Angels and Demons

Every now and then I wonder why I feel compelled to write this saga, after all, a seafaring life has a repetitive familiarity about it, possibly even its own kind of routine.

No matter how exotic a life is there is always some form of repetition, perhaps a structure that underlies it. Those who feel themselves to be living in a rut, or a lifestyle that binds them in bondage to a society that has evolved into a deeply materialistic sense of normality, cry inwardly for release into the ‘other kind of life’, where folk seem so much more contented and living such worthwhile existences; following their dream, if you will. Would it make one feel better to know that this is a bit of a fantasy?

I am a sailor, for sure. Not necessarily a good one even, but a sailor nonetheless. I feel at one with the art of harnessing the wind and elements, and have the privilege to share this with generations of other seafarers stretching way back into time, as old as humanity itself. This bond thrills me to my core and I thank the Gods for it. It took a lot of courage to make that leap into the dark unknown, to sublimate that gut-wrenching fear, for not only were the elements unimpressed with my early attempts, but so were (and still are) society’s norms too. The general consensus is a requirement to ‘tow the line’, to ‘fit in’ and ‘be a responsible adult’. I’m sure you know the rest, for do you not often think: ‘if only I could break free’?

I returned to Gävle. The morning mist precedes another boiling hot summer's day.

I returned to Gävle. The morning mist precedes another boiling hot summer’s day.

The aim of this website is to ‘demystify’ the life of a ‘live-aboard’ sailor, without spoiling the essence of what can be a truly amazing existence. It isn’t a fantasy, living on a boat; it is possible to live with dignity outside of the norms of society, although very difficult. One requires tremendous self-discipline, for slack maintenance and lack of attention to detail can have dire effects, but even that isn’t enough; one needs a degree of good fortune, too. Good fortune comes in many ways, climatic, spiritual and humanistic; however, I like to narrow it down to a duality, which in this missive will evolve into a non-duality, hopefully!

Angels and Demons…

I left and returned, and all in the same day. I knew that leaving Gävle so early was perhaps a mistake, for some reason hidden within the deeper layers of my consciousness; I was uneasy. For starters, there was almost no wind, and these days in this tide-less paradise, one can pick and choose when to sail. Gone are the days of waiting for the ebb tide (always when the weather is bad or in the early morning dark, so if seems!) and patience pays dividends. The lingering fear that my faulty electrical system would lead to a very serious situation has never been far from my thoughts, lately and the fact that I had sailed all the way from Finbo Island in the Ålands, without a resolution was just asking for trouble. The Gods will only reward one’s daring to a certain extent until a lesson needs to be taught. Fortunately mine came in the form of demons that turned out to be angels.

Lövgrund Island: It was never meant to be. The 'Demons' who asked me to leave were in fact 'Angels' in disguise. This the cosmic 'Lila'.

Lövgrund Island: It was never meant to be. The ‘Demons’ who asked me to leave were in fact ‘Angels’ in disguise. This the cosmic ‘Lila’.

I arrived in the sheltered bay of Lövgrund, a small island ten miles to the northeast of Gävle, and hooked up to another Svenska Kryssarklubben buoy, with the aim of slowly heading north towards Söderhamn in short hops. At about sixteen hundred hours, a yacht arrived and politely asked me to depart, as I wasn’t a member. This is the first time that I have ever been asked this, so I complied with a mixture of resentment and guilt. The engine barely started, so after my heart had slowed down enough to leave, I decided to return to Gävle and the free moorings. Perhaps I could find an electrician to locate and repair the damage. Even the cost would be better than the possibility of losing Free on some rocky shore.

The 'Angels of Gävle', Roger (left) and Jussi.

The ‘Angels of Gävle’, Roger (left) and Jussi.

And this is where the duality becomes the non-duality, the unity, if you will. Angels and Demons are one and the same. They both have identical purpose: to help one evolve and transcend the barriers of fear, and in its sublimation, love. To know love, one must know fear and vice versa.

We’ve seen the Demons, now enter the Angels, stage right. Jussi Kahti and Roger Lundqvist.

Whilst wandering, and wondering, along the quayside I met Jussi working on his magnificent schooner and our conversation led to my electrical problems. Within half an hour he had told his friend Roger Lundqvist about my plight. No sooner had I put on the kettle than Roger arrived and over the next few days tirelessly applied his electrical know-how, locating the main cause of the starter motor’s malfunction… yes, my friend Kjell-Arne was correct, a defective solenoid and relay. However, my own hypothesis was also relevant: the battery selector was not engaging properly either, causing some serious problems including the reason why the engine would barely start, even when ‘hot-wired’ (by-passing the ignition switch).

Roger Lundqvist, a man with a big heart. I cannot thank him enough.

Roger Lundqvist, a man with a big heart. I cannot thank him enough.

The following day, Roger took me to a huge warehouse place called Biltema (bil in Swedish means ‘car’) where I could buy the relevant parts and it was there that I decided to raid the emergency slush fund and renew my main battery bank, now nearly ten years old; ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’ as they say. The disadvantages of transporting very heavy batteries was removed by Roger’s presence and his car, and this task was completed before struggling to find them further north on return to Borka at a much more expensive price. Car parts have the advantage of being far cheaper than their marine equivalent. In my experience one can multiply the price by five for any item that has ‘marine’ in its description.

Roger adds the final touches on the installation of the new batteries.

Roger adds the final touches on the installation of the new batteries.

Meeting Roger and Jussi in Gävle has put the icing onto an incredible cake of  summer sailing, adventuring and the sheer experience of living ‘life on the edge’ in the magnificent present moment. When I asked if I could help them in any way, they gave the same answer I would have given:

‘Pass it on’.

Of course, that’s how it works… that’s the meaning of true spirituality. The human family transcends the narrow spectrum of blood ties; it is far bigger than that. True humanity is our connection, and its cement is love.

Angels and demons…

Light and dark…

But the light always dispels the dark.

Both need each other, and in that there is true salvation.

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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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18 Responses to Angels and Demons

  1. cornishtim says:

    What a lovely story to re-assert my belief in the ultimate good in mankind and also my belief in Kharma. Good will prevail from a negative.

    • Viking Queen says:

      I’m glad you found it helpful Tim; it was intended thus, especially for all those who have been following the saga.

  2. Lynda Hulme says:

    Hi Poppy, so sorry not to have commented for so long but I’m really, really enjoying your latest postings. My admiration for you never ceases. Keep up the good work sweetheart. Much love. Lynda xxx

    • Viking Queen says:

      What a lovely, lovely suprise. It’s SO good to recieve your message Lynda and know that you’re still out there. Thank you for your encouragement. It seems such a long time since Carloforte all those years ago!

  3. Viki Moore says:

    What a lovely post. The next time I encounter a demon I’ll change my mindset!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Glad you found it useful, Viki! I really believe that everything is linked, there’ve been too many moments like this in my sailing life to consider otherwise. We make our own good fortune by positive interpretation and seeing the bigger picture. We really are parts of the huge cosmic dance… The Lila. Everything is perfect somehow and true freedom comes from taking full responsibility for ourselves.

  4. Ben says:

    Thank you I have done Reading again a good story with a spiritual note.

  5. Andy says:

    A post of depth as well as depths 🙂 life-affirming 🙂

    • Viking Queen says:

      Actually your RIP posts gave me the idea! 😉seriously though, the balance between the dark and the light are crucial for growth and the RIP’s have their place in helping to humble us and remind us of the transience of all life.

  6. Hariod Brawn says:

    Quite beautifully written Poppy, and charged with profundity – a delight on both levels.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Hariod. I was hoping to draw you into the post! 😈this is your subject area really so a compliment is praise indeed! I have really come to an understanding this summer, a series of real Zen moments.is it possible to be a ‘Zen Viking’ do you think? 😉 No because it’s a little too subjective!

  7. Liz Poole says:

    Poppy, lovely as always to read your log and well done for the doing the right thing. Not only getting the electric fault fixed but buying the new batteries after 10 years, while a car was handy!
    But what I really want to talk about is the fact that I’ve finally got around to reading your book, Tickling the Eagle, WHAT A PAGE TURNER!! You have such an easy style and such honesty as you relate the development of your life afloat. It resonated so much in practically every detail with the various sailing and middle eastern experiences I have had, I am there with you on every page.
    I’m just beginning Chapter 42, so will finish the rest in one sitting tonight. Fabulous, keep writing, you’ve got talent, Liz

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Liz! What an accolade! i tried not to make it too ‘sailory’ and more humanistic, if you will. I really appreciate your feedback, it’s very encouraging, especially from another sailor. I hope all is well on Cadogan right now. My friend in the library told me at the council are trying to shut down the live-aboard community. Love to Tony and your family. I’d love to pop round to see you for a cuppa in November sometime…

  8. Thanks for this – came at the right time. Best wishes as always.

  9. Roger Lundqvist says:

    Hi Poppy
    I have bin reading your blog from the oldest till to the last one, and I must say you had done an amasing voyager with both upps an downs, I am impressed. And you are a very god writer to.
    Its very interesting to read abaut your saling in the Baltic sea, the same sea as I had bin sailing in for the last 25 yers but not so far north as you did, reading abaut your fealings and experiense an compare with mine own experiense.
    It vill be very interesting to follow your blog.

    Roger

    • Viking Queen says:

      25 years is a long time Roger! Amazing experience. You have a lot to teach! I’m glad you are enjoying the blog.

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