Chapter 8: Foxen Forever

Captain Bloodspatter was of course a bit bummed out by not finding any treasures in Madagascar, which is why we ended up raiding all the small villages of the African coast before we rounded the horn of Africa. By the time we anchored outside Morocco the Black Rock was barely afloat. The load of treasures had the crew sleep out in the gangways and on deck to make room for all the gold and gems we had plundered away from the good African folks. We could no longer use the lower canons since we were dipping so low int he water. In short, Bloodspatter had to come up with a plan for us to rid ourselves with some weight.

That plan included me. And Simen. As some of the youngest and probably the handsomest pirates onboard we were selected to take on the amazingly huge task that Bloodspatter had his mind set on. From the African continent we sailed quickly Northward to the Scandinavian countries. Bloodspatter invited us to a meeting in his quarters, it was the most formal thing I’d ever experienced onboard the Black Rock. The outcome shocked me. Our Captain had decided to trust me and Simen with the ships treasure. Why? I could never guess. But when we arrived in the Swedish Kingdom we were to protect the treasure for the years to come.

Since we were both blessed with the Madagascan curse of eternal life, the Captain found us best suited to protect the treasure until he returned from the next voyage to come. The treasure was to be kept safe by all mean until the Black Rock returned. After years of sailing the open ocean this was both unexpected and really not what I’d seen for my future. But then again, being in charge of the biggest treasure on earth for all eternity didn’t seem to bad of an idea at the time.

Now, this was of course hundreds of years ago, and the sea level was a tad higher back then. This meant that the Black Rock easily could sail to the inland waters that today is not as accessible. Low as a ship can be in the water – we entered the fresh water on the border of Norway and Sweden, or maybe Denmark or whatever country Norway belonged to at the time. Captain Bloodspatter had decided in this place for numerous reasons but first of all it was a seriously good choice by my thinking. The place we entered was called Foxen. It was basically just a lake in the forest. Nothing there, totally outback country, but the Captain had given us a task and that was to protect the ships treasure at any cost.

It took the crew two full days to carry the ships treasures to a secret cave that we had dug out the week before. I can’t even start to explain the values we were made responsible of. Why Bloodspatter would trust anyone with his treasure is today my mystery, but I believe the fact that we were going to live forever played a big role. About a week later the ship left us with the responsibility to take care of Bloodspatters treasure the crew’s pensions.

The party the day before the Black Rock sailed away was epic. Probably the most intense party you could get at the time, raves today wouldn’t even measure to the mushroom-soup the Goddess had cooked up. Blæik was dancing without any clothes on, using the mast as a strip pole. Captain Bloodspatter himself even took off his hat and danced with the Goddess into the long hours. They could be heard rocking the ship until the long hours.

One late morning later was the last time I’d ever see the Black Rock. The crew and everyone onboard had trusted us: Me, Simen and the monkey Balto was left behind to protect the treasure. With a pocket full of eternal life, food for like forever and an entire forest to hide in we started our lives as inland pirates.

Living an eternity is amazing. Having the chance to see nature work it’s way through all the seasons and be able to build your own home in the middle of amazing nature like the one that the land surrounding the lake Foxen provide is something pretty special. Whatever happens, whoever comes around we’ll be around to protect Bloodspatters treasure. Awaiting his return, even tree hundred years later we’re still around to protect the treasure. You can try to search for it, but let me warn you; Many have tried before you and none has made it through alive.

Let this story be a warning to you all. We will protect Captain Bloodspatters treasure with our everlasting lives for as long as it takes. Until the day that Bloodspatter himself return to collect the probably largest treasure known to mankind to this day. But the adventure of my life has just started. I’m only a 450 years old and there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. Captain Bloodspatter told me that.

Chapter 7: The Madagascan Curse

The Indian ocean gave us lot of merchant ships to rob for treasures and goods. Who knew there was so many ships sailing between the Indian and African continent. By the time we reached the island of Madagascar the Black Rock was so stuffed with treasures that the aft lower decks threatened to sink. Luckily we had calm waters and easy breezes all the way to the island. The crew was tired after all the plundering and Captain Bloodspatter let the crew take a whole week off before we started to trade goods in order to compact the Black Rocks load a bit.

By the end of our week off, the crew was well rested and happy to continue on. The Village we had visited was poor, but we had spent quite a bit of silver during our stay and quickly robbed everything back and sat fire on the entire village one morning before we set sail. Due to the huge treasure we had little room for food and Bloodspatter had the Goddess make everybody fish an hour a day to make up for it. I wasn’t bothered by it. Time spent fishing meant less time scrubbing the deck and over all the crew was very happy. We soon arrived in what had to be the islands largest village, it was more of a town and since we arrived at night it was a great sight, seeing thousands of lights light up our way toward the harbor.

The next morning Blæik and a few of the other men returned from a night of drinking in the towns bodegas. And not without news. A few miles inland there was stories of a tribe known to keep vast amounts of treasures hidden in the jungle. None of the locals dared to even get close to the tribes territory, it was said that their treasures was protected by a curse. Anyone trying to get close had left with nothing but death or sometimes they had simply gone mad and never returned to normal. Captain Bloodspatter who was in general not a big believer in old folklore and magic of any sort decided to take a group of men into the jungle to investigate while others stayed back to protect the ship.

We took off in the afternoon. A small crew including myself, Simen, Blæik, and our best fighters Tom and Teddy was led by Captain Bloodspatter himself and Balto the monkey toward the dense jungle in the middle of the island. We had purchased some donkeys to carry us the long way, and we didn’t expect to reach our target until late the next day. I never thought I’d get to go camping with Captain Bloodspatter, but since we didn’t find any inns or other places to take us in for the night it was decided to sleep in turn around a campfire until the early morning. It actually turned out to be kind of fun. We listened to Blæik and Bloodspatter talk about the good old days, before anyone else onboard had even begun our pirate journey. In short it was pretty much the same thing we had been doing for the last few years, but other people, and other treasures. Bloodspatter reviled to us that night, that his plan was to leave most of the huge treasure we now had accumulated behind, hide it somewhere safe, and continue on doing what he did best – namely collecting more of it. He wouldn’t say what had happened to the last treasure he had collected like this, but I gathered that it had been taken from him in some way long time ago.

Next morning we started early and by mid day we had reached the edge of the dark jungle forest we were told was the line nobody dared cross. It didn’t seem too scary compared to what we knew from previous raids and Bloodspatter ordered us to start hacking our way through bushes and bamboos growing a few inches as we passed them. Within half an hour the jungle was so dense that no sunlight got through the raging trees above us. Luckily this also meant that the smaller bushes below didn’t grow as dense and we eventually found an animal track to follow. We pushed on for another half hour until we suddenly stepped into a village. It was no people there, none that we could see, and the huts looked like they had been abandoned for centuries.

We walked in silence and checked every hut. It looked like the people living there had left in a hurry, or maybe just suddenly disappeared. But it was a long time ago and animals must have cleaned out everything edible cause all the cabinets and shelves were left a mess. As we continued through the village containing at least fifty huts and houses we ended up looking at the entrance of a large cave. It was blocked off by a wooden wall and signs in a strange language that could only indicate that we should keep away. Not really seeing any danger in still checking it out Blæik blasted through the door-lock with his gun.

Inside it was damp and dark. We made ourselves a few torches and continued through the dark tunnel. It actually wasn’t too long and we were surprised to discover that it was more of a tunnel that soon opened up to an opening. It was still dark, but above we could see the sky raging high above us. In front was a smelly swamp. In the middle of the swamp, halfway covered in dense fog, we could see an old hut placed on an island. In order to get to it, we had to jump from stone to stone in the swamp and we barely made it over without having our feet bit off by an angry alligator that had been lurking in the sump-green water surrounding us.

Safely on the other side, we walked toward the cabin. It was larger than the huts in the village, but I was thinking that it unlikely would contain any treasures of value. It looked like it had been abandoned for years, the only thing that proved otherwise was a green glimmering light from the windows. Just as we were about to check the door fountains of dirty water raised up from the sump around us. The heavy door sprang open and back-lit by the same green light was a shadow of a person with glowing red eyes and a black cape. It pointed at us with some sort of stick. Before we got the chance to introduce ourselves she had cast a spell that came out of her stick and covered all of us with a red glittering thin smoke.

We woke up hours later, just outside the cave entrance which some how had been boarded back up. It was already dark outside but surrounding us was a large circle of men with torches. Their leader stepped out and spoke to us in our own language.
“You have been cursed with eternal life for trying to steal our treasure!” He said – “You shall live forever!”

Eternal life must have meant something else for the tribe than us, cause although we didn’t as much as get to see the treasure we were happy pirates as we walked back to the Black Rock. Captain Bloodspatter was in an abnormal good mood and started loudly to fantasize about all the treasures he would find in his eternal lifetime. I wondered if this also meant we were immortal, that we couldn’t die in battle. What would happen if the planet suddenly disappeared, would we just float around among the stars forever?

Chapter 6: Captain Rawfish’s Treasure

Following our encounter with the sea monster we kept extra guards at all time, but it seemed like the ocean’s monsters had decided that we were not to be messed with. The truth of course, was one were the men onboard was unable to sleep and many kept crying into the night and when they finally fell asleep they were screaming for their moms in their sleep. Even Captain Bloodspatter kept to himself in his quarters, he didn’t step out on deck until one morning the guardsman yelled out; «Land ahoy!» and we all celebrated with the most extravagant breakfast the Goddess had ever presented. After months at sea, we were ready to spend a few days ashore and to refill our pantry with the freshest produce we could find.

The land was called Japan. And they spoke a language that none of us could comprehend as much as we tried. But food and all sort of tools and silk was brought to us at the quay, it was so cheap that Blæik didn’t even bother to barter. No point anyway, since we probably would rob the town before leaving. I felt land sick for days. And the locals food didn’t make me feel any better. It was gross at best. I was all for using the oceans sacred ingredients, but this was something else. The third day I was able to track down a cow, I showed it to Simen and we decided to buy it together and present it as a gift for the crew. The Goddess squealed with happiness as she grilled the entire thing over a burning pile of wood taken out from the ship to be replaced by Japanese workmen.

We stayed for almost a week, the last night we plundered the village which proved to be quite more profitable than expected. Who knew these poor fishermen had so many valuables. By the time we sailed away the Black Rock was dipping a half finger deeper in the water. It took a while before we understood that Japan was an island, but after having made a circle around it we finally kept heading West. Of course with our ship filled to the brim with all sort of strange fruit and food none of us had ever seen before. This of course might be part of the reason to why the entire crew got the shitters halfway across to the mainland.

The worn crew took their time to get well as Captain Bloodspatter ordered us to anchor outside a small sandy island. There were coves and palm trees with coconuts. The entire crew acted like kids on vacation until the Captain one day told us the truth about why we had come to this place. In Japan he had gotten hold of a map, it was hidden between the treasures we had stolen in our first raid in Japan. A map showing the way to a treasure belonging to a Japanese pirate called Captain Rawfish, now long dead, having suffered major depression. The map painted the way to where he and his crew buried his treasure before returning to Japan on their last voyage. At first Bloodspatter had thought that the treasure must’ve been located around Japan, but when he finally realized we were on an island he had matched it up to the waters we were now sailing.

Next morning we lined up and followed Captain Bloodspatter into the jungle. It was a warm and sunny day, like most days at this latitude, and the crew was excited about this new turn of events. If Captain Rawfish’s treasure was anything like what we had back in the Black Rock we were in for a treat. Two long hours walk into the jungle the Captain raised his hand to make us stop. We were already tired from the walk but raised our heads at this sudden stop. In front of us hovered a huge rock, shaped like a scull with eyes and everything. The mouth of the scull, half buried in the sand proved to be the entrance to a cave. It was a fairly small cave, but Bloodspatter ordered us to start digging and sure enough, not long after we struck gold.

The treasure was huge. Our biggest haul so far. It took our men two days to carry everything back to the Black Rock. By the time we had finished the treasure chamber was starting to fill up. Only halfway around the globe we were in need of more space by the end of our journey. To do this we headed for the city of Singapore were had heard that treasures could be exchanged, making our low-quality treasures to more high end treasures.

Singapore was even at this time a fairly large place. Not wanting to come forward as pirates we dressed as merchants. A smart move in these areas, since the local people didn’t really care for people like us. But with a mostly northern crew we had no trouble passing for long-way-sailors looking to build connections for our trading-company; ‘Bloodspatter trading’. We only stayed for a couple of days as we had no chance up against the huge fleet of the Singaporean coastguard. Instead we kept sailing and robbed every small village and harbor we could find on our way as usual.

As good as these times were, it was good to do some pillaging before we kept sailing west. Little did we know that we had already come a long way to circumnavigate the entire planet but we were also about to be put under the curse that have had us left alive for the past four decades. Well, some of us that is.

Chapter 5: Open Water

With extreme weather rolling in from our port side and the Pacific Ocean we needed to do some serious bunking before attempting to continue our crossing due West. Some of the men had done this crossing before and the tales they told me didn’t have me look forward to the next few months of my life. It would be weeks before we saw land and most ships never made it to the other side. I was however optimistic toward our crew after the adventures we had been through so far. Firstly we headed for the Peruvian capital of Lima where the Captain ordered to fully stock the ship to the brim with food and rum. When this was done we were ordered to make one last plunder of the city’s treasure reserve before we sailed off early one morning into the thick fog rolling in from our headed course.

To make sure we didn’t run into any worse weather, the Captain ordered a course North-West and within days we saw land that would prove to be the Galapagos islands. Not many people lived there at this time and even fewer as we had left with everything they had of food and treasures. Awaiting the winds to be in our favor we stayed at the islands for a couple of weeks. It was like being in paradise. I played with turtles, drank a whole bunch of rum and went hunting for the island’s many wild animals. We spent the time celebrating our feats so far, Blæik was giving the crew time off to explore and get drunk at will. But nothing last forever, and one evening Captain Bloodspatter announced that this day would be the last, tomorrow we would start our journey crossing the worlds largest ocean.

We had not expected any trouble on this voyage. But I should’ve known better after years spent on the Black Rock with Captain Bloodspatter and his crew. If we didn’t search out the danger the danger always found us in one way or the other. Already a few days in the crew on watch noticed that we were being followed. But not by a ship, there was something in the water. For days we were ordered to keep watch but nobody was able to make out what the strange thing following the Black Rock was.

Not until one dark night. The moon was hidden behind dark clouds warning us to cover up the hatches and and prepare for heavy rain to reach us at any minute. As we were carrying out our orders Simen discovered that the ocean around us were boiling with water. He was just about to yell out his findings when a huge monster jumped from deep dark below and made the whole ship rock. The men on deck was paralyzed by what we saw. It was twice as long as the ship and raging on top was three separate heads screaming toward the petrified pirates on deck.

Chaos was released. Blæik was yelling orders and we did our best to follow them by manning the cannons and grabbed our swords, spears, brooms or whatever else we could find. The monster shook the boat and several times we took on water. But the Black Rock is a strong ship and although the aft mast snapped we just had to trust that she would hold the attacks. For the next hour we fought back, but it didn’t seem to tire out the monster. Instead it started to pick out men, one by one and swallow them whole with one of its huge heads. When it had taken seven of our men we needed a new plan and with this Blæik ordered all men to dress up with dynamite tied to their bodies. This way, if you got eaten you were a way to blow of a head. And it worked. Every time a man was eaten, all men with muskets fired everything they had toward the responsible head. And although the monster was pretty angry two heads short, it never gave up. Not until the youngest of our men was attacked and swallowed as a treat. The poor boy was just my age when I first came onboard. Only fourteen and was one of three men we picked up while plundering their village in the Amazon.

The dead monster fell back into the deep ocean and as the storm continued to make our night one from the book of hell, we celebrated our victory with barrels of rum. No better way to mourn our fallen friends than to keep our heading and let the rum flow.

As you probably have gathered; life onboard was far from safe. Only since I joined myself more than 30 men had fallen to battles or sickness of some kind. These were the 16-hundreds and life was different back then. But there was always fresh blood willing to sail with us paid with the treasures we gathered. There was however no way out. Once a pirate always a pirate and the worst thing you could do was to leave your crew behind. That would be the ultimate insult against your Captain and his ship. Occasionally, like a few weeks after this Monster-incident we had to maroon a man on a small island in the middle of the sea. You probably couldn’t get further away from land, but the man had gone ship-crazy, and this would happen from time to time. The life as a pirate could get to you in a pretty bad way if your head wasn’t strong enough to cope with it. There was death, heaps of bad weather and long days of nothing but cleaning the deck. One day on this journey across the ocean a part of the deck just imploded from all the scrubbing we had done to it. It would be fixed the very same day, but this is how much and often we had to scrub the deck for blood and salty water.

These ocean-sailings were the worst. Day after day, nothing ever happened. If we were lucky there was enough wind to get us good speed across the water. If we were not lucky there was storms and hurricanes or even maybe worse – no wind at all. In the end of this crossing, we met a different world. It took more than three months before we saw real land again and despite having spent so much time in the Caribbean – Nothing had prepared us for our meeting with the ancient land of Asia.

It’s great to be back

It’s been a long time coming and we are finally back where we wanted to be, at our destination and Lake Foxen. It’s definitely still early in the year and I have seen no other boats camps around the lake for the entire week we’ve been here. We have however spent our time well, and can now pride ourselves to be owners of our very own raft measuring 4 by 7 meters and our seedlings have started to sprout. Except for yesterdays rainfall, we’ve had the best spring weather we could wish for and have already gotten our first sunburn down.

Captain Simen and Deckhand Balto enjoying the silence

Our journey from Fredrikstad to Strømstad went smooth. We did have a little wind, but it’s only a 20 mile sail and we had the day to make it happen. We then waited around in Strømstad for two nights before getting lifted up on a truck and driven the hour drive inland to the small village of Ed at the far Southern part of Lake Stora Le of which Foxen makes up the Northern part. It’s a long stretched body of water and we spent an entire day motoring our way up to Tøcksfors. This is the town were we do our shopping and connect with the outside world, and also where we bought the materials needed to build our super-raft.

The harbour of Tøcksfors

The raft is now on the water and about ready to be towed to our new Super Secret Pirate Bay at an undisclosed location. It’s a good thing we know these waters so well. Already before our arrival, we had decided on a couple of locations suitable for a summer of life in the free. A quick afternoon trip while awaiting the painted raft to dry was enough to decide on a certain bay well protected from the worst conditions the weather and civilized humans can throw at us.

Simen has started the job of repainting the hull of our beloved FF Ella. Her white coat is now getting a great fresh shade of black. It was really on time for poor old Ella to get her colors re-freshened. It will however take some time before all of the painting is done, cause at the moment we are operating under a strict budget where somehow food gets the priority. Lucky for us we have a great good stash of rice and dried beans for rainy days like these. If all goes well, we’re back in full pirate business within a few weeks anyways.

FF Ellas last lift out of water

We have also gone to the lengths of purchasing an old used canoe for sneak-attacks on nature when it seem necessary. This and new cook-plates and a grill running on expensive Swedish gas will make it easy to cook anything we want this summer. All in all we have really set ourselves up for a great wild summer in the Swedish forest and I can’t wait for the day when the trees bloom for real.

Until next time, stay dry and don’t drink and paddle.

Captain Jack

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