This sailing life throws up all sorts of situations, which introduces people of all kinds from different nationalities. Often, they are indifferent and mind their own business, taking just a mild interest in what you are doing. Occasionally they belong to the other end of a spectrum that includes an extreme range from lovely to the downright evil.
I arrived in the small town of Oskarshamn with a boat whose electrics were getting worse by the minute and walked to a little boatyard, meeting a lovely old gentleman named Karl who lent me an instrument to test the longevity of marine batteries.
Sure enough, one of the batteries was critically ill and needed replacing… a very expensive loss, but inevitable in the life of a functional sailing vessel. So Karl said he would try to find me a modest replacement that would leave me with enough money to be able to eat sometime soon! He went searching around the local area and returned the next day with the goods… What a lovely, helpful man, so different from my Holland and England experiences.
I replaced the battery and that was a great improvement, but the alternator still wasn’t charging the batteries up with its usual efficiency and I was running out of ideas…
Enter Thomas Sörensen… the latest angel to appear in my life.
Thomas arrived like a whirlwind, with twinkling blue eyes and a huge laugh, explaining that Karl had told him about my problems. Over the following two days he solved all of my electrical and mechanical problems, as I fed him copious amounts of coffee. He was fascinated by my strange sailing life and full of admiration. We became good friends and he invited me to see his various boats around the Figeholm and Oskarshamn area… beautiful wooden sailing boats. I have to add that he refused to take anything for all his work.
I never cease to be amazed by what life throws in one’s path. The more travails that come your way, the more serendipity comes into play. I would never have met Thomas Sōrensen if I’d remained a miserable slave back in the stranglehold that passes as society. We are both free spirits, untamed and charged with passion.
Tomorrow, I sail from my anchorage just to the north of Figeholm, among the islands of the ‘Blue Coast’. The glorious summer weather has gone for a while and the rain has come adding a little ‘bite’ to close-quartered navigation, which is difficult enough in these parts.
I shall leave with very happy memories of a glorious week spent in the wild and free elemental passion of this Viking Realm…