Winter it has passed…

Winter has revealed the fruits of my labour, the completion of my second sailing novel, ‘Seeking Wallander’. This true story features the voyage I made over the years 2013 to 2014, between Amsterdam and Lapland. The whole book took me nearly five years to complete, a labour of love, constantly interrupted by my continuing Saga.

My return to Scotland last November produced a constructive, restful and secure environment in which to complete the novel, my second in a saga that I hope to achieve before finally swallowing the anchor.

Soon it’s back to the Big Blue…

My website has always majored on the positive and was an attempt to empower those who had a dream somewhere inside that yearned to be manifest. My joy has been to witness the freeing of the shackles of one’s conditioning and see those who reach within to reclaim their true selves. It was no mistake to name my boat ‘Free’. That is the only value I give to my life for without that, what is there?

It is rare to still be in the UK this late in Spring, but these are rare times, a tentative attempt to cultivate an emotional root on land. I can no longer fool myself that this sailing life will last forever. I have had a wonderful journey, and have so few regrets, which is surely the way to live a good, simple life. Life is rough and tumble, right enough, but the wasted life is surely a sin. To be sure, I am more afraid of mediocrity and self-satisfied complacency than missing my footing and ending this life beneath the Baltic swell.

'Küken and Coffee'
Another delicious küken (cake) with my old pal, Rose in Germany.

Soon, I will visit my old pal Rose, in Germany, always a memorable and inspiring sojourn. After that, it will be time to face the music again. I have the idea of migrating slowly southwards, preferably without any distractions. Memories of last year’s disastrous grounding still lie heavy on my heart, and I so need to retrieve my confidence.

Tentatively, I dream of Poland and the traversing of the North of Germany by river and canal. I have crossed France and Belgium from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, and an East to West voyage would be a glorious memory to accompany a wee dram in front of my fire as an auld woman.

Two old sailors
I need to rekindle the confidence I had to navigate the remote northerly Åland Islands.

So there it is…

‘That’s me,’ as we say here in Scotland. This is my first post of 2019, my twelfth year of this Viking Saga. I feel Odin’s steely gaze and Freya’s fierce warrior spirit. They seem to say: Are you up for this?

I reply: “I’ll give it my best, as always, and with your support, I’ll continue this Saga.



    1. Likewise Michael! It has been a long time! Good to know that you are still following my adventures! Take care.

  1. Always a joy to read your words, and follow your Scandi saga. May you find your confidence in the gentle breeze against your face inviting you to set sail amongst the Swedish skerries and inlets again.
    Where can we purchase your book?

    1. Ah Thanks, Amanda! Impossible to know where I’ll be next year… could be anywhere in Northern Europe. Hoping for a wee bit more luck than last year, although the summer sojourn in Gävle was lovely!

      1. More than a little, Amanda. I’ve spent nearly six years coming and going, plus living there for a whole winter in 2017-18. Gävle was my refuge after my unfortunate accident. My pal Roger, and his friends, made me welcome for the whole summer including repairing Free’s damage.

      2. Such kindness is to be treasured. But then you are pretty special company. I thought you were based a little further north in Sweden, one year?

      3. That’s kind of you Amanda. Roger has been an angel since i first met him in Gävle, having limped back from the Åland Islands in 2015 with huge electrical problems. Fortunately for me, my accident was within a day’s sail of Gävle so he came to my aid yet again! I have been incredibly fortunate to be sailing still, but alas that is the nature of the beast! You are correct, I have been mainly based around Borka, near Hudiksvall, and have wintered there, using it as base to make further voyages east and west within the Baltic and Gulf of Bothnia.

      4. That is good to hear. We are indeed fortunate if we can weather the journeys as ably as Free has. When do you plan to set sail, Poppy?

    1. Thanks, Andy, I appreciate your vote of confidence! You never can tell in this sailing life. Pretty much anything can happen, and often does!

  2. Good luck and Bon voyage.
    Will be thinking of you as you pick up and move on from your previous adventures. Brace yourself, onward and upward, my thoughts will be with you. Lots of love, Poppy, Liz x

  3. Hooray Poppy, So glad you have been up to wonderful things while you have been docked up there in Scotland and it is marvellous that you have plans to do some more transeuro adventures. you are such and inspiration Much love Denise

    1. Hello old friend, so long since I have heard from you! I hope life is treating you well and am glad to know that we are still linked across the water!

  4. Wonderful to hear from you and to learn that the intervening time has been fruitful in bringing out your second novel which we look forward to reading.

    1. Lovely to receive your message, Anne! Always good to know that you are both on board with me across the cyber waves! I hope all is well back in beautiful Maine!

  5. Hi Poppy!
    So good to hear from you again and to hear that you´r in such a god mode to contiune your Saga together with “Free” again.
    God Luck and Fair Winds!!

    1. Hello, my friend! How are you? More importantly, where are you? It has been a long time and I hope you are well and still free! Fair winds to you Pelle!

  6. I´m just fine thank you, having spent this milde winter on the Öckerö Island as usually. Last summer i had a fantastic trip to Shetland and Faroeo Island. This summer I look forward to sail to your country, Scottland and the Outer Hebrides, maybe Ireland starting in about a week or two. 🙂

    1. That was a very brave voyage, Pelle. Too much for me! You are always welcome here in Scotland. We love Europe, especially Scandinavia!☺️

  7. I think a life sailing all around would be so much fun. I live being near and on the water. Even a house boat would be great.
    Unfortunately, I have motion sickness. As long as the boat is moving, I’m good, but sitting and rocking just does me in.
    That’s okay. As long as there are back roads and new bike paths to explore, my wondering lust is satisfied. ;0)

    1. It’s not for everyone, for sure, but I’m glad that you popped in, and i hope you follow my adventures! Good luck with your wanderlust!

      1. I clicked on you name in by comments box, but you come up no longer available.
        I found you in Something to Ponder About. I check and that link works fine.
        I thought I’d let you know.

      2. At sea. Wow. Good for you.
        Yes I am jealous, but I must remember we each have our own path and mine is on land.
        Maybe someday, I’ll take cruse. ;0)

    1. A fellow lover of the Gods? Ah… sweet music. Thanks for your kind comment, and yes, many times when I have been terrified I have sung the galdr, to invoke them. How else could I have remained alive?

      1. “Many different animals were sacrificed, especially horses. The blood from the sacrificed animals was collected in bowls and twigs were used to spatter the blood on altars, walls and cult participants. The meat was cooked and then eaten by all in attendance. It was boiled in cauldrons that hung over a fire in the middle of the hall. Full cups of beer were carried around the fire and the magnate, who was the pagan priest, then blessed the meat and the cups.”

        But singing their praise is probably enough 😛

      2. Yes… I agree, it was all so different then. I still feel their relevance, to invoke courage and defeat inertia. Maybe our sacrifices are more of an ego-based concept.

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