Hello again! Finally I am done selling my home, moving out of it and finding a place for all the things I owned. And now I am living on Isabell full-time. There are still some things to take care of before I start sailing south, but I am very pleased with the good start of live-aboard life. The temperatures are summertime warm and the water is quickly starting to warm up as well. Still a bit cool during the nights, but I only used the new Webasto heater in the beginning of last week. Isabell is packed to the brim with food and stuff to make the trip down to the Med.
Next Tuesday I will drive my car down to my sons house in Lammhult, Sweden and from there take the train and bus back to the harbour where Isabell is sitting in the guest harbour. I am in Lake Malaren, and from here it is easy to reach the Baltic Sea through the locks (sluices) at Södertälje. Let’s see what the weather is like when it is time to start sailing. First, on Saturday there is a social gathering here in my former winter harbour. Time to say goodbye to all the friendly boat neighbours. And at the moment I am very busy eating freezer food that I cannot store aboard. So meat, meat and fish, fish three meals a day… Living the good life!
The Spring has finally arrived. I am cleaning out my apartment and moving stuff onto boat. Trying to keep the amount of stuff to bring to a minimum, so that Isabell is still floating when everything is packed on board. Tested the new Webasto heater and it is fantastic, very nice and warm in no time. And it is very quiet, all you hear is a low whiz and the ticking of the fuel pump. Very pleased with it. It was such a lot of work installing it, so now all that pays off.
It is still cold on the water, and I have very little time to go sailing right now. Plan is to be done with apartment moving in a week or two. Then I will be living on board full time. Will look for weather window to start sailing to Visby on island of Gotland first thing in June. From there I will take it as the weather permits.
Leaving home, job and things behind to go sailing is both a scary experience and a feeling of freedom at its best. Isabell is ready for adventure and soon I will be there too. Exciting!
The past week has been summertime-like. Isabell went in the water as planned on April 18 and got polishes and waxed, new double coat of antifouling and a new home port name on the stern.
Early in the morning of the 18th a thin layer of ice covered the harbour at Rastaholm. By the time it was our turn to go in, the ice had melted away and the temperature went up to 16 degrees Celcius. Even the days following were warm and pleasant, and I had time to put up all the canvas and take a shakedown tour on Lake Malaren on the 19th. Two hours of slow sailing to trim all the rigging. Now we are ready to go sailing for real!!!
I have sold my home and will move on board Isabell in the middle of May. Then the plan to sail south will be set in motion by the end of May. We’ll see how it goes. Please check in here to follow the coming developments.
Launching day is planned for April 18th, 2023 and the boatyard still looks like it is mid-winter. How is that going to work? Anyhow, I have just come home from a wonderful week in UK, and find the ongoing winter a bit unsettling. This spring I need to prepare Isabell for the trip to the Mediterranean, thus needing new antifouling and a good cleaning inside. I am planning on leaving Sweden in June at the latest, in order to sail by Gotland, Bornholm, Gedser, Germany and Kiel canal, the Netherlands, through Belgium and France on the canals, and out in the Med by end of October (with a little luck).
But first, lots of small fixing to take care of, new this and new that… I have invested in a new flexible solar panel at 150W (24V) to be a little more sustainable and off grid prepared. The work on the installation of the new Webasto Evo 40 diesel heater is almost done. That was quite a challenge to install by the book. But I have a feeling it is going to pay off and work well. Now, let us hope for some warmer weather and that launching can actually happen in a few weeks. Keep fingers crossed!
Yes, we are in the year of 2023. Time to make some changes in my life. I will be done working in Sweden in February. After that… Well, many options, but the general plan is to leave the Stockholm area, sell my apartment and move on board Isabell. If that works out, the secondary plan is to sail Isabell south, because as the saying goes “better to heat your boat with lattitude than with diesel”.
On October 25th Isabell was lifted out of the water and set on land. The Fall of 2022 has been very mild. After some basic cleaning and building the cover support structure across the deck, the boat is prepared for installation work inside. The plan is to install the new Webasto Evo 40 diesel heater in the stern locker space. Also installed a new Pioneer radio with bluetooth connections, which was an easy job. Just removed the old Pioneer and pushed in the new one in it’s place. The heater is a bit more demanding. To celebrate the end of sailing season the skipper is enjoying a beer at the harbor (of Leiden).
Skipper started looking at the ways to travel on down south. One particularly interesting route is through the rivers and canals of Netherlands, Belgium and France to the Med. But the past summers it has been so dry in France that the canals are almost dry. Even now, late Fall, they are short of water. A wish for more rainfall during the winter and spring then is in great demand. Another option is to sail to the UK (now outside the EU and Schengen) and then down through the Straight of Gibraltar. The canals seem more attractive, if there is enough water in them. Only time will tell! Anyhow, my retirement in February 2023 will lead to exiting changes in my life. First there is a lot of work to do on Isabell’s interior. I am ready for it!
What happened to the summer of 2022 and this sailing blogg? The summer started slow, with a month of repairs on the bow of Isabell. But, after it was done just before midsummer (end of June), things just happened one after the next. But so far, 2022 has been a great summer. Not counted in miles sailed, but mostly in the lovely mix of events that happened. Visiting foreign friends, exploring the Swedish past and present, visit at museums and great restaurants, mostly enjoying tropical temperatures, enjoying a wedding and long hiking paths, and nothing that went wrong with Isabell. Now, as the summer is coming to an end, days are getting shorter… Time to start planning for more adventures. The investment in the power Lofrans windlass has been excellent as an improvement on Isabell. So nice to just push buttons and set the anchor from the cockpit or lift it in strong winds, during heavy weather. So far the summer of 2022 has been great, and as usual, summer is always too short in Sweden.
It is almost time for the annual launch. Looking forward to it! The windlass is installed and working… Fun! Lots of other small things are done. At the moment it is time to start filling Isabell with food, water, and other stuff neccessary for living aboard. A couple of runs back and forth between Nacka and Rasta are on my schedule. The weather has cooperated and that means that even the varnished surfaces have received some new paint. It has been nice to have the Fridays off from work to be able to fix with things at Rastaholm. Nice and peaceful there during weekdays.
And it is finally time to start prepping Isabell for another boating season. Easter weekend is usually the time to take off the winter shelter and start fixing things on board. The weather so far has been winter-like. During the past few weeks I have been working inside the boat with the heater on and the hatches closed. Brrr. Last Friday a stormy westerly wind broke up the thick ice cover on the lake. Now at least it feels like Spring. The work I have been doing inside included re-wiring the leads between shore-power, solar panel regulator, engine regulator (Sterling) and the house and starter batteries. Now it is almost all updated to Skyllermarks standard. It was necessary for the addition of wiring to the new Lofrans electrical windlass. I have installed the windlass and the wiring that goes with it. It includes 25 mm2 tinned-copper wiring from the starter battery to the windlass regulator box. Regular wiring to and from the two foot switches on the deck, a manual switch for up-down operation of the windlass in the cockpit, a main breaker (135 A) inside the cabin, and an on/off switch on the control panel with a 5A fuse. I have also removed the cover from the anchor chain locker and it is being made into two equal halves in the workshop at home. This weekend I will remove the deck-cover, feed in the new chain, connect the anchor, clean out the water tank, and do some other small stuff. Along with all that, will try to socialize some and eat some Easter treats. Yeah! Happy Easter!
Hello again! Long time no writing. It is mid-winter in Sweden, and Isabell is sitting on dry land until the beginning of May 2022. Winter jobs planned for are to install the Lofrans Project 1000 X2 anchor winch that is sitting in my storage at home. I also have to order a new pulpit from Hallberg Rassy, since the one I have now is crushed on the starboard side. I am planning to split the anchor locker box top in two parts, to be able to open it while the anchor winch is pulling upp the chain. Other than that the boat is in good shape. Time for Isabell to take a rest. Soon to be ready for another season of fun sailing.