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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We were just about to maneuver our very much smoking ship into the guest harbour of Nynäshamn when then engine stopped working again. The newly fixed exhaust pipe, that new crew member David spent hours to fix, had totally stopped sending the exhaust through the system and filled the whole ship with headache-bringing thick smog into the cockpit instead.
The last two hours we had spent driving through darkness, navigating by the help of costal lighthouses and flashing red and green lights. We had calculated our journey down to the last nautical mile when it came to diesel. But then, 40 meters from the dock, we ran out and had to drift the last bit. We waited in silence all begging not to hit other boats in the harbour. But with the skills of experienced Captain Simen we docked perfectly in between two other sleeping ships.
At the dock we met up with our fourth crew-member that had went ahead to make some private arrangements, leaving us with the task of fixing up the newly rescued ship in Dalarö. Conny was in good health waiting for us at the dock. We hadn’t had the chance of speaking too much with him about our arrival since David dropped his cellphone in the only puddle onboard the boat a few hours earlier while we rode the waves between our destinations. There was of course only one thing to do – celebrate the crew-reunion.
I woke up the next morning hearing Conny scream something about water. A short look around the ship was all that was needed to activate the general alarm onboard. We were knee-high in water. The ship was sinking. We quickly got the big pump and both bilges running and managed to drain a few ton of water within ten-fifteen minutes. Now, everything was wet and miserable. We saved what we could and left the rest to dry while we spent a few hours away from our very much problematic floating home.
When we got back in the afternoon the same freaking shit had happened again. The water was high above the maximum waterlevel the engine can take. Still below the air-vents but the oil was once again compromised. This time it was our own fault, we had turned of the power without thinking about tha fact that our pumps where running. But what can we do.. Life must go on, we turned the big pump back on and started the work of draining the oil for salty water.
Captain Simen and Conny took the long ride into a place with cheaper stores to get new impellers and a new exhaust-pipe. We simply can’t continue breathing diesel-smog as we continue down the coast. Everything should be in order now, we will keep moving on our journey south tomorrow morning. If we can find the money for diesel.
You wouldn’t think we were about to spend several days in Dalarö as we were passing through the other day. Since then we have tried to leave several times, but it seems that this little place of an island has caught us pretty good. Once we fix one problem – another one is pushing through. At times we are about to give up and when everything is looking good we try – and fail again.
We’ve got to remember that this ship is something like 70 years old. We are in theory running a nursing-home, having to medicate the old lady – treating her for all the symptoms. To make it easier for you to understand I have made this list of problems we’ve dealt with since we were last rescued:
Nobody told us that there was supposed to be oil in the gear-box. Maybe too obvious to most, we didn’t get the memo. By help of a local we discovered this (hopefully just in time) and filled it with oil that now have to be drained cause it proved to be water in there.
The exhaust has been leaking inside the cockpit – making it a bit of a foggy dream to navigate the beast, but we have managed so far. The leaks have been located.
The diesel-filters are not working. Probably being the reason for our engine-fail that lead to us having to be rescued the other day. They’ll have to be changed in order for us to continue. We are currently waiting for our friend, the Norwegian pirate, to deliver these after he have fixed his own ship back in Spillersboda.
After the fire we’ve had to clean out the kamin in order to stay warm. This should however be back in order.
All the water had to be carried all across the harbour since the people running this place have not installed water to the guest harbour.
The air-filter has seen better days, it is basically dead – but we have got a new one ready to install.
There is still water coming in. We will have to plaster the ship from the inside in places we can reach. It’s totally under control, but we need to keep an eye out for the leaks.
There was a hole in the saltwater-cooling system that brought in water. This was solved yesterday.
Other problems are not listed here because we want to keep some of them to ourselves.
We are currently 3 crew-members onboard. The fourth left us yesterday to eat veal in Nyneshamn – The harbour we’ve been trying to get to the last week or so. His name is Conny, one of the guys we met on our journey to Finland and back last week. He is an awesome chain smoker with history in hospitality and life. Born in Sweden and previous citizen of Nyneshamn he went to take care of some business until the rest of us can get there.
We tried to make a go for it a couple of mornings ago and made it one-third of the way before the engine let us down. Making us having to sail into the night back to Dalarö. If the winds would go south we might have made it. But that’s not our luck.. not that the winds were strong in the other direction either. We had barely wind in the sails and moved in approximately 1 knot all the way back. When the wind left us drifting we had David, the other new guy onboard, paddle with a homemade paddle we made of a fender and a stick. David has proven to be a great asset onboard – making protein-rich meals and second Captain Simen with the engine. His history of years in the American army gave him, in addition to speaking arabic, the skill set we needed right now.
It’s another day. We are trying again. Maybe we’ll get there tonight. Maybe not. But we know for sure that snow is coming. The next week, however, is supposed to be pretty warm.
It’s been busy for a few days. We’ve had to train two new crewmembers onboard, an American and a Swedish man we happend to find while cruising to Turku, Finland. They were going south toward France and were sitting in the cigar-bar debating wether to get airplane-tickets when we got chatting. After 20 minutes of sharing our stories we decided to travel south together. They left all their belongings, only bringing whatever they were carrying, in Stockholm and came along to Spillersboda where we started our venture south the next morning.
There was of course a lot to organize before we were able to actually see if the engine would actually take us anywhere. And then there is the case of our old ship. There was this man came to see the boat an hour before we left the shipyard in Spillersboda, paid for it – but didn’t actually take it.. meaning we are now towing it with us toward the Swedish capital. Today will probably be our last day doing this. Straining our new engine towing another boat seems a bit over the top, but we have the nicest convoy around. We’re trying to give it away to friends of friends we have met from Stockholm.
We did 13 nautical miles yesterday, going pretty slow for about five hours. We are heading for our first port of call; Nyneshavn where will probably stock up, wait out some wind and for another Norwegian pirate that is going to escort us over some parts with open water.
Since the engine started to smoke a lot last night we decided to dock at some Swedish millionairs private island. We needed a place to fix the problem it turned out to be our best solution. It was an easy fix, we just needed to change the totally worn down impeller, but had to wait till the morning for the engine to cool down. The owner of course came speeding toward us, but proved to be a very nice guy and even let us use his bathroom while we were there.
Todays mission is to get rid of FF Harry. We have been debating options, but it looks like we will leave it for whoever is in need of a free boat. Contact us if you want the coordinates!
That’s it for this short update. There is too much to learn onboard and we are rising the sails for the first time in a few hours. Write you soon.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.