Friday, September 4, 2015

Skandanavian beauties...long lean and all perfect

Last summer Rachel and I visited my mother in Helsingborg in Sweden. This was in June. We were there to celebrate her 80th birthday which was in April but we put off the party till June as my sister and her family would be back in Sweden too. The weather was cold but not too cold for a Caribbean guy like me. It was a nice change. What always happens to me the first week back in Sweden is because there is very low humidity and I never wear shoes my feets calloused soles start to dry out and crack. Because the majority of the sidewalks there are paved with granite stones my calves ach from the hardness. We walk everywhere in our lives but the first week there for me is painful.
It had been ten years since I was last in Sweden. I had flown from the Azores when on my atlantic sailing trip in the Hogfish to see my mom and sister. My memories of Sweden have always been of a very clean and organized country. On this trip the thing that had changed the most for me was the amount of forieners living there and how dirty the place had gotten. This is not a fair discription as I spent most of my time in Helsinborg which is a costal port town. Lots of immigrants here now working.
It was hard to spot the Swedes now. I enjoyed this very much as so many different cultures now about and the different faces to go with them. 
I have never felt very comfortable in Sweden as a half Swede. It's just too perfect and orderly there. I like things to be a little rough around the edges. I feel way more at home in my Cuban half.
For me a trip to Sweden is seeing my family, with a glimpse of my heritage which is mostly eating as much of the Sill, herring, caviar, smoked eel and bread that I can.Then it's all about looking at the long lean, very refined, sailing craft that abound in the harbors around the coast.
Because the sun is never overhead like it is here in the Caribbean Sea the boats all are in fantastic shape. I have been going back to lust after some of these boats since I was a teenager. They never age. It's like looking at your first lover and she is still young and it's only you that's aged. The sailing season is short so the boats don't get used as much as in other climates. Also the Scandinavians really take care of their craft.

Let's look at some beauties.

This hull is built in fiberglass or in plywood. It has a deep keel. I saw one as a kid sailing in the pacific when I was there. It must be at least 45-50 years old. They sell for around $ 12,000.00 US

Lots of all varnished boats about

Had to include a nice little Dutch sloop. Kind of like sailing around in a little coo coo clock.

This was a miniature Folk Boat all varnished but needing a bit of TLC 
The Brithish Fisher class of double ender.
Lots of these simple little inboard engine day boats 
A Fiberglass Folkboat.
A Danish sloop. These boats have fin keels
I'am suprised the hatches are facing foreward on this low sloop
Here's one with the mast up. Notice the foot pad for getting onto the dock. 
It's very rare to find a boat that has an anchor roller off the bow. Most all of these boats have stern anchors and tie off the many little harbor sea walls when out cruising.
My favorite mini cruiser from childhood. This is a 23' version of the Albin Vega sloop. My father lived and cruised aboard his Vega  " Adios" for 25 years up to the morning he died of a heart attach.
I wonder how wet this bow is .
Rachel striking the pose next to a Volvo boat in Copenhagen. 
No bow roller but a simple u pad eye to tie ashore with.

This was the dirtiest boat we found.
Lots of these boats around when I was kid.
Classic. It's black from all the oiling it's had over its lifetime.

Wood decks with a glass hull.

A lap strake Folkboat but built in fiberglass

Danish design

An old 1/4 toner
A beauty. The people who sail these boats are the same as thoses that drive around in vintage cars. They just really enjoy a boat with history.
These sloops all had similar hulls but with different deck layouts. All are around 40' plus long.
This is the one I want.

All of these boats were in Copenhagen Denmark. Most were under 30' LOA.
In Denmark eating my herring and egg sandwich sitting on Granite stones next to a nice castle looking out over the straits to Sweden.
The water is perfectly clear but cold. So many Flounders on the bottom of this harbor.
Granite rocks everywhere.
Rachel striking the "pose". On this trip Rachel was mimicking all of our kids girlfriends habits of taking photos of themselves striking the pose. 
Rachel in front of my sisters old apartment. She owned a place on the top floor. 
We had lots of fun on this trip making light of our lack of language knowledge.

It has been pouring rain here in Antigua so I took a few minutes to share these boats with you.
The HFM is back in the water where she belongs. The storms missed us giving us some rain and about 50 knots of wind.

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