‘On the reach’…. North to Valdemarsvik.

Once again the wanderlust has invaded this restless soul, and after the intense romance and wild passion of this Viking anchorage I found myself bidding farewell to Thomas; the wind sympathetic out of the west…

The anchorage I will never forget... and the man who returned my dignity to me.

The anchorage I will never forget… and the man who returned my dignity to me.

With the wind on my port beam, I was able to progress full sail on the reach for a full thirty five miles leaving plenty of sea room. I always have to go hunting for the bigger winds for Free’s smaller rig, and that means sailing further away from the coast. My sturdy old motorsailer sails well but she will never be the Cutty Sark; however, this was a beautiful day of sailing and I could relax on deck in the sunshine and teasing winds as she racked up five and a half knots.

Ah well... someone has to do it! Sometimes relaxation is permitted, even under full sail!

Ah well… someone has to do it! Sometimes relaxation is permitted, even under full sail!

Soon comes the time where a landfall has to be approached so I headed inshore for the islands to hunt for an anchorage; but in an increasing wind, felt perhaps it would be better to make for Valdemarsvik, a small town at the end of a long fjord. Of course the light was fading fast and I reluctantly started up ‘Polly’ who now sounds sweet (thank you Thomas!)

I am embarrassed to admit miscalculating the long passage up the fjord due to my enjoyment of the sailing, and the light was fading rapidly. A night approach in such waters is not the best idea and pretty poor seamanship. (Sorry Dad. I can see him shaking his head at his crazy daughter!)

The long approach to Valdemarsvik. I left it far too late.

The long approach to Valdemarsvik. I left it far too late.

Well… what to do? Intense concentration and a lot of ‘looking out of the window’, something which many modern sailors forget to do with all their posh navigational aids. My father was quite clear about this, he said: “Slow down and stop if you have to… get out on the foredeck and look.” So I did and eventually after much painstaking approach work, came alongside in the harbour.

The following morning I awoke to a pretty little town at the end of the fjord... A delightful welcome!

The following morning I awoke to a pretty little town at the end of the fjord… A delightful welcome!

I often reflect how the world changes on opening the wheelhouse door in the morning. Every day is a new one and every place too… I will never tire of the thrill of a new harbour, and the excitement of different folk.

I’m not much of a ‘past life’ type, especially when nobody ever remembered being a milkmaid in rural Lancashire. It is always a queen or temple dancer, and never a Newcastle shopkeeper! However, as I sail up the coast of Eastern Sweden, I feel an uncanny sense of having been here before. I love this country, more than any I have ever visited, and the seafaring is exciting, challenging and yet deeply mystical. The light in the evening can make me cry and I remain hopelessly enchanted.


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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11 Responses to ‘On the reach’…. North to Valdemarsvik.

  1. Lynda and tony smith says:

    As usual Poppy, your story leaves me absolutely entranced! God bless. Lynda and Tony xx

    • Viking Queen says:

      How sweet! I’m glad to know that it is read and more importantly, gives pleasure and hope. Thank you my friends.

  2. Michael Murphy says:

    Sounds good, Poppy.

    Another kind of camino.

    I am back in Paris with Camille : leaving Sunday for Madrid…

    Michael working at an art gallery near Paris : beautiful place, but lots of hard graft (and not much of the prestigious events) – reality.

    Yours, Mike

  3. Finally someone who understands the light and the intense beauty in these parts as well as, dare venture to say: “recognition” of the heart? You are surely a Viking! Your photographs are gorgeous and this is the indelible images I have of Sweden in my mind. Thanks for allowing me to virtually travel with you. It is the next best thing to actually being there. Enloy every minute. Can’t wait for more! Are you walking the Camino?

  4. Viking Queen says:

    You have it, Amanda. It’s strange. When I was a child on Tyneside, Norwegian children used to visit the area for music exchanges (Alnwick Fair) and we could understand a lot of the words because they are in our dialect too… e.g. Hyem, for home and Bairn (child) I think Barna in Norse? I am very tall and was red before the grey arrived!!! However, this past life thing is extraordinary… I’ve never felt like this before and it has surprised me.

    It is my aim to walk the Camino in September after I have laid ‘Free’ up in the North of Sweden, just south of Hudiksvall. Something I have always wanted to do. Strange how my spiritual life is accelerating… How about you?

  5. Lucy says:

    What beautiful light in the last photo. I get the sense that you have ‘arrived’.
    much love
    Lucy xxxxxxxxx
    ps, I have many memories of ‘past lives’ all mostly unimpressive roles but important to me.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hij Lucy,
      Thank you for your kind words… Yes as i’ve already mentioned, the light has a strange affect on me, like some kind of conduit to something so familiar. I met another lovely guy in Valdemarsvik, Jonny Pettersson, a genuine forest dweller and Norse shaman. He ‘recognised’ me. I feel like I’ve known him from before. He’s made me a Viking woman’s knife in a forge and an assortment of amulets. Sounds so silly when I write the words but the experience has been very profound.

  6. Great news of new territory and what beautiful pictures.I expect you are already learning Swedish,
    knowing your enterprise? The light must be wonderful right now as it was in Norway in late July a few years ago when I visited. What a power light has!
    Keep up the good work and the news coming.
    Many strong thoughts too!.
    Love, Ruth

  7. Viking Queen says:

    Hello Ruth,
    As always.. wonderful to receive a message! I’ll bring my slide shows when I visit you. I know you will be enchanted, my friend and teacher. Thanks for your guidance and support,
    Love Poppy.

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