It was dark. Pitch dark. My barefoot feet was planted on the warm rocks in Pirate Bay. I could hear it coming towards me across the water. The wind had spent the last few hours sending warnings from the east, and Thor had already proven he was likely to explode within minutes. The pressure throughout the week had been building toward this exact moment. The heat had broken all historic records just hours before. We had been waiting for months.
And then it came. Not slowly or quiet, but like a waterfall, like a gift from the universe. We screamed toward the sky and could feel the forest wake up ta a gigantic show, a miracle and blessing from the sky was finally here.
I hurried inside our holistic research vessel and pushed my face toward the Plexiglas windows. The hard drops could easily be felt through the thick material and the sky flared with huge flashes. The lightning-show we needed to really enjoy this long wanted miracle. At first i thought we had a leak in the ceiling, but soon realized it was tears of joy.
Sound of thunder rumbling over the water and sometimes making the ship vibrate in until now unknown reasons. We went to bed after hours of just taking everything to our hearts – and behind the darkest sky in months, the last energy of the full moon sent psychotic dreams from other dimensions.
The next morning it was over. Sometime during the night it had all cleared up. But the forest had gotten it’s first real wash this summer and were now ready for new life changing adventures.
Clouds are covering the sky and rain is supposed to hit us any minute. The crew onboard has decided it is time for us to take a couple of days in our secret camp located in the pirate bay. Me, I had enough this morning when I dropped a cannonball on my left big toe. We are taking this opportunity of what is supposed to be a couple of days with “bad” weather to clean up the ship, camp, ourselves and get our heads back in place before launching a new week of merchant-labour between the hundreds of canoeists surrounding the lake.
The last week has been long and amazing, so many things have happened – so many canoeists have been met. The rumor of the FF Harry has given us 16 hour workdays. We are of course very sorry that we couldn’t reach you all. There is in reality just way to many thirsty paddlers around. However – we have had a blast of a time with those of you we spent time with! Those we talked to for a few minutes, but maybe mostly those we spent a whole day, evening or an hour with.
Even though there is more than enough to do when daylight is frying our brains, you guys can not even imagine how many flashlights trying to get our attention there is as soon as the darkness swallow the amazing nature surrounding us all over the lake.
Alright, a short, and confused summary from the Captains Log: After two extremely long days of work we kidnapped two canoeists in the middle of the night and brought them to the secret camp in pirate bay to party. The next morning we took them all the way up past The bridge to civilization to Töcksfors, had an amazing burger-meal, and spent a nice evening at the local pub before all of us that didn’t fit onboard collapsed on the dock. Next morning we had to sluss our way up to the place where we get our goods and also sent the canoeist away on the bus to Oslo before having meatballs for breakfast at Joe’s Diner.
After yet another loooong day of work we met up with first one group of amazing people, then continued on to work for another few hours before ending up in the camp of yet another thirsty group we had promised to meet up with. But our daily round was still not over and there was flashing lights from all the islands on the lake. We simply had to put most of our new friends onboard and continue on with our mearching. Maybe it was already at this point our newest crew-member met his future wife to be.
Anyway, after another couple of hours it was time to call it quits for the day. We ended our round with a stop with two friends we had met on Saturday. Dennis, and this Indian guy which name is lost but he had still not been in the water. He couldn’t swim, even though Dennis promised us to give him a lesson. Of course, right after he bought his very much wanted expensive pack of cigarettes he had to take a bath in the water as he fell out of our ship. It was the most expensive cigarette of his life.
Back in the other camp we made a little party. After all this was the first day of the full moon. Of course without any fire. The canoeists are not even aloud to use their gas-stoves anymore because of the fire hazard. It got late and by the end we left Varg in the camp with his new flirt before the two captains sat course for the pirate bay. We didn’t get far, and decided to drop anchor a nautical mile later.
The next day, yesterday, we sold everything we needed without even starting the engine. People came to us and we decided to organize a full moon party at a small island a bit further north. Both inviting the first group we visited and the one we had spent the night with. When Dennis and the bad swimmer showed up we then brought the whole group, towing their canoes away from the deadly sun an into to shade of The sacred place.
A few hours later we took all the canoes back across the water and met up with the other party-people on full moon island. There wasn’t very much beer left, but we had a couple of cases and tortillas for all! It was a very nice evening. Great way to get to know new friends and put strangers together successfully.
The next morning we towed them all back to Lennartfors where they all had canoes to return, buses to catch and new adventures awaiting in the days to come.
Here comes the rain and lightning! Time for us to seal up the ship and eat some pirate-ravioli.
Ahoy! It’s Wednesday morning. We have just finished our morning coffee and for once the sky is partly cloudy. Didn’t really stop the heat from waking us up at respectively 7 and 8 in no particular order – giving us something like a 2-3 hour sleep. But everybody knows that pirates doesn’t really sleep unless they pass out. We’ve been working hard for the last couple of days and are now debating whether Wednesdays is a good day for days off. Problem is the same as usual; all the canoeists are craving beer, soft drinks, candy and bread in this inhuman stroke of sun-blast summer, and we are all out again. This of course is no problem, there will always be more to come. But this morning it seems like we should prioritize our dishes. There is no more forks left.
We have made friends with several of the locals too, not only the wonderful canoeists (and recently also some kayakists) we see every day. This of course was probably just a question of time, since we are smoothly sailing the only pirate-ship around. It is however very nice to finally have confirmed that the word of the lake is of the positive kind. Not like some countries where pirates are met with water canons, machine-guns and hangings. A big shutout to Big Mama! We’ve been trying to contact this wonderful SABB-running vessel for weeks, and yesterday we were finally able to bord the ship on our way, delivering an order to some very patient campers in DANA-camp 16. Great crew and great dancers onboard what the Captain called his blues-boat!
In other news, we are still waiting for our new crew-member who seemingly has gotten lost somewhere in the woods outside Oslo. Last contact made last night and there is a possibility for boarding today.
No news from Simba, but like we tell our parents: no news, is good news. Go out, enjoy the sun. Order something from FF HARRY and follow us on instagram @simengeorg, @jackmikkel and #FFHARRY.
FF Harry is telling you NOT not to make fires! We sail the waters every single day. We meet a lot of canoeists and most are taking the fire-prohibition seriously. Some are not. We dedicate this blog-post as a warning for all of our English-speaking friends on the water. Many of you read this blog and we ask you please to reconsider use of open flames, even when camping on islands. As of right now there is hundreds of small or raging fires all around this part of Scandinavia and I think most would agree that there is no need for more heat this year.
Every single record is broken, then only record that can break this years dry, heat and warm summer will be the years to come. If you read this and has already made your fire for the night, please wait one extra day and water well before you leave your fire-site. There has been some close calls around already.
For our Scandinavian readers, here’s our report as of friday 13th of July:
We feel sorry about having to post this warning, but we’d rather not have to assist the firedepartment into the late darkness again. The fire was put out by the morning. This time. 🙄
Yup, he has really taken his role as a shipmate seriously. He has been with us since long before the beginning. But it’s time for Simba to get all four legs back on land. At least for a while. It took a few days in the beginning for the poor guy to get comfortable with his new floating reality, but as the awesome kittycat he is – he took to spend the hot summerdays onboard eating and shitting like a real shipcat do. And we haven’t seen any mice so he must’ve been doing his thing. But like the real pirate cat he have learned to become – he doesn’t have the necessary papers to live or even be outside the borders of Norway. But since we consider FF Harry both stateless and sometimes a little Norwegian, he has been within the laws onboard.
Since our plan is to continue this journey through the EU we can not really travel with illegal immigrants onboard #ffharry. He’s been great company and has behaved like a cat. That is why in a couple of hours he will be kidnapped by uncle Sander in Østre Otteid. I’m sure he will miss us very much – especially now that he is finally back from his 9 day long solo-adventure in Töcksfors. Thanks to the tight cat-community and a little bit of Facebook in this little Swedish village we were never really concerned about his safe return to the ship. And voila, here he is packing his bags to go back to the safe haven of Lisleby, Norway. Besides, he would probably really prefer some better air-conditioning than Harry can offer.
In other news; FF Harry is doing great! There is still weeks and hundreds of hours onboard before we leave this wonderful lake. The heat is close to killing the woods and fires are raging everywhere in both south Norway and Sweden. The crew has therefor desired to follow the fire prohibition, that now also includes cigarettes. We are serving dosins of canoeists every single day from early afternoon to a long long time past bedtime. Orders are coming in by e-mail and Instagram. We’ve had people waiting close to 48 hours before we can get them their fruit, candy, energy-bars or beer. If you are waiting for us, we are happy to say we will find you sooner or later.
One small complaint: Swedes really suck on their diesel-prices. We just paid 51 Euro for 27,3 liters. Giving us a running cost of over 2 Euro every hour.
But more good news: A new crew member is joining us on monday! They come and go from all places, but this will be our third addition from Finnmark. We’ll of course be wishing him welcome like only pirates do.
We are proud to present our new business. Earlier mentioned, we didn’t care too much about those canoeist. Now they are paying our bills and in addition giving jobs to the crew members. There are literary hundreds of canoe-people being shipped in from Germany by buses and it would be unfair to our cash-flow not to take advantage of this whole situation. The pirate-supermarket has been running for a week and it’s fair to say that the payoff is good. Of course, keeping a crew of 3 fed and diesel for the ship also has it’s costs. But then again, we are the only supermarket around. Meaning the canoeists would spend an entire day of their week-long journey just to get a case of beer or some snack, toilet paper, sunscreen or candy.
We should also mention that all cash coming in is essential for us sluice ourselves all the way to Stockholm in a month or so. We meet a lot of great people everyday and try not to disturb those who came to enjoy just the nature. Right now we have just finished a long day of work and are heading for Töcksfors to drop off our latest crew-member. He’s catching the bus to Oslo and then a flight to Alta. Like mentioned; the days pass by like they where never even there. The heat is controlling everything and lucky for us – that brings us a lots of thirsty Germans. Of course we see some other nationalities as well, but the German people really seem to like the idea of canoeing ((even though they seem to have a little trouble getting into the whole paddle-towards goes forward, paddle-away goes backwards. Then again they have to work together to make it all work out in then end. When they are finally back i camp- FF Harry comes around with some snacks, beer, cigarettes and candy and we’ready for a new round tomorrow.
Tonight we are staying in Tőcksfors. The town is alright, but has really nothing too it unless your a Norwegian looking for sweet deals on food, candy and tobacco. Which we will need for the coming days. We wish we had a way to store cold beverages, meat and that kind of stuff. Many has been asking us, for both cold drinks and meat, nothing we can do… sorry. Global warming is here…
Thais will be the update of the week. We have stuff to take care of, mouths to feed and way too much to do before the big freeze comes around in a few months.
We meant of course to write a blog way sooner, but there is always something going on in our pirate-life. Besides of not having access to any well-functioning computer to write on – this is really the first day since our last post, I’ve had the time to sit down for a couple of hours. We’ve had guests and people to meet, a runaway cat to find, been busy getting our pirate-supermarket business going, and not to forget; a fantastic ship to take care of.
We’ve just sent off our so far youngest crew-member on the bus back home. We named him Småblæik. And there is still a few hours before we get a new crewmember boarding for the week or weeks to come. We’ve also had a short visit from another pirate, but I won’t really say he has left us, yet, since most of his belongings are still in his tent. The cat took off too. He has been gone for five days now, probably hunting down the village-cats around.
FF Harry is doing good. He has not shown us any symptoms of trouble, which is good because we really need him to do his job as a merchant ship. We are now officially ready and have already been delivering beer and simple food to canoeists around the lake we are currently occupying. We do of course have some pretty steep prices, but then again we have had 4 pirates and a ship to pay for and the paddlers, mostly Germans, may, of course, feel free to paddle the 8 hours it would take them to get to the closest supermarket.
What else… There has been so much really! It’s hard to explain everything in one post like this. But we have been taking some great foto’s and they might do a better job describing the last week or two than we can manage in the amazing heat we are experiencing. Also, I should really be helping out with the cleaning of the ship and then go look for the cat. Again. 🙂