BEING A TEAM

Now and then I look at Arthur and ask him with a glimpse in the eye – Are you aware about who you have chosen to bring with you on this journey? This use to be in moments where it is so obvious that I am not so practical (or more correctly said – yet not so experienced) as it would be great to be on board. 

Many asks us if we shouldn’t have someone with us, especially on the long trips. We both pass on that. This is our life and journey.  If we can’t manage it ourselves, we shouldn’t do it. 

Think if it is really true that we all have everything we need and that we all have access to everything. Then our personalities nor skills doesn’t matter – we will be part of something much bigger that gives us access to what is needed when challenges shows up. 

I have so many examples when I have got the extra energy in tough times – could be from the sun, the dolphins, someone having answer on my questions, from Arthur of course – it always seems to exist help when needed! Arthur and I stand for that we have the resources for making this journey together without knowing everything beforehand. 

Arthur is the captain, no doubt about that. When he doesn’t know I provide him with questions and listening. It helps very often. He listens to me as well and gives me space for reading and writing. He has not been pushing me to step up and join him with the sailing, it came naturally when I realized I was needed for reaching goals at longer distance. I like very much to accomplish what we are setting up. I stand for plan A longer and more consistent then Arthur and it works so far. 

Arthur has the longer view – he already knows what islands he wants to go to in the big blue on the other side of the world. I am more here and now – thinking amongst other on what food to buy and bring. 

We both are in a time when remembering details is on the list. What are the questions we need to address before leaving an easy access world with nautica and skilled craftsman.

Since many years we are supporting each other to listen to what we call our inklings. It’s the often very silent and soft voice who wants to get heard – often to remember us about something. If we skip to act on It, we always regretting as It for sure was something important. When one of us express an inkling we are eager to give it attention. 

We belong together all of us – just look at the waves! 

La Palma – magic nature

We are in Tazacorte on the west side of La Palma. From ”our beach” there is nothing in between before Florida. In December it is our turn to cross the big blue Atlantic. First we will see some of the Canarias islands.

We went to the top of La Palma, Roque de los muchachos, and got some extraordinary views. For me it was the first time being this high up (2426 meter). A big contrast from being on the sea – the element of feelings. Up here it was like the wind, clouds and the sun where playing around without limitations. Even if it was windy I found a place where it was still and I just relaxed into the hugeness and silence.

Several countries have telescopes up here to study the stars. Sweden built the tower in the middle 1989.
No one is allowed to use light up here after the sun set.

To come here it takes a driver with courage. Thank you Arthur! The roads are narrow and very beautiful. First tunnel came as a chock – think about meeting someone here!

You get well paid for being on those roads. On high altitude we found old pinetrees with ”skägglav” – it just grows if the air is very clean. A lot of birds were singing.

El Hierro in the horisont
The saltfabrique on the southern headland.

Om helgon och traditioner

En del av resandet är att ta del av nya kulturer och traditioner. Festerna är många – alltid finns något att fira!

När vi skulle fortsätta till Madeira blev vi ombedda att komma tidigt för på eftermiddagen skulle årets stora högtid äga rum i hamnen – firandet av fiskarnas skyddshelgon, Nossa Senhora de Piedade (barmhärtighet).

Eftersom jag blev så berörd av Columbusfesten bestämde jag mig för att följa även denna. I korthet innebar den att alla båtar, framförallt fiskebåtarna, från trakten kom i en procession till Quinta de Lorde för att hämta sitt helgon och föra henne till kyrkan i grannbyn Canical över lördagsnatten. På söndag eftermiddag återfördes hon till sitt lilla kapell på bergstoppen där hon kan se alla fiskarna på långt håll. Under helgen var det fest och gudstjänster i Canical.

Det som var fint och ovant att se var att alla såg ut att delta på sitt vis – i processionen, på båtarna (hela dagen), i kyrkorna, på gatorna, på stranden. Det är en stor kulturskillnad mot Sverige. Vi har inte så många traditioner, förutom midsommar, som samlar många (alla) människor. Klimatet spelar förstås roll.

Jag undrar vilken skillnad det gör när en hel by samlas för att gemensamt under en hel helg fira och be till ett helgon om att det ska gå bra även nästa år. Vi har ju inte riktigt den traditionen heller. En ödmjukhet inför större krafter. Det är så uppenbart när vi färdas på havet.

Norra Madeira i sikte.
Vi förstod snart varför vi skulle komma tidigt – hela hamnen blev fylld med stora och små fiskebåtar, en del motorbåtar och någon enstaka segelbåt. Våran marinero var i tjänst på bryggan.
Jag bestämde mig för att gå i deras ”skor” och försöka känna in deras tradition. Det var många som vandrade hela vägen upp i värmen.
Prästerna gick som vanligt i täten.
Nossa senhora de Piedade, Barmhärtighetshelgonet, bärs ut på en bädd av krysantemum som doftade ljuvligt. I det här lilla kapellet bor hon hela året.
Kvinnorna hade långa ljus med sig som de lyste upp kapellet med.
Utsikten norrut över den lilla byn och hamnen från berget med kapellet.
Det var mycket som hände i hamnen den här dagen. En del solade och badade på hotellet som vanligt. Andra gifte sig.
Naturen är fantastisk.
Här syns berget med det lilla kapellet på toppen. Vår båt i förgrunden till höger.
Moderskeppet var extra utsmyckat. Det är olika båtar varje år som får äran att frakta helgonet.
Bryggsegling får en ny innebörd efter att ha sett det här. I hamnen i Canical var även fiskebåtarna fyllda med familj, släkt och vänner.

När det är fest (och det är det ofta) så grillas det. Hela kycklingar uppvikta i ett stycke serveras med det traditionella brödet. Eller grillspett på rejäla långa pinnar som var och en grillar själv nere på stranden.

I grannbyn Canical vilade helgonet under lördagen i den första lilla kyrkan. På söndagen var den stora kyrkan helt full under gudstjänsten.

Snart ska prästerna, orkestern och pilgrimerna kliva på. Alla båtar inväntar.
En lång helg lider mot sitt slut. Här återvänder fiskebåtarna till Canical.

Blommor på Madeira

Ja nu är vi på Madeira. Trots att det är den torraste månaden på hela året så finns det en hel del blommor. Hibiscus så klart – här växer de som häckar.

Strax norr om Funchal (huvudorten på ön) finns en stor privatträdgård, Monte palace, som vi vandrade igenom i går. Enormt och magnifikt. Omhändertaget och i utveckling. En gigantisk samling afrikanska träskulpturer samt en mycket stor samling kristaller.

Det kändes som om det var en lycklig plats som många människor har fått ta del av genom åren.

Och lekfull…

Det var som om allt fanns….

Och så blommor och många olika träd så klart

More stones, sand and Santa Maria

Porto santo is famous for her long golden beach with soft, soft sand. In the evening light we went there and I found some beautiful patterns again.

Around every small stone the sand was formed like a tree with long roots or a big crone – what ever ways you look at it. For me it was like seeing flowers and trees all over the beach.

Another interesting thing was the footprint. Arthur was walking in front of me and first it sank down and right after it went up!

This evening it was the yearly festival for Columbus. He lived on this island and was married with the daughter of the head of the island.

The house were Columbus lived.

As we are on the way to do the same passage more than 500 years later it was quite fascinating to see the ship Santa maria (rebuilt and stationed in Funchal, Madeira) first in ”our” harbour and then slowly coming towards the town bridge. I found it very easy to put me in their situation – think about making the passage (many thousands of seamiles) back and return with this ship!
Think about the feeling of coming back home again.
This they celebrate every year.

I see it as celebrating the pioneers – the one who dares, who are very early, who believed that earth was round not flat. Who tried it out in reality.

Columbus is getting welcomed by the women.

Mountains, stones and sand

This is something else – very dry, very solid, very still. I lay down – it is warm. It gives me shelter. It (well a human have put up a sign) that warns me to come closer – ROCK FALL DANGER. Can not se a sign of movement…

Want to come closer. There are so many different colors.
I find another path. I see some dogs, two of them, just out playing. They check me out on distance. I check them too. They look friendly, wavering their tales.

For this time I go back down on the beach. Nice patterns, like waves in the sand.

Look on the hill to the right – do you see the pattern? Almost the same as in the sand!

As you maybe know I love flowers. There are not so many here. Here grow big palm trees and different types of cactus. I found one wild flower yesterday – it showed up to be tree tobacco, eating the leafs can lead to ones dead, so I throw them away and decided I have much bigger chance to find real flowers on Madeira (next stop). Portugal have still many more sides to show me.

So I let those sweet hearts stay on the beach. Matching the fire in the volcanos. Nature is fantastic.

A NEW WAY OF LIVING – IN SYNC WITH THE PULSE OF THE PLANET

We are in the process of tagging in on a new pulse – slower and larger, more unpredictable than the clock’s seconds, minutes and hours. The planet’s pulse appears in the waves, currents, high and low tide, winds, sun, stars and moon. A rhythm that is infinitely larger than what I as an individual can control and even imagine.

Just think of the waves – here in the Atlantic they are bigger and longer than in the Baltic. They crawl in a common mass up to a wave peak to fall out and undaunted continue the next crawling upwards. Together they move forward. 

I see the wave tops build up in the stern and feel how our boat slowly follows up and down. I remember sailing from Bornholm to Simrishamn with lots of wind and big waves that we surfed on. I looked back once ­– it was enough – the waves appeared so big. Took a steadier grip around the steering wheel and focused forward. Now they are even bigger and I am training to trust that we can join and be carried even by this sea. My task is to follow, be awake and present to the pulse. To dare to expand. To open my senses even more.

I shoot the sea, the sun and the moon. Every picture has a wide horizon. It’s moving all the time. I correct it – it’s so simple and happens automatically when I press a button. What happens when we see an oblique horizon – can’t we read the picture then?

My eyes are searching for the light. When the sun breaks through the clouds and sends down its rays in a large curtain. I never tire. Sunrise, sunset, glitter, sunbathing. The body also feels the sun – several degrees warmer immediately she shows up.

At night I wait for the moon. It shows far from always. That’s because it’s cloudy I’ve learned. But the clouds are not visible at night either, so I always wait and hope. The moon is very unpredictable. New moon or full moon – that feels tangible, but otherwise. It can appear anywhere in the sky / in any weather (surely there is science around this that says otherwise), be big or small, white or gold colored and only show up for a little, little while or if you are really lucky all night. Regardless, I am very fascinated by this nightly light.

The stars are still just as sprinkling in the sky. Eventually, we should start using our sextant and read our position against the stars – as they did in the ages before all technology.

We met a sailor, Max, who 21-year-old navigated with only sextant on his trip in the Pacific. He said that sailing to the Pacific will change us forever. It makes me even more curious. What is going to happen, really? How is it possible to describe and perhaps even justify a trip of this kind? So far, it’s still pretty unimaginable. I have thought several times that I could die now. Understand me right, I want to live clearly. It’s just so big and powerful everything. I feel immensely grateful and hope to share it with you in those lines.

RELAXING

Long, long time ago I bought a hammock for two at Utö, a small island outside Stockholm. I love the rocking. We made space for it in our livingroom – of some reason we did not use it. I kept it all the years and knew I wanted to bring it on this journey. 

One day in the Bay of San Fransisco, just at the entrance of ria Muros in Galicia, northeast corner of Spain, it was time for using it. I put it up myself and should just try if it was high enough. Then I stayed for hours – I kind of drowned into the hammock. It was so relaxing. Like I had been waiting for years for this moment.  I layed there and felt how the warm breeze gave gentle movements. At the horizon I had the Atlantic islands and there after pure blue Atlantic. 

This was the first moment of deep relaxation. It has been more since then. Later we chosed to stay a month in Quinta de Lorde, a small marina at north Madeira. Around 40 sailing yatchs, a five-star resort hotel and a huge mountain, with a small chapel on the top, in front of our bow. A very calm place. As the sun goes down around 8 PM it is also very dark in the evenings. 

Some should say it is desolated – we love the tranquility as it helps us to relax more. We get plenty of time to go inwards and follow the inner flow. For us this is a journey on the inside as well as in the outer world. 

When I think of the tempo in a big city and the amount of information that usually flushes over us – I realize it is totally normal that people are stressed and depressed. It is natural to close senses when it is becoming overwhelming and we still want to be productive and stay focused. In practice that also means that you are closing down big parts of our selves. All that we hide for is stored in our body. If we were to unfold then we would be like crepe bands – just getting longer and longer the more we allow to stretch out ourselves. I can still feel it after four months on board. New layers appear the more I rest and just are.

One of the questions I am most curious about on this trip is what will happen with me when I relax in the space of nothing, pure being here and now. So far it is so revealing – I feel so grateful and in flow. Can life be better than this? 

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