Haiku Presentationer Skriva memoarer?

The freedom of the sea farer

The brave warrior Hawkeye had to swim without aids to the shore from the middle of the Bath-house bay  to participate in the sea-battles of the native tribe. Dad and mom sat in the skiff, the afternoon sun was shining and I jumped from the stern. I got a gulp of the brown water from the lake Valloxen and swam to the beach and waded proudly ashore. Now I had the freedom to sail my war ship and canoe and take part in the sea battles with Ice eye, Eagle eye and Falcons eye. But only in the Bath-house Bay. The Freedom had limits.

The ships and the skipper have grown but there are always limits to the freedom. Now we are moored to a buoy in Youghal River east of Cork. On the Celtic Sea, just outside the river mouth, there is a wind Beaufort 6 or 7 possibly gale 8. We tried to leave our shelter and go to sea but returned when we saw the waves. The weather sets limits.

Per, Lisa’s son celebrates his 40th birthday with us and he does not like the dingy so we stay onboard Siri. Both Lisa and I want to have close contact with our families and have chosen to sail over the summer and return at autumn. We stay in contact with our loved ones over e-mail and mobile phones. We work and live onboard Siri four months a year. Great freedom and we set the limits ourselves.

The war- canoe of Hawkeye must not leave the Bath-house bay. Ketch Siri is built and equipped for the oceans. The Breton from Paimpol we met in Oban woke slumbering dreams when he said “With such a ship, monsieur, you must sail the waters of Brittany”. The other night something hard hit the side of the boat. It’s good to have a steel yacht on such occasions. Sture and Enid had a Bavaria 42 when they hit a log in Barents’s sea, east of Björnöya. Everything went well. We met them in Farsund on an aluminum yacht newly bought in Holland. They want to feel safe. We invest in preventive maintenance during autumn and spring and we know precisely what we want to buy to increase the safety and expand the freedom. If you sail long enough you seem to have exchanged and replaced almost everything on your boat. On Ronja, returning from the West Indies, the saltwater had destroyed the propane bottles they kept in the anchor box. Ketch Siri is a ship of freedom, she does not define our limits.

The knowledge and experience of the skipper set bounds to freedom. “When an accident happens the skipper is at fault, when something goes well the credit goes to the crew.” The master and commander has all responsibility, the law is crystal clear. Before we left our harbor on Beckholmen for the first time Pelle and I trained mooring on the wooden piers of Skeppsholmen. Pelle, 20 years old, was the teacher and I, 60+ years, was the student. To maneuver the 14 tons of Siri is much more difficult than the wooden coastal cruiser Macoma or the sailing canoe Toy4Joy. We have now sailed for five summers, a total time of a year onboard, and the mooring goes fine most of the time but recently in Bangor outside Belfast did I need support to get into a parking slot for motor-boats. Lisa and I have together taken the courses and exams required for boats larger than Siri and we have trained survival on life rafts and fired distress flares. We had first mates Erik and Kjell onboard to increase our competence when we made our first crossings over long distances. The North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the names create respect in themselves. I have a feeling that my own successes and mistakes create lasting experience. And sailing at sea is the only way to get experience. And not to make old mistakes once more and not to commit new ones. A futile hope, perhaps.

Adventure story writers Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson sailed and wrote in the Pacific.
Arthur Ransome , the favorite author of my youth, had his boats built with writing desks. Ketch Siri and our quiet routine onboard give us time and freedom to think and create, to write and to knit. We live in voluntary media celibacy where the only important news are the weather forecasts. The author Sven Barthel said” A sailing boat is an instrument of freedom” The time we give ourselves and the unpredictability of sailing give us a freedom far away from schedules and estimated time of arrival. Sea captain John Wilhelm Fröstedt, my grandfather’s grandfather, the master of Brig Siri of Stockholm in the 19th century signed his letters “God Willing, Weather Permitting”.

Today’s sea farer, we have an enormous information advantage and much better vessels and still there are limits to our freedom. Wind, waves and tides govern us. The tide presses us here at the buoy in Youghal river so that we have our broad side against the gale and we heel as if we were sailing. The forecast for tomorrow predicts continuous hard winds; we will stay moored to the buoy. We will not sail in this weather, we have water and food onboard and will use the time to read Harry Potter and to write and enjoy ourselves.