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? 

Find us on facebook

Hello everyone who have found us here. We are just in the beginning of our journey – sailing and living on the seas. For the moment we use a page on facebook: wave by wave – where we communicate in swedish. Please like & follow if you would like to stay in touch.

https://www.facebook.com/Wave-by-wave-829156854098053/?modal=admin_todo_tour

A new choise – a new life: how it all started

Summer 2017 – colder and tougher than ever. I, Anna, started the summer by breaking a rib and when it had just healed, I fell right down on my nose and felt very miserable for a number of weeks to come. We dreamed of sun and bath but had to retreat to a safe harbor at Listed/Bornholm and lick (mine) wounds. How it was, we enjoyed being on the boat and getting extra time to talk to each other. An idea began to grow there. An idea of ​​taking a sabbatical year in 4-5 years and sailing down to the Canary Islands. Visit my friend who arranges dolphin and whaletrips at La Gomera. It would be nice to get there on our own keel.

After Listed we went to Skillinge at the Swedish mainland – a full day in fog – and had to lie outside the Dutch boat Balder. Nan, the woman on board, understood exactly when I shared my thoughts about more time on board. She showed me all the essentials – how the food was stored, how the laundry was taken care of, their library and work opportunities on board. She even had a bathtub! And space for her hats she made herself. In addition, she had at least as high a nautical competence as her husband.

The seed grew and well at home it went fast. At our homeharbour, Hundudden, we met a couple that just had return home after many years in The West Indies. They told us that we needed a boat with water maker, freezer and a washing machine – maybe an Amel, quite common over there. I started to take notes. We realized that we needed a new ocean-going boat and too afford it we needed to sell our apartment. Our big nice apartment in the middle of Södermalm/Stockholm where we have lived for over twenty years. Suddenly we felt completely ready with living inside a house. We wanted to try out how it would be to live on board and sail on new waters without time limits. Why wait? We choosed to go for it there and then.

To make a long story short, it took a year, just before the next summer, before a new family dared to buy our apartment in times of price fall on the housing market. We realized that it was just as good to sell everything – all furniture, paintings and books, yes everything. We didn’t want to leave a store with lots of unsorted memories.

At the last minute we found our new boat, s / y Vista, a 53 foot ketch – an Amel supermaramu 2000 redline, built on the Amel shipyard in La Rochelle. This model was the last one that Henri Amel drew before he died and donated the shipyard to his employees. It is built to be safely sailed by a couple over the seas. Vista has had two owners before us, both of whom have sailed her in the Mediterranean. We used our holiday (2018) to transport home Vista from Toulon on the French Riviera.

It took just over six weeks – from the Mediterranean, through Gibraltar, up the Portuguese coast to La Coruna where we waited for the right weather conditions to take us across Biscaya to beautiful Falmouth on the English south coast. Up through the English Channel, past the Isle of White to the Dutch coast, Helgoland and then Kiel Channel. Everything was new! We went day and night, three days as the most. Everything went well! We got a great start!

In October, we moved in with a fraction of our belongings. By the end of May 2019, we will carry off on the seas again.