The New Expedition

We are preparing for our next expedition. Our ship is currently being fitted for another adventure as you read. It will still be a few weeks before our departure, but we’ve had some great luck – Since we arrived at our previous destination at 70 degrees North the boat ran ashore. It was a mess, and totally not our fault. But since we had made sure to insure our beloved boat everything has worked out (so far) as good as it could.. In short the total cost of the rescue and fix of the boat have cost at least the double of what we paid for it, which in return have provided us with some awesome new features to ensure safe journeys for the future.

ELLA

For the next weeks we will be working for Captain Simen’s mother at her very own campsite named Arctic FjordCamp. The very reason we made this journey north instead of heading toward Sweden as of the original plan. And of course that wouldn’t be the smartest decision as 2020 proved to be a pretty much scandal for the entire world population. Corona is here and although we seem to be slowing down in the care for it, it keeps growing and is currently airborne. Bad news of course, but until further notice life goes on and it would be stupid not to prepare for it.

We are trying to think forward and despite how much we love living in the arctic, doing it for family is proving to be a bit of a hazzle for two free pirates trying to live their own lives. In short, we are most likely heading south before the end of the year, and we’d better get FF Ella ship shape, cause it will be a long run. (Yes, we could never come up with a new name for such a perfect ship and have decided to name it after the previous owner and builders mother; Ella. However we are attaching the ‘FF’ meaning forskningsfartøy in Norwegian and ‘research vessel’ in English, as our first boat – The FF Harry. Read harryfloats.com.

I’m proud to inform that we have repainted the inside, gotten new bedding, plates and cutlery. A new handheld VHF, ropes, fenders, a new propeller, plenty of important other stuff and not to forget an oven to keep us warm all year long. It eats a bit of diesel and cost about 30 cents an hour to run, but in the long run will save us for any extra costs of having to stay in expensive harbors for electricity on our way south.

How far you ask? We don’t know yet, but we have a dream of going back to Foxen in order to enjoy the amazing landscape and fresh waters of the pirate waters we know way to well. This is just a short update, I would never dream of letting you be in the dark for too long. Hope to see you follow us.

Captain Jack

The Magical island

I let the crew sleep in this morning. Shoveling snow on deck and the cockpit in the morning is not on the top of my list, and it’s supposed to keep snowing for the pressing 18 hours. This combined with what was supposed to be fairly strong winds from West is not the best start for a day at sea, no matter how much coffee you drink. If it clears during the day we may still make the trip toward Brønnøysund where they at least will have a flash of internet. However, while I was asleep the winds have turned a bit more from the North making the coming passage a bit longer than anticipated time wise, and since there is parts of the coast North of here we would like to visit – we are settling in for an early start tomorrow instead.

IMG_20200320_223627

We are docked on Leka, an island loaded with geological history and plenty of culture. Minutes after our arrival, while looking for signal on my cell to pay the harbour-fee I stumbled upon Gjermund, the on-guard ambulance-driver of the island. A very nice man with an instant invitation to show us his magical island, as long as he was in reach for for his response time being the only ambulance and all. Saying that health–care providers would gift us their presence in these corona times felt just amazing, but we made sure to keep the governmental recommended distance at all times.

Gjermund is born on the island, he probably know every name and story there is and was willingly sharing with the three of us. First he showed us the second largest tumulus in Norway. It is of course massive, but was plundered a few hundred years back and once stood much larger than what you will see today. We then continued on to a high point on the East side of the island where an old sailor that had to leave his profession already at the age of 16, came back to Leka after spending a year of sickness in Australia. He then started to build his paradise that has since entertained visitors ever since. Today there is a bunch of rock-huts now available for tourists. There is even a small hotel slash bed and breakfast and plenty of space for caravans.

The ride went on with him telling the story of a 3 year old girl that back in 1932, during a baptism was picked up by a flying eagle and taken away.  The whole island came together to look for the little girl. Gjermund took us to the city hall and introduced us to the mayor. And there in the hallway in an install, the little girls dress was hanging next to her little shoe. The dress was ripped by the eagle’s claws. The other shoe was the first trace they found of the girl. It was hours before tree men climbed the mountain and luckily found a cliff where the eagle had taken the little girl. She was alive and lived a long life on the island until she died just 3 years ago.

hdrpl

Continuing our drive to the west side of the island he showed us a whole mountain of extremely rear stone. At least on the surface of the planet, this type of rock belong far down in the earth and is only present on the surface two other places in the world. Here at Leka you’ll find the largest occurrence of this family in stones. The freshest of the Norwegian occurrence is as old as ten thousand years. Interesting enough, that’s also how long humans have lived on this island. It’s called Olivin and is part of the Serpentine-family in the geological family.

oznorCO

Gjermund let us off by the local grocery-shop where we got some essentials before making the walk back to the guest harbour. When we got back Gjermund had ended his shift, but his colleague invited us in for some coffee and chocolate sticks. The lady was telling us about a life as an ambulance driver and despite the restrictions with the virus going on we were invited to use the facilities. Which is very good since we are practically out of fresh water, also the restroom came in handy along with the access to the world wide web.

IMG_20200320_223503
This morning’s first view

I can only recommend you make your own visit when you come around this area. We will be go on direction North tomorrow. Today we have spent cleaning up the boat and de-ice the ship. An ice-heavy ship is slippery and unpractical for both crew and Captains.

I wonder what tomorrows mysteries will be.

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. 

Ålelrond

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.

IMG_20200307_151010

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.

Snapchat-1077727689

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

Playing in the North Sea

Captain Simen was sleeping in as usual as I started out from Haugesund. Little did I know that the little passage in open water straight in  from the North sea would act up hard this early morning. But it certainly did, and for two hours I had my hands full while Simen was tossed between the walls in the cabin. It was rocking pretty bad until I finally was set in a position where I was able to hoist the sail to gain some stability onboard. As the waves came crashing one after the other we made a steady 8 knot ahead with only the foresail hoisted. It was totally amazing and at the end of the run I could see a rainbow pointing the way I myself was fighting to keep the snow out of my eyes and the ship away from the thundering shore on the starboard side. 

IMG_20200228_104319

First we sailed from Egersund to Tananger. We have, as you might understand, been getting pretty sick of waiting for storm-systems to pass and was eager to get some miles behind us. Tananger didn’t have much to offer as we moored. I suppose this is one of the places most people go in the summer or to work on the shipyards (or whatever they are) covering the entire bay. Once again we were of course lucky to arrive just as the snow came whisking into our faces.

IMG_20200228_092830
The bridge in Haugesund.

In general I think the gods must be following this blog, cause they tend to make sure that we are safely tied to a pier before the skies open the daily waterfalls. Luckily February is over tomorrow, noting that this of course is a leap-year, and we are getting very close to spring. As we passed the Stavanger fjord however we finally hit snow. We are officially in waters where the snow is licking the salty waters of the ocean. Our wishes to reach green bushes and blooming hills are still a couple of months away and the truth may be that we have picked the wrong time of the year to experience these things along the Norwegian coast.

IMG_20200229_113709
The favala outside Bergen.

After spending a night in Tananger we made a huge leap. 54 nautical miles in 10 hours. It was great to do some sailing in the dark again. It gives me a special feeling to navigate by the lights. In some strange way, at least here down south I feel much more comfortable maneuvering the waters based on light-signals. this way I always know exactly where we are and there is little to no room for mistakes. At the end of the day we found a quiet little harbour in Klokkarvik that sadly had no electricity for us to heat our frozen bodies. We went to bed early.

qrf

Next morning, still frozen I started the engine and sailed off in some great shine from the sun. From Klokkarvik there was only about 2,5 hours to Bergen and it was done in a coffee. In Bergen they had electricity. And rain. And snow. Shitty weather as always and a wind that made us walk in thirty degree angles. Can’t expect anything else from the only city in Norway with more days of rain than anything else. But! It’s the end of the month, it’s Saturday and it’s the first extra day of the decade. I’m off to celebrate!

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.

Screenshot_20191213_003339

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.

hele ruta.PNG

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

 

Don’t forget to share and check out our Patreon and Shop 🙂

Copenhagen here we come!

Yes, we are taking a break from Sweden. The time has come for us to visit our next country on the list. Denmark, you have been deeply missed and even though the forecast is rain, even snow and plenty of degrees in the blue – we are truly looking forward to hang around for a week or so. I must admit I’m excited to actually have a place to stay this time around, our last few visits have been deeply colored by our tendencies to live in a mix of couch-surfing and tents on all sort of illegal sites. 

IMG_20191030_163035_BURST001_COVER.jpg

The south of Sweden have been conquered. We arrived in Smygehamn at the perfect moment after having live-streamed the passage there. The sun was just about to go down in the distance and after securing the boat to the dock we walked to the very tip of the guest harbour. This point marked the tip of mainland-Scandinavia and to us the halfway-point. Even though this is halfway, the first half also represent the hardest and slowest part of this trip to Norway. From now on, everything should in theory go smooth and much faster from here on.

Smygehamn smells bad, very bad. there’s a strong stench of rotten eggs or something much worse in the whole area. This make the place a bit unpleasant, but the guest harbour was free(!) and we got to enjoy the peace of an ended summer season by ourselves. Not counting the smell, I’m sure the people running the place could do much more to advertise this place.

IMG_20191030_164535.jpg

Next morning we aimed for Trelleborg. They do however not have a guest harbour at all, so we ended up stopping in the harbour before, in Gislövs läge. This is a small little village with not too much going on, the little grocery store had some light-beers for sale and this somehow inspired us to take the bus in to Trelleborg to check out the nightlife. We grabbed a great IPA at a nice restaurant in the city center, and when they closed we were sent to the only bar that was still open where we had a few more. This would have to do for our Halloween celebration. We are doing perfectly well by ourselves, and that’s good when except from an elderly couple and a bartender that didn’t look like she wanted to be there at all – we had a blast.

img_20191025_174103-scaled-2560.jpg

We are of course setting course for the King’s city, Copenhagen. I’m a bit concerned about finding a free place to anchor up, but surly there will be a place for people like us. Our lovely ship can take just about any harbour but as our budget once again is running low, we’ll have to do this the pirate-way.

Captain Jack

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 thought 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.

dav
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.

sdr
Human history was changed here. Forever.

Walking in Athens is a huge adventure. You have all the traits of an European capital among 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.

IMG_20181101_222028.jpg
The place we got David’s birthday ice-cream.

Last night we spent the whole evening selling waffles under our neighbor 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.

IMG_20181102_201445.jpg
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.

IMG_20181102_221554.jpg
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 theater in the world.

Captain Jack

 

Feel free to share this blog with your loved ones, every share will earn you great karma-points!

 

Abandon ship!

When your pirate-ship is under attack, in waters toward warmer climates and undiscovered treasures, by enemies and dangers you can’t even imagine – All Captains onboard will have to work as the perfect team we are in order to make it south. 

dav
A normal sight onboard Harry Louella

A few days ago we were attacked by the gruesome Transition-monster about five nautical miles out from our current safe harbour. It came out of nowhere – probably as the natural result of our previous two sinkings last week in the harbour of Nynäshamn. We suddenly lost all power of the engine and had to rise the jib with what I would like to refer to as no-wind-whatsoever to sail ourselves into safe shore on an abandoned island.

After having been rescued for the third time on this amazing ship we got into Fyrudden harbour where we are currently located. After having checked and rechecked, gone through all of our scenarios we have collectively among the Captains given the order of abandon ship. Harry Louella is being towed from here to Gryts Varv in 24 hours where it will most likely be spending it’s time until someone in this world have the time to fix this relative simple problem, which we simply don’t have time for if we want to get south before winter arrives.

Dear reader, do not fear! We are not by any chance giving up. I must admit that we have kind of gotten of course the last few weeks and should by the plan have already entered the Kiel-kanal. But as the temperature is pushing for snow we are simply not taking any chances and have decided to skip a few chapters ahead head south on Friday morning. Check in at next post to see where our adventures has taken us!

Captain Jack

Game over

Yes. This ship has had it’s better days, we knew that when we got it. We’ve had a great run – but it seems like the current harbour is the final stop for us on this ship. After having been rescued 3 times, sunk twice, countless fixes and weeks of gentle care has not even gotten us out of the kingdom of Sweden.

sdr
Sea rescue to the rescue.

Harry Louella isn’t working anymore. Transmission is totally scrucked and we are stuck in yet another harbour, and this time it seems final. There is of course a chance that we can get it running, but the time and cost of this fix might just be what pull us out of the game with this ship.

dav
Harry Louella at what might be her last stop.

This do not mean that we are giving up. We need a few days to reconfigure the plan – but I can promise you that we are not of those who give up. We have made some sort of plan, as we spent a few hours on a deserted island about an our tow out in nowhere yesterday. The sea rescue pulled us in to Fyrudden where we now are tied up to the guest harbour.

dav
Towed by sea rescue.

Lucky for us, there is a grocery-store here and the bus comes several times a day. We should be able to survive in this village for the time being. We even made a friend here already. Felix, a island-owner across the bay that came over last night, bringing champagne and beer from his fathers brewery up north.

sdr
The colors of a great morning.

In short – it’s hard to say what to say at this point. We are once again stranded fighting for a plan to make this work for all of us. I suppose this is a turn for the worse. But we are pirates, we never give up!

Captain Jack

 

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.

dav
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 some 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.

sdr
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.

sdr
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.

dav
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