Leaving Delfzijl for Groningen and the Canals

It is a beautiful morning here in The Netherlands, the sun is shining in there is almost no wind, wonderful! We are now looking forward to the journey through the canals towards Amsterdam. Yesterday evening I met with our dear Dutch neighbors in their Najad and got some worthwhile discussions and great inspiration! When sailing you meet so very many interesting and inspirational people and they all got their own fantastic stories to tell. Now we have got some valuable tips for the canals! Thank you guys! We will leave the little, but very cosy place who no one except the Dutch can pronounce in the right way; Delfzijl, soon. We are just waiting for the book shops to open so we can buy a Dutch pilot for the canals. Have a nice weekend!

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Crossing the North Sea

I promised some updates after the cleaning and the beers, however, we decided to leave the cleaning for tomorrow, the beer was hard enough. The body is screaming that crossing the North Sea was one of an adventure. The numbers of bruises have increased enormously. Maria’s got one scary on her arm and my thighs and bum are blue spotted. There are numbers of ways to get bruises on board a boat and especially when the boat is fighting against waves and winds up to 20 m/s.

As Maria said I got little sea sick the first night, so I didn’t spend the night in my bunk, I slept outdoor in the cockpit between my watch keepings. I was steering when the swells started coming and didn’t notice them at first but then Maria came out wanted some air because cooking downstairs wasn’t that pleasant. She putted so called sea bands on her both wrists to prevent the sea sickness. Unfortunately, I didn’t put on the bands that early, which caused me some fish feeding. However, I am glad I usually just feed the fishes and then I am back to normal, or as we use to say in Swedish “jag styr och spyr”. We don’t know whether it is a placebo effect or the sea bands, which applies pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist, really have a true effect. The sea band works for us and we intend to keep on wearing them when needed.

Crossing the North Sea wasn’t just about hard weather, new bruises and sea sickness. We also had some good sailing moments, experienced sparkling sea fire at nights (in Swedish we call it mareld, click here for more info) and got the chance to meet armed customs officers. Before we could enter Holland and the little Harbor Delfzijl some customs officers had to board the boat and make sure we weren’t some dangerous pirates or something. However, we had a nice little chat with the guys onboard Cantare and finally they let us in. And here we are, enjoying a calm evening in the cockpit, without big waves washing our faces or scary gale warnings. Now we’ll hopefully have little more relaxed sailing in the canals in Holland. Tomorrow we’re off to Groningen and then we’ll continue on the canals to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. We have uploaded some new pictures from the last couple of day’s adventures, if you would like to have a look, click here.

Before a well deserved full night’s sleep we would like to thank you all for following our adventure and giving us sweet and thankful comments. It’s so nice getting up dates from all over and we hope you all are doing just fine back home!

Sleep tight! /First Mate

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Just Arrived Safely in Holland

We just arrived in Delfzilj Harbor after three days and three nights on the North Sea. Stay tight, more updates will come during the evening, but first of all we will clean out the boat and dry all our wet clothes with a well deserved cold Danish beer....:-) Later! /First Mate Ivansson

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Hopefully less than a day left

We are still out on the North Sea, today we have for the first time been able to eat a heated meal. The wind was alright when we left Thyborön. Although, the swell was a bit unpleasant in the beginning, it calmed down when we reached deeper water. The first night was good, but it's hard to sleep because of all the strange sounds and the constant rocking. The weather forecasts predicted winds of beaufort 3-4 maybe 5. That is winds up to 10 m/s. Yesterday morning the wind increased and kept doing so until it was steady on 15 m/s, with gusts up to 20 m/s. The wind in itself was not a problem but the waves got bigger and bigger. Some of them were breaking. Sofia got seasick and fed the fishes, I didn't feel like eating but was quite alright. It kept raining and blowing hard, we wondered for how long we would be able to continue, would we have to turn around and go with the wind? But there are no harbours on the Danish west coast that we can approach in strong onshore winds, so we decided to go on. We did almost no speed towards our destination since the wind was blowing from that direction, we had to tack amidst the giant waves. In the afternoon the wind finally decreased to 10 m/s and even less for shorter periods. Almost as quick as the waves built they faded into more normal waves and life got better aboard Cantare. Last night the wind picked up again, about 15 m/s, but it was over quicker this time and the waves didn't get that big. Today the sun has shone on us and we have been able to go almost directly towards Borkum, Holland. We feel like eating again and are a lot happier. Cantare steers herself and we try to dry our wet clothes and relax a bit. Tomorrow we will reach our destination, Delfzijl, if the winds stay on our side from now on. Keep your fingers crossed! /The Captain

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Leaving Lemvig and hopefully Denmark

Checking the latest weather grib files we have decided to leave Lemvig today and try to start our sail to Holland tonight. We start with sailing to Thyborön and if it looks alright we will leave Denmark around 8 p.m. Hopefully we will be able to keep you updated via the satellite phone, but I'm not sure the email connection works yet, don't worry if you don't hear from us for a few days. / The Captain

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Waiting for the right winds

The weather seems to be against us, we will probably try to leave Denmark on Monday but we are not sure that we will make it to Holland. Maybe we have to make a stop at Helgoland and wait there until the strong winds that are predicted to arrive on Thursday have passed. It is not very uplifting to see how one low pressure after another moves our way. But now we have time to fix more things on the boat. Right before we left I received three custom made wooden plugs from Varalövs Tunnfabrik, they are to be used if the self-bailers brake and we need to stop water from coming in. In almost all chandleries you can buy sets of wooden plugs in different sizes, but they are too small so we contacted a local company who made bigger plugs for us. Today we are going to attach them with small ropes to the seacocks, that way they are easy to find in an emergency. We are also doing some cleaning and stowing. Some of the things haven’t found their right places yet, and since we are expecting a lot of rocking on the German bight we want to make sure everything is secured before we leave. The bathroom is quite alright, it is tight though with all of our bottles. Sofia has her favourites and I have mine so there are almost two sets of everything. In the picture you can see toothbrushes for a whole year, which my dentist Jan Christenson, Tandläkargruppen Höganäs, kindly has supplied us with together with some other things needed for good oral hygiene. My tool storing space on the other hand is a mess. Every time I need something from there it gets harder to close the hatch. I think I have to rearrange the things in there again. Yesterday we bought petrol for the outboard and tried it for the first time. It worked fine but stopped after a while, since I got the wrong manual I don’t know what all the levers are meant to do, I tried to push them a bit different and then it started again. I think I will have to download the real manual to get to know exactly how it works. But for now I’m happy with it as long as it works most of the time.

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Solving the engine problems?

Yesterday when I was waiting for Sofia on the quay I spotted something underneath Cantare. It looked like a fish that was eating on the boat. But it didn’t move so I asked Sofia to jump a bit in the cockpit to see if it was alive. She did, but forgot that the boom was positioned right above her head. Ouch! She got a bump on her head but looked quite alright, I tried not to laugh. The thing underneath didn’t move at all so I took the boat hook and tried to stir it. Then it floated to the surface, it was a bunch of seaweed. Aha, could that be why the engine had seemed weaker? Our beloved but a bit unreliable engine had not been able to move us as efficiently against the waves as it used to. I thought it was due to Cantare being so much heavier. Could there be more seaweed around the propeller? The only way to check that out was going into the water. I figured my First Mate should get the nice chance to try her new wet suit and goggles. I motivated her by explaining that her arms are longer than mine. Not a problem, she is very good when it comes to trying new things. She did whine a bit when the cold water started to get into the wet suit, but after a while she was happy again. She took my waterproof camera with her and took a picture of the propeller. All you could see on the picture was a very big bunch of seaweed, the propeller was hidden underneath it all. She then took the pink rubber gloves on and cleaned the propeller while some of the other sailors looked amused. It is always great to have entertainment in the harbour, sometimes you happen to be the one creating the show. Afterwards Sofia took a well deserved shower before we left Glyngöre.

We are now anchored outside Lemvig, a harbour close to Thyborön. Since the winds are supposed to blow in the wrong direction until Monday we are in no hurry and will probably stay here for a few days.
Johan from radio P4 Kristianstad called us this morning and got an update on our latest adventures, if you missed it you can listen here.

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Glyngöre Harbor

Thanks for all sweet and funny comments, haha, we needed some action to get some comments in our blog. Just a quick reply; we do know that there are sand banks in Caribbean, and thank Lord for that, otherwise we would not be able to lie at anchor the way we plan. Our unplanned parking on the sand bank was just a little practice for the upcoming daily parking in Caribbean.

Still in Denmark, now we will spend the night in a little harbor called Glyngöre. There are a lot of small cute communities around the Limfjord and since the winds aren’t blowing in our direction yet, we have the pleasant opportunity of exploring Denmark little further.

Now I am late for dinner, Maria is cooking a pie and I am sitting on a sidewalk where I could find some internet. Unfortunately the free network in harbors by the Limfjord isn’t that developed yet. /First Mate

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A Day full of Action – Engine Problem and Run Aground

To say the least, yesterday was an eventful day! The day started at 08.15 am when we left Aalborg. Since the wind was blowing totally wrong we had to use the engine. Everything went just smooth until the engine started slowing down. When I was steering we suddenly went down to 2 knots, something was very strange. At first we thought the low speed was simply due to the fact that we moved upstream. We turned the boat to see whether it was the upstream that made us slow and since the boat gained speed we considered it had to be the upstream that caused it. However, when we continued on the right course the engine still didn’t want to cooperate and then it suddenly didn’t work at all. At that point the wind had increased and luckily we could sail, or more correct we had to beat the wind in the tight fairway. It was hard sailing with lots of tacking in heavy rain and wind force 10-12 m/s but we still managed to cook a lovely lunch consisting of mushroom omelet. After lunch we crossed a bridge and then the real action began. The plotter and depth sounder showed a depth of 7 meters but suddenly Maria, who steered, screamed 2,3 meters and then we were stuck on a sand bank. Cantare had run aground! We were totally stuck and despite a number of tries we couldn’t move at all. We had to call for assistance through the VHF radio, however being stuck in the middle of the Limfjord in Denmark is not as being stuck in the archipelago of Gothenburg; assistance is not around the corner so to say. A motor boat (500h.p. engine) that passed by tried to help us a number of times without any success, the rope broke. At that moment one started to realize that we might be stuck in the sand for a while. However, what helped calming us down was the fact that we have enough insurances, not only the boat is insured; we are also insured by the insurance company Europeiska. After a while another motor boat (much smaller engine than the first one) came to rescue us, but we couldn’t grab the rope they were throwing at us since they didn’t dear to come close enough. At that point the Caribbean felt very far away, but then the real rescuer arrived, a very small motor boat (with an extremely small engine when comparing with the other ones). At first we thought they would never have the power to help us, but they managed to pull us out of the sand mainly due to the fact that we used both winches to spread the pressure and avoid breakage of the rope. Since our engine didn’t work the small boat then tugged us in to safety in the nearest harbor, Løgstør. Because we had run aground and needed a safe haven, we didn’t need to pay the mooring fee. You see, everything brings something good:-) No worries dear readers, everything is just fine! The situation was smoothly solved and nobody panicked. We managed to fix the engine by bleeding the fuel system, some air had come into the engine (when the engine was in pieces and repaired) and now the air decided to cause problem. However, we learned some lessons from yesterday: 1) No matter how deep the GPS says it is suppose to be, always stick to the fairway, and not 0,5 meter outside, as in our case. Sand is unreliable and can easily move. 2) When having problem with the engine try to find a harbor or a place to anchor as soon as possible and try to solve the problem.

We are still in Løgstør, the sun is shining but the wind is blowing near gale, around 15 m/s and southwest which makes it hard for us to continue on the Limfjord. But we are not in a hurry, the weather on the North Sea isn’t looking that good for crossing, we might not be able to do that until next week and we are actually on vacation. We will spend one more night here in relaxing Løgstør, do some bathing and just enjoy life. Tomorrow we will continue on the Limfjord and might reach Nyköping Mors or Lemvig. We will see, anything can happen :-) /First Mate

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Sailing Cantare in Denmark

Today it is Sunday the 19th and even though it feels like if we left Höganäs Harbor yesterday it has already been a week since our adventure started. Yesterday we woke up at 6.30 am by a knocking on the boat and then someone boarded. It was the harbormaster who wanted the mooring fee, I mean, a Saturday morning at 6.30?! I was too tired to remember to try to knock down the fee, but from now on I will always have a business card in my pocket and try to get a blue water cruiser (the expression for a sailor on a long trip) discount. However, we managed to go back to sleep again and then woke up finding the rain pouring down outside. Due to the rain the planned morning run and power walk ended up in a long Saturday breakfast. We then left Hals around noon and got a chance to try our new Gill clothes since it kept on raining the whole way to Aalborg. We arrived in Aalborg, the fourth largest city in Denmark situated by the Limfjord, at 4.30 pm yesterday.

Aalborg feels like a university town, Aalborg University is located here and while walking down the streets one passes by a lot of pubs, cafeterias etcetera with student discount. The harbor is situated little west of the city so one has to take a little walk to get into the city, however when living on a 31 feet sailing boat it is very nice to move a little. After having organized all wet clothes Marias parents arrived with some forgotten supplies and with a helping hand. Meanwhile Maria and her father started installing an emergency rudder, (something that is required by the Atlantic Rally Competition, if our rudder will stop working we need to have an emergency one), I decided to go for a run. You will be able to see the wonderful 80’s inspired running outfit on the pictures later on. Running or walking are great ways of discovering a new place, I just hope I can continue on doing it. I have also started doing a fitness program with exercises suitable for doing on board.

Today Maria’s sister left us, she went home with Maria’s parents. Now it feels like the adventure has started for real, we have received things needed that we forgot last hectic week and left Sweden. Tomorrow we will move on along the Limfjord, we don’t know how far we will reach; it is all depending on the winds. Our plan is to go to Nyköbing Mors or further and then cross the North Sea as soon as possible and reach the Frisian Islands outside the coast of Germany and Holland. /First Mate

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Leaving Sweden behind

Our satellite phone works fine, we have received a few sms messages, which we appreciate greatly. We would like to thank the following for sweet greetings: Kerstin Jönsson, Eva Falk, Anders Ingerup, Christina Preby, Sofia & Per, Eva Ivansson.

We left Gothenburg as planned yesterday, but since it was blowing from the west, the direction we were going, we decided to anchor outside Kungsö in the southern part of the archipelago. We had a lovely afternoon, relaxing in the sun and doing some of all the small tasks that still remain. At 3 am this morning, the alarm went off and we left Sweden. The wind was weak and still from the west so we had to run the engine until early afternoon when the expected wind shift took place. The Navtex, which is a weather fax, brought us reports of gale warnings and strong winds from the east in the evening. Therefore we tried to keep up the speed, wanting to reach the entrance to Limfjorden before the wind increase. 9.30 pm we moored in Hals harbour, managing a quick visit to the local super market before dinner time. Tomorrow we will sail to Ålborg where we will drop of my sister and get a new delivery of forgotten things from my parents. /The Captain

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The Satellite Phone is activated

Now we have activated the satellite phone. If you want to get in contact with us, our number is; 00881631646477. Whenever you feel like it, give us a call! Online you can send us a satellite messages for free. Click here to go to the Iridium Messaging page. The first numbers of the telephone number are already being filled in. All you need to do is to fill in the rest, that is, 31646477. Skip writing anything in the "reply email" box and just go head and write your message to us and then click the button "send message" and we will recieve a message from you within a couple of minutes!

Today we are heading for Denmark and Limfjorden, however, since the winds are blowing from the west, we don't know how far we will reach today. Hopefully we will reach Läsö tonight, but we might also have to wait for better winds in the Gothenburg archipelago. We will give you more updates as soon as we can! Don't forget to listen to Radio p4 Kristianstad tomorrow morning at 9, and you will get live updates from Cantare!

Finally, before leaving Lilla Bommen we would like to thank all our friends for coming seeing us at the boat and wishing us good luck. We are gonna miss you all! Take care!

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We're off!

Last Sunday at 1 pm we left Höganäs harbour. First of all we would like to say thank you to all of you who came and wished us farewell. Thank you for all presents and best wishes!

The wind was weak in the beginning but picked up when we passed Hallands väderö. We were able to test our new spinnaker pole arrangement and sailed wing on wing most of the evening and night. The sun did an appearance late afternoon and it felt wonderful to finally be on our way. We were all rather tired and took some naps during the afternoon and evening. Sofia and our deckhand Eva, who joined us this first leg, took the first night watch between 11 pm and 3 am. Then my sister Catrine and I took the morning watch between 3 am and 7 am. The wind increased during the night to about 12 m/s southerly, and we took two reefs in the main and furled the head sail a bit. The speed record so far is 8,98 knots and it's held by me, the captain. Sofia wants to beet me, let's see if she can. It was a cold night, it rained a bit and although we were geared with three layers of clothes we were freezing. How we longed for warmer nights. But when dawn arrived we could see the first islands south of Gothenburg, thanks to the good winds we were closing in fast. At 9.30 am we arrived at Asperö our first stop. Nicely tied up we fell asleep and slept until 5 pm. The evening involved wine, chocolate and good friends before tucked in and spent a whole night in our bunks. Today we arose around 7.30 am and steered Cantare to our next harbour, not so far away, Lilla Bommen in central Gothenburg. Here we will stay until Thursday morning when we leave for Denmark. If you are in town come by and visit us in the evenings when we are most likely to be aboard. New pictures from our first leg can be found under Pictures. /The Captain (who you can read about in today's GP)

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Last Night on Shore and Radio Interview on Monday Morning

This will be the last night on shore for a long time. Tomorrow we will move out to the boat and then do the very last preparations before the farewell party on the pier. At the moment Maria is at the boat putting togehter the last pieces needed for setting off and I am doing the last preparations needed at home.

I know a lot of you were seated in front of the radio this morning waiting for the radio presenter to call us and see how we are progressing but nothing happened. Something came up on the radio channel so the interview is postponed till Monday morning at 7.30. Hopefully we will be close to Gothenburg by then, in full sail.

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Europeiska Travel Insurance Extreme

Finding an insurance covering us during our adventure has not been easy. Regular backpacker insurance doesn't cover us while sailing, especially not over the Atlantic Ocean. Not being able to find a suitable insurance has been a worrying factor until we got into contact with Europeiska Försäkrings AB. Europeiska is specialized in offering private and business travel insurance and offers cover before, during and after the journey. Europeiska has a rather new insurance; Travel Insurance Extreme which gives a wide cover for adventures people like me and Maria who want to find challenges in life. When comparing the Travel Insurance Extreme with a regular backpacker insurance it provides a high level of additional cover. For example, the Travel Insurance Extreme provides full compensation for any essential medical expenses incurred as a result of accident or illness. That is, if for example one of us gets injured while sailing far from civilization, Europeiska will do their utmost to help us. Sailing Cantare has started a cooperation with Europeiska, and during our journey we will provide you all with more information about how you can make sure that you will feel safe during high risk adrenaline rush activities.

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A lot is happening

We rigged Cantare last Friday, it took a while longer than normal. Mostly because we couldn't find a necessary piece that holds the mast in place and had to make a new one, only to find the old one a day later. Saturday we received our new sails and discovered that to hoist the new mainsail we had to make a bigger hole in the mast. When that was done we set out to try the new sails and the boat. It didn't take long until water started to trickle in. A bit worried we started leak searching, until I remembered that we hadn't attached the LPG box yet. The box has a drain that goes through the hull above the waterline, but when Cantare started to list it was well under water. We started the engine and returned to harbour. On Monday our sail maker, Lasse Lind, sailed with us making sure that we know how to handle the new sails. It was great feeling the power of the wind again. The rest of the days leading up to today have been filled with preparations. Cleaning, sewing, shopping and storing. My dad has fitted the life raft and is working on more handrails both above and under deck. Today we are going to pack our personal stuff, exchange money and fix a few other things.

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City Gross on Board

Yesterday we were shopping together with our mothers at City Gross in Höganäs. We spent around three hours loading three shopping carts with provisions for hopefully a year. As you see on the pictures the boat was basically filled with shoppingbags afterwards. But after a couple of hours of organizing we managed to find room for everything! Canned food, sauces, rosehip soup, bilberry soup, rice, pasta, bulgur, ketchup, mustard, "varma koppen", spices, chocolate pudding, you name it, everything is stowed in! We would like to give our warm thanks to Carina Nilsson and her staff at City Gross in Höganäs for helping us with tasty support.

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Three Days Left...

..and things are starting to shape up. We are actually leaving in three days and it is scaringly close when thinking about it! However, we really don't have any time to think about it or reflect upon it any further, so we skip that part for the moment:) The last couple of days have been really intense, tomorrow there will be more updates and pictures regarding what we have been up to recently, so stay tight! Before I am off to bed I would like to emphasize what is gonna happen during the farewell weekend. On Saturday we will have little farewell mingle in Höganäs Harbor starting at 7 pm. Feel free to drop by at any time after 7 pm, and please bring sunshine! Sunday is the actual farewell day. At 1 pm we plan to weigh anchor, so be there little earlier in order to get farewell hugs and kisses and a chance to see Cantare (our home for the next year...) On Sunday lots of sunshine are indeed preferable, however most important are fair winds, most of all winds from the south so we will get a nice first leg to Gothenburg. Sleep tight everybody!

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Sonim Cellphones

Our new cellphones have arrived! Sonim Technologies has provided us with two Sonim Xp3 Quest phones. Sonim Technologies provides ruggedized phones engineered specifically for people who work and play outdoors or in less than pristine industrial environments. The Sonim cellphone has an extremely durable design; it is waterproof and submersible to 1 metre, have a glare free and shock resistant screen, certificated for salt, fog, humidity, transport, shock and thermal shock. Due to the durable design, we will be able to take a bath with our phones and do not need to worry about dropping it!

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On the Radio and on our Way to Launch the Rig

This morning we were live on the radio, if you missed it, you get a second chance to listen to it here. Now we are doing the last preparations on the rig, then we are of to Höganäs harbor to be able to launch the rig at around 2 pm. If we are lucky, we might be able to do some test sailing tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed!

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Messed up or perfected?

Last summer Sofia and I sailed to Poland. When laying at anchor we rowed the dinghy to shore and it soon became obvious that if we were to sail to the Caribbean where anchoring is the norm, we need an outboard. I wanted an engine as small as possible, the Honda 2,3 weighs only 13 kg and is air cooled. The new engine arrived and it looked so nice. But since we don't want it to be stolen right away something had to be done about the look. I have spray painted it pink, to my father and his friends dismay. My friends on the other hand think it's cute.

We decided to give the dinghy a second chance, it works better for our budget as well. I repaired it and it has now been inflated for 3 days! Before the repair it deflated in a few hours. But it still leaks, much smaller bubbles this time though. I have also painted the stern pink to make it less attractive to thieves. Lovely, isn't it?

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