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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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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Captain Jack

 

Geocatching while waiting to float

Today, I promise, we are lowering the ship to stand on its keel before the waiting makes us totally crazy. This will be our second to last step before our new home is supposedly going to float by itself. It’s sunday and this weekend we had a visit from my geocatching pirate-mother and brother Morten. It’s always nice to have family over, and it was totally great if we’re not counting the fact that all four of us have been feeling a little shabby. 

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Captain Simen feeling sick in the back of a car.

A little regular sickness won’t stop our mission of getting this ship afloat. We will make it happen at any cost, and since we really are spending absolutely every little penny to make it happen, I assure you it will. We are actually being optimistic about getting the whole boat afloat within next sunday. We are still not in a bad position time wise, but the sooner we can get our asses to warmer countries – the easier it will be to make a safe sailing.

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Sorry, but not even I have been allowed to take a decent picture of my mother in all my years of living. Here with my brother checking out the next geocatch to find.

Since we’ve had visitors these last days, we finally got a couple of days off from fixing big and small things on the ship. There was originally a plan of making a the trip to Stockholm, but since all four of us felt a bit sicky – we mostly ate food, drove around our whole new neighbourhood going geocatching instead. They have a great Thai-reataurant in Norrtälje.. If you don’t know about geocatching, you should probably check it out on geocatching.com and get just as hooked as my mother and husband have been for the last five years or so. It’s a great sport with an amazing fan base all around the world. They spend all their free time traveling the world to explore hidden forgotten places. They are actually one of the most active catchers of Norway, and if your into the community you probably know them as Teamvesla. I wouldn’t be surprised if they found their first real old forgotten pirate-treasure before the pirates onboard Harry Louella will.

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My mother going for the ‘catch’ laying on the 60’th latitude on this point in Sweden.

I think all we are going to do today is lifting the ship and seal it up with another layer of Ettan, a grease, fat-like substance in between all the boards below the waterline. We are then going to remove the trailor it now stays on and lower it as much as possible – making all our pumps prove they’ve been worth whatever we paid for them. At the moment we are running two pumps and it’s going just fine. So fine that the next step is imminent within the next few hours. At this moment, either the tide is higher than it has been in all our time here or we are actually, slowly, being dragged toward the ocean. Come on big ship, get your ship together – we are ready!

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This is the case five minutes ago.

It’s about to become a new week. Again. Along with our visit this weekend, we have also had a small storm in the area. The weather has been a hazzle. Having a boat staying on pilars sticking out from a trailer in waves will hurt your boat. We would be better off sailing the open water.

Captain Jack

We bought a bilge-pump with cash!

Our ship is built in oak. A very hard but sturdy type of wood that takes forever to seal up. It has only been five days, but it seems like a lot longer since all we want to do is continue our journey south before it gets too cold. The last two days have been super windy so we tried to spend the time wisely by hitchhiking into the next town to buy a new bilge-pump. 

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FF Harry enjoyingtime to himself.

Sweden is a wonderful country in many ways. But there is this one thing we have discovered that will most likely and hopefully take this country down. They are slowly ruling out the good old cash-payment method. On more than one occation we have been stopped in our way just because we haven’t had the option of paying with a credit-card. We can’t even go to the bank to top up our accounts – because the banks don’t even accept cash.. what the heck is this? One thing is that this so called EU-country won’t accept Euro, but cash in general? Everything now has to be logged and even more of our freedom is being taken away from us. How and why would you ever want this for your country? Thank all gods that we’re leaving this country and are not Swedish.

That was my morning-rant. I get that way when I haven’t had my morning coffee yet. But seriously, how do the Swedes think this is gonna play out? We had to have the waitor pay our bill with his credit-card, while he got cash from us. I can easily smell how that bill was canceled from the register.

Norrtälje is a nice little city. It’s only about 15 kilometers from here and have absolutely everything you need to live the good life. We are of course very happy here in Spillersboda where they have the local grocery-store accepting cash and a nice small community – but Norrtälje is a city, and we wish we had a whole lot more money to spend on stuff we actually need for the new ship. Instead we spent the day walking around, checking out the stores and in the end got to know some of the local karaoke-singers. We might have promised to give them a show next wednesday.

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But we also got what we came for: a new bilge-pump to take care of 93 liters every single minute. This means that we most likely tomorrow morning will be ready to lift the ship up with a crane, use a tractor to remove the trailer it is now standing on and then lower it down till it sits on the keel and have three pumps taking care of the rivers flowing in trying to drown our engine. But this isn’t the sinking Swedish cash-economy. We will float, because that’s what Harry’s do – Harry Floats.

Captain Jack

The Masterplan

There is no simple explanation for our choice of moving onto Harry. Or to set up camp on undisclosed locations. No explanation needed! Living outdoors is something we both want. This is not new to us, even though there is limited experience evolving being boat-owners. We are nature men and travelers by heart and the thought of slow-travel, with the chance of not having to actually carry our luggage, is what we are aiming for. Like a phlegmatic snail over troubled water.. 🙂 The ultimate goal is to find the way to continue our journey before winter once again rain upon us.

The weather is no longer a problem. We have our dry home in the boat! On board we can find all the tools needed, I guess we could build a small house if we wanted to. All the clothes, the food, the cat and the heat. We have two tents, sleeping bags and not to forget each other. Our only real concern was this:

What about the cash?!

We could probably get around the whole money-problem. And without boring you with our economical details, there shouldn’t be any problems – If our calculations are correct. But – in order for us to evolve and grow and let’s say invest in our future instead of paying bills – we’ve had to be creative with ideas on how to make our money. We also wanted replacements for the commodities we otherwise would waste money on.

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In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to consider this aspect of economics. Nor is it a goal of ours to become wealthy, if so; Just for the convenience of having someone take care of the manual-starting trouble we seem to have with Harry. The world is however not perfect. Fair enough, let’s deal with it. Best bet would be to follow this blog. You don’t need to ask about exactly how all these things are going to happen. We don’t know yet.

Lead the way

Even though we both find the activity of planning amusing, there is no real reason for spending hours of planning out our journey. We have tried to plan the content before without much luck. When traveling slow – like we want to (and are used to from our days with heavy backpacks in 26-degree shade) the plan quickly change. Whenever navigating uncharted terrain we prefer to take it slow and let the road, now also water, lead the way. What we however do spend time focusing on; our freedom, creativity and the amazing opportunity this journey represent. We want ourselves to play around with new and exciting ideas. In short: There is no master-plan.

Yes, we are making our own luck. We also want to learn how to get a closer relationship with nature, how to live more responsible considering waste and ecological footprint. We know we are dreamers. We also know that doing nothing about our dreams is not an option.