Ten days later and I am still here in Brunsbüttel…

And for a sailor this can bring on all manner of thoughts, releasing hidden shadows and fears of failure.

One of the many disadvantages of being a single-handed sailor is the necessity of total self-reliance… of not being able to depend on anyone. There is no one else to share moments of darkness with and the times when one feels as if the very Gods have turned their backs and abandoned you.

At this moment I feel as if the fates are throwing me to the winds and that old Norse trickster Loki, is playing all sorts of spiteful little games… payback for thousands of event free sailing miles and safe landfalls. He had more than a little to do with the twilight of the old Viking Gods at Ragnarök and I can’t help feeling something similar is at work here.

I remember chatting with Danne in Amsterdam shortly before I left Het Yacht, and as we spoke, two ravens landed very close by. We both remarked at exactly the same time that it was like a sign from Odin (he sent his two ravens, Huginn and Muninn into the world to watch the antics of man. They were his messengers).

At the time I thought it was a sign to sail, and sure enough, that morning Wim came over from the office with a letter from Sweden for me from the Svenska Kryssaklubben with my certificate. Surely this confirmed it all… And yet while sitting here writing this missive, I can’t help wondering if the signs were in fact the opposite.

Maybe this isn’t my time at all.


At this point let me inject a little humour into the proceedings:

Simon arrived from a company called Adolf Cornells…… You couldn’t make it up! They went about their business of ordering the rogue parts and I sat back marvelling again that I had actually made it here in the first place.

Simon and his colleague taking poor old 'Gregory', away to be stripped down and repaired.

Simon and his colleague taking poor old ‘Gregory’, away to be stripped down and repaired.

And yet ten days later, I am still here, the hafenmeister twitching with concern, as one is not supposed to stay more than four days. My pathetic attempt to speak German has only confused matters more… it’s just not happening. Neither is ordering the correct size bearing! Loki strikes again…

So now the bearing will have to be re-ordered from Hamburg and it won’t be until next Tuesday (28th May) that it arrives. So another weekend will soon be upon us, suffused in Protestant dullness, with everything shut down and time redundant. At least I can watch all the ships coming and going. Huge lumps of metal going to and fro have little time to be religious! Mammon always has the last word!

A huge leviathan passes through the lock at Brunsbuttel on its way to the Baltic.

A huge leviathan passes through the lock at Brunsbuttel on its way to the Baltic.

So now this Viking Queen feels decidedly under confident, and after so many trouble free years of sailing, reflects on how her luck finally ran out in 2011 in the River Blackwater on fair England’s East Coast, after the unwelcome altercation with, and wake up call from sailing barge ‘Thistle’. It has continued since. I wish I could throw off this hoodoo. Who knows, maybe the Gods are trying to warn me that it is time to swallow the anchor?

Why do I love the sea so much? What kind of a drug is she, this heaving seducer with its emotional depths and broken promises; my lover.

However, there’s noting I can do now except continue into the shady unknown, praying that maybe my luck will turn and the Jonah that has dogged me will disappear into the Baltic.

'Free' waits patiently for the return of 'Gregory' the poor old gearbox.

‘Free’ waits patiently for the return of ‘Gregory’ the poor old gearbox.

Nowhere is a lonely place to be right now…


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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14 Responses to Limbo…

  1. Michael Murphy says:

    I think you are in safe place at the moment, Poppy, and will continue to be during your time in the Canal (paying attention all the same to those monsters).

    Surely this is a time for relaxing, reading, writing, reflection… a good time, and a different time to the recent period of action and drama?

    You’re only 100 km from the Baltic : where will you be going?

    Still cold I suppose? the weather has gone back to Winter here (after a late Spring, then a short Summer, anded by thunder storms). Do they allow you to burn wood?

    Yours, Mike

    • Viking Queen says:

      Not so cold, Mike. But yes the weather is all over the place. I’d like to visit the old East Germany first, Hanseatic towns like Rostock etc. Then Poland. You are correct, if it weren’t for the looming spectre of expense, I would feel a little better.

  2. Lynda Hulme says:

    Oh dear Poppy, you are down in the dumps arn’t you sweetie? Come on, where’s that stiff upper lip and all that? Even if the engine isn’t working as it should, you are safe and healthy and Free is keeping you nice and warm and safe. I think that the “one” God is keeping you safe from the terrible winds that are everywhere currently Poppy. We are expecting a HUGE storm tonight and we’ve had really, really strong winds since the American tornado. As your friend Mike says, use this time for relaxing, reading, writing and reflection. Enjoy this part of the “adventure” sweetheart. Lots of love – Lynda and Tony xxx

    • Viking Queen says:

      Not so down as anxious I think. It’s the thought that my damage may clean out my bank leaving me well and truly neaped. Have you a new email? Tried writing before…

  3. christian says:

    sending a big hug and agree both with what mike and lynda written, perhaps if the sun was out might not feel so down and alone -the weather is so grey it brings you down, think yourself lucky not in Italy they have snow. you and free will be one again once out on the sea which will be soon.
    C x

  4. Simona says:

    Grey skies and financial preoccupations don’t do much for the morale, but at least you are FREE, Poppy. This in itself has to be worth all the tribulations and hardships thrown at you by capricious northern gods.

    You are not alone, you’ve got all your friends and followers to support you and cheer you on every step of the way.


    Simona x

    • Viking Queen says:

      Warm words indeed, Simona… thank you. ‘all’… the faithful five I would say. I doubt whether most people even open the email. Knowing you are there in spirit is always wonderful. It’s impossible to be upbeat all the time… but I do try.

  5. Kat says:

    Hi Pops,
    So things have conspired to slow you down……. for now hon, but if i know you, not for long. Gearboxes need down time too! Perhaps this is all part of something else, a small part of a much bigger picture…. the next chapter of adventure and joy may be on the horizon, but lets face it, you can’t have the highs without lows, it’s all about balance sweetheart . Hang there and go with it, who knows what may come your way next.
    Love and hugs Kat. xxx

  6. Viking Queen says:

    Thanks hinny, Nice to hear from you, and thanks for the encouragement. Love to Karl and Ringo.

  7. lulu says:

    Ditto above comments Pops, I think you were both very lucky to got where you did before Gregory croaked. Could have been so much worse. None of us know what’s around the corner, maybe it’ll turn out to be a ‘good’ thing to have happened, Sure you could do without the extra expense but maybe greg was in need of TLC anyway and in different circumstances may have cost you more. So chin up and remember to watch those negative thoughts and turn them into positives; ‘every day, in every way my life is getting better and better’ is a classic uplifting thought form.
    Lotsa love

    • Viking Queen says:

      Yep… I have looked at it that way. Helgoland to here was a real epic! Difficult, challenging, dangerous, but thankfully perfectly executed under sail! Write me an email Lucy, I really want to know how you’re doing.

  8. Christine says:

    Hope the bearing arrived today Poppy along with high spirits and better weather xx

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thank you my friend… I wish it was all that simple. Read the next entry and you will understand.

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