The nights are drawing in…

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.

The nights are drawing in...

The nights are drawing in…

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.

Kurt and Micke, solve the riddle of the bent davits!

Kurt and Micke, solve the riddle of the bent davits!

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.

Kjell-Arne (right), the catalyst that has made everything happen.

Kjell-Arne (right), the catalyst that has made everything happen.

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…


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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29 Responses to The nights are drawing in…

  1. Viki Moore says:

    Don’t stop! Your writing is beautiful. 🙂

  2. christian costenoble says:

    bonjour mon amie superbe d avoir de tes bravo pour le content que les gens sont aussi gentils..bisous.

  3. Your posts have been invaluable. I am wondering now whether to save them all in case you do – pull the plug!
    I appreciate the inner invasiveness, though. Sometimes it is necessary to share.

  4. While the closest I’ve come to sailing is kayaking and good old fashion swims in the pond, I do enjoy reading your about your adventures, it helps this landlubber’s imagination set sail, you should know this. But whatever you chose to do, thank you for sharing and may the goddesses and gods smile upon you.

  5. Roger Lundqvist says:

    Lovely written as usually so don’t stop writing I am already locking forward to next post.
    And don’t forget Poppy when you get help from someone, you give so much back of your self with your open mined and warm hart.
    You given me those memorable moments when we had a chat over a pot of tea.
    And I am glad you liked my coffee.


  6. Don’t stop the blog! We are all busy but it is so nice to stop by, when we can, and read your descriptive writing and also to visualise the imagery before your eyes (with the aid of a photo or two). It is the next best thing to being there. I am so glad you have found helpful friends to sort the mechanical issues that neset Free. It never ceases to amaze me how giving people are! I know you love Scandinavia, as much as I do. I’m planning also to be in Helsinki early summer next year before heading to Norway Denmark and for sometjing different, Poland!!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello Amanda! Thank you for the encouragement. It has been nice to receive such positive feedback from my most regular readers. Sometimes it feels like a family. I found Poland difficult, to be honest but it is changing fast. it is a tough coast for a sailor, with any northerly wind a real headache.

      • I am not sure what I will find there. I may find it just as difficult as you did. But it will be different! And I will be travelling inland, of course.

      • Viking Queen says:

        I hitched a train down to Wroclaw and spent some weeks in the interior. Language was a real problem, but the folk were kind and it was possible to grunt and gesticulate to get by!

      • Ah, then I won’t believe the tourist brochure that English is widely spoken. I am going to Wroclaw so I will let you know what I find. I think I came across your blog just after you left Poland!

      • Viking Queen says:

        I’m sure the brochure is correct, Amanda. My experience was that buying tickets for trains was difficult and confusing. Maybe i was just unlucky. I’d be interested to know your experience.

      • I was considering taking a train to Germany or Denmark but this language issue you mention, has made me chose air travel over bus or train. It is already confusing to know which station and where to get off let alone ask for help and not be understood. I am getting a bit old (and tired) for independent travel in a place where language is a big obstacle, so have opted for an organized tour in some parts. This is the easier way and I know I have sacrificed adventure for security. It is a decision tinged with regret but I can still make it a fun experience.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Oh Amanda, I hope I haven’t spoiled your experience. You’ll be ok in Wroclaw, as there are many young folk who can speak English. A young guy told me where to get off the train when it was obvious that I was not a local! I often feel the same way as you… For example I didn’t understand how to book a sleeper from Swinjousie and ended up sat in a crowded compartment all night, being shattered in the morn. I know there are many folk returning from working in England who have some English, but the older tend to speak German. In the big cities it will be easier, surely.

      • Of course you haven’t spoilt anything Poppy. I had decided this already but your comments re-affirmed it was the right choice! Thanks for the extra info. I appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing all the country esp. Wroclaw. Interesting German is still spoken. I guess because it is close to the border?

      • Viking Queen says:

        I think so. Even Sweden’s older generation have more German. It’s hardly surprising though.

  7. Rose Nitschke says:

    I just read your blog from David’s home in Berlin. We also had a fantastic sunset (4th floor), like in your photo. Loved your poetic opening and read it out loud to David! So keep up your writing and let us know what you’re up to. We love to be taken with you on your adventures into the unknown waters of the Swedish north. Your Swedish friends are becoming like family to us, too. We are all family, those who care and share. This is the kind of news we need to keep up the faith in mankind.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Well said, my friend. The world is the true family, for sure. I hope David is feeling better after the healing!

  8. Christian says:

    Belated hello and I agree with Viki,Michael and Roger and all the others, the words and pictures that let us step into your journey each time we read a new one when our email bings and those of us not brave enough see what it would be like to be free of our work chains.
    I had a lovely experience a few weeks ago enjoying your pace of life and sailing your wonderful free. (thank u Free) the evenings with a glass of wine or two having supper with logs roaring and the scent of the wood burning and the candles doing their little dancing shadows on the walls. it was wonderful time with no tv radio or newspapers – having coffee and cake on decking watching the swallows diving for insects and hearing the fish jump -cycing on the bikes with no brakes as we know it and of course meeting the lovely people of Borka. Hello Eva.
    I am sure what ever your plans are for next summer we all wish to be taken on the journey with you and read whats happening and of course see great photos. Helsinki sounds like a plan.
    see you soon.

    coffee/cake awaiting and my treat to bella’s one evening


    • Viking Queen says:

      Wow a real tome, my friend. You wrote more than all of the past posts combined!!! Very poetic!😀 Yes, looking forward to a trip to old London town again and your wonderful company. Don’t forget the rosé! 🍷🍕

    • Viking Queen says:

      And… in time you’ll make a good sailor. Well done on the helm!

      • Christian says:

        thank you was in full swing of dropping a few lines and got carried away and yes a few glass of rose and a bit of Italian what more could a girl want

      • Viking Queen says:

        An Italian? Is there much more? !!! 😈

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