vi avsted og ut i natten for å legge garn. Enda en ny opplevelse. Jeg sov tungt den natten.

Neste morgen var det bare å sette avsted for å hente garnet. Vi hadde et oppdrag om trekke garn og hente fisk, og det viste seg at jeg vant veddemålet. I garnet satt syv fisk i ymse størrelser. Etterpå hadde jeg et par timers prosjekt med å få fisken ut av garnet som så skulle strekkes og tørkes. Jeg var veldig forsiktig for jeg ville ikke skade fisken. Men på tross av at et par av de stakkars fiskene likevel kom ut av prosjektet som maltrakterte sardiner fikk jeg til slutt orden på sakene, det gjaldt visst å være litt bestemt i handlingene sine. Den laveste piraten tok seg av opplæringen min når det kom til sløying. Dette var en jobb jeg bådde hadde gruet og gledet meg til, men til slutt fikk jeg dreisen på det hele og ikke lenge etter lå fisken å freste i panna over bålet. Jeg hadde endelig sløyet min egne første fisk.

Mett og tilfreds ble vi beordret tilbake ombord på skuta. Jeg hadde pent bedt om å få noen timer fri for å gjøre litt flere oppdagelser. Det begynte tross alt å nærme seg slutten av min eventyrlige reise. Dette var ikke noe problem, for skuta måtte uansett seile hele veien nordover igjen for å sette av to medlemmer av crewet, men ikke før jeg hadde blitt med gjengen til et sted de kalte for The sacret place. Ingen andre en kapteiene visste hvor vi skulle og ingen turte spekulere.

Etter et par kilometers vandring var vi fremme. The sacred place var en gravplass for gamle biler, ikke fem eller ti, men flere hundre. Vi brukte god tid på å utforske området, det var en kjempeopplevelse, noe som passet mitt mekanikerhjerte godt. Piratene måtte videre og jeg ville fortsette utforskningen min, vi ville uansett se hverandre igjen i piratcampen sent samme kveld eller dagen etter.

Jeg satte avsted på egenhånd igjen, og selvfølgelig hadde jeg tatt med meg seilet mitt. Det ble egentlig til det jeg brukte resten av dagen min på. Jeg lot skog være skog og fant til slutt en bærekraftig løsning på hvordan man skulle holde seilet og samtidig manøvrere kanoen gjennom vannet. Litt ute av kurs kom jeg meg til å sette meg fast på et skjær og ble egentlig stående der i en times tid før det lot seg seile videre, men jeg unnskyldte meg med at det var mpå tide med en pause og trakk fort tilbake nødmeldingen sendt til piratene.

Neste morgen, var min siste fulle dag på reisen. Den ene av kapteinene beordret at det var på tide å vanne i åkerne. Derfor ble jeg med ut i skuta og over til andre siden av vannet hvor den ene åkeren lå. På vei tilbake fikk jeg plutselig et innfall. “Stopp!” ropte jeg ut og til min forundring lystret kapteinen.
– “Jeg skjønner du er klar for å døpes” gliste han. – “En ekte pirat skal døpes, ditt navn skal fra nå av være Blæik!” hørte jeg før jeg hoppet ut i det iskalde vannet.
Det var kanskje ikke det barskeste badet, men det var mitt første på hele reisen og samtidig kunne jeg nå dra hjem som en ekte sjørøver.

Avskjeden var like trist som den måtte være. Jeg ble nektet å padle selv, så piratene tauet kanoen min tilbake til Lennartsfors hvor dusinvis av nye kanopadlere stod klare for nye opplevelser. I det vi seilte inn i vika sang de andre piratene sjørøverviser mens jeg satt med en tåre i øyekroken. Jeg børstet dem fort vekk. En ekte pirat skulle ikke gråte foran mannskapet, likevel kom det et par tårer til når piratene dro fra kanonene og fyrte av en salutt så det dundret gjennom hele det vakre landskapet.

Blæik dro av sted, men som alt annet mannskap som mønstrer på ombord FF Harry er han hjertelig velkommen tilbake. Rapporteringen stanser naturlig nok også her. 

Jack Mikkel, FF Harry

It’s a pirate life for us!

 

We have operated with an extended crew onboard this week. Pirates have come from distant places to join our new and secretive pirate-camp in an undisclosed bay in Stora Le. There have been explorational sightseeings to sacred places and long hauls through wind and sunny weather. We transformed a bewildered soul from the metropolitans of Europe to a though pirate – and worked through all sort of issues that can only come from life in society. 

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The essence is real onboard this bus

 

 

The days onboard is no longer divided into days of the week. We are now free floating through life and have learned to accept all challenges heading our way. Visiting pirates and thereby new members of the crew have been met with life-changing experiences. Life with Harry and the pirate-camp have proved itself to be sustainable.

Of course, there will always be things we need to figure out. Like how to charge our batteries, how to train reliable crew and how to keep the ship afloat. These are only challenges and we have all the time in the world! For the next few days or maybe weeks, Harry will hopefully get some quiet days while we tend to our camp, fields and other plunders.

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Blæiks last night around the fire, with handcrafts and conversations of dimensions

The last blogpost, the report of Blake the adventurer, will have to be continued in a coming post. It didn’t take too many hours before we found the cityboy half-shipwrecked on a small island – just waiting for the pirates onboard to take him under their wings. But we also got two visitors from the Norwegian capital and another one from the city of which we started this journey. Tomorrow we will set sail for Ed, the southmost point of Stora Le to plunder the town and send off the last of our temporary crew with the train. Thank you all for visiting, we all gained the necessary perspective needed.

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It’s not all work and whips aboard FFHarry, someone enjoying the off-duty-duty

Looking for new pirates
We will soon be looking for pirates to join us on the adventures journey to the Swedish capital at the end of summer. Some that have already left might come back, but will also be needing fresh blood onboard! There will only be space for 4 additional crewmembers. We are looking for adventurers that could make good use of themselves onboard FF-Harry for a couple of weeks in August, maybe September – More information on this will be released in a few weeks! Another very good reason to follow and share this blog.

Ship out!

The Captains