Now is the winter of my content.

I love winter; it gives value to the other seasons. The North is my passion with its constant change and fusion into panoramic hues. The fjords are a wonderful contrast of deciduous silver birch with their surrendering foliage and the resilient, lush spruce. I can only stand in blissful awe of Odin’s sylvan palette.

OneThe sweltering, tropical heat with its predictable sunset curfew, plunging all into darkness is not for me, neither are the sudden, violent storms and a barometer that hardly seems to move at all.

Many of my Swedish friends have been disappointed by a somewhat temperamental summer, which is understandable, considering the prolonged darkness of the normal Scandinavian winter; but for me it has been like a typical northern British summer and some lovely coastal sailing on the Jungfrukusten (Maiden’s Coast).


I have sailed just over three hundred and fifty nautical miles this year, in challenging, gusty conditions with delightful sojourns in Hudiksvall and Söderhamn; a pleasing balance of solitude and conviviality with friends and complete strangers.


I could not have asked for more as the eleventh year of my Saga ends.

Winter will soon soon cast her cloak upon the land and Free shall lie on her cradle to slumber until the sun returns next year. Now a new challenge awaits me with a Swedish winter in the village; a small apartment above my friend Micke’s house.


The gods will play in the heavens as the winter spirits dance on the land and I shall witness with reverence, this timeless ecstasy, a blessing to behold.

I would be lying to tell you that this sailing life is easy or always blissful. Of course it isn’t. There have been times when my body flirted with its breaking point, blood running down my hands from flailing ropes under full sail, my back wrenched into agony. And yet, would I have replaced it all?

And the solitude? A singlehanded sailor has to be mentally tough, for there is no one else to blame in those moments of total chaos when life hangs in the balance. But the aloneness becomes integral and percolates through one’s being, liberating the need to seek happiness outside of the self.

There is true unity with the divine this way.





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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13 Responses to Now is the winter of my content.

  1. chris says:

    saludos viajera..bendiciones..

  2. Andy says:

    I heard a certain singer singing ‘Single Handed Sailor’ as I read that line, think he’s from your neck of the woods?
    Hunker on down and enjoy your winter. I love that season too.

  3. Viking Queen says:

    Duh… silly me!

  4. Pelle says:

    Hi Poppy!
    First of all: I had a couple of great days in Borka on my way back to Göteborg and it was Lovely to meet you at last! 🙂 I do agree about that the winter makes us appreciate summer so much moore. I myself could never live in place where it´s summer all year around.
    I´m going to spend the winter in my homeport on the island Öckerö, just outside of Göteborg and I expect it to be quite windy and rainy, but it´s ok!
    I hope you will have a wonderful winter with lots of snow and not to cold now when you have decided not to go back to England for the Winter.
    Good Luck!

    • Viking Queen says:

      It was lovely and a big thank you again for the delicious meal in the restaurant! Well done for making it back to Göteborg! I hope your winter is tolerable and wish you all the best fortune for the next year.

  5. arcady001 says:

    Beautifully written Poppy. I too have felt the draw to Scandinavia over many decades, but unlike you have never reached there in my own boat.

    There are changes ahead for me and who knows, maybe I will finally point our bows in that direction.

    Keep writing please – it is an encouragement!


    • Viking Queen says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Keith. Don’t give up your dream is all I can say. If you want it enough you will do it. It’s never easy, for sure, but despite the really scary times, I look back with a sense of fulfilment knowing that I’ve been true for myself. I have met so many amazing folk on my odyssey, too many to remember. Good luck and fair winds, you will make it!😊⛵️

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