Finally… after waiting a whole lifetime… I crossed the sixty degree northerly latitude after a rip-roaring sail from Arholma Island to Ōregrund. I have turned the corner into the Gulf of Bothnia, steering North Nor’ West.
I celebrated by starting up ‘Horatio’ the generator, so I could put on my toaster for a delicious piece of toast and jam! What a moment… and to do it under sail, after all these years!
Now I have left the Stockholm Archipelago behind and entered a different Sweden… More open to the sea and strangely, a new kind of light, very difficult to explain. I can tell the difference though.
Sailing from the open sea into the channel that runs up to Ōregrund, was quite challenging under sail with narrow gaps between the islands and a strange funnelling effect from the wind. Great care must be taken not to be over pressed with too much sail, for sudden strong gusts can catch out the unwary sailor. Passing too near to the shore can find one trying to claw away as the distance grows nearer. This is the classic ‘lee-shore’, that has haunted sailors for centuries, when the wind is blowing you on-shore while you are trying to steer off.
Today was one of my most profound since arriving on the Swedish coast and I witnessed a magnificent eagle soaring above me. I only saw one other boat on passage, as the holiday season is now over. The solitude brings even more mystery and romance to the voyage and I feel the strains of history all around.
If old Njörd is merciful and the remainder of my voyage continues as planned, I should make my final destination of Borka Brygga by next weekend. This means that ‘Free’ shall be lifted out of the water for winter after two years in. Carro’s uncle Micke is expecting me and together we will prepare ‘Free’ for hibernation.
I know you have all been subjected to a lot of posts in a very short time and there is just one final piece to the jigsaw… the arrival in Borka Brygga. I apologise for this and have noticed my readership falling off quite a bit recently. I suppose it must be difficult keeping up in a world with so much razzmatazz and information. Alas, I no longer seem to fit into that world.
There have been moments when I just want to share this beauty… to commit it to poetry and photograph. But how can you? How can you qualify and quantify the divine?
Soon the posts will stop, as I go on Pilgrimage in Spain and leave the Saga behind me. Perhaps now, like a Buddhist Mandala made from sand, it shall just blow away…
I for one, am changed forever… Humbled by this Viking Realm, a necklace of a thousand islands, shimmering in the evening summer sun, like so many diamonds. It is a beauty that is almost too painful to bear, agony to hold too close to one’s heart. What can come after this? What else is there?
The modern world holds so little value to me, with its harsh, lonely cruelty, where no one belongs anywhere anymore. No doubt I will return to that again, but enriched by these special memories of when, once upon a time, I stood on the fringes of Valhalla and cried…