Epilogue… A Viking’s way.

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.

The beautiful Indian summer, has me out on deck painting everything that moves!

The beautiful Indian summer, has me out on deck painting everything that moves!

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 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.

My little Optimist painted and ready for sailing trials in Borka.

My little Optimist painted and ready for sailing trials in Borka.

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.


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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31 Responses to Epilogue… A Viking’s way.

  1. christisn says:

    glad all is well with both u and free and that she is enjoying the loving care she is getting for winter.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Chris. Yes I love her every way I can, but we’re both getting old. Maybe we are maturing like a fine wine?
      Hmm… talking of fine wines… Book that table in Bella Italia on the Strand. Flying back to London town on the 28th October!

  2. Hahahaha, I love optimist…I used to sail a boat like her when I was a child. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since we met, and I’m ever do happy our paths crossed–its been fun following your adventures. Enjoy the last of summer. Buen Camino and Ultreia!

    • Viking Queen says:

      I have to name her now! ‘Baby Free’, Free Baby, Freelet, Freeling’… goodness knows! Ooh Red boots, you’re talking in the past tense! Hope we walk on a trail again someday? And the ‘last’ of Summer? Hell, woman… it’s only just begun! Metaphorically speaking, of course!

  3. cornishtim says:

    Friflikt………free flight in Swedish I think. Or just FRI…….
    You affirm my belief that we live in a beautiful world ( as Coldplay would tell us ) and it is full of generous spirited folk.

    • Viking Queen says:

      True… and I have found so many times that our world is a direct reflection of our inner selves. I love the simplicity of true freedom.

  4. Thanks Poppy. Scandinavia has given you much for fascinating reading.
    Summer lingers here,too,and warmly!
    Looking forward to the next chapter.
    All the best as ever, Ruth

    • Viking Queen says:

      The pleasure is mine, my friend. Yes, I have watched the high pressure lingering over the UK and guessed we are having similar good fortune. An email coming your way soon!

  5. marieange13 says:

    Hi Poppy Lovely to read the good news and sad to see your wanderings coming to an end with the coming of winter. Good luck with the book and may winter bring its own rewards. Time to consolidate, to mull things over and to get ready for spring… only 6 months away after all. Best of everything May your spirit be rejuvenated and soar within

    Marie Ange and Mike

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello my dear companeros. Snow will grace the fjords and the viking reflects on Valhalla and the return of the sun. Until then there are internal voyages of the heart and soul; a chance to consolidate and recall wonderful memories of travels past and friends never to be forgotten, no matter how briefly met. Such as you…

  6. “Live your truth, no matter how scary” – very profound. And those scary and challenging things can help us grow. A lovely note to finish this saga, Poppy, with the new tender, but I can empathize that going back to “urbania” would be somewhat stultifying?

    • Viking Queen says:

      Different challenge maybe? I will find it tough because it lacks the clarity of the sea. I find modern sophistication quite scary and perplexing. But don’t give up Amanda… I will still be writing; a little less frequently though. Thank you for all your feedback and encouragement…

  7. Rose says:

    So happy to have read your latest journal entry, as I was beginning to miss hearing from you. May the Indian Summer (in German – Altweibersommer!) bestow all its warmth and glory on you in your present northern abode. Life is taking care of you and it will do so no matter where you are;)

    • Viking Queen says:

      Don’t worry, I shall keep writing even after the end of the Altweibersommer! The temperatures have dropped sharply right on the Autumn equinox, although in Finland I felt a definite earlier change. This morning it felt like awareness couldn’t find ‘me’? Strange? It was just there and I couldn’t ‘think’, just ‘be’. So peaceful. The sky is a vivid blue and the air has a bite to it and tastes clean and vital. I shall miss this back in England. I have always thrived in high pressure weather, there is a calmness about its stability that appeals to me.
      I hope all is well Rose, (it sounds like it!) and we keep in touch before I visit you. I am really looking forward to that.

      • Rose says:

        So am I, my dear friend!
        I know what you mean about the awareness just being there. I have had that at times lately, the sense of ‘I’ is gone and it is looking out of your eyes with no story to relate to. I love how you describe the northern autumn. It reminds me of Canada up north at the end of summer as a teenager – these moments of purity and clarity, felt in the air, that the soul responds to. Have you seen any northern lights? We used to see them at the cottage. Do hope you keep warm at night!

      • Viking Queen says:

        Alas no… they have eluded me! I have until the end of October to witness this beauty. Have you heard of Rupert Spira? Do find him on you tube… his explanation of awareness is wonderful and liberating. The simplicity of his message is so effective. It is getting cold now with ice on the wheelhouse roof this morning, but still breathlessly beautiful!

  8. Viki Moore says:

    Love the Optimist! I learnt to sail in one and my son Seth is doing an optimist sailing course next week! I would like to nominate your wonderful blog for a Leibster award! It is a bit of fun, and you get some new people looking at your blog as a result. Here is a link with some more information. http://astrolabesailing.com/2014/09/25/another-award/

    • Viking Queen says:

      That’s really sweet of you Viki! I’m not much of an IT person though. I only started the blog due to the suggestion of a friend a few years ago, to prevent duplicating messages to other friends. It has become a little bit of a Frankenstein’s monster though… growing and taking up a lot of time! Thank you anyway for the thought.
      The little optimist sails like a dream! I wish I could have learned on them rather than the big clinker built affairs of my childhood with my strict, unforgiving father and his naval discipline. So much easier these days. Interestingly though is the fact that so many modern sailors never sailed dinghies… scary!

  9. tengeru says:

    Hi Poppy. Maybe the Winter season is given to us to find the time to plan new adventures for the Spring. Maybe, it’s the Sea Gods way of saying ‘Rest up for a while…….there is more beauty to come’. Whatever, enjoy your short while ashore. N

    • Viking Queen says:

      I’m sure you’re right Nigel. I love winter too (a chance for the inner quest). You can really feel the old Gods up here and there is a bigger plan for us, I feel. Out of necessity for our personal alchemy, we have to find it… our path and purpose. Your awareness will take you to where you need to be… have faith!

  10. Whitt88 says:

    Once you fall for the sea, she/he/it never releases you, or so it seems to me. I suspect you’ll recognize a longing that you can’t resist for long.. To me anyway, you seem the most natural, the most honest, the most convincing when you write about life afloat and share you reflections about the eternal sea. The rest, well, that we know, more or less.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Good observation. I was destined to go to sea, from those earliest days when I bunked off school to play on the waterfront in South Shields. My whole family were tied up in building ships or seafaring and for me, there was nothing else more natural and magical.

      • Whitt88 says:

        Well then, count being a magician as one of your inherited trails. You paint seafaring in words. Please do look thru your logs for more glimpses of those exceptional experiences at sea.

      • Viking Queen says:

        You have inspired me, along with your beautiful photography! Fair winds, kind sir!

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