Hard days at sea

The nice old couple that let us use their dock proved not to be as nice after all the next morning. The old man was cool enough, but his wife was screaming something in Swedish about calling the police in the background. So I told her we would move the boat. After breakfast. “That’s a late breakfast!” she yelled back – I didn’t bother explaining to her that her husband had given us permission the night before, something he obviously hadn’t informed her of. Or maybe he did and she just wouldn’t listen. I started the engine and powered about 150 meters down-shore and anchored there, making sure we were clearly visible from the dock. Take that – you xenophobic hag.


There was still no wind. Not a breeze – and the forecast was scattered rain, so we settle in for another night in the area. Luckily for us this was an area with an OK internet coverage, read; we got to catch up on some visual entertainment. We also have plenty of books to read and yours truly was in the mood to get some writing done. The deck seem to be a perfect nurturing ground for moss and algae so I have done my best to scrub it with saltwater. This is supposed to do the job but I have a feeling that the problem is growing a bit deeper. We will have to sand down everything and coat it well with some sort of natural oil, but that’s a long term project as it at the moment is way too wet to do any good sanding.


Captain Simen climbed the mast again. This time it was to make an attempt on switching the VHF antenna with the one we had on our last boat. When I say he climbed the mast that mean I winched him up in a harness and of course he forgot the antenna on the boat, but it didn’t matter since it wouldn’t fit the connection after all.

We had a nice evening and went pretty early to bed in order to be well rested for the day to come. According to the weather Gods the wind was supposed to be in our favor and we were looking forward to get moving south.


We woke up to a tiny breeze. Once again we were forced to make use of the engine. It’s not like it use a ton of diesel, but we are at the moment in a situation where every drop counts. As the day progressed the wind picked up to something at least sailable, the problem was that whatever course we sat the wind turned with us so we always had to sail straight into the wind.

Not a happy Captain

The good old engine had to take over and I was in my worst mood so far on this journey. It didn’t get much better as we anchored up just outside Västervik. Because we can’t really pay any marina, we found a nice spot just outside of one. Because the weather was supposed to pick up much more this evening we secured ourselves by also stretching a line into the rocky shore. Pulling our boat with my teeth while rowing our tiny dinghy toward land was not my favorite moment either.


With the boat finally secure we decided to take the boat into land again. This time to spend the very rest of our cash on a box of snus. As we sat down in the dinghy it started pouring down. We were wet within the minute, but nothing stops us when there is snus on the line. First we went ashore in an area that was strictly fenced in and secured by Securitas and barb-wire. Our next try led us right into a dense forest-area with thorns and bushes everywhere. We tried for a bit, but after plenty of scratches and slippery rocks and whatnot we were forced to turn around again. As the rain came down heavy with full force we finally found a place with clear access to the road.

After about twenty minutes we found a store, did our business and our mood lightened. Life is not a dance on roses, but my hands and legs are full of their thorns at the moment. Tomorrow will be a new day, a new month. September ends here in Västervik and I can’t wait to see what October holds for us. Hopefully a more cooperating wind. Good night.

Captain Jack

Waiting for wind

Sailing out of Valdemarsvik is close to impossible due to the wind constantly working against you in between narrow mountains. We ended up motoring half the way and then tacking like crazy to get out toward more open water. Due to this 2 step forward 1,5 backward tactic it took us the whole day. But what won’t we do to save the little we have left in our tiny tank of diesel.


We didn’t get far that day, but didn’t plan for it either. The plan was just to get out of the fjord so we could start sailing south the next morning. However as we checked the weather it promised both rain and close to no wind for a couple of days. Half an hour before it got dark outside we pulled up in a nature harbor shielded for the worst of the rolling waves coming in from the open sea and settle nicely in between the anchor and a rope tied to land. As the rain hammered on the boat we cooked up the catch from last nights dumpster-dive and settled in for a pretty early night whilst the waves rocked us gently like a cradle. 


The next morning we slept in. Since there was no wind to speak of anyway we decided to only move an hour or two down the coast in order to find ourselves a more suited place to wait for some better conditions. Later in the day the wind disappeared almost completely. Meaning for the first time we were stuck due to nice weather. It took us a while to find a good place to stay. Luck would have it that we found a small dock actually big enough for our somewhat larger specimen of a home. The place is called Meta, and the property was owned by an older couple that used the place as a summer-home and luckily let us use their charming harbor area until the weather would let us continue. 

There will of course be many more of these unforeseen little stops on our way – so we better get used to them. The good thing is that it give us time to fix all the stuff onboard that we would like to get in order. But since the boat is still new to us, we haven’t really gotten a good overview over what all these things are yet. To complete stuff there is also some things like paint, brushes, sanding machines and certain ropes that we still need to find or purchase in order to complete. Other things come down to us getting used to be back at this rutine of living on a boat. The last part is going pretty well and we have now stored most of the basic food like rice, pasta, onions and potato.

Captain Simen has been sanding down the port side of the cockpit.

One of the main things we have to get used to is keeping enough fresh water in store. I would personally like to add another big tank for this purpose, but then again, here in Scandinavia it is pretty easy to find fresh water – at least now before all the marinas turn off their faucets completely in preparation of the winter season catch up for real.

Captain Simen have been working on our Patreon-account. This is a great way to follow our journey and be part of what we do. We would very much appreciated your support on the way. Going back in time we have been very lucky and had many people support our adventure. Like the great elderly couple letting us use their dock this weekend, a few great invitations for dinner and story time, a jug of diesel or oil or just a good conversation and advice on weather and culture. Patron alkow you to help out in the long run, and included thousands of creators and People like us that is presenting their lives and projects. We would appreciated if you take the time to check out our Patreon by following this link.


We will also be looking for small jobs on the way. So if you are in need of help for a day or two and you discover our presence to where you live – please don’t hesitate to contact us!

The rain is back and so is Captain Simen from his walk in the forest. I will put on some tea and get out a good read from our growing library onboard. A warm cup of tea and a perifere plan of dinner is the next step this Saturday afternoon.

Captain Jack

A visit in Valdemarsvik

It took us of course forever to figure out what was wrong with the starter. We tried charging the start-battery and then jump-start it with equipment borrowed from the wharf. In the end we didn’t see any other option but to invite one of the resident mechanics onboard. He had told us to knock on the starter with a hammer, cause these types of starter-engines had a tendency to get stuck sometimes. The knocking didn’t work. But then, very well hidden behind the batteries we found an 80 amp blown fuse.


Pew! We could get going. The journey from the wharf to Valdemarsvik is not really one for sailing. Instead we made the engine do the work while my new best friend, the autopilot, made the four hour passage a pleasant one. We had decided to come to this little town due to a cheap guest harbor and washing facilities we had been wanting for a long time. Our last shower was actually back on Malta, it was time to get ourselves cleaned up and somewhat presentable again.


My father came around. It was actually pretty great, I hadn’t seen him in about two years. No hard feeling of course, we have just been riding different horses. While in harbor we caught 3 fishes and they played the part of an amazing little snack later that evening, served with a box of red wine.


The next morning there was another 16 fishes in the cage. Since we were going out sailing we let them back in the water and went for a short morning walk downtown Valdemarsvik before we went on a mini-trip for the following night. We made a deal with the tourist office that we could extend our stay with an extra day. I also got the short version of the towns history by the nice lady in the tourist office.


Valdemarsvik has a long history dating all the way back to the year 1500bc, This era was part of the bronze-age and the Town and it’s surrounding have throughout time been heavily invested in mining for metals in the surrounding landscape. It was established a marketplace in the bay already in the year 1630 and have also a very long tradition for leather production. Back in the good old days this industry employed over 700 people. Today there is about 3000 people that call this very nice little town for home.


This is the kind of town where people say hi to each other. Walking down the streets here you can’t help but feeling welcomed. They are genuinely interested in you and this was a welcome change from how we’ve been living since we left our earlier boats. People will be people everywhere, but when they have the time it takes to get to know new people it is very easily taken into the calculations on how we feel about the places we live or visit. Valdemarsvik is a great place to live out your years on this planet, I don’t know if I can give it a higher praise.


We took the time to bring my father the 3-4 hours out the fjord. A great opportunity to learn how the other berths onboard works. We tacked 12 times, of which two of them could’ve been done much smoother, but in the end we found a perfectly secluded bay for the night.

This morning we returned to town. We have laundry to take care of and a boat to clean. There is also some minor projects we would like to fix. Because of this we will hang around for a couple of days before we continue southward in direction of our next port of call; Kalmar. We’ll of course visit plenty of other places on the way. It’s kind of exciting since the waters ahead of us represent places we have never seen before. We won’t be back in familiar waters until we hit the border of Norway – whenever that may be.

Captain Jack

Back in the Baltic sea!

Getting back in salty water have been one of our main goals since we came back to Sweden. When the boat was ready to rock we said goodbye to Södertälje and called on the bridge-master to open the gates. Since we are raging more than fifteen meters over water-level the bridge had to be opened. We then entered the single lock that lowered us 0.7 meters down and released us to the same water touching all the worlds oceans.


It still took us about 4 hours to exit the long arm of a fjord leading out to the Baltic sea. But it was an amazing ride. The weather was magnificent, spoiling us with a 19 degree, sunny breeze. This might be the warmest day we’ll see of Scandinavia in 2019. Since it was so calm we let the sail, engine and autopilot do most of the work onboard and we ended up sailing almost double the distance from our original plan. This took us to the small lighthouse island of Hävringe which up until 1986 served as a pilot station for ships trying to master the Swedish archipelago.

IMG_20190922_090602.jpgManeuvering this part of the world is quite a task for any sailor out there. It is no way we would’ve followed the route we did if we didn’t have our digital equipment onboard, also we are getting quite familiar with this particular part of the coast. Not to forget that the weather this afternoon was just spectacular. There is shallows, islands and reefs just about everywhere you look and there is with no surprise you’ll find plenty of shipwrecks on the charts of these waters.


We had a great night after a long tiring day of sailing and were expecting some pretty good winds the following day. True enough, and as always with these two Captains set of on adventure there is always a steep learning curve.. The forecast said it would be cloudy and somewhere around 0.7 meters waves. True enough was it cloudy, but we got to test the ships abilities in double the wave-size and quite a bit of wind. It was awesome. Our goal was to reach the wharf where our previous ship is resting and awaiting a patient, caring and handy new owner. It is also where our journey southbound by boat ended about 11 months ago.


I must admit, it was quite a mess inside good old Harry Louella. We kind of lived onboard while it was hauled up on land awaiting our plans to come together back then. And the smell hadn’t changed a bit. Mostly diesel, but now also a pretty good stench of good old fashion mold after what must have been a pretty moist winter. Other than now also being in need of a complete change of curtains, mattresses and pillows she was in pretty good shape and I’m sure any potential owner will be thriller to take her on as a new project.

We spent a couple of hours cleaning out our salvageable belongings, it did after all almost sink twice, so things like books and some electrical stuff and tools and so on was nothing we would bring with us. Two things we really wanted was our solar panel and the weather station. Then of course there was our fishing gear and other items like spices, kitchen knives, the fly smacker and some other small things we even forgot we once possessed.


When all this was done and we had carried everything back to our new home, it took us a few minutes to get organized and then karma decided we needed a little kick in the ass. Since we haven’t been connected to shore-power since Västerås – the start-battery decided this would be a great time to flat out die on us. This mean we are now stuck on the same place as our beloved Harry Louella until people here come back to work tomorrow morning and can lend us a hand once again.

I don’t care any more. At least we get to sneak ourselves to a free night at a dock and won’t have to drop anchor in unfamiliar waters in the dark. We’ll deal with this mess tomorrow.

Captain Jack

Two nights in Södertälje

We spent a day in Södertälje. There was a couple of things in need of fixing before we could proceed through the locks into the salty waters of the Baltic sea. The crew, now very much out of shape after having spent ten months in the Maltese islands, was also ready for some good rest, an anchor-beer and a docking-day. We found a nice spot next to the coast guard station and figured no-one would bother or make us pay for our little stay there.


We are spending some time learning how to conserve electricity, water and heat onboard. We always have the option of running the engine for an hour – to charge the battery and to run the built in heater onboard. It use heat from the engine, but we are still working on how to cheapest and quickly heat up our home in the morning. Whenever connected to shore-power this isn’t an issue – but we have no plans of making too much use of the expensive marinas on our way.

We were basically just doing minor adjustments. The mainsail need to be re-threaded, it had probably been a while since it was taken down so some of the clips had come lose. The anchor needed to have a clip for easier use, the dinghy had to be tied down properly and the autopilot had to be tightened with a rubber-band to function without slack. Captain Simen also spent some time fixing the adjustment-stick for the heater. It was quite a task since the wooden box containing the heat-fan was last opened in 1996.


We also wanted to get back to our sweat-coin app that pay you for walking. So we have made some cash walking around the nice little city of Södertälje.

Located only 20 minutes with train from Stockholm it is a natural place to live for commuting workers who is not employed by the industry located in Södertälje itself. The City is however home to some huge factories like the one that make Scania trucks. It was established back in the 1300 era and is today one of two places where you can make use of the now expanding locks to the Baltic’s. It is also home to the Tom Tits Experiment, a fun little park with all sorts of stuff. I guess you could classify it as a technical museum, part amusement-park. We didn’t pay to go in since it was mostly little kids inside, but we got a good idea of what it was all about from peeking through the fence. They also had an free open bathroom on the outside, a much needed break.

The oldest steam powered boat with it’s original engine still in use also have Södertälje as it’s home port. During the summer you can go for a ride in this amazing boat built in 1880 at Göteborg mekaniska Werkstad. Until 1906 she was in use for transport of people and goods on lake Roxen, a little further inland. We actually passed lake Roxen with FF Harry about fifteen months ago. 22,4 meter long and 4,5 meter wide SS Ejdern takes ninety passengers and is worth a visit if you come around these parts of the world. If for nothing else to pay respect to this amazing piece of historic machinery. She does 8 knot with a 64 horsepower engine running on rock coal.


The most important issue we had to solve was our broken steam-light. That is the white light pointing forward on the boat and is one of those few things that are actually illegal not to have in order. This meant hoisting Simen up the mast and have him figure out what was wrong. Lucky for us it was another simple fix, a quick change of the bulb solved the rest of our problems. We should be officially ready to set sail again tomorrow morning.

Captain Jack


Free at last!

Our first couple of days back on the water have been totally great. There isn’t many other boats left out here, the season is obviously over for most seasonal seafarers in year 2019. We’ve had no trouble yet – except the engine overheating a tiny bit as we were pulling into this evenings anchorage.


Three days ago, the day before we left Västerås we went shopping again. We were in need of a couple of things onboard to make life easier. Captain Simen had calculated that we could save up toward 30 watts an hour from our power bank onboard, much more in the future. For now we are sailing with only the generator in the engine as source for charging our growing need for battery power. In short we are going LED, throughout the ship. Our budget for now have however only allowed us to change six of our bulbs, but the rest will follow asap.


We also picked up a few other things and had our first cup of cappuccino in months to celebrate ourselves a littlebit before departure. The main reason for us to take this last trip to the city center was to withdraw cash to pay for the boat. A good friend of us had given us a short term loan until our own money kick in about ten days from now, and we were then finally able to buy our way out of the harbour.


Extracting 20 thousands Swedish Kroner however is close to impossible. If you have read this blog for a while, you’ll know that Sweden is on good way to be come the first country to become one hundred percent cashless. Which sucks bigtime. We visited all the banks in the entire city but none of them kept cash at all – and the ATM’s would only give us two thousand kroner. Why an entire country don’t use their own currency and have total faith in the banks is beyond me. Even the guy at Forex bank looked at me in despair, his eyes were begging for help and understanding for what is going on in his country. In the end we ended up making ten separate withdrawals using two different cards. For this we paid sky high fees, adding to our already extensively shrinking budget.


As we returned to the ship Kaj, his wife Åsa and daughter Kaisa were hiding from the cold breeze in their car on the dock. Once again they brought a bunch of extra gear for the boat to give us. I’m sure we must be getting close to an entire spare engine in parts – which of course is very good, besides we can use the ballast. After signing the last piece of papers Kaj handed over the keys and the boat were finally and officially ours. Before we parted they were kind enough to drive us to a gas station so we could full our jerry-cans with diesel.

The next morning we were ready. After loading the dinghy up front and retrieving our land-power cord locked in on the dock we started the engine for the first time and powered off into freedom. She is extremely easy to handle and have a much better reaction time than any of our previous boats. We didn’t sail much the first day. Only by a little help from the Genoa we made 19 nautical miles before we found an awesome little bay shielded from all weather and waves. After anchoring we made our way with the dinghy to explore the surrounding forest and pick some mushrooms for dinner.


Today we have mainly been sailing. Once we were clear from å huge swing-bridge we raised both sails and made it passed the 6 knot mark in 5 meter a second wind. I am not yet ready to describe to you the feeling of turning off the engine and be completely propelled by the wind. Knowing that this is our home and life again really makes life worth living.

As we turned in between the islands we had decided would make a great halfway-point for our next port of call; Södertälje – Simen noticed that the temperature gauge for the engine was peaking on red. Something was wrong. Once we had tied the boat to the rocks of an inhabited island named Linön we checked the fresh-water cooling tank which proved to be only a quarter full. We are putting all bets on that our refill of the cooling tank will solve the issue, but that’s a problem for tomorrow. It’s time for our evening tea.

Captain Jack


Time to get ship-shape

We have gotten ourselves an extremely optimistic barometer onboard. It constantly show great weather which is quite a walk from the the truth. However, it don’t affect us much. The fall is here and the winds are coming in hard with rain and leafs starting to slowly lose their colors and blow off the trees. It’s beautiful!


Last night the wind picked up in tune with the waves and even inside the harbour we are bouncing around a bit. It feels great to be back on the water. We have warm clothes and none of us is prone to sea-sickness – I even got to take on my long underwear yesterday! So nothing has stopped us from going over the rig, getting the boat ship-shape and organizing all the stuff inside.

Kaj, Mrs. Kaj and their daughter Kajsa came over yesterday with a spare mainsail they had laying around. This is great news, because of the wind we have not yet had the courage to hoist those already mounted. Doing so would just put us in a bad angle and wouldn’t do much to help us inspect their quality. This will be better done on open water or on land, but again the wind is stopping us from proceeding with these inspections. Onboard we now have two main sails, two genoas and one spinnaker. At least that’s what I think.


The boat is used to patiently wait to be put to work. Even though she was built in 1984, the first time she tested her abilities at sea was not until 1996. This time however it won’t be that long of a wait. We will set sail the coming week. For now we are contract-locked in the harbour until it is fully paid. We are currently waiting for the banks to transfer money between accounts and this should all be coming through within Wednesday the 18th.

As you maybe can imagine there is a lot to get used to. Captain Simen spent some time yesterday going over the electrical system and so far it all looks good. The only critical thing we have to deal with is a non-functioning steam-light – which in turn can turn out to be a little tricky task. We hope now that the only problem is a broken bulb, but even this has it challenges as it is positioned half way up the mast. In other words; Another job that will have to wait for better wind conditions.


Our other big concern is of course how much power we will have when we no longer have the support of shore-power. We can always live with a minimum og lights, but in these waters we need to use critical equipment like VHF and navigation-gear. Also the other biggie is  our source of heat. We are currently using a small heating fan, but this will take far too much energy on the water. Our other installment is an built in heating system that takes heat from the engine. Again – this require that we are or have recently been running the engine, a costly affair in the long run. We have been discussing installing a small stove of some kind.


This is and will not be a problem for the coming weeks, Kaj have been nice enough to equip us with heavy duty winter-sailing suits that can take just about anything. Our own winter wardrobe is also quite extensive so we are not too worried. There is still a couple of months till we hit the coldest of winter – December through March.

All in all the ship has been very well kept. I must say I’m impressed by the work the previous owner has put into it in order to make it suitable for long journeys with comfortable living. It is of course built somewhat 30 years ago and does not have the modern looks of a boat built today. The teak on deck is ready for replacement, or at least a heavy sanding down, but it will have to wait cause this is both a costly and time consuming process. The boat may even be better off if we remove it completely when the time comes.


Last nights rain proved that we are not taking in any water. Except from a couple of drops where the cable for our mast-top installer antenna comes in. This should be a quick-fix stealing only about ten minutes of our time so we are not really worried at all.

Next big task is to plan our route out of Mäleren. It includes a couple of bridges and a small canal with a single lock system to get us down to sea level. As we have enough of time to basically do whatever we want I will give you no time frame for when we will first introduce our home for salty water.

Captain Jack

Welcome home

It took us 12 hours from we woke up for the last time in our shitty Malta apartment to we entered our amazingly well kept new ship built in 1984. At the time it was a shell of a hull worth a 108 thousands Swedish kroner meaning Kaj, the old sailor we are purchasing it from have been spending an extreme amount of labor and money to get the boat we see today into ship-shape. With all equipment existing on board the value for what we have got here is far greater than the price of 33 thousand. Today we must be the luckiest two men in all of Scandinavia. Don’t worry Kaj, we promise to take great care of your life project – the ship named after your mother Ella.


I just woke up from our first night onboard. Outside the wind is hauling just like when we arrived but I love it. Finally the ground underneath us are alive again – and the sound of the heavy breeze blowing between the hundreds of boats in Västerås marina have made it clear that we are finally back where this journey paused about a year ago.

It will take us a few days to get everything in order. A boat this big shouldn’t just be released on open water without the Captains having full control over the engine, equipment and gear. We will take our time, we are in No hurry what so ever. The time is our own now and we intend to make the most of it in our own pace.


She is a 33 feet steel sailor with 5 births. It has a head for toiletry business and a huge mass taking up the entire side of the mid section. This is a huge plus since boats this size usually have a tiny kitchenette which is no good for liveaboards like ourselves. The list of equipment is long and I’ll get back to this as soon as I have a better overview. But she should be fit for sailing and best of all she is completely dry inside. Very much unlike our last two boats and our Maltese apartment.


Today is Friday 13th and we’ll spend the day slowly getting organized. For the first time in a very long time we can control the heat by take on more clothes and that itself feels amazing. We went to a store last night to get basic provisions so we should be good for a while. We’ll still need to figure out the bathroom situation and stuff like that but for now we are feeling like the luckiest guys on earth.

This was just another short update. We are doing great and can’t wait to get out on the water again. Our only plan is to have a bit of fun here on Mälaren before entering back into the Baltic and most likely head south along the Swedish coast.

Feel free to follow and share our Journey forward!

Captain Jack



Goodbye Malta

With less than 75 hours left on the island time has proven suddenly to speed up. There is so much to take care of, and the time left is shrinking by the minute. Unusable clothes are to be given away to people in need, the crock-pot has to go on sale, all the things need to be sorted and packed. There is cleaning to be done, washing, emptying, inspections and goodbyes.

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-06 at 19.48.47
The big fountain in Valletta

I hate moving, or i strongly dislike it, and have been trying to get away from it for years. One thing is whenever you are backpacking and you feel a certain enjoyment of packing your backpack ever so often, or rolling your tent together just to throw it back in the canoe for another wild day of adventure. But when you are packing your whole life in one suitcase and one carry-on to travel somewhere in the ballpark of 2722,57 kilometers, it get a bit more complicated, and heavier. Once again I’m crossing my fingers that this will be a smooth ride and the next move will be years in the future.

Our journey to come.

We get lots of questions of tho why we are traveling to Sweden to find our new ship. Answer is simple; After having spent the winter looking for boats around the Mediterranean our conclusion is simply that boats in Northern Scandinavia are the cheapest of the whole continent – Much to our surprise. But then again we are both looking forward to the cold north and the need for long underwear and rustic, mostly left to our self on the waters in the cold season. If you look away from the huge transport vessels of oil or gas tankers, container-ships and midsize fishing boats of course.

Tonight we’ll go out for a few beers, the last ones in the country – if you’re not counting the complementary breakfast-drinks at the airport Thursday morning. It’s kind of a goodbye get-together with colleagues from work. It will be a nice break before it’s back to laundry and preparing the apartment for landlord-inspection. Not to forget I still have two shifts left as a casino-worker on Malta.

Teambuilding on a catamaran with boss.

The island have been good to two pirates from Norway. But to be brutally honest; this country is not our scene. As you might have gathered, the temperatures are too hot and at least in the parts we have been moving around it’s way too many people, construction, and tourism for our liking. This said, it’s a beautiful country in many ways and I wouldn’t be surprised if we decide to swoosh by when we’re in the area – during winter months.

We still have a couple of days left, but we are fully booked for the rest of our time here. Therefore we would like to thank everyone we have met, gotten to know and befriended during our stay. I hope to see you all again very very soon! Goodbye Malta.

Captain Jack