Adieu to my Viking sister…

We never know…

This world is beautiful, messy and bloody with no way of avoiding what is coming. We have so little time to take it by the horns and live it with dignity, courage and humour.


Caroline Van Ewijk, my friend, my viking sister and an example of just how well life can be lived.

My viking sister, Caroline Van Ewijk was one of those who did, before her life was cruelly taken in the Dutch port of Hoorn, two days ago.

Carro, you welcomed me into your life in that freezing cold Amsterdam winter, where I had no refuge on my old boat with her limited heating. With Swedish hospitality ‘Happy Six’ became almost a second home and you taught me about the Baltic and connected me with your uncle Micke at Borka up in the north of Sweden.  How many bitterly cold winter evenings did you ply me with hot tea and great food? It would have been so easy to play the ‘polite – oh you must pop round sometime’ response when we met in the washroom at Sixhaven, Amsterdam  back in the winter of 2012…

On 'Happy Six'

Down below with Dan and Caroline on their boat ‘Happy Six’.

But that wasn’t your style Carro, not at all.

You had it all… handsome husband, beautiful good looks and a character to light up any room. Men adored you and women loved your company. Your optimism, and ‘go for it’ courage activated the dullest of folk; and yet despite all this you had a sweet humility and acceptance of anybody who approached you. You could have turned away when meeting this scruffy old Geordie sailor, but you didn’t, you became my dear friend.

As I sailed north during 2013, you were always at the end of a phone for a text, or sitting in my inbox with a positive message.


With Carro on the Amsterdam Grachten.

Now my world seems painfully empty on this bleak, rainy day up here in the north of Sweden. I sit alone sharing the moment with your memory, just me and you; for every one of your friends and family will also have their silent time with their broken hearts, trying to grasp what life will be like without you.

You have left behind so much love and linked us all together to reflect on a life so well lived.


Typical Carro… enjoying the Koningsdag in Amsterdam. Fun was never far away when she was around!

I wanted to write a poem for you, but just couldn’t bear it because the words could never capture the essence of who you were.

How lucky am I to have known you.

Goodbye my dear friend…

Gone but never forgotten.


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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37 Responses to Adieu to my Viking sister…

  1. Claus Højlund says:

    Sure we remember your time with her and her husbond who was ill. strong people.!!! Wonder what happend.? Live the life when you got it. Thats what you allways teatch us readers.My thoughts go to you and Dan

  2. Andy says:

    Poppy, this isn’t the Caroline who blogged as RollinwithCaroline is it?

    • Viking Queen says:

      Yes it is Andy… I’ve seen your communication with her once so I’m sorry for the bad news.

      • Andy says:

        My God. I never met her but…it feels like a shock. Feels strange when never in each other’s company but still communicated over the Internet. We spoke a few times on both her and my blog. My condolences to you who did in fact meet her. What happened?

  3. Andy says:

    ‘Did in fact meet her’ sounds cold. You were friends. I’ve just read your post again as it was difficult to take in the first time. I’m sorry for your loss x

  4. Viki Moore says:

    So sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful person. Thinking of you xx

  5. Simona says:

    So very sorry to hear such devastating news, Poppy. May Caroline’s beautiful soul rest in peace. Thinking of you at this sad time. xx

  6. finnhagan says:

    What happened to your good friend?  I’m sorry to hear of your loss  .. blessings  to all who sailed with her. Now she’s navigating the stars . Hail hail.. your friend  finn  😨

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  7. Christian says:

    So sad for your news and hope u soon find d out what has happened to this wonderful friend of yours. We never know what’s round the corner or what is going on in another person’s mind. Hugs sent and prays sent
    C x

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Chris. Yes.. all true. If ever there was a better reminder for gratitude and making the most of your life…

  8. Hariod Brawn says:

    *respectful silence*

  9. Andy says:

    Reblogged this on City Jackdaw and commented:
    I read this post in shock last night. Poppy, whose blog I follow, posted about the death (and alleged murder) of another, lovely blogger that I followed (and she followed me). It was strange how the death of someone so far away affected me. The words we write, the words you write, matter. Technology allows us to make connections with people we would otherwise never meet. It can bring both joy and sorrow. R.I.P Caroline. Thanks for all of your encouraging words and sentiment.

  10. Roger Lundqvist says:

    I am very sorry to here that you lost a dear friend, its reminds me what you always say, live your life here and now tomorrow it can be to late. My thoughts is with you my dear friend.

  11. Hubert says:

    This is so sad to hear and I still cannot really believe it. We followed each other’s blogs, and I jokingly mentioned that I’d pop by for a visit in summer during our family vacation in The Netherlands. Your post is very moving, thanks for your lines!

    • Viking Queen says:

      You’re welcome my friend. Yes, it is a real shock. I spent most of my winter of 2012 sheltering in her boat, keeping warm as mine was too cold! We became good friends. I am numb. At least something positive has come from this… so many folk sharing wonderful memories and communicating.

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  13. A beautiful tribute, My thoughts are with you all..

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks for the kind words Sandra.

      • she was a collegue of my boyfriend at Kremer, met her only once at aquatech, she was a full of life person… so sorry to read today that Dan might have… Can’t be now can it?

      • Viking Queen says:

        I didn’t read anything about that but it doesn’t surprise me. I have been on the end of his temper once. Let’s hope not.

  14. cornishtim says:

    Have been away walking in France and only just seen this post. I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute and lovely thoughts show the depth of your love and friendship.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Welcome back Tim! Hope you enjoyed your ramble. Thank you for your kind words, yes we spent a lot of time together during a freezing Amsterdam winter. Carro and i were as different as chalk and cheese in everyday except to allow each other to be who we were. That’s what was so special about her.

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