In Oslo

First Mate is now in Oslo enjoying the beutiful summer city and having a great time catching up with old sailing friends. Norway will always have a special place in our hearts. Maria and I have gotten to know so very many Norwegian friends and boats during the trip, they are all so much fun and we will miss "the sailing family" very much! Cantare is on her way to the Kiel canal and then Copenhagen where I will come home to Maria and Cantare again. Love/ First Mate Sofia

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Bloody foreigners.

Helgoland 100623

After arriving in Brighton we decided to have a big breakfast to celebrate our arrival and prepare ourselves for a day out and about. I went to the gigantic supermarket located just of the marina, picked up my groceries and went to the cashier where I stood in line behind a Swedish couple. As I am travelling incognito I did not bother them with the somewhat boring fact that we were from the same country, but rather I enjoyed their difficulties in separating a pence from a pound, which I might say was not as easy as one might think. When they finally got it all right, had payed and left, the lady behind the desk leaned over and said in trust: "Am I allowed to say it?", "Yes, of course" I replied, "Bloody foreigners" she said with a smirk, I agreed and nodded my head. I am not sure if it was my very British tan, lobster style, or my British breakfast habits, consisting of sausages and bacon that made her believe that I was one of them.

Having finished our brunch in the sunshine aboard Cantare we went to watch the England vs. Slovenia game and down a few pints, luckily England won without playing very well. The late afternoon I spend cooking a nice spaghetti Bolognese while the ladies were of buying the supplies we needed to celebrate the midsummer in the proper way on our way to Helgoland. We all fell asleep early that night watching an episode of Dr House.

The second and last day of our stay in Brighton we spend at the Palace pier and in the city, shopping. We all managed to get ourselves a few bargains and returned to Cantare filled with the joy that only successful shopping brings, we filled her up with diesel and left the British shores behind.

Helgoland, here we come, approximately 380 nautical miles to go or four days of sailing. Early Friday morning we were coming up to the passage of Dover - Calais, here I had my first encounter with serious fog, I must acknowledge that being in a sailing yacht in a relatively heavy trafficked area with no visibility, just hearing the horns of substantially larger vessels is somewhat frightening to an inexperienced sailor like myself. I woke the captain up and she got up, horn in hand ready to signal. When the fog finally eased up we noticed that we had fish on the hook, we reeled it in and to our surprise we had not caught one but three mackerels, midsummer's lunch was saved. Fried mackerels with potatoes, finely chopped spring onions and lemon butter consumed in the sunshine was just as good as it sounds and the culinary peak of this trip so far.

We now live our lives in a very nice three hours on and six hours off routine that gives us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, and as I said before, I have gotten an extraordinary tan, some might say that when your face starts to come of , you have burned yourself. I say it is the normal way of getting a tan, it never comes easy and one has to earn one's tan. Besides working on my tan I have relistened to some of my favourite pod casts, read one sailing biography of a Swedish couple exploring the world in a 62 feet Hallberg Rassy and another about 3 young adventurous people that sail the world in a Vega, two totally different experiences but each with interesting episodes.

Now it is time for me to start my watch, Stay Black!

Boat Bunny 2 a.k.a The Bosun

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A Perfect Midsummer Weekend


















Summer in the archipelago with the sun shining from a clear blue sky, what more can you ask for? It has been a very nice weekend in Norway together with Cecilie, Lars and their friends and family.

Last Thursday was spent in Skagen, Safari’s last destination before coming home. Cecilie and I sort of ran amok in a second hand shop where we found cool vintage clothes to reasonable prices. It is shocking seeing the prices in Denmark and here in Norway though. The now prevailing price level in our neighbor countries is deterrent and it especially struck me in Skagen when having lunch. We thought we found a very affordable restaurant to dine who offered a fresh lunch buffet for 69 DKK. The food was delicious but when we got the bill we learned where they earn their money, on beer. One beer was 74 DKK! Ridiculous, I mean a beer that cost more than the food itself and to point out the crazy prices even further, Cecilie’s orange juice was 36DKK! After a relaxing but expensive day in Skagen we sailed during the night towards Norway. Finally we got some good winds for pure sailing! Southwesterly winds up to 20-25 knots and with the heavy weather headsail and two reefs in the main we did about 8-9 knots, wonderful sailing! We sailed along the Swedish west coast and I could, from time to time spot Sweden in the horizon. A good friend of mine has a summer house on the little paradise island Nordkoster and when we passed some miles outside I called her and told her I was waving to her. Even though I couldn’t see her waving back to me it was wonderful talking to her and it recalled nice memories from time we have spent together on Nordkoster. Sailing in Swedish water, even if very shortly, felt really good, but also little sad since it reminded me of the fact that it remains less than two weeks of this adventure.

As I have mentioned briefly before I was very touched by the warm welcome we got when Safari arrived home last Friday. Cecilie’s mother is Swedish and she had made beautiful Midsummer wreaths which we saved for yesterday when it was time for Midsummer party and the celebration of one of their best friends who just turned 40. It was a thoroughly successful party which you can tell today, when we haven’t done much more than relaxing onboard listening to good music and watching movies. It was very wholesome though, can’t remember last time I chilled like this. It is since long time bed time, tomorrow we will sail back to Fredrikstad after the party here in the archipelago and I will wave goodbye to Cecilie and Lars. We have had a wonderful time together and I will miss them very much! Thanks for all the good times guys! However, Fredrikstad is not too far away from Sweden and I think there is a Caribbean reunion coming up pretty soon! Tomorrow I will go to Oslo and catch up with some old dear friends from among others s/y Johanna and s/y Fortia! So much looking forward seeing them again! Nighty Night! /First Mate Sofia

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On our way to Helgoland

Position: N 53° 53' E 006° 10' UTC 2120

Nautical miles left: 64

Total nautical miles: 384

Yanmar is working, we've had no wind or light wind against us. Life aboard is almost dry and very pleasant. Good meals and interesting company make the days and nights pass by. Most of the time it is sunny, but cold, sometimes we get surprised by fast approaching fog that after a while vanishes again. We caught four mackerels on Midsummer, but now all our good lures are gone. If nothing unexpected happens we will reach Helgoland tomorrow around lunch. A longer tale of our life since Brighton will be posted by Boat Bunny 2 tomorrow. / The Captain

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Tears of Joy in Fredrikstad

It has been some hectic days onboard Safari, especially for Lars and Cecilie who now have arrived home in Fredrikstad. And I have gotten a little preview of how is like to come home and see family and friends again. Even I have cried some tears of joy when we arrived here in Fredrikstad and got a wonderful welcoming of Cecilie’s and Lars’s family and friends. Seeing Cecilie embracing her father when he came onboard from one of the escorting boats when we sailed up the Glomma sound towards Fredrikstad was so emotional and made me cry! Even tough I will miss this life so much I am so much looking forward seeing home again....only two weeks left now!

LoveFirstMate Sofia

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Cantare on the North sea

After a lovely day in Brighton we are off again, this time we'll head for the North sea. I hope we get some wind and don't have to motorise all the way to Helgoland, our next destination. Midsummer will be on the water, hopefully we catch some mackerels for the celebration, at least we have lots of strawberries aboard Cantare./ The Captain

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Skagen, Denmark

57 43.1 N 010 35.30 E, Position 0800 UTC, Skagen Denmark
 
Haha, even though I been talking about how we just passed east of the Meridian of Greenwich I just noticed I forgot to change the latitude to east in the last position updates, haha, I guess I am too used to be on the west side... Anyhow, just arrived to Skagen, Denmark after 3 days and nights on the North Sea. Now we heading up to town for some real Danish beer and later a much longed for shower. We will continue towards Norway and Fredrikstad later tonight and sail the 85nm during the night and with good margin arrive in Fredrikstad tomorrow afternoon, the home of Safari!
 
PS. The Norwegian sailors are EVERYWHERE! The little marina of Skagen is covered by Norwegian sail yachts, I can count at least 15, and so far I have only seen 2 Swedish yachts... :-(
 
Have a very nice weekend and Midsummer Eve! This year I will celebrate Midsummer on Saturday in the Norwegian archipelago, som much looking forward to it even though I will miss my traditional Midsummer party in Båstad Sweden (a special greeting to the host and hostess, Sebastian and Louise, puss!)!
 
Lots of Love!/First Mate Sofia

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Pictures from lovely England

New pictures from our time in England are uploaded and can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/SailingCantare/FalmouthFoweyBrighton#

/ The Captain

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Ohoy

Got off my watch, alongside the beautiful coastline of Isle of Wight, just when dinner was ready; the mackerel Maria had caught this morning, I had gutted and Erik had fried in butter and lemon. We’ve had no wind yet, but hot summer weather which has made me want to swim, but the others just shake their heads at me.
Now my face is sunburned (some would say red), I am more relaxed than I’ve been for a while and it’s great to be back on Cantare. We have known each other since I was around 17, Cantare and I, and sailed together for years now, little adventures here and there. On Cantare I have discovered an interest in sailing that our High School couldn’t create, met new friends, she has cured heartbreak and watched new relationships form, short and long, and now I have introduced her to Erik. They like each other.
Seeing Maria after she completed our long-time dream journey was exciting, I was proud and eager and curious, champagne in hand waiting in Falmouth, and when we met after one and a half years again it was like no time had passed. I guess that’s what happens with really good friends. Or boats. Cantare was the same, too, smelled a little worse, looked a little worn, but we fell into old patterns instantly. Except, perhaps, the fact that I haven’t been seasick at all (yet). Instead, it’s all been lazy days in the sun, reading and writing, cooking and steering, meeting Marias sailing friends and simply enjoying life as crew. Night watches have been calm and quiet, just me and the sea, something I have always appreciated with sailing. Lessing and Austen have kept me company under the stars, and as soon as my watch has ended and I have crawled to bed, cold and tired, Maria has called me back from sleep wanting me to take a fish off the hook, or help out with something. I obey, grumpy but grateful to be part of the last part of this journey. Today, Brighton awaits. Beers, bars and football. I could do this for a long time.
Love, Sailor Sandy

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Sunrise in the North Sea

Position 57 33 N 005 49 W 09.20 UTC
 
Sunrise at sea is one of those things I'll miss the most after having returned home the 10th, this morning we experienced one of the best ever! The sunrise coincided very suitable with the watch change, since it has been very foggy and it is way more fun being two on watch we have occasionally had double handed watches and therefore everybody was up on deck. During the night the wind had died, leaving the sea to look like a mirror and the rising sun was beautifully shining on the calm sea. It was a great moment, we were all quiet, reflecting over life and realizing how good life is. In the sunrise I finally saw an oil field in the horizon, about 20nm away, but I could still clearly see the huge complex rise from the sea. Unfortunately I couldn't see any Ben Affleck though. I started thinking, is that the cash cow creating the strong Norwegian economy? Or shall I put it this way: do the oil fields make it possible for way more Norwegian than Swedish sailors to pull up the anchor and take off? No, I don't think the many oil fields is the correct answer, but they are good cash cows for sure and a point worth noticing is that this summer 50 Norwegian yachts take off for a translantic adventure and if I have remembered it right, 27 of them are joining the ARC, Atlantic rally for Cruisers!
 
The sun that rose this early morning is still shining and I hope it will continue all day long! The tan is nowadays scarily fading away and at nights (and some days) it is freezing cold! The last couple of days it has been around 9-12 degrees C, brrrrrrrr! We have now around 160nm to Skagen and if the coming weather forecast haven't changed the outlook for Friday we will visit Denmark tomorrow, not to arrive too early to Safari's coming home party on Friday in Fredrikstad.
 
Out! /First Mate Sofia onboard Safari in the North Sea.

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Among Ghosts, Oil Fields and maybe Ben Affleck?

Position 57 33 N 000 48 W 09.30 UTC
 
When I woke up at 02.45 UTC before my night watch the fog had almost disappeared, puh, it was sort of a relief. Fog is one of the great dangers a sailor has to deal with. On the North Sea there are numbers of fishing boats without radar or AIS, they are basically ghosts appearing when you least expect it. Like yesterday when our visibility at one point was no more than 50m and Cecilie and I thought our eyes were about to pop out because of the constant staring into the fog, a ghost suddenly appeared. On starboard hand side I saw something white approaching in the fog: BOAT BOAT!!! The first seconds it was hard seeing whether we were on collision course or not but the next second we judged it would almost certainly pass behind us and therefore gained speed to be on the safe side, puh! It wasn't a small fishing boat, it was a large one and a collision would have been devastating...
 
Not only do we have to lock out for ghost while crossing the North Sea, also oil fields. I can't count the number of oil fields I see on the paper chart here next to me. I haven't seen them yet for real though since it has been too much fog on my watches. If we will get close enough Cecilie and I are considering a quick stopover at one of them. You see oil fields make us think about the movie Armageddon, in which a pretty young but very attractive Ben Affleck is acting, maybe we can find some other hot oil men at the oil fields?!?! We haven't really mentioned our plan to skipper Lars yet, we don't know whether he neither deckhand Glen will find the idea as tempting as we do... Anyhow, we are doing good speed and if the the coming weather forecast is as satisfying as we are hoping, it looks like we will have time for another stopover, the one in Skagen.
 
PS 1: Have you noticed the latitude in above position? This morning around 06.00 UTC we passed the Meridian of Greenwich, we are no longer west of Greenwich, we are east and very soon in familiar waters.
 
PS 2: If you want to read more about the adventures with Safari they have an excellent blog: www.sailing-safari.com 
 
Love/First Mate Sofia

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A North Sea covered in Fog

Position 57 50 N 002 03 W 19.30 UTC
 
We left Inverness this morning after a tasty breakfast, went through the last two locks of the Caledonian Canal and took off towards the North Sea. So far so good, we are however forced to motor since we have a steady headwind, but the wind is suppose to turn to the south and later southwest. The smell down in the saloon is wonderful at the moment, Lars is cooking and four hungry sailors are looking forward to have dinner any minute now. The only thing bothering us is the fog. We have occasionally very bad visability, the radar and AIS are very helpful, but still, the fog is not very fun and we keep a constant sharp look out! Love/First Mate Sofia

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Goodbye Scotland - Hello North Sea

We have had a couple of great relaxing days on the Caledonian Canal and my opinion of Scotland still remains, I have a minor crash on the country and truly recommend a visit here! Cecilie, Lars and Glen can only agree with me, we have all come to like this country very much! Time flies when having fun though, we are about to say goodbye to Scotland, tomorrow we are off to the North Sea... Yeah, the North Sea it is, I don’t know whether you remember how the North Sea was like last time Maria and I was out there, it was rough, real rough. And I don’t want to experience it again, however, I am still insured by the insurance company, and yes, you all know the name, Europeiska! I hold the North Sea in great respect but I am not afraid, the weather forecast looks good, a high is about to intensify and light breezes are predicted. I just hope the wind wont be to light, I hate motoring a sail yacht and I would love to get some nice downwind with Safari and her gennaker. This is Safari’s “last” crossing before coming home to Fredrikstad Norway. On Friday afternoon, Midsummer Eve, we intend to arrive in Fredrikstad, which will be sort of my rehearsal before our own homecoming party the 10th of July, just like Maria’s rehearsal in Fowey. It is about 505 nautical Miles to Fredrikstad from here, Inverness, so leaving tomorrow gives us plenty of time to reach home, but one never knows what can happen on the North Sea and a good margin is necessary! Hopefully we will have time for a little stopover in Skagen, Denmark, about 85 Miles from the home of Safari.

As I use to say, a picture is worth a thousands word and since internet is finally starting to show off, I will gladly share some pictures from our Scottish adventure! You find the new pictures, Scotland - an European Pearl, here: http://picasaweb.google.com/SailingCantare/ScotlandAnEuropeanPearl

Ps. Regarding our Coming Home Party the 10th, we are planning on arriving in Höganäs sometime around 15.00 – 16.00 local time, but as you all know planning and sailing don’t equal, however, if you would like to see us approaching we recommend you to show up around 15.00!

Good Night/ First Mate Sofia

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Greeted like heroes

Yesterday I woke up when Emelie opened the hatches and asked if we were awake. I had returned to my bed two hours earlier after having spend a wonderful night on Silver Bear, therefore I wasn't very talkative at 8 am. Emelie seemed to understand that immediately and told us she would see us later, in Fowey, where she would be waiting. She had landed one hour earlier to be here in England when Alan made his final leg from Falmouth to Fowey. I tried to focus on what lay ahead, getting up, taking a shower and prepare Cantare. 10 am we all left Falmouth, by then I had managed to shower and have breakfast but it was still a mess inside the yacht. Sandra and Erik tidied her up while I took us out of the harbour. Yanmar was working hard since we had the wind against us in the beginning. When we came around the corner of the river entrance we set sails and turned off the engine. Sandra and Erik were smiling, it was a very nice day with blue sky and sun, yet it was a bit cold for my Caribbean accustomed body. After a while Alan called us over the VHF and asked what speed we were doing. He wasn't happy with our progress towards Fowey, we had to start the engine to get there in time. Silver Bear wandered off on there own for a while. Alan tried to call them on the VHF, but got no answer, later we learned that Ray had decided he was going to be off watch most of the sailing and was sleeping down below. But Cantare and Starfire sailed in convoy during four hours and were joined by Silver Bear in the end, before we met the welcome committee. Emelie and Bob, Alan's dad, and a few others sailed out to meet us. We took down the main and moored along a pontoon in the city centre. Champagne was handed out as we jumped ashore. Alan and Emelie kissed and hugged. It felt like a rehearsal for our own homecoming party and we received congratulations from the people on the pontoon. We posed for photos together with Starfire and Silver Bear and enjoyed the sunny afternoon on Starfire cruising the river before the big party and dinner were held at the yacht club. It was a great day! Today I feel a bit sad though, Silver Bear left this morning before we were up and Starfire is already laid up ashore. From now on Cantare is on her own. Tomorrow we are off again, destination Brighton./ The Captain

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Celebrated return to Fowey









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Arriving in Falmouth

Yesterday Cantare arrived in Falmouth. Starfire, Silverbear and my new crew were there to welcome us. After a very nice shower and a big meal ashore dad decided to stay at a hotel (I think he was tired of wet bunks) and took a plane to Sweden today.

I have uploaded pictures from the Azores and the last Atlantic crossing. You find them here: http://picasaweb.google.com/SailingCantare/TheAzoresAndTheAtlanticCrossing#

Tomorrow it's time for Starfire's last leg to Fowey, Cantare and Silverbear will sail there together with them. Time to test my new crew. They have helped me buy food today, and there's a lot of it. If they sail like they shop we'll have a wonderful time, I'm actually quite sure that we will. Time to start the last adventure! / The Captain

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Climbing the Ben Nevis

















That Ben Nevis almost killed us yesterday, but it was so worth it, the view stunning and the nature wonderful! Our sleeping muscles needed to be awaken, or maybe not that abruptly though, today my body feels like I have been knocked down or something. However, giving up when something is hard is simply not my style, neither is Cecilie’s. We pushed each other up the top and tried or best to keep up with skipper Lars who surprisingly didn’t seem to be affected by the mountain climbing. Why on earth is he in better condition than us!?! Cecilie and I came to the conclusion that he is taller, have longer legs that take him about 10 cm longer each step he takes and he has also more muscles than us. Longer legs or not, we have come to the conclusion that after returning home it is time to awaken those muscles for real, detox our bodies and look better than ever, haha, or at least get fit again! However, skipper Lars has been complaining about sore muscles today so he is still human! Despite escalating pulse and sore muscles today it was an amazing day, it is hard to describe the astonishing view and it is hard to show reality through pictures.

Ben Nevis is 1343 m high and UK’s highest mountain. When getting closer to the top we saw snow and glaciers and started freezing. The temperature was close to zero and the brought clothes we thought we would never have use for when sweating on the way to the top was very useful higher up in the snow. The longing for skiing was huge and I am really looking forward to real winter again with snow and skiing! After having enjoyed the top for a while and also gotten some very beautiful pictures when the fog fortunately decided to disappear it was time to start climbing down again with shaking legs. After 8 hours of climbing we decided we deserved a pizza and was recommended a take away pizza place with Fort William’s best pizzas. The restaurant didn’t only have the best pizzas, also the sweetest owner, another proof of the wonderful kindness of the Scottish people. We missed the last bus back to the boat when ordering pizza and instead of taking a cab the pizza man insisted on driving us. He is not a Scot originally, but came 40 years ago and stayed, mostly due to the friendly people!

Tomorrow we will continue up the Caledonian Canal towards new adventures! The plan is to be back in Norway and Fredrikstad, the home of Safari on the 25th, at the moment it looks like it will be possible to leave Scotland on Monday. This weekend a low will cause rough weather on the North Sea and no more lows on the North Sea please, I think I had enough of that last time I was there…

Love/First Mate

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Day 11 - Waterworld

Position: N 49° 06' W 008° 12' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 147

Yesterday we downloaded a grib-file and discovered that the wind would be more or less against us the coming 24 hours. We decided to tack immediately, then we would do a tack again before the night watches started and in that way avoid having to sleep in the wet bunk. What we hadn't foreseen was how the water now started to soak our dry bunk, horrible! We discussed sleeping with a big plastic bag underneath us, but hoped that it wouldn't get that bad before we did the second tack. Sailing on the other side made us a bit confused, it was hard moving around since all the good resting points now had vanished. The toilet door that used to be a nice plane surface to lean against while dressing was now up in the air, on the other side is the moving stow which has a lot of sharp points that should be avoided. Suddenly there was more water on the floor, the water that had hid under the table and dinghy was now in our prime moving space and some of my cloth that was hanged up on a rope fell down into it. The only thing that was made easier was to do the dishes, but it didn't make up for the negative sides. When I stepped outside ready for my watch I was feeling wet, my clothes were party soaked, my socks damp and my spirit low. Dad had sailed 1 single nautical miles towards Falmouth during his 4 hours and it didn't look like I would do a lot more, in the end I actually did -1 towards our destination. The strange thing though was that the sailing was really pleasant. Over ground we were doing more than 5 knots and the sun was shining. I put on my damp gloves and decided that it didn't matter that they weren't dry, they would warm me anyway. I felt happy again, life is good, I am sailing.

During the night the wind veered, this time in our favour. We could sail directly. I started to imagine how it would be to get into the shower in Falmouth, how the warm water would wash away all my accumulated coldness. Lovely thought. Sadly the wind started to veer again this morning, exactly the same way as it had the day before. I got a bit frustrated and when dad went to bed I started the engine. Yanmar together with the sails make us go the right way, it is very noisy but I drown it with Rammstein. I hope we can make it to Falmouth before the pub closes tomorrow night, otherwise I have two friends stranded in England. / The Captain

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Day 10 - Going to France?

Position: N 48° 22' W 009° 27' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 210

Since day one we've had the wind in from the same side, our portside. Today the wind has veered and are forcing us to sail to Brest in France. A moment ago there was a fishing boat on collision course, Maria called it up on the VHF. They were talking French, a language we don't speak, which made it difficult to decide whether to pass behind or in front of them, the only things they could say in English were fishing and we don't speak English. After this encounter with the frog people we have decided that Brest is not an option. But there is another problem, if we tack we'll have to sleep on the port side bunk which is soaking wet. In a short while we will download a grib-file with weather information and decide what action to take. Candy and cookies are running low, we need to get ashore soon. / Deckhand Anders

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Scotland, beautiful indeed!


















Position 56º 51’ N 005º 05W Caledonian Canal, Scotland

Stunning scenery, bag pipes, friendly people, pubs, whiskey, local dance, canals, kilts, Ben Nevis, castles, forts, midges*, Braveheart… it is all about Scotland!

Today’s been the most beautiful days in a very long time, last time it was this sunny was some day on the Atlantic on our way back from Cuba. I have come to like Scotland very much, it is hard not to fall in love in this country when the sun is shining on a wonderful landscape and when the people are among the friendliest and helpful you have ever met.

Yesterday we left Crinan Canal and continued sailing up north through the Scottish archipelago. The rain silent drizzled the first miles but it didn’t bother us, we were too engulfed by the fantastic landscape. We passed safely east off the frightening Gulf of Corryvreckan a sound with scary currents and turbulence caused by drastic differences in depths. To quote Reeds, the yachtsman’s bible: “Gulf of Corryvreckan is best avoided and should never be attempted by small craft except at slack water and in calm condition.” But we sure did get our share of Corryvreckan even when we passed east of it, the sea was turbulent, whirlpools pushing Safari in different directions. However, we quickly passed and the sun soon came through. One should never underestimate the power of currents though, when we got closer to Fort Williams and the Caledonian Canal we occasionally had 5 knots co-current, doing 11,4 knots and a boat doing slalom in the fairway.

After having arrived in the little village Corpach just outside Fort Williams where the Caledonian canal begins we soon discovered that the local pub had a live band playing that evening. Finally some bag pipes! The band was awesome and Cecilie and I couldn’t resist join the locals dancing. We also got to try the bag pipe, hm, we didn’t manage to get some sounds out of it though, I think we need to practice!

Today we have started locking our way up the Caledonian canal, have done 8 locks today. Tomorrow we will try to climb all the way up to UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, 1343m! Over and Out/First Mate Sofia

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Day 9 - Crashing into walls

Position: N 47° 41' W 012° 02' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 322

For the last 24 hours we've had winds of about 30 knots, the waves have become bigger of course. Like dad wrote they are mountains with waves on top. Cantare likes a lot of wind, most of the time we don't reef before 25 knots of wind. But now we have one reef in the main and have furled the head to the first reef point. We are doing more than 5 knots although we are very close hauled. The wind is from the north, most of the time we manage to go directly towards Falmouth on a 67 degrees course. It is amazing how good Cantare moves, not loosing too much speed when the waves come rushing towards us. But, sometimes and recently more frequently, she comes to a halt, a sudden crash, we wonder whether we've hit something before we realize that it is nothing as serious, only one of those extreme waves. The extreme waves are almost twice the height of the normal and usually they brake into Cantare's side, it feels like hitting a wall when the hull shudders and I imagine a big hole on the bow that will sink the yacht in no time. But I usually come to my senses at the same time as the top of the wave lands in the cockpit, if I'm too slow to bend down behind the spray hood it lands on me, cold water trickling down the neck and making me scream. When it's sunny outside I enjoy sitting with my face tilted a bit upwards, but that's a bad idea, especially on my morning watch when I have to sit behind the wheel not to be shadowed by the spray hood, nowadays it's a question of minutes before I get a free ocean spa cleaning of my face. Saltwater is healthy isn't it? A few minutes ago dad was sitting on one of the safe spots when we hit a big wave, there was so much water in the air a short while later that it even got to him there in the corner, his hair was soaked and flat on his head and his glasses where covered with water. We both laughed, what else is there to do. The waves keep excelling each other, when dad stood up to look for ships we hit another one, he could see a lot of water flying up over the yacht and almost reaching the spreaders. It's a wild ride, but a fun one, especially for the person sitting inside. / The Captain (who watch dad get wetter and wetter)

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Day 8 - Becoming a seaman

Position: N 46° 38' W 014° 36' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 443

Today we have been sailing for one week. Cantare has been heeling with about 30 degrees to the starboard side and rocking more or less constantly. We have adapted routines for life onboard. I have been reading and listening to more books in one week than I have done during the last 15 years. While listening to books I can stand looking at the sea for a long time and I'm amazed how different the waves are from the ones in my home waters. They are like small mountains with waves on top of them. In the beginning of this trip I was afraid of getting seasick and the first two days I was a bit uncertain about how to behave and what to eat. I realized that I couldn't be looking at the horizon for seven to ten days. I must admit that the first two days I felt a bit queasy but from day three I got my sea legs and now I'm feeling perfectly well. I haven't been facing more than about 40 knots of wind for short periods so I'm not hundred percent sure about how I would cope with a storm. About my relationship with the captain I have realised that she has got much more experience on ocean sailing and trimming Cantare so I just have to obey orders. There is just one subject that I constantly disagree about, that's when she's giving me my rations of cookies or sweets. My point of view is that we have to eat the best things first and in a rather high speed due to the fact that we might have to abandon Cantare in case of an emergency.

So far we have been lucky with the wind speed and direction, the captain says that we will be in harbour on Thursday the 17th. We have come to the conclusion that we both need to take a shower, someone is smelly onboard. We're not sure whether it's us or the free passengers I have mentioned before. After that I look forward to a big steak and some beers.

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Contact Details Sailing Safari / Well done Anders & Maria

Onboard Safari there is also a satellite phone, so if you want to get in touch with me, or just send a little greeting don't hesitate to send a text message! It works the same as when texting our phone on Cantare, you just change the number! Safari's number: +881631619141

Forgot how to send text messages? Here is a little reminder: 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, 31619141. Skip writing anything in the "reply email" box and just go ahead 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!

I will post updates of my journey with Safari as often as possible, but as usual, finding internet can be hard. However, safari is also a keen on blogging and they have a very nice webpage, visit http://www.sailing-safari.com/ where you can read more about our adventure!

/First Mate Sofia -who is very proud of the owner Anders who is doing a great deckhand job onboard Cantare, and now also blogging while doing the dishes! And proud of Maria too who is skippering her dad and owner! I think she not only teasing with desert, also using a lot of candies to make him follow her orders:-)

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Beautiful Scotland










Position 56º 06’ N 005º 33W Crinan Canal, Scotland

It is time for new adventures! After some rainy and cold but very nice days in Dublin Safari and MaggyV took off to find new adventures in Scotland the day before yesterday and First Mate Sofia is joining! Odin is now complete again after the arrival of Hella and Anna-Luna and they will gradually make their way back home to Norway. Safari and MaggyV are planning a quicker route and wish to reach Norway little faster which suits me perfect in order to be able to come home to Cantare again in time before our arrival in Sweden. Just noticed that it is less than a month left of our adventure, time flies at the moment, it is really scary! I had a wonderful time with Odin and would love to continue sailing with them, however, it is so much fun to join two of my new best friends, Lars (33) and Cecilie (27) on Safari and not to forget their crew at the moment, Glen (55). Maria and I met Safari in Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaries and we have ever since had a great time when seeing each other in the Caribbean! I will now sail with Safari to Norway and then Maria and I are planning to catch up in Copenhagen. I would like to thank skipper Lars and his son Nicolay on Odin for a wonderful time while sailing to Dublin, I had a great time and Odin sails beautifully! Hope to see you very soon again!

We left Dublin at lunchtime last Thursday and had around 200 Miles a head of us to Crinan Canal in Scotland. Occasionally we had 20-25 knots of wind against us and it was little rough coming out in Irish Sea and later North Channel. Despite having strong headwind and disturbing waves Safari’s Volvo engine (55hp) kept good speed (7 knots) and we quickly moved north together with MaggyV. We tried to plan the tides the best way to gain as much co current as possible and our calculations were right, yeah! During the night we passed Belfast on our port side and on starboard side England approached. The traffic to Belfast was rather busy and unpredictable fishing boats seemed to be everywhere. “Red or green over white, fisher tonight” – a little rhyme that was practiced during the night while keeping a good look out. Coming from the Atlantic Ocean where you hardly see any other boats you need to adjust a little when entering the traffic zones again. We crossed the North Channel and put a waypoint in Firth of Clyde and sailed north with the island Arran on our starboard side. Since Safari’s ordered electronic charts hadn’t turned up we navigated in true old fashion style with detailed paper charts! So much fun when you haven’t done it for a while! Onboard Safari Lars and Cecilie have different tasks. Before setting out on this sail adventure had hardly sailed before and they bought Safari 8 months before taking off and in order to be able to sail away so quickly the two novices decided to focus on different things. Skipper Lars for example learned the boat and its functions carefully while Cecilie studied navigation and other more theoretical subjects like communication. I am so impressed by how they have managed to fulfill a sailing and travel dream and how good sailors they have turned out being, Lars and Cecilie is a passionate dream team (I am really looking forward to the wedding invitation)!

After 30 hours we reached Adrishaig and the entrance to Crinan Canal. The local pubs in the little village of Adrishaig were soon visited by the Norwegian (and Swedish) Vikings and the evening turned into late night with Scottish songs and Whiskey. It was a bunch of tired hangover sailors that at lunch time entered Crinan Canal, one of Scotland’s most picturesque waterways. The tiredness however soon drifted away while motoring in the indeed fantastically striking canal. The canal is 10 nautical Miles and consists of 15 locks and 7 bridges and most of them you operate yourself. Locking is really fun and got me thinking about the wonderful chill canal ride Maria and I had in the Netherland’s canals. Cruising down a canal is very relaxing and especially nice in this beautiful Scottish landscape. We arrived at the last lock this late afternoon and tomorrow we will continue up north through the Scottish archipelago towards Fort William and the Caledonian Canal. Loch Ness is part the Caledonian Canal, I have been there once before but that time I didn’t meet Nessie, the lake monster, Maybe I will be luckier this time?

Over and Out from a Scottish paradise (with out palm trees though) /First Mate Sofia

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Day 7 - Memories

Position: N 45° 35' W 016° 36' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 547

In about five days Cantare and I will have completed an Atlantic circuit. Falmouth is the first place that we return to and it is also the place where I feel that our long-distance sailing experience started. There we got to know the Norwegian yachts Escape, Johanna and TimeOut, the Danish boat Ing and the Swedish yacht Inga. We became a part of the big sailing family and exchanged power-walking and running for beer drinking and new friendships. I remember the excitement that we all felt right before it was time to leave for the Biscay, we were running around on the pontoons hugging each other and wishing the others fair winds. We gathered in front of Escape and took a few pictures of the group, we were dressed in waterproofs and ready to go. Together with the Norwegians we left in the sunset, small shadows with glowing lanterns on the rough sea, friends in the dark. Cantare returns without the others. But they are in my mind.

Escape was somewhere on the Atlantic on the way to Horta when we left seven days ago, hopefully they have reach land now, from there they will take the Caledonian canal to Norway. Johanna and TimeOut planned to sail around the world, but right now the yachts are left in the Caribbean waiting for the return of the guys who have gone home to Norway. Ing is somewhere on the other side, they took the Panama canal and do what I dream of, continue around the world. Where is Inga? I don't know. They should be on their way home to Gothenburg as well, but no one I've met has heard anything. I'll have to search for their email address.

I look forward to being back in Falmouth, I know that the showers are fantastic, the beer is good and the stores are well stocked. There is also another reason that I long to Falmouth. One of my best friends Sandra and her boyfriend Erik (boat bunny 2) will be arriving around the same time as us. They will sail together with me until we reach Denmark. I haven't seen Sandra for more than a year since she left for Australia half a year before my departure and didn't return to Sweden until I was gone. She is also the girl that I started to plan a trip like this with many years ago. To be able to sail together with her means a lot to me and I see this last part as a new adventure. It is now less than a month before we are to sail into Höganäs harbour, a frightening and exciting thought. But, a lot can happen and the fact that Sandra will join me makes me appreciate these last weeks even more. /The Captain

 

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Day 6 - Free passengers

Position: N 44° 30' W 018° 54' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 665

After some pressure from a few blog readers I have been forced to write a post, and by the way I don't get any desert from the Captain until it's done. Normally I can't fill a postcard so this is a big challenge. I am dictating this to a ghost writer while I'm doing the dishes and doing the dishes is a very huge problem. You have to balance on one leg, use the other one to pump water at the same time the yacht is behaving like a rodeo bull. I have been thinking about using duct tape to stay put in the galley. Talking about the dishes, here onboard we have got two free passengers. One of them is producing more dishes for me, mostly during the night when I'm asleep. I suspect that it could be the same person as the ghost writer. The other free passenger is eating cookies and candy in an abnormal rate, this occurs both during daytime and night. But I can't figure out who it can be. Sometime during the coming night we will pass the point of no return, meaning that we are halfway to our destination, and if we want more candy it's a better decision to go forward than to turn around. Now I am exhausted of all this dictating and hope this is long enough to receive my promised desert. / Deckhand Anders

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Day 5 - Envious?

Position: N 43° 42' W 021° 14' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 774

I don't have a lot to write today. Dad is actually behaving very well, he has even managed to turn the plotter into night mode without losing all the route data. The only annoying thing with him today is that he's reading a book about a Swedish couple who sail a Halberg-Rassy 62 around the world and he keeps telling me about everything they have on the yacht. The last comment he made was that they have three bathrooms and think that is the perfect amount, one each and one extra for wet clothes. But that's alright today since the sun is shining and we don't have any wet clothes hanging all over the saloon for the moment. Although most of the yacht is rather damp again we have managed to keep the lee bunk dry, one of us is usually sleeping in it, warming it with our body heat. I have also taught dad the trick with wet socks, just keep them on when going to sleep and if you're lucky they are dry when you wake up. I'm not at all envious of the Swedish couple who made all meals before their crossings and froze them in their freezer, I like to balance around in Cantare with knifes and hot water. Life onboard Cantare is great! / The Captain

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Pictures from Dublin and the Atlantic Ocean

New Pictures from Dublin and the Atlantic Ocean are uploaded! Click here to view: http://picasaweb.google.com/SailingCantare/TheAzoresToDublin


Enjoy! Love First Mate

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Day 4 - Four worlds

Position: N 43° 02' W 023° 27' UTC 1200

Nautical miles left: 876

Life is settling down, routines have formed. Every four hour one of us gets dressed and ready for the cockpit while the other one looks forward to take off the clothes and go to bed. The one awake, ready to leave the duties outside, is happy and teasing the other one about how cold and wet it is outside. The person just awoken surly reminds the first one that sweet is short, four hour passes quickly when you're asleep. Like this we go on, every four hour the roles changes. Anyway, during one of the watch changes tonight dad said that he is living in four world. My mind was still a bit slow since I'd just gotten out of the bunk so it took a while for me to understand what he meant. He means the world in the cockpit, a grey, wet and rather cold place, with waves rushing by and the look out duties, that's number 1. Number 2, the world in the book he is listening to on my iPod during the night watches, for the moment Stieg Larsson's. Number 3, the world in the warm and dry bunk on the lee side of the saloon were he dreams about I don't know what and number 4 the world in the book he reads during daytime. It's actually the same for me, I also live in four worlds, so far I've read two real books and listened to one on the iPod, that makes time go by quickly. Right now the outside world isn't that interesting most of the time. Only when the dolphins show up is it worth standing up and getting spray in my face. This morning some strange dolphins came by, at least I think they were dolphins but I'm not sure. First I spotted what looked like a small black whale in front of the yacht. I called out to dad who was in the bunk, he's been dreaming about whales for a while now. When he got up we could see a lot of them swimming behind Cantare. They seemed to be too small to be whales, and they moved more like dolphins, yet they were bigger than the dolphins I've seen before and had a different head shape. They were completely black on the top, greyish underneath and with big bulbous heads that looked a bit like the sperm whale's head. If any one has a clue please text us on the satellite phone, I can't find my book about Atlantic species.

The sailing is alright, but the wind has veered to the north and decreased, we struggle a bit to go directly towards Falmouth but at least we average above 4 knots towards goal. / The Captain

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Pub Crawl in Dublin

















Yesterday evening after having settled in the marina we all went out to for some traditional Irish food and drinks to celebrate our arrival in Dublin. The rain was pouring down, sort of typical for this latitudes and dress code nowadays is wellingtons and sail jacket. All of us have been thinking about turning and set sail towards the warm Carribean again… We had a very nice evening together and the live music was great! But I must say that I’m neither a Guinness fan, nor very keen on the Irish Coffe, I prefer the lighter beers.

Today we finally find a laundry, I haven’t washed since Cuba and is starting to run out of clean clothes. Lars, Nico, Cecilie and I looked like true bag ladies when carrying our dirty belongings half round Dublin before finding the laundry. Besides laundry I have started to get to know Dublin today. Very hard to understand the Dubliners, their English is very unique and I found myself constantly asking please, say again. Haven’t met that very many true Dubliners yet though, it is a very multicultural city and to quote a taxi driver when I asked him how many inhabitants Dublin have: Around 1 million but 2 million if you count the illegal workforce. Tomorrow the Dublin sightseeing will continue!

Before I’m off to bed just a little eye opener, today a guy who single-handed had sailed non stop from Australia arrived in our marina…took him 101 days or was it 105…anyway our 30 days from Cuba to the Azores now feels little lame =) I didn’t meet him though, he left again before I got home, don’t now where, probably off to sea.

Nighty night! /First Mate Sofia

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