Romancing the fear.

I will always love Scandinavia….Viking genes are there in my DNA, my ancestors settling in the West of Scotland and Northern Ireland, but it is that very spirit that calls to me now.

The preparations are underway; so much to do with food supplies and the inevitable maintenance necessary to keep a sea-going vessel ship-shape and Bristol fashion! Thinking about it produces a mental mountain, seemingly impossible to scale, but it will be done, one step at a time.


On an evening like this, anything seems possible.

The weather is crazy in Sweden at this time of the year not unlike the United Kingdom, but amplified massively. It is easy to be caught out in the Baltic as I have found out to my cost. There is only so much one can prepare for, and I suppose that applies to life in general. How much security is there? Some? Little? Or none. I’d go with the latter.

Here comes the storm...

Free is about to get whacked by a freak storm just off Piteå in the northern Baltic back in 2014. There really is little or no security for a sailor.

It still surprises me when folk ask if my life is dangerous, and ‘are you afraid?’ I can’t help a rueful smile as I see their own fear manifesting itself within their own eyes, applying the uncertainty of modern life to my own. My reply remains consistent. ‘Of course I am.’

There is no shame in fear for it is healthy and indeed necessary for our very survival. How one uses it though is the key to a fulfilling, happy life. Fear is the fuel that produces action in its positive sense; however, it is all too easy to succumb to apathy and terror, causing eventual paralysis of body and spirit. Before long, one finds an overwhelming sense of helplessness and eventually depression as the fear corrodes all that makes us human. reducing us to cowards and slaves.

Time to face the fear, that alchemical catalyst.

I know my life must appear terrifying to some and I cannot deny there are moments when I call out to the Gods for protection, but the same limitations are there for everyone, no matter what they do.

Can you see a way through it? Will there ever be an end to the uncertainty of life with all the terrorism, dangerous environments and constant threats from banks, governments and those that we trust; even our own families and friends?

There will never be security… life never has been, nor ever will be a touchy, feely new-age paradise. It is what it is… a tough universe.

'Alone with you'

There will always be small oases of peace and relief in the eye of the storm. Here I am in the Stockholm Archipelago during the long voyage north in 2013.

I love to live this life knowing that each day could be my last. It hones the mind and swells the heart into a massive, and boundless source of joy, the sense of a life well lived for a’ that.

Welcome to the Lila the cosmic dance of the Hindus. They understood that we are all parts of this vast and terrifying beauty.

Take your partners please!!!


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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16 Responses to Romancing the fear.

  1. Jason says:

    you crazy beautiful woman

    • Viking Queen says:

      Ha! Quite an accolade from one so creative! I’ll take it though! Hope all is well with you and your lovely family and friends.

  2. Ramon says:

    Thanks Poppy, for another inspiring account of your adventures. I find your piece on fear so apt for my current circumstances. Fear is crippling but only when you allow it. Its constant appearance can be exhausting, but it does serve to remind us not to take life for granted but to live it fully. All the best. Ramon

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Ramon… it’s been a long time my compañero. Sorry to learn of your fear. I hope you can gain some strength. You always struck me as a courageous man, when we walked from León into Galicia. Take care, and keep the sun in your heart…. ultreia!

  3. Great post Poppy, loved your thoughts on F.E.A.R. I am learning to makes friends with this companion, and lone sailing is one of the best ways to unmask the roaring mouse. Big Love and hugs. Xxxxxx

  4. Jo says:

    Hi Poppy ,
    Met you in the hostel in Whitby… but sadly missed you on the day we were leaving so didn’t get to read your article or say good bye.
    So pleased to find this blog and hear that you are up north again. I will be on the water this Sunday and will be thinking of you as my inspiration as I try to master this capsizing business!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Jo! Lovely to hear from you! Yes I remember the fun we had in the kitchen chatting about sailing. It be lovely to get feedback from you if you have the time as I sail south this year. Good luck with the capsizing!

  5. Pelle says:

    Hi Poppy!
    Wellcome back to Sweden and a new sailing season in the wonderful waters of Scandinavia. I have read your blog with great plessure for a couple of years but been to lazy 🙂 to write any comments until now. I love your way of thinking and writing very much.
    I allso live aboard my 29 feet sailing yacht since 2010, and I just love it.Last year I sailed 3200 nm along the norwiegian coast to Nordkap and back to Gothenburg (Göteborg). Most of the way I sailed alone, but my girlfriend joind me for a month in the most northen part of Norway. It was just a fantastic journey which I can strongly recomend.
    This year I´m just about to start a tour around the Baltic sea all the way up to Haparanda via Polen, the Baltics, Finland and back home along the eastcoast of Sweden.
    Maybe our “roads” will cross somewere along the coast

    I hope you will have a lovely summer and fair winds!!

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hi Pelle ! What an amazing voyage! Well done! I reached Törehamn in 2014 and sailed back down the coast of Finland… quite an effort single-handed with all the rocks and so few harbours! Good luck this year and you never know… maybe we are destined to meet!

  6. herbwormwood says:

    Fantastic post! I’m Living a very different lifestyle to yours yet as you point out there are so many ways fear can be triggered. So glad I happened on your blog.

  7. Andy says:

    Just seen that it was a year today when I found out about Caroline’s death. How fast that has gone. Hope you’re okay.

  8. Viking Queen says:

    He strangled her.

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