Summer has ebbed away, leaving her ghosts flirting with memories, occasonal warm episodes all too soon laid to rest by gales ripping up the Jungfrukusten. It is hard to predict the weather from one day to the next, but the night cannot lie, nor masquerade as if it were August again with sapphire blue seas and paradise sailing. Chilly evenings bring my wood fire and cosy subdued candlelight.
Safe old Borka, with the pottering routines of a northern Swedish boat club, is a lovely place to be just now. Folk stick together up in these northern latitudes; they need each other, for sure. Borka Brygga remains my oasis and a chance to repair and prepare for lifting Free out, for winter’s slumber will soon begin again.
These past few weeks have presented a chance for solving the more pressing technical problems that inevitably result from running a sailing boat. This is perhaps the biggest challenge for those who choose this life and blissful though it may be, it can be hard bloody work at times, a precarious balance of improvisation and financial stress.
Oh how the Gods have cared for me up here in the Scandinavian North. All the determination to carry on come what may, seems to have seeped up into Yggdrasil’s more rarefied realms and how sweet the reply! They have gifted me with a series of special folk who have helped me do battle with all things technical. Dear Roger from Gävle, he of the electrical wizardry, visited me up in Borka, and repaired my leaking fuel pump, showing true friendship. Timo from Finland, has consistently bombarded me by email with many invaluable tips on all matters fuel, plus the benefits of his intimate Åland Island knowledge; not only this but an invitation to visit his home club near Helsinki with free guest mooring next summer, which considering the high expense of Finland’s capital city, is a real gift.
Finally, the solution to my oldest headache… the twisted davits on my stern. A local Enånger gentleman, Kurt, and his colleague Micke, turned up one night to conduct repairs. Despite my protests, they refused to take payment for a fine job, leaving me speechless with gratitude.
My sojourn in Borka this year has been greatly aided by Kjell-Arne, who has coordinated so many aspects of local knowledge and folk who have real technical know-how. He and his wife Margareta have oft times ferried me into Hudiksvall to find spare parts and the domestic items that make life on board a little more bearable as these winter nights draw in. What would I do without them? It is almost impossible to live here without some transportation help. Northern Sweden is a car culture, for sure, with miles between places.
So once again, thank you all so much for your hospitality and friendship. My gratitude is immense.
And so ends this short update from the far north. You are all aware that most of my posts come during the months when I am sailing; however, through the winter months, an occasional update may surface, but it is a time-consuming process writing a blog and quite invasive of one’s inner peace at times. I have oft times considered terminating it, but a sudden special message and the new friends made, have kept this old saga rambling on, and that it will do, until lack of interest confines it to memory, after all:
This too, shall pass…