And ‘Baby’ makes three!

No, I’m not pregnant… but it is time to raid the ‘piggybank’ again! Spring is always the most expensive time of year for the live-aboard sailor. Last year it was the never-ending starter-motor affair which was finally ordered from those lovely Lancastrians from DFJ Automotive in Preston, fair England, (https://www.DFJAuto.com) who went the extra mile to marinise and rush it to Sweden for me. This year the main expense has been the ordering of a replacement for my beloved Walker Bay sailing tender, seen below in the Greek Islands many hedonistic years ago.

The art of 'chill'. Exploring the secluded Greek islands in my old Walker Bay sailing tender.

The art of ‘chill’. Exploring the secluded Greek islands in my old Walker Bay sailing tender.

As you may or may not remember, last year I was hammered by a short but violent storm in the north of the Gulf of Bothnia just south of Piteå. (Please see the following: https://vikingway.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/stormy-monday-65˚07-4n-21˚31-9e/) resulting in the loss of my ‘baby’, which had to be cut loose after turning itself into a sea anchor; further damage to Free was avoided, but at great cost and sentimentality. I purchased with the help of my friend, Kjell-Arne, an Optimist sailing dinghy as a replacement, but alas, the wooden construction makes it impossible to act as a viable substitute to the rigid plastic hull of the Walker Bay.

The joy of sailing a Walker Bay dinghy among the islands of Huvudskär, in the Stockholm Archipelago.

The joy of sailing a Walker Bay dinghy among the islands of Huvudskär, in the Stockholm Archipelago.

The only other possible option would have been an inflatable rib-type affair, which I believe are incredibly expensive for what they are, and must have an engine to really be of any value. Also they have an aversion to sharp objects! (and who hasn’t?)  No it had to be a new Walker Bay, but how? Sweden is a difficult place to find such a creature; or it was, until an Australian gentleman named Tim Shuwalow appeared on the internet! His new business imports them, much to my relief and delight. Well done, fine Sir, and have a ‘plug’ on me! http://www.walkerbay.se/

Tim arrives in Borka with my new 'Baby' a pristine Walker bay 8!

Tim arrives in Borka from Stockholm with my new ‘Baby’, a pristine Walker bay 8!

Tim was extremely helpful in rushing the boat to me, and went the extra mile by driving up from Stockholm and delivering it personally. I am very grateful for this and wish him and his company every success in the future. There is an added joy to messing around in a small sailing dinghy. I am often amazed to find out how many modern sailors on large cruising yachts have never sailed these tiny craft. My father had me out in one when I was eight years old, in tricky, British tidal waters; a real baptism! It was cold and often painful, but a true foundation for the future and integral to the fact that I am still alive.

Putting 'Baby' together!

Putting ‘Baby’ together!

As I potter away, preparing my new arrival for some local sea trials around Borka, I can indeed reflect on the fact that Free and me, and Baby makes three!

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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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6 Responses to And ‘Baby’ makes three!

  1. Christian says:

    it’s a girl – welcome to the family. dont put her in a corner as the film dirty dancing pops into mind.
    is that what u are going to call her.

    hope all going well and may you have many happy sailing days with her and her big older sister Free.

    C x

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Chris… Not sure of a name yet… maybe just ‘Baby’. It is a relief to have a good tender again! Hope all is well back in London Town.

  2. Clare Pryke says:

    Hey Love,

    Was thinking of your wise words in Liverpool YHA kitchen, that I couldn’t carry out in practice in the end and now recovering from long shaky 3 months.

    I hope I can go on a long adventure alone one day. I tried one last Easter within my budget (well over it but I just didn’t eat nice food for the following fortnight. I cycled to Romney Marsh to be around the fields and lambs having races around them. the weather was lovely and I stayed in a cheap hotel by the steam railway station. I didn’t want to come back! But I couldn’t afford another night. I might go camping soon. Though I don’t feel safe camping alone unless I’m at a music festival… I think I’ll go youth hostelling though there are hardly any in Kent. Have you heard of the Fano Free Festival (that’s definitely not free!)? My friends invited me to it but I’ll have to sell some pictures first! I just took my pictures and paintings back from my 2nd exhibition in London, felt a bit sad but just because I was worn out. I knew none would sell because they were self portraits and only famous artists sell them. Still I spoke to the gallery owner and might exhibit some prints to buy of my more sellable stuff as more affordable and he seemed up for it.

    Love hearing your adventures!

    Miss you my wise friend! Clare 🙂 xxx

    • Viking Queen says:

      So lovely to receive your message, Clare! I haven’t forgotten about ‘writing’ to you from somewhere with a pen and some paper… (remember those?) Glad you’re enjoying my blog, although it has been a little tame of late! Keep the dream alive, my friend, and you’ll realise all your wishes. Take care!

  3. Fascinating and may the” baby” give you bon voyage every time! Ruth

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Ruth! Yes, ‘baby’ is providing me with some lovely local sailing right now, but can be a little tricky with the gusty nature of the fjord. Well worth the investment!

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