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.

Chapter 3: Bloodspatters Monkey

Sharks circled our ship. The Goddess had for a moment forgotten what latitudes we were at, and had without thinking thrown a bucket of blood from our last polar bear right out the window. Sharks are known to be attracted to blood, and this must have been something very special to them, because now they were literally boiling water in the water around us. But a good pirate knows how to take advantage of any situations so quartermaster Snorre had immediately ordered all the men on deck to load the weapons. Here came the dinner served into our laps, and there was nothing left from our last bunking in Nova Scotia weeks before. The veterans around me sat in a chorus with a shanty about a lone sailor finally getting a long-awaited shark fin soup.

We had arrived in the infamous Caribbean where the plan was to plunder and take with us as large treasures as possible. Captain Bloodspatter, who most of the time stayed in his cabin, now strutted barefoot on deck in the hottest sun I had ever experienced in my life. The Captain was inspecting the work of the crew. The order was that the ship should be golden clean and ready for battle before the Goddess had finished the crew-dinner. Tonight we were going to work, the last two days we had been lying behind a large merchant ship. They had certainly discovered us a long time ago. But Bloodspatter had the great pleasure of tormenting the sailors on board the merchant ship who in the end didn’t have a chance against our proud ship and 150 dirty pirates.

Captain Bloodspatter steered our ship close to the merchant ship and the men under deck fired a series of canons that immediately put the small defense the merchant ship had out of play. Before they had sighed for themselves, our crew did what they could best and the whole crew was tied with any rope we could get around the mast on deck. A couple of men who had not survived the fight were thrown into the mirror-clear sea to the great joy of the remaining sharks who had been circling around us all day in hopes of more polar bear blood. While the merchants sat stiff with fear, held captive by twenty of our men with sabers and rags, the rest of us worked to empty the ship of goods and gold. Their ship’s crate was full of gold-coins and among the goods we found a whole bunch of exclusive goods we were to take with us and sell for gold in the first port. Our crew howled and cheered over the amazing catch, soon we would be given land leave. This meant that we finally got to go ashore and enjoy life as a free pirate for a few days.

Being some of the first pirates to roam these waters, the defense was low on the islands we visited. When at bay we acted as regular traders or merchants and nobody thought to ask questions about the filthy look of our crew. Being that we spoke a whole different language I suppose the locals thought that was how our people behaved. Or they knew the truth but didn’t dare to ask questions. Either way I truly enjoyed being free and to see the culture in the villages. The crew were given each a few pieces of silver and the men was quick to spend them in the bodegas, shops and markets. I spent my first hard earned silver on some of the local fruit and a great dinner of freshly cooked fish and strong pints of beer like I’d never tasted before. It was exciting to walk around the villages. Their huts was nothing like back home in Norway, built on stilts and with open holes as windows. The villagers were all nice, even nicer when you turned out to be a potential costumer. Our crew quickly grew popular among the locals and at the last night of our stay we were having a great party at the dock. Everyone was invited.

Months flew by, and it didn’t take long or many plunderings at all before the word of pirates in the waters had gone out and merchant ships were no longer sailing our waters. It was time to give the area a brake and move on to our next location. We headed to the South Atlantic ocean and to the land of the rain forests. Our treasure down in the cargo hull was now starting to grow for real. Our plunderings had earned us more coins than I was able to count. The Captain had now shifted focus to land based targets, besides this was the land of pearls and diamonds in plenty. For weeks the crew were set to dive for these special treats. It was a dangerous task, cause the waters were infested by sharks and other monsters the crew didn’t dear speak of.

We continued into the rivers leading to the wild forests of Amazon. Captain Bloodspatter had heard rumors that these forests was ruled by Indians who used gold for everything. We were not to leave these woods before our ship was filled with tons of their treasures. The nature here was simply extraordinary. Never have I ever experienced anything like it. Just thinking about the sounds that surrounded us as we silently rowed our ship against the rivers currents. There was no real wind in the river, our sails were rendered useless and pure muscle power was used to make any progress upstream. It was a long way, for weeks we worked our ways deeper into the forests. It was tiresome and after a while many of our men fell sick with fever. Now pressing on with a short crew it got even harder. At night we had to sit down and keep watch for large animals threatening from the dark. There was snakes long as our ship and small fish that could crawl up your butt if you jumped in without protection. But at day it was also beautiful, all the colors of the plants, birds and wildlife none of us had seen before. When we encountered a school of monkeys I even saw how Captain Bloodspatter had to fight to hold back a smile. One of those monkeys took a liking to the Captain. From that day it should be called Balto, following Captain Bloodspatter day and night.

Our new crew-mate, Balto, would prove to be quite a savior before we should leave the Amazons. One day we had finally arrived at the land of the tribes we had been seeking. We had no indication that these people were friendly and Bloodspatter had us guard the ship night and day. One morning we quickly understood that we had come to the right place. Unfortunately not in a good way. As the crew awoke we found the guards dead on deck. Seven men was shot down to warn us to stay away, all with a single tiny arrow each. There was no doubt that the arrows had been poisoned, cause no small weapon like this could cause harm like this. Although being tough men, none of us had seen poison being used this way before. This could prove that our new enemy was not as innocent as we had hoped and far more dangerous than what we had expected.

By that very afternoon, Captain Bloodspatter had come up with a plan and our crew prepared for battle. We all knew that this was a fight that not all of us would return to enjoy the treasures from – but we are pirates, and this is what we do. We knew we must have been watched so there would be no point of sending in a survey troop. Instead we had decided to attack with full force, all men was expected to be first in line. Hopefully this was the only tactical maneuver our enemy did not expect. I was not at all convinced that I would live to see another day, this was nothing like attacking a ship on the open water, here we did not have the advantage of controlling all the factors in play.

As we were sneaking through the dense jungle the constant humming of noise suddenly came to an abrupt stop as we crawled out on an open field. It was as if the world had stopped, for weeks we had heard the constant noise from all the insects, birds and animals around us. Suddenly there was nothing. Not a sound, not a movement. Minutes went by as we hid in the bushes. Then at the same time hundreds of arrows came shooting out from between the trees, followed by the equal number of half naked short men only dressed in leaf-underwear.

Captain Bloodspatter yelled out to stay hidden. We did not possess weapon to shoot or throw and were only equipped for closeup combat. As our enemy started to come toward us Balto the monkey suddenly appeared behind them. And he wasn’t alone. Hundreds of his monkey-friends was also attending the party. And they all attacked at the same time. They jumped the under-dressed enemy who got so confused and turned around by this surprise-attack that it gave us a chance to leap out from our hiding and attack from behind. Now de-fanged from their poisonous arrows and with only a few spears left to protect themselves it took no more than a few minutes for our men to slaughter a large portion of them in the most horrible pirate ways. It was a bloody fight but we had gotten the upper hand thanks to Balto the monkey and in the end we had a small group of men defeated and surrounded.

Afraid that we were going to exterminate their entire village their leader now willingly took us back to their huts and let us plunder what we could carry of their gold and precious stones. They had a whole pile of them in all kind of colors, and as you can imagine everything in the village had gold adorned to it. Even their cutlery and plates was made of shiny gold. I had never seen so many treasures in one place and by the look of it, neither had Captain Bloodspatter. Now with Balto back on his shoulder he was sitting down in the middle of the pile our men had collected in the middle of the village. It took the entire rest of the day and the next to carry it all back to our ship.

The day after this, after having stocked up on fruit and all the food from the villager’s farmland and a couple of goats, chickens and other strange animals we’d never seen before; we hoisted anchor and started on the week-long journey back down the river. Now being able to use the steady stream of water to propel us the entire crew had some amazing days onboard the Black Rock. Captain Bloodspatter was generous with food and rum as he was taking count of our haul. But despite how big of a treasure we had just filled our ship with, it was room for much more. This is after all the story of how the greatest treasure of the world came to be – and our journey was far from over.

The legacy of Captain Bloodspatter

The story tell that hundreds of years ago, while pollution was not invented and the oceans water still seeped into what today is known as the inland waters of the Swedish Kingdom and Foxen – a group of pirates was left behind to guard a great treasure. They were to guard a truly unique collection of gold and glittering minerals collected from heists, robbery’s and gruesome piracy all over the world. Their fearsome Captain Bloodspatter himself had given them the task of protecting their legacy at any cost while the rest of the pirates went back out to search for even greater treasures.

Years went by without a word from Captain Bloodspatter or any of his crew. And the pirates left behind was never going to abandon their given assignment. As if the magical land of Foxen had put a curse on the inland pirates, they stopped aging, and lived to see wars come and go, experience pandemics and global warming while only making sure of the one thing Bloodspatter would forever keep them accountable for, to watch over the biggest treasure known to have ever existed.

East in the waters of Foxen, South of the Bridge to civilization – right next to West Bird Bay and to the North of the troll-fences in the South is where you might be lucky enough, but not secluded to, catch a glimpse of the inland pirates. In their very own little bay called the Super Secret Pirate Bay, you might be one of those selected few to grab a good old warm meal or a very cold pirate beer on a hot summer day from their secret hide. You can always try to call on them, but I wouldn’t put a bet on them showing up until you are truly ready to accept the consequences…

One thing is for sure. The treasure will stay hidden until the day the fearful Captain Bloodspatter return to Foxen, breathing or not – And until that day the remaining, broke and drunken pirates of Foxen will do everything in their power to protect their waters like they have done for hundreds of years.

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

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

My pearly friend

We have time these days to take care of things while being moored in Alta Guest Harbor. This is the second largest private harbor in Norway and they have a nice safe harbor with plenty of boats. All though there is not too many tourists in this part of the country, there is a small area for traveling people like us. The best about having time to ourselves is to finally getting things done. There is a free flow of creativity and time to enjoy life onboard the magical FF Ella.

Let me tell you a little story; This happened long before I was Captain myself, when I was just a lightweight sailor onboard a pirate ship. My captain was none other than the fearless Captain Skjeggstubb, and he was not a man you would end up in trouble with. He was known all over the world for being a bit of a tyrant who always got what he wanted.

Most of the time I stayed away from him, preferably on the other side of the ship because he could get very angry if someone walked in front of him. But even though he was quite strict, he was a good Captain and had many times saved the entire crew and the ship out of scary situations in several of the worst storms you can imagine. It was said that Captain Skjeggstubb could survive all the sea could throw at him, and so it came to pass that in spite of his cruel sides he was a great and respected man in all the ports we visited, or robbed.

At this time I was no more than twelve or thirteen years old, and that made me the youngest pirate on board. That’s why I also got the worst jobs. The hardest and dirtiest. Because I was so small and light, they often hoisted me high up in the mast to check that everything was fine. You can imagine how scary this was when the ship tilted from side to side in many meters high waves. It was purely like a huge carousel for one person, not purely a little dangerous. But I was determined to do everything I was asked to do, because ever since I was a little boy, even smaller than I was then, I was going to be a real Captain on my own pirate ship.

It was a very stormy night that we sailed sheltered on an undiscovered island in the vast Atlantic Ocean. The ship was on its way to the Maldives to help those who lived there relieve them of some of their gold. The Captain said we had more than enough space on board to help the locals with this, although it ended up with half of the crew having to sleep on the floor all the way home. That’s how Captain Skjeggstubb was, our treasures almost always came first. And since the crew were equally fond of gold and riches, we all agreed. For every gold coin we robbed, I was one step closer to getting my own ship, and soon enough I would be the youngest pirate captain to ever sail the world’s oceans.

We had sailed through the storm on 10 maybe 15 meter high waves for two days and the crew was quite exhausted. Captain Skjeggstubb navigated us in between steep mountains and into a small lagoon. The angry seas around us calmed down immediately as we sailed through the narrow mouth of the lagoon and in front of us an oasis appeared that made every man on deck stop his work just staring. Even Captain Skjeggstubb took off his storm goggles and lifted his hat to his chest. It was some of the most beautiful I had ever seen.

Large beautiful palm trees with coconuts dove over a chalk-white beach and the scrub jungle between the trees stretched far into the valley. From one side we could hear the faint rumble of a long, high waterfall running straight into the turquoise waters we had sailed into. The contrast to the storm outside was so great that several of the crew shed a tear. For even hard-boiled pirates like us, have to bow when you see something as beautiful as this place. I was sure this was what the men on board had described as paradise.

In the background of it all, a large pointed volcano rose and a faint streak of smoke testified that it was active and watching over the island we had found. But that only made it even more magical. The high mountains also made sure that it was not only completely windless, but even the rain seemed to slip past this place. Right above us, the sky had turned blue and the sun was shining on the drawn ship with an equally wet crew.

“Drop Anchor!” Cried Captain Beard. And so we did.

When the ship was safely moored, the Captain gave permission to go ashore, and it did not take long before 20 men lay on the beach across, while sticky wet clothes hung to dry in the trees behind. It was sent around large bottles of rum which they mixed with the milk from the coconuts. The chef had lit a fire and now he made a whole wild boar on a spear. Only Captain Skjeggstubb was left on board the ship as he used to. He rarely went ashore if he could escape. ‘It does not swing enough under the legs’ he used to say.

But the rest of us had the best day for as long as I could remember, and after the food was eaten, it did not take long before all the adults were drunk from all the alcohol digging the beach. Therefore, I decided to go on a voyage of discovery.

I wandered into the jungle and away from the beach. Trees and shrubs grew densely and it did not take long before you could barely make out the light from the sky above. There were large flowers in all kinds of colors. Everywhere there were strange birds of all sizes and between all of this I saw a snake, but I was not afraid. After all, I was a pirate, and pirates are not afraid.

I was just about to turn around and go back when a monkey jumped down the path in front of me. I had never seen a monkey before, but heard the others in the crew tell stories about them. They were supposed to be very naughty. This one just seemed curious, shaking his head and wondering what kind of guy I was for one. I told him. Said I was Timmy, soon to be the greatest pirate captain in the whole world. Then he gave me a round ball, a pearl. I had only seen these once before and they were very expensive. I assumed it was a sacrificial gift to his new friend. I myself only had a small purse in my pocket, it was almost empty, there were only a few coins there, not enough for a meal even, so I gave my new friend the purse. He became very interested in it and jumped for joy when he understood how to open and close it. And when I tied it around his neck so he could carry it with him, he wrapped himself around my neck and gave me a big hug.

We played together for a long time, it was the coolest playmate I had had since we left our home port well over half a year ago. We slammed between the trees and raced through the jungle. I had completely lost track of where we were and eventually we came out on an opening. Completely stunned, I stood staring, because in the middle of the square there was a huge pile of pearls, the pile was much higher than me and my new friend ran straight up the pile to throw the precious pearls over him so they rained down on us .

It was not so difficult to understand that this was his treasure. The shiny shiny pearls lay in the thousands and we both sat in silence looking at them while we showed each other some extra large and pretty. Think of everything I could buy with these pearls! I asked him nicely if I could get any of them, and he certainly understood what I meant because he held out a handful. I tied my shirt in my arms and made a bag out of it. Together we filled it to the brim with the treasure. He certainly did not mind so much that I took as many as I could carry. Besides, one did not even see on the mound that any incision had been made there.

It was as much gems in my shirt as I could carry the through the dense jungle, I could not guess my way back either, but the monkey ran in front of me to showed the way. When we returned to the place where we had met many hours earlier, the monkey stopped. He probably wouldn’t follow me anymore. I understood that we had come to the end of our acquaintance. A brief friendship I had never experienced before. We gave each other one last hug before the little friend disappeared up into the trees as abruptly as he had appeared.

When I got to the beach it was late in the afternoon and my pirate friends had just started to wake up from their sleep. It did not take long, however, before they jumped and danced around me when they discovered what I was presenting to them.
‘Timmy has found a treasure! We are rich! ” They hugged me as they threw me into the air and welcomed me back down again.
“Get the Captain, he must see this!”

Not long after, Captain Skjeggstubb was rowed out to the beach. He walked towards me on the beach where I was standing with the huge pile of pearls in front of me.
“Yeah Sailor,” he said, “I must say, a little of a treasure you have found us arrr?”
I had already decided to lie, it would be almost impossible to trace back to the open plain and I would not take any more from my new friend more than he had already given me. That’s why I said, ‘Yes, Captain, Sir. I’ve been picking pearls for many hours. But I think this is all because I did not find more in the last hour. “

The captain measured me with his eyes, but I could swear I sensed a small smile behind his stubble.
«Very well worked sailor! You deserve a reward for this, since you have been alone in this feat, I will give you every twentieth gem you have brought back to us, you deserve it. “
There was nothing to argue about, it was also much more than I could have hoped for. For all taxes on board were to be placed in the treasury and only divided among the crew when we returned to the castle in the home port.
“It will also be a good penny for the whole crew out of this. You can thank Timmy here for allowing all your families to eat well for years to come. ”
One can say a lot about Captain Skjeggstubb, but he really was an honest pirate.

Of course I was very proud. Not in my wildest fantasies would I think that these pearls were worth so much. Later in the evening, when all the pearls were counted, I had 37 gems in my bedside drawer. And there was a good atmosphere and party among the crew, everyone was happy with an extra bonus. The next morning the storm was out of the question and we sailed on to the Maldives where new adventures awaited, but that’s a story for another time.

It’s not necessary to tell you what I used my pearls for, is it? A few years later, I swapped about half of them into my first ship, and do you wonder which volcanic island I first sat course for?

The New Expedition

We are preparing for our next expedition. Our ship is currently being fitted for another adventure as you read. It will still be a few weeks before our departure, but we’ve had some great luck – Since we arrived at our previous destination at 70 degrees North the boat ran ashore. It was a mess, and totally not our fault. But since we had made sure to insure our beloved boat everything has worked out (so far) as good as it could.. In short the total cost of the rescue and fix of the boat have cost at least the double of what we paid for it, which in return have provided us with some awesome new features to ensure safe journeys for the future.

ELLA

For the next weeks we will be working for Captain Simen’s mother at her very own campsite named Arctic FjordCamp. The very reason we made this journey north instead of heading toward Sweden as of the original plan. And of course that wouldn’t be the smartest decision as 2020 proved to be a pretty much scandal for the entire world population. Corona is here and although we seem to be slowing down in the care for it, it keeps growing and is currently airborne. Bad news of course, but until further notice life goes on and it would be stupid not to prepare for it.

We are trying to think forward and despite how much we love living in the arctic, doing it for family is proving to be a bit of a hazzle for two free pirates trying to live their own lives. In short, we are most likely heading south before the end of the year, and we’d better get FF Ella ship shape, cause it will be a long run. (Yes, we could never come up with a new name for such a perfect ship and have decided to name it after the previous owner and builders mother; Ella. However we are attaching the ‘FF’ meaning forskningsfartøy in Norwegian and ‘research vessel’ in English, as our first boat – The FF Harry. Read harryfloats.com.

I’m proud to inform that we have repainted the inside, gotten new bedding, plates and cutlery. A new handheld VHF, ropes, fenders, a new propeller, plenty of important other stuff and not to forget an oven to keep us warm all year long. It eats a bit of diesel and cost about 30 cents an hour to run, but in the long run will save us for any extra costs of having to stay in expensive harbors for electricity on our way south.

How far you ask? We don’t know yet, but we have a dream of going back to Foxen in order to enjoy the amazing landscape and fresh waters of the pirate waters we know way to well. This is just a short update, I would never dream of letting you be in the dark for too long. Hope to see you follow us.

Captain Jack