Arriving home: How does it feel? And what next?

We made our dream come true!

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But how does it feel to come back to reality after living onboard and sailing for 2 years? And what now? End of the world?

To cover the basic practicalities:
– Yes, we will move out of the boat
– Yes, we will go to work
– Yes, Anton will go to regular school in autumn (2. grade)
– Yes, we will continue sailing during weekends and holidays
– No, the boat is not for sale

But how does this all feel?

Captain Saku:

img_20180520_141204835391979.jpg“To me, coming home doesn’t so much mark the ending but a beginning of something new. This is not a return to what we had before but a start of something completely new. And that is exciting.”

“However, I could easily continue living onboard Stella Polaris. Especially after clearing some stuff from the lockers and the deck to the garage. We don’t need all this stuff when sailing in the neighbourhood.”

“I also look forward getting back to social circles: seeing good old friends and family, getting new friends and getting back to work. We’ve sailed the Baltic Sea off-season which means that we have only met very few travelling sailors and been otherwise by ourselves. I miss the social life that we had at the Mediterranean.”

“I’m sure I will also miss having time just to be.”

“The sailing season is only beginning in Finland and we have wonderful sailing days ahead of us. But when the autumn cold hits Scandinavia, I’m sure I’ll miss the warmth and the sun of south Europe.”

First mate Sanna:

img_20180419_180137_988540776114.jpg“I look forward to our new life on dry land! I’m excited about our new apartment and building a regular home to us again. We don’t have much staff waiting for us but I’m sure it will still feel like Christmas when we open the garage door for the first time. I also count the days when we have a dish washer again and a door with hinges!”

“Going back to work life also feels good, not at all distressing as one might expect. The idea of being part of a professional team again and having the social context of work feels nice. I hope I have gained some new perspective and ideas from my work & organisational psychology studies that I’ve done while sailing.”

“But of course, there is a lot what I will miss from our life onboard Stella Polaris: the crazy long lazy mornings, having the window over the bed, hanging out with fellow sailors, being surrounded by beautiful nature and the feeling of accomplishment when you arrive to a harbour or an anchorage after a hard leg.”

Second mate Anton:

img_20180520_142912177277134.jpg“I don’t think about the future so much. I think we will be busier with school and work. I think I’ll get some new friends.”

“I don’t remember what I have in the garage so it will be fun to open the boxes.”

“I remember well Ibiza and I miss the clear and warm water of the Mediterranean Sea. But now I look forward to go to my grandparents’ summer house in Lapland.”

Over 300 nautical miles behind – All well on-board!

Greetings from Kristianopel, Sweden. We have now sailed 9 legs – total of 310.5 nautical miles and three countries (Germany, Denmark and Sweden). Things are finding their places on-board but still especially the food items something “disappear”. The toilet leak is history but the engine is causing us some worry. It refuses to start if used for extended time. Re-starting it requires taking off the covers (to cool it down) and giving it some hammer. Other than that, life on S/Y Stella Polaris is good!

DSCN0019Anton. His truly a sailor! Anton is very comfortable on-board and sometimes even refuses to get out of the boat to do something on land. During sailing, Anton sometimes sits in the cockpit but mostly spends his time inside listening to stories, playing with the iPad or watching movies from the computer. He also takes really long daytime naps that we adults envy! On calm legs, Anton enjoys sitting on the font deck. He gladly wears the life vest, would love to help all boats coming to the harbor with ropes and is an eager fisherman when ever possible.

The captain. The captain has handled the boat extremely well in all situations from hard wind to rush hour in a tiny marina. He’s a captain that you can trust without hesitation.

The first mate. For me, this trip has so far been an experience of a lifetime. As I’m only a novice in sailing, all practicalities of long distance sailing are new to me. The captain has praised my performance so far and I’m feeling positive about my learning curve. Unfortunately, I have been unexpectedly seasick during the first legs when we had stronger winds and higher waves.

Harbors. Even thought we only have visited 8 harbors so far, none of them have been the same. Plus that we have anchored overnight in the river Trave which was so peaceful and quiet even thought the large cargo ships passed us really close. Also a sheep herd on land entertained us with funny noises.

Steering. S/Y Stella Polaris is a slave ship! We have two slaves on-board and they are called Gustav and Robby. Gustav the wind pilot is our best friend on-board. He doesn’t eat anything and he takes no space because he hangs outside at the transom of the boat. He steers reliably to the intended direction in all conditions except direct tailwind and no wind. In these conditions Robby – the Simrad autopilot – takes over.

Navigation. Even though S/Y Stella Polaris is equipped with two independent GPS navigation systems we have also wanted to navigate traditional style. All legs are planned in advance with paper maps and the planned route is marked down to the map. Every hour or so, we mark down to the map and logbook our actual location and check that we are on route.

Electricity. I’ve always heard that electricity is an issue in sailboats. So far we have had no issues. Our wind generator and engine has generated much more power for us that we have been able to consume. The 3 batteries hidden underneath the salon berth provide us electricity while sailing or in anchorage. The only issue is that we haven’t found an USB charger for our MacBook but hopefully we will get it tomorrow from Kalmar.

Food. Happy crew is well fed! We eat well at home and planned not to change that on-board. We have had breakfast with beacon, eggs and beans and everyday we enjoy a proper dinner outside in the cockpit. The new cold box works very well and our kitchen is equipped with almost everything else but an oven. A used Taylor oven-cooker is currently located in the cockpit storage box waiting to be installed when we get home.

Off to the beach!

Sanna