Christmas again

So much has happened since last year’s celebration. It’s now more than a year since we crossed the Atlantic with the ARC and yet it feels like yesterday. I still think a lot about all the good times we had together with our new friends. But it is also nice to celebrate Christmas with my relatives and eat all the traditional food. Right now it’s very cold in Sweden and we have lots of snow, it’s beautiful how the white surroundings lightens up the dark hours and make it possible to go skiing in the moonlight. I’m constantly being reminded of how incredible stunning Sweden can be and I realize that sometimes it’s really good to be home.

To all our sailor friends; we still think of you, miss you a lot and wish you all the best!

Sofia and I wish all our readers a Merry Christmas!

/The Captain

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Ashore in Underpants or Offshore in Bikini Pants?

Christmas is right around the corner, I can feel it. It is very cold, around -10 degrees, the snow is crackling when walking in the beautiful winter city Stockholm. For me it is very exciting experiencing winter again, first time in two years. Last year this time of the year was not spent shivering with cold looking for underpants, it was spent tanning in bikini pants onboard Cantare on our way to the Carribean. Contrasts? Indeed!

ARC 2010 started last Sunday the 21st of November. 234 yachts left Las Palmas headed for St Lucia just as we did one year ago....ONE YEAR AGO?!!? It's crazy, already one year passed since we crossed the starting line in Las Palmas and headed for the 23 days long adventure to Carribean. Time is moving by so unbelievably quick, in fact it's slightly scaring me. However, they say time flies when you're having fun and I'm definitely having fun!

Want to know more about ARC 2010? Click here

With Love/First Mate Sofia

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Hard work to do

Cantare is out of the water and back in my parents' barn. When she came up her hull was covered with barnacles, dad spent at least an hour with the pressure washer before she was reasonable clean, luckily I was in Gothenburg that weekend. Then came the boring task of unloading all the stuff. Some of it I store in my parents' basement some of it I brought to my new apartment and a lot of it I threw away. I found some disgusting leftovers under one of the bunks, it looked a bit like a butter package but I'm not sure and some of the rusty tins had holes in them. I think you can imagine what an unpleasant task it was to sort it out. Every time I took something away from Cantare I felt sad, it felt like I was tearing apart my home. Leaving my best friend naked and vulnerable. At the same time it amazed me that we actually lived on her for a whole year, she isn't that big, but nevertheless we managed to fill her with everything we needed and a bit more (I found a lot of things that we never used). The fact that she has been on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean is sometimes hard to grasp even for me. When Sofia falls in love with our capital I'm falling in love all over again with Cantare, my beautiful adventurer who took me safe back to Sweden. How I miss waking up to freedom and possibilities.

After a sad weekend when making Cantare ready for the winter I decided to plan another trip, not too far away in the future, otherwise I won't survive. The beautiful nature of Scotland has lured me for a long time, I think it's time to go there next summer. Cantare and Nessie might like each other and I'll see what it's like to go north instead of south, Iceland is still in my mind.

When I spoke to Emelie the other day she told me that they had decided not to sail to Sweden next summer, instead they are going with Alan's new yacht to Scotland. What a coincident, reunion in Scotland next year then. Just need to get Cantare ready for another North Sea crossing. Now I have a lot to do again. / Captain Ingerup

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Mallorca – Seeing Summer and Yachts again

Last week I was very fortuned having the opportunity to experience somewhat summer again. I got a week off the hectic city life and managed to convince my very best friend Marie to join me on an unspecified charter trip to Mallorca. I had never visited Mallorca and really wanted to go there, not only because people speak well about travelling there, also due to the fact that Palma, the capital, is home to large marinas. In Palma de Mallorca a number of yachts gather to prepare before crossing to the Caribbean after having spent the summer in the Med. Among other yachts Varsovie was there. Do you remember Varsovie? The 100ft Swan we were lucky to go racing with in the Heineken Regatta on St Martin. (Sending an extra thankful thought to our Alaskan stalker for getting to know Varsovie’s Skipper Patrick on a dive course…:-) )

When traveling unspecified one can pretty much end up anywhere and the hotel standard can be awful, however sometime one can be lucky, especially off season. So were Marie and I. We ended up in the north of Mallorca in Alcudia on a very nice hotel in a large comfortable apartment with a luxury relax & fitness centre and enormous pool complex where we almost were totally alone.

One day we went to Palma to visit the city and the Varsovie guys, Skipper Patrick, and his crew: Ian, Inness and Alexa. So much fun seeing them again and being reminded of the fantastic sailing year I’ve just experienced. For Marie the visit in Palma maybe wasn’t as exciting as for me, but I think Marie, to some extent, got a greater understanding of the importance and meaning of sailing in my life.

Around the same time as we landed in Stockholm again Varsovie took off towards the Caribbean. Guess who is kind of jealous?!? I am, big time! Instead of feeling the breeze in my hair while sailing out of the Med I have spent almost 14 hours at the office today …. I wont complain about my working hours though, after a week of total relaxation and sangria drinking I had to get back in business. And by the way, besides sailing I’m starting to think that doing business is my other passion in life! Over and Out/First Mate Sofia

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I'm falling in love...

I'm falling in love, I'm falling in love with my capital, Stockholm. So far this city appears at its very best. There is a song describing my feelings very well. It is a Swedish song called "Stockholm i mitt hjärta" a literal translation would be "Stockholm in my heart". Below you find the lyrics, have a very nice weekend! Love/First Mate Sofia

Stockholm i mitt hjärta - Lasse Berghagen

Solljuset stiger ur havet,
spelar i koppar och glas,
Stockholm i gryningen strålar
som var hon en gyllene vas,
med blommor från Östersjöns stränder,
med ängsört från ekarnas sal,
en skönhet på urbergets stränder,
Mälarens ljuva vestal.

Stockholm i mitt hjärta,
låt mig besjunga dig nu,
åldrad i ungdomlig grönska,
öarnas stad, det är du!
Av städer jag känner i världen
är du den stad som fått allt.
Genom Mälarens kärlek till havet
en blandning av sött och salt.

Solljuset dansar på fjärden,
det glittrar för stort och för smått,
för träkåken uppe på Söder
men även för Konungens slott.
Det porlar i fiskrika strömmar,
det valsar i Mälarens famn,
det skymmer och skänker oss drömmar
sjungandes sjöstadens namn.

Stockholm i mitt hjärta, etc.

Skymningen kom i en smekning
av kvällsbrisens skälvande hand.
Nu rodnar solen i fönstren
på Söder och Norr Mälarstrand.
Säj, hör du musiken och skratten
från Djurgården och Gröna Lund,
en lovsång till Stockholm i natten
från skärgårdens vikar och sund.

Stockholm i mitt hjärta, etc.

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It's a small world

I missed the first reunion in Norway, like Sofia wrote. I was actually in Finland that weekend, sailing a Bruce Roberts 39. Dad has been working on a long keel version of the same make for quite a few years and was beginning to question his own endurance. Were we to continue together, me designing and dad building, or should he sell the hull (no more is done yet) and buy an Orust-yacht. We took the ferry to Finland to find out what it's like to sail a 15 ton steel yacht. We feared that it would be slow and dull. It was raining when we stepped aboard the steady yacht Zephyr but when we left the harbour it stopped, still I was shocked when I felt the cold wind on my bare hands. After a while I couldn't feel my feet, that's how cold I was! Sailing in Scandinavia during autumn is not for me, at least not until I'm more acclimatised. Iceland will have to wait a while. Anyway, the yacht felt good, she heeled almost as much as Cantare when the wind picked up, and when sailing downwind she did good speed. She is a cruiser that's for sure, nothing for racing but that's not what we want. We were both excited and full of ideas as we started or journey back to Sweden. We will build the perfect yacht! At least in our eyes.

When it was time for the second reunion in Norway I couldn't resist. I took the buss from Malmö, where I now live and study, to Oslo where Patrick, Lina 4, would meet me. When I saw him it felt like no time had passed, was it really more than half a year ago that we waved him off when he left Grenada for the Pacific? It was, his hair was a little bit darker but except for that he was the same cheerful guy that we first met in Puerto de Mogan.

We had to hurry to the store to buy beer. When we stood in line to pay for them we started talking about the coming evening, Patrick said that he didn't know a lot of the other yachts. When I said that I thought that both Fortitudo and Havfrilla might turn up the guy in front of us turns around and asks whether we are going to the party tonight. It takes a second before I realize that it's Kyrre, one of the two guys on Havfrilla, and besides him stands Emil, Fortitudo, also with beers in his hands. What a small world!

They gave us a ride in Kyrre's car to El Mar's house. There we met the El Mar family who hoisted the whole get-together, Lina 4, Safari, Kaja, Fortia, Skamlös and Midnight Swan. Sadly Escape couldn't come due to illness. We had a lovely evening, food, beer, cigars and our own movies from the Atlantic made the hours pass by in no time. We all agreed that although it felt very strange in the beginning to be back home life was slowly beginning to feel a bit like it did before. Fortia and Skamlös are lucky, they will soon return to their yachts in the West Indies to continue around the world. The rest of us sees the future back out on the oceans, not right now, but in a "few" years.

The day after the party Patrick and I took a short walk in Oslo, we went to the castle so that I at least had done some sightseeing. When we stood there it was time to change the guards, I remembered that Escape's oldest son, Martin, used to do his military service as a guard. The last person in the group looked a bit like Martin. Could it be? Could it? Yes, it was! Again, what a small world. Patrick and I followed the guards around the castle until Martin was left to guard one of the gates. What a coincidence. It was his last day on duty. In the end I got to meet a little bit of Escape.

Memories of a fantastic weekend with the sailing family and a pink and red Norway beanie accompanied me on the bus back to Sweden. / The Captain

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Seeing my Norwegian family again

The weekend in Oslo made me realize even more how much I miss sailing and my Norwegian family. It was wonderful seeing them again and we all got a fact confirmed, the fact that we all feel a little disoriented after coming home. Spending a year on a sail yacht do affect people, and I would say it has entirely brought good experiences. The tears of joy were close when seeing Escape, Odin, Safari, Johanna, Lina 4, Duffen, Blue Voyager and others again. Maria could unfortunately not participate in Oslo but will represent Cantare this weekend instead when El Mar will have a reuinon party! I wish it would fit in my schedule and budget to fly out to Oslo this coming weekend too, but too bad I can't make it. I need to focus on my new life Stockholm and all new projects up here. For those of you who don't know yet, I'm in Stockholm this autumn attending the foremost strategic sales education for future leaders and entrepreneurs, U Ventures Sales Academy.

I love Stockholm! I've been very fortunated and got a part in an appartment on "Söder" in Stockholm, the place to be! The education is tough, but very inspiring, after finsihing it I will hopefully be more prepared for the business career I'm aming for. I'm learning how to overcome obstacles and reach success in business. I still have my master in Gothenburg left though, and will finish it the coming spring. However, I think it is going to be hard leaving Stockholm for Gothenburg to finish school. Gothenburg is indeed very beautiful and I like the city, but Stockholm has another beauty, a beauty I appreciate very much. Stockholm is located on 14 islands and the direct water contact here is awesome. One can basically take a swim in the middle of the city and go sailing just round the corner. Of course, Gothenburg is a coastal city too, but more like a seaport and you have to travel a little while to reach pure nice swim and sail water. I wont become absorbed in comparing the two cities, my point is: so far I like Stockholm very much and looking forward to spending my autumn here!

Time to rush home from office, my sister Katarina is coming up from Skåne tonight to visit me!
Have a very nice second September weekend!
Love/ FirstMate Sofia

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