A working girl!

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’.

'It's all about me!!!' Can I handle the celebrity pressure?

‘It’s all about me!!!’ Can I handle the celebrity pressure?

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…

Strutting the catwalk! Modelling my new Borka Sailing club t-shirt and associated pennant.

Strutting the catwalk! Modelling my new Borka Sailing club t-shirt and associated pennant.

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.

Finally beginning to raise Free's mast as the dusk arrives.

Finally beginning to raise Free’s mast as the dusk arrives.

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.

At last! Now I can breathe deeply!

At last! Now I can breathe deeply!

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 'grande finale': taking down Free's winter cradle.

The ‘grande finale’: taking down Free’s winter cradle.

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…



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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12 Responses to A working girl!

  1. A verbal bouquet, Poppy! Congratulations on your elevation to the club and pennant, sounds like an inn! Make the most of what looks like a northern coda to a great sailing saga.and really deserved. Float on it all!
    Looking forward to the next account. May all the ropes be strong! Ruth

  2. marieange13 says:

    What hard work it took to get Free back in the water! Raising the mast seems incredibly time consuming and detailed work. Well done! It must give you great satisfaction to be back on Free and making ready for this next voyage. Enjoy the peace you will find and the challenges you will face. May you be strong and reap the rewards of achievement. Bravo!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hola Compañera! Thanks for your encouraging words. It’s been a long time… How are you both? Do send me some news!

  3. Christian says:

    How lovely.curry book by the heater. Glad all gone well with free and back in the sea where she.belongs. Hope u.both enjoy next part of yr journey and make lovely

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Chris… Love to all of you in the little house with the tree in front! Seems a long way from here! It is 11:30 PM here and I can read outside!

  4. Through your blog and book, I am beginning to comprehend a little of what it takes to undertake these voyages. And what a determined person you are, to overcome all the trials and tribulations you have faced! Do you have mixed feelings about the final voyage? Congratulations on the celebrity status, too! It is well deserved. Enjoy your swedish summer. The weather ahead looks clear! Hej då, Poppy.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Oh Amanda… where do I start?
      Firstly thank you for all your feedback and support. I feel like I’ve known you all my life!
      Yes, I have very mixed feelings; and you are correct, a level of determination is needed for this life, especially when you are not famous and almost unknown. The encouragement must therefore, come from the Holy Spirit. The vast spiritual realm becomes your world, mirrored in the awesome beauty of the Scandinavian vista. I feel that the Spirit’s light has transformed me hugely since Helgoland and now I am on a major inward quest too.

      • Isn’t it great that we can come across people who we feel we have known our entire lives, when the only contact we have had is through words? I hope you continue to blog so we in the cyberworld can continue to follow your journey in this quest! As for the scandinavian vista. I’m a teeny tad envious, but my vista will also be that of Scandinavia in a little over two weeks, so I can’t complain.

      • Viking Queen says:

        You do great work on the cyberworld; making folk think, encouraging them to be kind and forgive. I have always found the proverbs wonderful as if they come right from the spirit.
        I hope you enjoy your Scandinavian sojourn!

  5. Ramon says:

    Hola Poppy! I loved reading about your latest celebrity news, and I revel in your fame vicariously!

    Lots of hard work is never daunting to a Viking, but reading a book amidst the crackling fire, now that’s new Viking living. Keep it up and all the best in your ongoing travels.


    • Viking Queen says:

      Hola Ramon!

      Well.. some one’s got to do it! Could this old Viking be growing soft? I think I can hear the kettle boiling! Px

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