About Poppy

Hello, I’m Poppy.

One day I woke up and decided there must be more to life than being a slave. So I sold up and got out…

I bought an old Dutch built motorsailer and learned how to sail her alone. Having been raised in a sea-faring Geordie* family helped more than a little, but at fifty years of age, it was no simple task!

JAN_9140b

But it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be and I have to say that in those first few years the learning curve was too steep and very scary. The Mediterranean idyll, was not… and I returned north in a single-handed voyage from Turkey to London, searching for a way to patch up what was left of my savings. It was a bleak time and the dream had turned into a nightmare.

There was nowhere left to run, my bridges were all burned and I had to develop some spleen and get out there, drawing on the good old Viking genes. It is possible, you know? It can be done, breaking out of the comfort zone and really coming alive. But it’s scary and at times the cosy warmth of a sleepy little house is a dream.

And that is where they get you… they keep us scared and trapped in mediocrity. Then one day you wake up and ‘Hey where did my life go?’

The way I see it is this:

Live it or lose it… but you can’t have both. When I sailed into the River Thames in 2008, I was overwhelmed. Had I really sailed two thousand nine hundred nautical miles alone? Was that really me? I took my sword and turned my back on the mediocrity and insanity of modern life and pledged myself to…

THE VIKING WAY!

* A Geordie is someone raised on the River Tyne in the North East of England; any one of the towns along the river, from Newcastle to South Shields. Many of us are directly descended from Viking settlers. I felt obliged to write this footnote as many folk I have met have never heard of a Geordie! Maybe we have a slightly over-inflated view of ourselves!

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65 Responses to About Poppy

  1. Nacéra says:

    Hey
    It was nice to meet you,very nice chat in the room.Contact me when you’ll come back.Have a safe trip home X

    • Viking Queen says:

      And you Nacéra… Thanks for the feedback. It was great to speak to you and I hope you continue to be brave and dynamic! Px

    • Bernadette Preben Hansen says:

      Dear Poppy,
      Just a greeting from one traveller to another – in two very different worlds. However, both are travellers with clearly defined goal. Returned from London, and Amsterdam, I am now at home (my apartment in Copenhagen).
      In all cases, see you in Haparanda! This might be a dream. However, I find, it a nice one. And I have some tendency to make my good dreams come very real – with my suitcase. I’ll keep an eye with your seaways in the Bothnian Bay.
      Yours,
      Bernadette

      • Viking Queen says:

        Yes, it was lovely. I’m sure we can make the dream come true! Bernadette, it was so interesting to see your world and share some good humour about relationships! Let’s stay in touch,
        Yours, Poppy

  2. Carmen Henry says:

    Poppy Carmen here, thanks for you grace, charm, strength and presence, it was heartfelt and wonderful to meet up with you again the other day. Serendipity call it what you like but keep the ship sails up and the fire of love in your heart – always, Rumi would approve!. C.x

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks for a wonderful night, sitting with you and learning so much! Your mission is beautiful and inspirational.
      Px

  3. rollinwithcarro says:

    Hey Poppy!!! I now follow your blog!!! So nice today on our boat!!! 🙂

  4. Christine says:

    Hello Poppy, I found you – again, not that I was looking the first time! I Googled; ‘Viking Queen Poppy Currie’ and you appeared almost at the top of the search results…that was after having googled ‘Viking Queen’ and trawled through pages of stuff about the film until I gave up. Anyways, I’m SO happy to be here. You’re very funny Poppy, very brave, very lots of great things! Would you mind e-mailing me: cbooty@hotmail.co.uk. I’d like to respond to something you said on youtube – this feels a bit public!
    My son and I spoke only yesterday about taking a trip to Amsterdam together soon!!!
    Love, in abundance, C x.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Brava Christine! Welcome on board! I knew it would be difficult, but I wouldn’t have got as far as you did!
      Px

  5. Sanne says:

    Hi Poppy,
    The Viking Queen, haha 🙂 that sounds nice, I think it fits you.
    I am happy to have met you this winter, there should be more people like you in the world.
    Share the freedom and the happiness :).
    x Sanne

  6. Viking Queen says:

    Really lovely to meet you too Sanne! (sierra, alpha, november, november, echo!!!!! ;0) ) Always good fun especially your story about Harlingen! Het spijt me voor mijn slecht Nederlands! Ik heb geprobeerd, maar het is moeilijk!

  7. Sanne says:

    Hey Poppy,
    I am sorry to have mist you yesterday.
    We were getting some food in town, I am sorry.
    You mean ‘t jacht, on the nieuwendammerdijk?
    If, then it is funny, because it is a beautifull place indeed, but when I was there, they told me there was no place…
    Well, maybe just bad luck, I found a new place too.
    I will come and try to visit you, see if you are home :).
    See you soon and enjoy the sunshine.
    Greetings Sanne

  8. Viking Queen says:

    Hello Sanne,

    Wat jammer dat er was geen plaats! We kwamen te samen (mij Swedish vrinden). I denk dat ze kan geen nee zeggen!

    You are welcome to visit, but check I am there by text (no internet there) Mijn nummer is 0616882809

    Waar is uw nieuw plaats?

    Good luck, Poppy

  9. rollinwithcarro says:

    Poppy!! We need some viking skills and some info about staande mast route arounnd leeuwarden

  10. Viking Queen says:

    Really easy Carro, just go around the ring. You have the choice to go to Harlingen or round towards Grouw and the Sneekermeer. I would go the Harlingen route if I were you, but maybe you could get away with the other if you were careful. I’m just wondering about the depths. with no rainfall lately. Might be worth asking. Leeuwarden is a lovely place to stop (painful for me because Jörg and I split up there) and it’s cheap too. If you follow the Princess Margaret route to the Sneekermeer you can sail a lot of it. Be careful between Lauwersmeer and Dokkum, it gets shallow especially around Steinfek.

    Please ask anything any time and I’ll try and help, but you guys will be fine if you’re careful. Grouw is really pretty, but watch Wergea. Don’t go through it or you’ll get stuck… Go around it.

    Maybe you’ll be able to go the Heeg to Stavoren route. Beautiful if you stick to the channels. Heeg is really sweet and charming. There are plenty of free moorings throughout the mast up route.

    Good luck and have a fantastic time!!!

    Love Poppy xxx

  11. André says:

    Hi there!

    We finally got enough signal on our UMTS stick so I could have a look at your Blog! Judging from the weather, you’ll have tried for Lohme today at the earliest :D! ANd be careful, there is some nasty westerly wind coming our way striking on Monday!

    But, there is some nice little stops close to Rügen and on Rügen to check out first! So here is the list I promised:

    Lohme (:D, if you check out the parking lot on top of the cliff, just walk up the street a bit and look at the parking lot to your right, you will see a small tree….that is the one I planted with my wife when we got married there).

    Vitte or Neuendorf on the island of Hiddensee (beaaaaaaaauuuuutiful! and the beach is right around the corner, very cosy with westerly and strong winds…and great waves on the beach, rolling all the way from Denmark :)).

    Baabe or Seedorf on Rügen

    …well and that is pretty much it for now :D! I’ll give it some more thought and maybe I’ll come up with a few more!

    contact me via: quadratwurzel@hotmail.com (although its gonna show here…but just to be sure).

    Cheers

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hey Andre… nice surprise to hear from you!

      I tried to get to Lohme, but the waves were too big and I had to go back to Sassnitz. However, I have reached Bornholm! Keep in touch. An invite to follow my blog is on its way!

      All the best,

      Poppy

  12. Hi Poppy! Where are you????!!! Moni and I missed you for the longest time… we saw Kevin the day he was leaving to Barcelona…and Juan and I arrived at the albergue in Triacastela only a few days after you’d been there…I was so sure that I’d see you lingering in front of the cathedral, or more likely at the end of the world 😉 But alas, not! Please let me know how and where you are, fellow pilgrimess!!

    • Viking Queen says:

      So lovely to receive this message! Well done for finishing! Back in London now… Off to Amsterdam for Chrostmas and new year then back to Sweden for my boat in April. Stay in touch!!! Love from Poppy xx

    • Viking Queen says:

      PS… I’m well… My Camino continues internally. My heart is open now, for everything…. I’ll never forget you and all my compañeros.

      • So good to hear from you Poppy! May you mark the holidays in a way that keeps your heart open, your smile bright and your future sailing days exhilarating. Feliz navidad y buen nuevo ano! xx

      • Viking Queen says:

        Amen to all that! Thanks for the good wishes… Needless to say, I reflect them back to you. Bless you Amit.

  13. Bernadette Preben Hansen says:

    Dear Poppy, nice to hear from you! (For future communication, please use the e-mail address, so we can keep it from the public space. I will have to look for your e-mail address in the New Year. It is still somewhere in my suitcase. You now have mine) … Merry Christmas in Amsterdam.
    Yours, Bernadette

  14. Frédéric says:

    Dear Viking Queen,

    Meeting you was a revelation. I’m still astonished by this crazy life that you’re living, and I find this all so inspiring. Someday, I’ll learn the art of making the seas my road and I’ll sail to the wonders of the world. I wish your next adventure will be as exciting and beautiful as it could be. Oh and I’m pretty sure you’ll have some fans among my friends and relatives in Canada 🙂
    All the best
    Fred

    • Viking Queen says:

      Bonjour mon ami,

      Merci pour les mots aimables!

      Vous avez le temps pour des aventures passionnantes!

      Carpe diem,

      Poppy

  15. archecotech says:

    Hi Poppy,
    Yesterday I had thoughts of slavery running through my mind. I woke with them this morning too. I got home this afternoon and low and behold on the door is a note. They (the government) wants everyone to install gas meters. That sensation returned, helpless to the powers that be. Why do we choose these lifestyles? My feet are itchy and my heart longs for true freedom. Then I think to myself that I must have a roof over my head, a job and everything else that comes with it. It’s a quandary and I feel mired it it. What was it that happened, was it a snap? Or did you plan it? I want this freedom. Oh choices we profess, but are they really? What are the answers?

    Exploring for answers

    • Viking Queen says:

      I had just had enough… like you. It was scary, but like coming to the edge and jumping. I have written a book about it on my website called ‘Tickling the Eagle’ if you want the detail. The price just covers printing and postage, but there is a PDF file download too. I’d give it to you for nothing if i could, but it may give you more ideas and explain the way i tick!!! I wish you great fortune!

  16. Pingback: Another Award! | Astrolabe Sailing

  17. tengeru says:

    Hello Poppy. My name is Nigel of SV Tengeru. I wish I was as brave as you in just giving up the drudgery and sailing away. Somehow, the thought of needing to make money seems to get in the way. However, one day I will climb aboard and cast off. I look forward to following your blog.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hello and welcome Nigel!
      Don’t be too hard on yourself!
      Take your time and live your truth; that’s all you can do. We do need some money, according to our situation, but self honesty is all important. Be happy and welcome aboard!!!

  18. stswan2014 says:

    My wife and I sold the house and bought a boat last year. Then downsized and and now live on the boat. We are also at the end with finances but we continue on. We are retired and left Minnesota on July 30th. We traveled through the Great Lakes then the Erie Canal and the Hudson River. We are currently in Cape May NJ headed toward Florida. I found your blog interesting and hope to catch up on the story.
    Right now we am getting ready to pull anchor and head up the Delaware River. I will try to catch up later. We are http://www.sailinganadventure.com our boat is “Adventure” and we love it but are still working on learning and the lifestyle. But I love your leader Choose Love and Live Your Truth. . .

    • Viking Queen says:

      Lovely to receive the message. Sounds like you are having a good life in a beautiful sailing ground. Good luck with it! Even eight years on I’m still learning so take your time, live your truth and the very best of good fortune to you.

  19. Whitt88 says:

    Hi Poppy; Unlike you :), most people refuse to look at their lives critically; they tend to accept that others can exploit and run a unfair system, and they just play along, blindly doing what is expected of them. Strange, but true. It’s only normal that the individualists who wake up one morning and choose to exercise their own free will get knocked around a bit and face numerous difficulties. That’s part of the system, and it keeps most everyone seated and submissive. Gentile, kind, considerate and compassionate world our society has produced, huh? So anyway, it’s refreshing to read about an exception, that you opened your eyes and decided to be your own master (Ms.), and enlightening because it’s doubly difficult for a woman to do so. A breath of fresh air you are. You’ve got much to be admired for, so for one, I’ll be reading your blog with great interest. I’m glad to have found your blog thru an award post on Viki Moore’s ‘Astrolabe Sailing’ site, She’s right, and you are too. Be cheerful and fair winds.

    • Viking Queen says:

      I missed this message Whitt, hence the late reply. This is a subject of great interest to me. The ‘soma induced’ modern society is bewildering, for sure. You are correct about the opposition from various quarters; it was painful in the beginning but over time, has improved. In my case, the fear of mediocrity and a life of meaningless progression was more than the ‘big blue’ with its dangers. There is something clean and honest about the sea… you can’t fake it. That’s a truth so obviously missing in the modern world until of course one comes face to face with true reality. It’s really good to have a philosopher on board and I hope you won’t be disappointed. Obviously, the blog continues out of the water during winter with thoughts and observations. These past few years I have begun living ashore in winter due to health reasons and the Baltic winter, so the subject matter can vary.

      • Whitt88 says:

        Putting one’s life at risk and overcoming the dangers gives you the right to ‘wax poetic’ and become philosophical, Poppy. It’s one of those valuable rewards that come with time spent in retreat, away from the pressures of society, and it becomes doubly intensive because it reveals your inner-self, how your own mind works, the ultimate selfie. Those long hours apparently lost while gazing transfixed into the blessed wind are very productive for the mind, or so it seemed to me. Your writing impresses because it selects from vivid details, and then strings the clever ideas into a captive story. We as readers don’t see you, we see a voyage thru you, and that makes all the difference.

      • Viking Queen says:

        Very inspiring, Whitt. Thank you once again. It is difficult not to seem like a gigantic ego screaming out for recognition. I try to avoid that and you have obviously understood. Awareness sees, and that’s it. We all have our ‘story’, but who wants to read about ‘me, me me’? Certainly not I.

  20. Whitt88 says:

    Thanks Poppy. The reason why it is not an ego trip is that you are sharing rare travel observations and original experiences that your interested readers can not obtain on their own. Consider it like a lecture series, where curious students voluntarily come to learn about a different life through the eyes of a courageous woman. Your perspective is valuable, you enjoy writing, you are willing and able to perfect your work, it stands the test of time, it is an honest document. Okay, avoid the first person, don’t talk about yourself. Talk about the Saga, the sea, the shores, the mariners, the freedom of the ‘Free.’ You’ve got it made. You already do it. Now use your time out, on the hard, to produce quality posts. It’s hard work :).

    • Viking Queen says:

      A refreshing way to views it! You have understood my motives and painted them in a positve light, thank you. What began as a method of staying in touch with friends has developed into something more creative and important. It seems to have its own momentum now, for I have often considered terminating it only to have a contributor such as yourself reignite my enthusiasm!

      • Whitt88 says:

        You are very welcome, Poppy. It would be to everyone”s loss if you let your story disappear from memory. Creativity is a reward itself. Give it a rest if you wish, but distilling the essence of a saga and sharing it makes the most sense, imho.

      • Viking Queen says:

        The show must go on!

  21. Yes Poppy! The show must go on! Wait to here from You! Regards Krister

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hej Krister!
      Thanks for the message! Fair winds!

      • Tjenare Poppy här på morgonkvisten! Tack för ditt svar! Läst en del om dina bravader o dina historier fängslar mig! Livet har sina överraskningar! Min HR 43 har gått till vila och har fått ett täcke! Ligger fortfarande i vattnet! Har valt denna lösning i år! Idag sol! Önskar dig en fin dag i solen! Kram Krister

      • Viking Queen says:

        Hej Krister, ledsen för min google svenska! njuta av solen! HR är en vacker båt! stark och sjövärdig!

  22. Ok! The last letter I wright!
    Tjenare Vallmo here in the morningtwig! Thank You for Your answer! Read a lot about Your achievment and Your story fascinating me! The live have many surprised! My HR 43 have get to sleep and have got a cover over the deck and the mast is on! Are still in the water! I have this solution in wintertime! The weather today is sunny! I wish You a nice day in the sun! Hug Krister

  23. Tjenare här på Alla Helgons Dag! Har du försvunnit i höstmörkret? Gått till vintervila som din båt “Gratis”? Hur som helst så önskar jag dig en angenäm höst, vinter o vi hörs till våren! Kram Krister

  24. Krister Arndt says:

    Hello Poppy!
    What about your sailing 2015? Are you still in North of Sweden? Please tell me about your sailing!
    I have been sailing to Oslo from the South Of Sweden!
    Navigare Necess Est Krister

    • Viking Queen says:

      Hej Krister! Still here, but no immediate plans. Much work to do on ‘Free’, and then possibly South East towards the Åland Islands. I was hoping for some more relaxing sailing this year! Fair winds and well done, reaching Oslo!

  25. Amazing. Your courage is an inspiration, though unfortunately not infectious.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Thanks Peter! Well not everyone’s cut out for this kind of thing, to be sure. Mind you, I’m more afraid of what passes for modern life than this. I can understand the sea, and have no expectations. It is refreshingly honest albeit, ruthless. I respect anyone who tries to grasp life, whatever they do! I appreciate your feedback, thanks.

  26. Andy says:

    Hi Poppy, just letting you now I have this minute finished your book. I enjoyed it-and feel like
    I have a better understanding now of you and the life you have chosen. I acknowledge the courage you have shown in what you have done. Not because you are a woman, but because you have done this alone. It is something I would never have the nerve to do-despite the hunk of a man that I am 🙂
    Ps what happened to Sam?

  27. henrike-marie gerber says:

    Hey Poppy!
    I was really happy to have met you in Liverpool! 😀
    I think I don’t have your e-mail adress – can you send me?
    …big hug from Berlin ❤

  28. henrike-marie gerber says:

    hello

  29. You have a very interesting blog, and life! Your spirit is inspiring!

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