Busy, busy, busy! That’s the name of the game.
Summer is slowly seeping into Enånger (pronounced eh-nong-er) fjord, teasing the pines and silver birches, which have burst into a dazzling foliage. All is becoming green; swallows dash and dive across the water as the Viking Queen prepares Free for her last summer before she retires with her uncle Micke for a life pottering around the local islands.
This sailor feels that this full time sailing life must come to an end, and why not finish on a high note having reached the top of the Gulf of Bothnia, fulfilling the dream of a little South Shields girl, who’s only school-time interest was poring through her atlas amidst the dull, drudgery of ‘education’ as it was laughingly referred to back then.
Here at Borka, I have been treated rather like a minor celebrity and why? Well, I finally received a copy of the local newspaper, Hudiksvalls Tidning(journal). Here is what it looks like. I never told them I was a ’round the world sailor’, but that is what the headline means, ‘wintering in Borka’.
I was deeply moved to have been awarded an honorary life ‘VIP’ (their words not mine) membership of the Borka Brygga yacht club, which entitles me to free mooring as well as this delightful little number, modelled by the aforementioned Viking Queen on the after deck of her fine vessel. Note also the pennant of the club in my hands. This is the first sailing club of which I have ever been a member. As many of you know I am not a joiner/ social type, but in this case I am proud and honoured to fly this flag from my halyard for the rest of my voyage. Thank you very much…
However, it hasn’t all been about catwalks and beautiful Summer entreés… The flowery poetry does not extend to the grim hard work involved in raising Free’s mast, always a problem after a long time lying on top of the wheelhouse. This time it took nearly all day as I also had to inset a new radar cable. Not easy.
Raising my own mast has saved me huge amounts of money over the years, since I had it built in Turkey back in 2008; however, it is never easy and vigilance is necessary to avoid snagging or entangling various wires and ropes as the a-frame begins raising the mast. It is always a relief to slip in the metal pin for security once the task is achieved.
The final icing on top of the hard work cake was the back breaking task of dismantling Free’s winter cradle, where she had rested her weary keel during a long slumber. Tomy lent me a crowbar and asked me to disassemble it all, no mean feat for a weary Viking Queen, already aching all over from yesterday’s travails!
The next episode of the Saga will concern the happy little town of Hudiksvall. I have yet to meet one British person anywhere this far north of Stockholm, so maybe some of you might be curious? We’ll see…
Right now it’s time to make a lentil curry and settle down to a good book next to a cosy wood fire.
Ah well… some one’s got to do it!
Hej då från Sverige…