The return to Foxen

And here we are again! Yes, adventures starts all the time, and we are just about to start a new one. What can I say, the pirates are back! It’s official. We are returning to the sacred land of Foxen. We have of course been made aware of the ongoing pandemic and are taking all necessary precautions. There is (as usual) no plan to what will take place this summer but we have managed to secure nine large floating pontoons to build our very first float to make space for extended living on the lake. The truck and crane is booked and the start-up cash is secured.

Harry visiting some Swedish island

Yours truly have spent the last couple of weeks working his previous job, and the entire crew have been crashing in the apartment of the Goddess in Lillehammer. FF Ella has spent some quality resting time in Fredrikstad of which should be our port of departure in less than ten days. Before we’ll of course have to secure negative covid-tests and pack the boat ready to be lifted from the ocean, transported an hour inland to the town of Ed and finally lowered into the amazingly fresh water of Stora Le. For a long time we were just awaiting the Swedish government to reopen their borders, and as of April 1st we’ve got the green light.

This will be our 400 km journey the next couple of weeks.

From the moment we arrive in Foxen anything can happen. I imagine the visits from tourists busing in from the rest of Europe will be somewhat limited compared to our last summer in the Swedish forest. But then again we never expected to meet so many exceptional people in the first place. Going into Foxen almost exactly 3 years ago – our only plan was to spend the entire summer enjoying life on FF Harry and to get in touch with some holistic research.

I hope of course that we’ll be able to meet up with some of our friends from back then and to have some visits across the borders without people risking to spend the better part of a week quarantined upon return. In our eyes, we can’t just stop living our lives and this return to the sacred lands do in fact represent the safest and most logical choice for the original crew for the time being. Here are some pictures from last time. As you might know, our beloved FF Harry is no more, but the FF Ella will have to do, who knows, she might even get a little brother.

That’s all for now, have a nice day – see you at Foxen.

Captain Jack

End of the Expedition

We have reached the end of our Norwegian Coast Expedition. It has been an adventure for life, and something I’d possible would do again. Next time, we would sail during summer, in a boat with shower, cockpit-tent and autopilot. Having steered dear old FF Ella the entire way I wouldn’t say no to an autopilot to taking part of the job. It has however been an experience that can never be forgotten. We spent about 3 months northbound and then 6,5 months back down. As of right now FF Ella is getting a shining and washing down. She will have to get ship shape before our next adventure.

Norway is beautiful, that’s for sure. And it feels strange to have visited all counties within the past pandemic-year. But it was a true opportunity, something every Norwegian should experience. I’m not going to go on about the journey. Feel free to read most about it in previous posts. I just wanted you to know that we have arrived at the end of the Expedition. And of course, are currently planning our next.

Of course, we have a dream of sailing around the world. But that will have to be a bit into the future. In order to do this we have to save enough to buy a larger boat, with a little more equipment. Also we are putting together a list of the equipment needed, besides it is probably a good idea to wait out Covid-19. If you’d like to follow this journey, take a look at our GOFUNDME-page. We would love your support.

Make sure to follow our blog for the future, summer is about to hit Scandinavia and we are ready to embark on new adventures in just a few weeks. Until then, stay dry, healthy and smile.

Captain Jack

Sailing all of Norway

It’s now exactly a year since we decided to sail north in favor of following our actual plan to become part of the Kingdom of Sweden. I suppose it’s all cooking down to grabbing the opportunities and for our sake we acted on an impulse, hence doing this sail that most sailors would swear belong to the summer. Somewhere inside of us I guess there was a dream to sail the entirety of the Norwegian coast and as we are now a whole year in, and only a few weeks out from completing the return. There is still quite a stretch left, and according to the forecast we will have to take our time for the journey around the southern part of our country. But as we are awaiting our third crew to return from her job tomorrow we have had time to reflect on our adventure.

The Captains dressed to impress

The hardest part of sailing during the winter is of course the icy cold and the unpredictable weather. I have a feeling that this notion have been reflected in the blog, but it does for sure demand a great deal of extra planning and care for every day of sailing. It has never really been a problem, but in many cases it has torn on our patience, whenever we’ve had to wait for storms to pass or winds to pick up. Winter also calls for shorter days, both due the lack of daylight and to the fact that it’s hard for the body in general to work through long, cold and sometimes wet days onboard.

One day at the time, and by keeping up a good spirit has done the trick. Despite sometimes waiting weeks for a good warm shower and having to carry fresh water on the back since all the guest harbors close down their faucets from mid-October we have stayed warm and cozy inside FF Ella, who on her part have proved to be a stable and reliable ship. The only things we really miss onboard is to have our own shower, a cockpit-tent and of course more space, of which you can never get enough.

But then there is the people, the Norwegians. They have been great the entire way. We have met a whole bunch of them – and maybe it helps to be a Norwegian in Norway but they have all been extremely welcoming and easy to deal with. As everywhere it is somewhat harder to meet the people of big cities, they tend to be a bit colder until you get under their skin, but once they warm up to you, they explode into the roots we all have.

Then the nature; Norway and the Norwegian coast is famous all over the world. And although we have not tapped into the deepest of the fjords, but the rough and almighty coastline has shown us it’s best.

All the experiences counted I am so happy we did this journey. I suppose I’ve learned a thing or two about myself, and also a great deal about the country that have given me my life and culture. Having been lucky enough to have made some travels around the world I can vouch that although cold and seemingly self-centered, Norway offer something very special. It’s a deep culture unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. Also, in a way, one of the richest.

FF Ella in preparations for sail

By the end of this journey, by the time we return to Fredrikstad we will have completed somewhere in the neighborhood of 2800 nautical miles along the coast of Norway. That equals to about 5200 kilometres. It didn’t really break the bank either, but it has of course not been a totally free ride. Diesel and Harbor fees, and of course the food have been the posts we’ve had to balance. A rough estimate (without really having kept the tabs) is a cost of about 25.000 Kroner/2500 Euro, which is pretty good. Amusement and other perks are not included of course but thinking that we have been sailing through the entirety of a world pandemic where the country have been partly closed down this is not bad at all.

As for now, the days are getting brighter, and just since we left Åndalsnes a few weeks ago we have two hours more daylight. These days there is a huge cold-front covering all of Norway, so ice and snow is part of the day, but it is getting warmer, also due to the fact that we have moved hundreds of kilometres south.

Trollfjord

It’s far from over. We are about to continue on the original plan of taking FF Ella to the inland waters of Sweden where all of this started, a good three years back.

I just got word that the Goddess missed her flight from Oslo, but have rebooked for a later arrival. The forecast have promised storms this week and we are unlikely to make huge progress. I am however hoisting the sails tomorrow morning and are setting course for Egersund.

Captain Jack

Long cold sunny days

In Bergen, the Goddess ran off minutes after securing FF Ella to the quay. She was set on getting a shower at some old friend’s house, while the other crew-members had their eyes on a good old roll on the electric kickbikes to find a decent kebab. Showers are after all not a neccecity in cold weather when we are being Corona-prevented from hugging anyways.

Bergen hadn’t changed much since our last visit, on our northbound journey. The street May have been a bit more quiet, and all the bars were closed. Only the places that derved food were allowed to stay open, making the thirsty people of Bergen buy small cheap sandwiches next to their trays of beer. We were however tired after a long day of sailing, and turned in long before the Goddess returned from her showers.

Our plan in Bergen was to vist the aquarium. It was on Captain Simen’s to-do list and we finally had the chance to do it. The place is well worth a visit, and allthough a bit expensive it was a great activity.

To nights later our plan was to go on to Fitjar, a good 35 nautical miles down the coast. But once again the engine stoppes working due to the fault on the cooling-system. We had no choice but to find a safe harbour for the night while working out a permanent fix to the problem. Florvåg ended up being the place where we were allowed to stay for free through the night to solve the issue. Captain Simen worked his magic and cleaned out the whole system. It was clear that a good cleaning hadn’t been done in years and the next morning we felt confident to carry on.

Balto waiting for things to happen.

My originale plan was to pick up some lost time and sail quite a bit further than originally planned, but as darkness fell upon us and the ice cold winter presenter itself upon us, I decided that Fitjar was a good place after all. And as luck would have it they even had showers, it was a completely clean and well-smelling crew that woke up the next morning – just to learn that the boat was surrounded by ice.

FF Ella is built in Steel, so I wasn’t too worried about her as we spent the first hour pushing our way through a fairly thick layer of ice. Eventually we broke free and presented ourselves to the City of Haugesund, which is a great place to arrive in. You have the feeling of sailing straight through the city and they have pretty good prices for leasure-boats during the winter.

The next morning we sailed off early. The Goddess was once again deserting us and had decided to spend 24 hour on the car-ferry Stavangerfjord. Why to spend this much time on a ferry that run back and forth across a fjord is question only she can answer, but we let her ashore before continuing on toward Stavanger.

We are now secured in Dusavika where we will spend the next week. The Goddess have to go back to the inland to take care of something they call work before returning by an aeroplane on monday. We will then spend the coming three weeks to sail the southern part of Norway.

FF Ella resting in Bergen

Thanks to Chris who let us use his lot in Dusavika harbour for our stay in Stavanger. And please excuse the grammar in this post as it is written on my phone. Until next time,

Bon voyage, Captain Jack

Back from vacation

We’ve had a good stop, leaving the ship behind in Åndalsnes and ventured inland to tack down the Goddess. Balto the Great got to ride the infamous Rauma railway and to discover snow for the first time. The Captains finally had the chance to rest for a day or two in the winter-town of Lillehammer where Santa was busy working the streets. While waiting for the Goddess to finish up some undone business, like hunting down wolf-hunters and starting a new job, we had the luxury of hot showers and a full sized bed.

Balto missing the sea.

Finally it was time for us to return to our belowed vessel. Unattended for weeks FF Ella had accumulated a thick layer of heavy snow. We got enough shuffled off before darkness came upon us to get a good start the next morning.

FF Ella upon our return

There was of course a concern that the frost or someone had done some damage while we were gone, but we quickly learned that noone had touched the ship while we were gone. Not long after we got started the next morning there was however an issue with the cooling-system that had us power down for a good hour leavi g us in the faith of our sail while Captain Simen worked the problem.

Captain/mechanic Simen doing his thing.

One we learned what the problem was, we where soon back and running. The day had presented us with little wind, bud the sky was clear and at times the sun peaked down at us between the mountains. Our goal for the day was to reach Ålesund, some 50 nautical miles through the Romsdalsfjord and Midtfjorden.

We also spent the day cleaning off most of the remaining snow.

We reached Ålesund, got onto the mission of finding suitable drinking-water, made dinner and quickly turned in for the night. The next day was yet another long leg, the second on a row, but neccesary in order to stay ahead of a minor storm heading our way. Our plan for the day was to sail one of the most dangerous parts of the entire Norwegian coastline, the supposedly horrific Stadt; where winds and waves cross paths in all directions. But just as last time we crossed this sailors nightmare we couldn’t be luckier with the conditions.

We cruised through, and allthough we once again was delayed due to a faulting cooling-system and therefore completed the voyage in the dark, we reached our destination – the monestary on Selja, that noone know when was built.

There was of course no electrisity on the island, but we are prepared for condition like this and fired up the old alchol-stove for heating. After yet another long day and the Goddess’ awesome potato-stew we quickly turned in to prepare our bodies and soul for a whole day exploring the monestary and let Balto roam free for the first time in weeks.

In order to get moving and to fullfill our wish of drying our clothes, we made the two hour journey to Måløy in the afternoon. This allowed us to prepare for our next step to prevent ourselves from getting held back by the weather – next day by making our way to Florø, where we will be resting up and waiting out the worst of the icy rain that is currently washing off the rest of the ice covering the boat.

It’s great to be back and to make such good progress every day. Strange enough I guess since there is no concrete plans to how and when this adventure shall end. For now we are having Bergen and Stavanger on the list of ports to visit, but other than that.. Who knows..

Captain Jack

December already

It has been a while since our last update. Reason is simple; we have enjoyed a few weeks of slow sailing and and a whole lot of nothing. I suppose you can say we are charging our batteries for the months to come. Until now we have managed to stay ahead of the snow, but it looks like it is closing in and so are the Christmas holiday as we have entered the month of December.

We are currently located in Brekstad, in the outer part of the Trondheim fjord. The coming couple of days are supposed to be windy and we have yet to decide whether we will make the long journey into Trondheim City or continue down the coast. I guess we will opt for option two, since we already have visited Trondheim on our northbound journey. If that’s the case – our next port of call is Kristiansund.

I believe we had passed Steigen in our last post. Meaning we have spent a very long time on this stretch. We did take a couple of brakes, like two weeks in Rørvik and another one in Abelvær. The last one being a small village with a fish-packing factory and a few houses. It was a great little place to visit and also where we had our first day of snow.

Since we are now passing Trondheim, we are officially done with Northern Norway and are sailing onto the West coast. Luckily these waters offer a whole lot of protection cause the open water in the Norwegian sea can be pretty relentless this time of the year. Time will show how far we sail before we make a journey inland to spend Christmas there. We are coming up on a year spent with no visits inland, so that will be an adventure in itself.

Days fly by, and we are looking forward to when the days once again become longer, these days it’s starting to get dark around three, and with darkness come the cold. Good thing we have good clothes, but we are very much looking forward to the spring and packing our winter-clothes away.

I just wanted to let you all know we are doing great, despite going into half-hibernation and taking it slow. More blogs to come as soon as there is exciting news or the sun provides growth and warmer days. We wish you all a great December, write you soon!

Captain Jack

Leaving Troms and Finnmark

It’s been a while. Since arriving in Tromsø and leaving the Goddess behind the remaining crew have been in need of getting used to be back on the water and enjoy the way of the seas. It has been quite a journey and as these words are being hammered down we have already sailed south of Lofoten and is setting course for Bodø. Let me take you back a couple of weeks.

We spent a few extra days in the great city of Tromsø. An amazing stranger heard our cries for help and offered us a place to stay while the first storm on this side of summer raged across the country. Before we left we made sure to get ourselves a half day at the city’s new water world. Having had the best five showers of our lives we were ready to set sail again.

As the nomad-sailors we’ve become we had invited ourselves to dinner with our new friend Morten a few miles down the coast. Like many places in the North, finding safe anchorage is not always as easy as it sounds. But after introducing Morten to one of his neighbors that conveniently had a strong mooring we could safely take the small boat ashore and settle in for a great evening with great food, company, and a large collection of out of date beer. We also had a good chance to finally do some laundry. The party was so good we stayed with Morten for a whole extra day. The next day was a good relaxing day where we played instrument, painted pictures, built Lego and played the playstation. Ulf, Morten’s friend came by in the evening to talk about herbs and interview us for the radio-station he works at. New friends made, we once again hoisted our sails.

Photo by Morten

In our hunt for new places to take a shower we made the long trip to Finnsnes, with a quick stop in Gibostad to let Balto get his wishes fulfilled by hunting some birds and pee. Finnsnes, a town of which we visited on our journey North is a good place to spend a day or two. There is really not much going on, but they do have diesel, showers and NAV, a place good to visit if you need cash for the food and diesel to continue on. After a quick meeting we had once again restocked and bunkered for our journey forward.

We made the long journey to Harstad, a City we skipped on our way North to save time. Now we arrived right in the middle of a boat-party in the guest harbor. We were late for the sale of alcohol, but since my father studied in this city a few years back he pulled some contacts and we had him go to the store for us to secure a few beers to celebrate the weekend. It was a beautiful chaos of a weekend and we are happy to report a great stay in Harstad, so good that we also here stayed an extra day. To complete the stay we treated ourselves to a huge pizza at Milano restaurant and got up early next morning to leave before the harbor-master caught up with our missing port-fees.

We have not been blessed with good sail winds, so far, and on the next leg we also had some major currents against us. For an entire day we engined toward Tjeldsund, making only a few knots with max engine power. A waste of diesel of course but I had been misinformed regarding the direction of the tidal current, and well, it is what it is. We eventually made it to the place we had picked as our next port of call. Too late we realized to have entered a military area, I was in the middle of reefing the Jolly Roger when a couple of uniform came storm in toward us, explaining that we had passed way to close to one of their submarines and were to leave the area at once. Even we, don’t argue with the military, and even though it was already pitch dark outside we had to explain to the dog that his planned land-leave was pulled and it would take another couple of hours before he could get his evening walk.

Making dinner as we went, we had to cross a fjord in order to find a suiting place to stay. On the way there we finally had some good winds, sailing upwards of six knots, harboring for the night in Skarstad. Here however there is not much to see, but it was a nice quiet place with almost no cars on the road and only a couple of visible houses. To let Balto have some more shore-time we played the new norm and stayed an extra night.

Again, we are starting to look for showers, and a place to get coffee and therefore sat course for Korsnes. A small community, once the home of Knut Hamsun, with a nice little artistic village and a store. We were here for a couple of days, but soon enough it was time to go on, since Even the best places don’t always have showers for sailors like us.

That’s about the update I have for you this time. We are once again sailing and as the darkness once again is upon us we have sailed the entire day, and are now passing Steigen. We have found a harbor on the map, and it says there should be a shower there. Only time can tell.

Captain Jack

Thank you for this time

It’s been a few weeks since the Goddess left FF Ella for this part of the journey. These are her words to be shared with our followers. You’ll have to excuse the translation of the text as it is mostly done by Google. We of course know that we will see her soon enough, and the crew would like to thank her for her joining the start of this new adventure south.

The downturn that the journey is over has meant that I have spent an unbelievably long time formulating something this time. I have in many ways gone from one adventure to another. Because on my journey back to the future, I am now in the process of completing 10 weeks of student internship, which I need to get my further education approved. So it’s really forward-looking. It is my springboard into the future and away from Lillehammer.

I have been very aware that I will not be living in Lillehammer, but then there are situations that arise then, which one actually uses as excuses, then one becomes anyway. Be it children, work etc … For my part there are children … But they are big and independent, and not dependent on me in the same way. I have no contact with Yngstemann (the youngest) at the moment….. Therefore, I find the assessments even more difficult. But I’m afraid that it’s perceived as a total rejection if I move to another part of the country, that I make a bigger gap in the relationship than it is… It hurts, I feel sad and sad to feel rejected in this way. At the same time as I know that it is his detachment, his experiences to do, his way and go, with or without me. It helps little, and only comforts a little, because I am still his mother. Therefore, I use what is now difficult between him and me as an excuse not to move away from Lillehammer. Although I feel that there is not a single cell in my body that will be here.

The new is always a bit scary, that I have the opportunity is also something new..

With the last trip, I got the even stronger and stronger confirmed fall. So now there is no way back for me actually, I MUST go north, I MUST get to the sea! I MUST to the light in the dark, I MUST to the northern lights! Easily..

My dear wonderful brothers, you are really bringing new dimensions into my life! To have this honor of being their big sister touches me deep in my heart. You will ALWAYS have your place in my heart! Balto has his own aunt’s heart, no more to say about it.

This anniversary journey back to the future, has been magical simply!
It was great to travel to land north, magically to be on water with you again, and now in the air with, by me taking a plane home. To you other travelers who follow Harryfloats.com, I can really recommend this. Start a new trend, a “travel slow trend”. Then you get much more experiences on your travels.

Back to my anniversary tour, 25 years since I moved from Alta and 25 years since I moved to Lillehammer. It was absolutely fantastic to be back in Alta, I have longed for it … Oh now it happened.

It is not possible to pick out one highlight from this trip! Because NONE of them can be measured against each other! They are all unique in their own right, but it was unbelievably funny that I managed to surprise you, by arriving one day earlier than first said. I really should have had their faces and reactions on film. But they are well preserved in the heart.

To be able to join the drydock in Kåfjord, and help maintain FF Ella, I think gives my trip a special twist. Because it is easy to forget that maintenance is important, if you want many more experiences.

Bekkarfjord with its dazzling green mountains and a fantastic large mountain birch, is an experience worth seeking out for anyone who likes nature a little or very much.

Hammerfest with the urban, lots of great people we came in contact with, and in addition meet someone I know from life in the south, drive the light boat across the strait to get me a shower at a hotel, reindeer as a local lawnmower in a garden.. Absolutely wonderful!

On to Vinna, where I was on a summit trip in a life jacket, because that summit trip was only made because I was so in contact with my own flow. MAGICAL! Wonderful experiences with sky in fire and flame literally. Hasvik with skiing on NAV, turquoise sea and a fantastic sunset. Øksfjord where I really became one of the guys, host as close as I can get without surgery.

Personal hygiene and showering in the Barents Sea on the way across the Lopphavet. Sail into the sunset, end up in a harbor the gods know where, to get the most amazing northern lights fireworks no one can dream of after 12 hours at sea.

Then my thoughts suddenly began to swirl around as I began to approach Tromsø. Because there I had an eager soul who wanted to visit. I already had the apps for buses from my trip north. So it was as far as easy to follow. But finding out where the bus stops were in relation to marinas in unknown places, it was not as easy …

Then brother Jack comes out in the cockpit, where I sit at the helm in my wonderful “Tubbie Goddess suit”, “Maybe we should just sail to Tromsø tonight?” I felt it cheering inside me and the suit tingled. We set course and Tromsø became my last port for this time.

Leading FF Ella under the Tromsø Bridge, with strong currents between the buoys and a strong current that pulls southwards, is probably the boat technical highlight of this trip for me. Coordinating that the mast must hit as much as possible in the middle of the middle light of wood in the lower edge under the bridge, as well as following boat one in the currents gave me a level of tension I have rarely felt before. To then also play Kim Larsen’s song “This is my life” on speaker in the cockpit, at the same time as his eager soul sent messages and wanted to follow when we arrived at the port, it was just completely WILD.

  1. I hit with the mast just below the middle light
  2. I managed to feel the boat through first the current between the buoys.
  3. I also felt Ella in the southbound current right after the bridge, at the same time as I had a relatively good overview of depth, because the entrance to Tromsø marina is relatively shallow.
  4. The man with his eager soul came and brought me home to visit him.

I became really ill when I came ashore after 10 hours of sailing which ended in the evening darkness. Dizzy, rocking all the time and the light in the shops was as if you put 1000-meter headlights for a car 5 hm from my eyes … Really disgusting and strange. I felt weird, this is completely normal .. The lights in the shops are normal, the ground, the floor and the ground on land do not rock … It was me who was weird in that context. But I’m generally well used to it, and no one but his eager soul knew who I am, in that part of the country, so that was very fine.

I had some wonderful days visiting, where I literally came back and in contact with Bakkejorda again. Cuddle me! The return to the future was completed on September 18, birthday weekend for my oldest son and change content in the bag to start my internship period of 10 weeks Monday, September 21st.

This is my ticket away from Lillehammer in the form of approved further education after finishing my internship, which allows me to apply for many different jobs and apply north 🤩

My life’s back to the future is now a reality; CHECK ✔

Never give up your dreams, they will be real. I know, I’m living ​​mine 💜

Until we read again;
Ship o’hoy from the Tubbie Goddess

A stormy week in Tromsø

We have been storm-locked in Tromsø for over a week. It has been a great experience and even though the snow has fallen on the peaks surrounding us we are far from tired of this city, it is still time for the crew of FF Ella to head in the southern direction. On our northbound journey we didn’t have near as a great experience of Tromsø. Back then it was snow everywhere, the harbor here is crazy expensive and everything was closed due to the corona situation.

Sailing here, was close to impossible due to the growing finds featured by the leftover from the storm Sally far far away from here. Therefore we engined our way through the fjords enclosing Tromsø city. We had put an add online to beg any good soul to provide a safe harbor for us to ride out the coming storm and within hours we had a great offer from a good guy. He had a spot in the down-down bay that was sitting unused for the coming weeks. We realize that these kind of harbor-lets don’t have the most positive recognition among harbor-masters but he obviously must have accepted cause we are still here a week and a half later.

The winds have calmed down and today is the last supposed day of rain for as long as the forecast can tell, meaning we will have some great sailing weather for the coming week. But firstly it is time to reflect on our visit in town.

Arriving, the Goddess left us straight away. She had arranged a few days on solid ground before flying south to start her new job inland. We were however offered a ride to the bar where her friend works and was offered a couple of beers to celebrate some pretty great weeks at sea. On our way back we got to experience walking in Tromsø by night and although not the biggest city on earth it do offer most of the perks of larger nests. A great variety of shops and bars, hotels, university, walking streets parks and restaurants.

The people we have met has proved to be very friendly and helpful. A week ago we met the Captain, Captain Per, of a catamaran and was offered a daylong hire to crew on a tour with five fishing-tourists. It, of course, sucked for recruit Balto to stay back in the boat all day, but he managed well as we navigated an 8 meter wide catamaran safely for the first time in our lives. It was a our second great experience of our stay.

We have of course, walked the streets a whole bunch. It is a nice place to just walk around, despite also offering some elevation whenever your turn your no out of the city center. We went back to that bar we visited the first night one evening and what do you know, another round of beers headed our way. To top it off we met the sister (and father) of previous recruit Morten back on FF Harry a couple of years ago and Gin&Tonic was a fact. Morten’s sister invited us to share two entire bottles of Sake back in the boat and what-do-you know – we had to spend the entire next day ridding ourselves of a pretty numbing hungover.

Skipping ahead a couple of days the storm really hit Tromsø for real. We were still a few nautical miles north of where the worst of the storm hit, but we had to deal with quite a few strong winds and some heavy rain. FF Ella handled it as a queen and we had no problems, except starting to run out of movies to watch. Another problem was starting to rise; the crew was for real starting to need a deep cleaning and we settled around the problem solving table once again.

Balto loving to wait out storms.

The solution proved to be found on the internet. We discovered that aside from a whole bunch of gyms and other sportly facilities, Tromsø have recently built their very own miniature water-world. Despite its compact size the place offered everything from saunas and steam-baths to hot tubs, slides, an outdoor pool and a full Olympic sized pool. Once again we had to leave recruit Balto behind to watch the ship while we went on adventure, but we have never returned cleaner to the boat, ever. I believe the last time I was swimming anywhere was back on Malta over a year ago. A bit strange maybe for someone living their life onboard a boat. This is however Arctic waters and I think I can speak for both Captains when saying that we prefer warmer waters.

See you later Tromsø!

As mentioned, the snow has started to cover the mountains around us, meaning we are sort of running out of time if our goal is to escape the worst of winter. But is it? We’ll see. For now we are recharging all batteries and getting FF Ella shipshape for departure. All I know is that there is no other storms in the horizon, but they tend to come quickly. Let’s just find out where we end up next.

Captain Jack

Under the Northern Lights

We topped our tanks of diesel and had a great evening with visiting recruit Marirus and his Juliet in Øksfjord. Next morning while Captain Simen was still sound asleep we started on our voyage toward Tromsø where the Goddess is supposed to fly out from sometime this week. The day was among the best we’ve ever had onboard. The sun required t-shirts, sunglasses and happy faces. Although there was no wind and we had to engine our way, passing the island of Loppa and the infamous Lopphavet, which supposedly offer some hard to handle weather at times. We know nothing of this which the Goddess can swear to as she took a bath in the dinghy, towed behind the mother ship.

By the time sunset was on the schedule, we had anchored in a small bay with an open view to the Barents Sea outside. Dinner was made and also the decision to continue due to an uncertain weather-report of strong winds both to our North and South. We don’t kid around when it comes to weather, besides the crossing we had to do wouldn’t be much pleasant in rain. Therefore, once we had re-attached the anchor, we set course into the night. The moon is skinny these days, and offered an amazing view of a starlit sky above us as we made our way through plankton-sparkling water. Then, out of the darkness around us, the most amazing Northern lights set fire to the sky in green, purple and all in between. It continued into the night as we found a small harbor, and we could rest after a 13 hour voyage, leaning into the Troms part of Troms and Finnmark county.

We made the choice to sail directly to Tromsø. The forecast for the coming week is building up toward some serious indoor-time. According to the weather gods we are welcoming a new great flood this week, and needless to say this do not comply with great enjoyment at sea. As we sailed toward town, or engined, I should say, as we had headwinds and currents against us the entire day – we got a message from a great guy named Rikard, offering us a place to put our ship since his boat would be gone for the coming weeks. We gladly accepted since we, to be honest, is on the super-budget part of this journey.

This is our second visit to Tromsø, and the city is proving to be much better without snow and everything closed down due to pandemics. When we arrived, we were met by Morten, the doorman that has offered to take the Goddess to the airport, also offered the two Captains a couple of brews at the bar he makes his living. We like beer and let Balto stay behind to contemplate by himself for an hour or two.

We have already had time to do a bit of sightseeing and are rapidly approaching the coming days of rest onboard. There is also a few plans to clean up the ship, ourselves and get some new fixes in order before we continue. But I am also looking forward to reset and prepare for the continuation of the expedition next week.

Captain Jack