The summer rolls on and the frequency of postings diminishes when sailing finally fades away into another precious memory. I don’t want to cease writing, especially as there are many new folk who have visited the Saga, since sailing in those northern waters, and you deserve to see a more complete picture of the other side of being a live-aboard sailor… winter in all its gory glory.
Normally, I would remain resident on Free during the winter months, but up here in the north of Sweden I would probably die if that were the case! My faithful old boat is just that… old. Her insulation is dire and in temperatures dropping to minus forty degrees, it would be foolhardy to even consider it.
So what does a Viking do when she’s ‘on the beach’? Well this one was born out of time; hence her community is very much anchored way back in past life memory. She will find herself thrust back into the harem scarem of modern land based life, a sobering thought hence the need for a strategy, because one needs just as much courage to live in so-called civilisation, as on the ‘Big Blue’.
In some ways the lack of honesty in these times is a total antithesis to the scary, brutal nature of the sea. Sometimes being ‘good enough’ doesn’t apply to the skullduggery of the superficial ‘hip’ world with all its apparent civility. So, why the need for an epilogue?
Three reasons: firstly, for the many new followers of my saga, who have shown a keen interest in a life probably not so commonly lived. Secondly, an elaboration of the aforementioned Viking way, the philosophy that this website and life has been moulded from, a genuine desire to prove to other ordinary folk that if I can do this, then so can you… Maybe not sailing, but something equally profound; in short, live your truth, no matter how scary.
Finally, a mini saga has finally resolved itself, thanks to Kjell-Arne, (pronounced shell- orneh) a kind, friendly member of the Borka boat club. He managed to locate a replacement for my little tender, lost during the big storm off Piteå up in the north of the Gulf of Bothnia, at the end of July. I cannot tell you how many places I have searched for a suitable replacement in Sweden and Finland since that mauling. It is so typical of this lovely boat club that Kjell-Arne went on line for me and located one in nearby Söderhamn, a little Optimist, complete with sailing rig.
The gentleman delivered it to me personally and then returned a few days later with three unused tins of wood primer, saving me a huge amount of money. Why am I still surprised after all the time I have spent in this beautiful country; that a complete stranger would go out of his way just because the weather ‘seemed good for painting’? So ultimately… the epilogue is really an addendum to the loss of my Walker Bay tender and a happy conclusion.
I still intend to continue the journal throughout the winter, albeit less frequently as it eats into the time needed for my new book ‘Seeking Wallander’, which will trace the Saga from the Netherlands to Borka.
The summer days are nearly done and the night brings a chilly mist, soaking Free’s decks by the morning. The high pressure is slowly ebbing away and I am captured on the cusp of Autumn as the Summer gods submit in their final throes, to the inevitability of it all.
I stand breathless, in anticipation.