New engine and new continent

Seven weeks after we first got to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, we were finally ready to set sails again. The first week and a half went by almost without us noticing. We had spent time with new and old sailor friends. They were all preparing for crossing the Atlantic. We needed a new engine. The old one could have been fixed, again. However, it felt like we kept throwing money into a black hole. Firstly we are sailing Paloma around the world, but selling her once we come back home in three years has never been on the table. A brand new engine makes sense as an investment in several good years together, even at the extremely steep price. Volvo in Norway wanted to help, but the logistics of getting an engine shipped from Norway unfortunately couldn't be solved. We were stuck with having to buy one at the going rate in the Canaries. We eventually settled on a Volvo either way, and ordered a new one November 25th.

The week before buying the new engine, our new crew came aboard. Torgeir is one of our closest friends from back home. He will sail with us until the end of February, and fly home from Barbados. He was impatient for the adventure of a lifetime to start, long before he got on the plane in Oslo. Thanks to him, we finally got around to some of the major points on our todo-list. Installing the battery meter, reorganizing all the storage onboard, building storage for my stuff in my bunk, another round of provisioning...

After having ordered the new engine, we set sails to explore the canaries while waiting to have it delivered. We had a trying sail from Las Plamas to La Gomera, and spent a week there. La Gomera is one of the smaller islands in the west, tourists are scare and the nature is amazing. The middle of the island is a huge tropical forest, and all around the coastline there are steep cliffs with scattered volcanic beaches; some with huge round rocks and others with soft, black sand. We spent a few night at anchor in a remote bay, inaccessible by car, and a few nights in the capital city, San Sebastian. It was a wonderful week of exploration and getting stuff done. Returning to Las Palmas was a little bit easier sail, but we've experienced that the winds are never as forecasted sailing between the Canary Islands. We had to run the engine for about ten hours getting back, all the while expecting it to die any minute.

Back in LP, we kept working on the todos. Two of our major projects were electricity from another source than the engine and a biminitop. We got solar panels from a Norwegian company, Sunwind, and ordered a custom bimini from Turns out having things shipped to the Canaries isn't the easiest task in the world, which doubled as the perfect excuse for a week-end back home. Elise and I left Torgeir with Paloma, and we all got some much needed personal space. A 31 foot boat gets crowded when you're stuck in a place you don't want to be, working all day to get the boat ship shape for ocean voyages.

We weren't surprised, but still disappointed, when the engine was held back for a week by customs. Paloma got lifted out of water Thursday December 15th, the day we were supposed to be put back in the water with the new engine. Volvo started work the following Monday, and by the 22nd we were back in again. It was a stressful week, as the mechanics weren't sure the wether or not the exhaust would flood the engine once we went sailing in rough seas. However, once back where we belong, they were pleased with the waterline and everyone finally almost started breathing again. We had already started worrying we would have to spend Christmas and New Years in Las Palmas. Luckily we were able to leave the Canaries the night before Christmas Eve at 02:00.

Our next adventure will be Cape Verde, about six to eight days sail from Las Palmas. We choose the safe route, north and west of Gran Canaria, where the acceleration winds isn't as much of an issue. As I am writing this, we are a little more than 300 nautical miles north of Mindelo. We have been making 135-140 nm each day, which is impressively fast for this heavy, old lady. The sail has undoubtedly been the the best we've had till now. The first three days we had steady 20 knots or more winds in from behind. The feeling of flying over the ocean, is truly amazing. We've had a couple of challenges, and impressed ourselves with solving them flawlessly. The shackle holding the sail to the end of the boom broke, and trying to get the sail down we realized it was stuck halfway up the mast. After climbing up there a couple of times, we got the sail down with the help of a thin dynema rope, a winch and good cooperation. It is so much fun to discover how comfortable we've become solving problems aboard. Paloma has undoubtedly become home to us, and we have learned so much during the last year.

Thor! (aka Torgeir)

Meet Togga! He is one of the very best people in the world. Lucky for us, he has decided to spend the next three months with us. Torgeir is usually happy. He is a world champion listener, always attempting to understand and comfort without giving advice. He is an excellent base player and has good taste in music and likes to play us fun stuff. He is the best we know at realizing the difference between the things he has the power to change and not, and to accept the things he can't change. He is patient and kind and fun. He is our captain's best friend and one of the people we are the most relaxed around. We hope he can teach us to be as chill as he is. In return we'll teach him to sail. First cruising the Canary Islands, then down to Cape Verde and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. HURRAH. 

Bonus: look at him. He is obviously awesome. (Although he has unfortunately/luckily gotten back the other front tooth.) 

Even long distance sailors have everyday lives

NOVEMBER 18th, 2016

We have, almost without noticing, spent more than a week in Las Palmas. It's probably about time to realize we've become proper long distance sailors. Both time and everyday life has changed as concepts. It feels like we just arrived and that we've been here forever. We try to combine taking care of Paloma, socializing and other things we want to do. All around us, boats prepare to sail across the Atlantic. The ARC starts Sunday, and most long distance sailors never tire from sharing experiences of provisioning, navigation, weather, sails or other boats. We can't get enough time with the other boats, we are already dreading the goodbyes. Especially to our favorites: Marlene, Babette and Hakuna Matata. The days disappear faster than we notice.

We've got a double set of everyday lives. At sea, while underway, the days string together almost like one long day. One of us has to be awake to make sure we go where we want to and don't crash into other boats or run aground. When Elise and I sail by ourselves, that means half day on shift and the other half asleep, divided in to, three, four or six hour shifts. We see each other twice daily for meals and when one wakes up and the other falls asleep.

We both cherish the hours alone on shift. We stare endlessly at the ocean, the skies, stars, moon, sun, waves, birds. We read, and disappear into their worlds. We write diaries and try to make sense of all the feelings. We text family, friends and new acquaintances on the satellite tracker. We trim the sails, course, try to make it more comfortable to be underway, get where we're trying to go faster.

It was revolutionary for us to divide the day in three, while Vilde has sailed with us. Eight hours on shifts within a 24-hour period, instead of twelve, reduced our need to sleep from ten-twelve hours down to six-seven. All of a sudden, we spent time together during the days, to talk about the experiences and share discussions without final answers. Even though we've loved being underway just the two of us and all the alone time, this was so much better. Luxury. We got enough alone time during the nights to appreciate time together during the days. I'm grateful we'll be three on board for the upcoming passes as well.

When we set sail, it's always good to the at sea again. And each time we are more comfortable and less insecure. We know what we're in for. We know what to expect. We know the rhythm. We know what we like to eat, what to snack, how much water and sodas to drink. When we get to land, it's exciting to have ground under our feet again. However, at land there are conflicting needs and wants. Elise sleeps more than I knew anyone could, and I can hardly sleep at all. We want to discover the place we've come to, maybe get to know someone local? I get stressed, scared to not get to experience all the places. We spent a week in Porto and went into town three times, in surfer town Peniche we forgot to visit the beach till s/y Mila reminded us to, in Lisbon we didn't visit any sights. We don't always use the opportunities for discovery and adventure, instead we lay flat on deck. And our new friends, almost without exception, are all long distance sailors.

While at land, we also have to take care of Paloma. Todos and upkeep. While Vilde was here, she got frustrated with us. We spend more time complaining about all the stuff we know we have to do, than we do actually getting stuff done. I think that might have happened sometime between getting the most important stuff done and realizing the todos never shrink below one full page.

Our everyday life also bear traces of our very limited space. At sea, our whole world is confined to Paloma's 31 feet, 9,42 by 3,08 meters. There, we don't need more space. Paloma handles the waves and wind like the hero she is. We notice it better at land, and wish our ship was a little bigger. We don't have enough space for everything to have their own space. Maybe we have too many things? While underway the fore peak, Elise's bedroom, become storage. Sails, water containers, boxes with stuff. Safely back at shore, all of that has to be rearranged before she can reclaim her bed. It's an endless puzzle. An endless mess. During the past few days, we've gone through our clothes. It's time for the wool underwear and knitted sweaters to be stowed in air tight containers and for clothes we don't wear to be discarded. I wonder if we ever get organized, or if it ever stops bothering us that we're not.

Thank you!

NOVEMBER 15th, 2016

We are still in Las Palmas, and still haven’t made any final decision about what kind of new engine we want. There are so many good people, with good advice – we don’t know who to listen to. As of now, a new Volvo is in the lead for the best choice. It expensive, but the low rpms and the strong alternator are major advantages, in addition to easy instalment where our old one now sits.

Meanwhile, so many Norwegians has transferred a few or some more kroners to us. We are forever grateful for all the help from family, friends and strangers alike. It is truly heart-warming to be on the receiving end of all your kind words of encouragement, thank you!

The longer we wait before ordering a new engine, the longer it’ll be before it’s installed. The longer we wait, the longer we’ll have to stay at the Canary Islands. The longer we stay here, the less likely it is we’ll get to go to Gambia. Our parents are thrilled. On Sunday, we plan to join the ARC southwest-bound towards the westernmost island of the Canaries, El Hierro. Sometime bore that, we’ll have to decide on and order an engine.

Engine troubles: final chapter?

NOVEMBER 10th, 2016

Yesterday we left Porto Santo for Madeira. We had decent wind and enjoyed playing with the sails. Faster, faster, hurrah! The wind was between ten and fifteen knots and we were doing between four and seven over ground. The sun was shining and life was easy. Then, all of a sudden, the wind died. With swell and less than three knots of wind, the reasonable course of action was starting the engine. We really didn't want to use it, but there was still about 20 nautical miles left or about four hours. 

We hadn't slept the night before. Mostly because of the disproportionate waves inside the harbor, partly because we were worried about the engine. The night before we discovered the keelson filled with water, coolant fluid and oil. We had been over the fittings, which all seemed fine, and the sail drive also looked fine. We twisted our brains, and remembered we have a small leak below the kitchen sink. The past two times we've filled the fresh water tank, it's taken forever to fill it all the way up. We settled ourselves on the idea that most of the water came from there. Tired and worried, we couldn't find any other explanation than the leak from the coolant system for the salt in the engine room. It seemed to come from the pipe after the heat exchanger, before going into the hose that leads back to the expansion tank. The salt had worn down the rubber in one of the rubber feet. 

Back at sea, with swell and in no wind, the rubber foot broke quickly. The engine was left bouncing back and forth. Our solution was to use a human foot to prop the engine up. The seasick captain did the first shift and the  sailor with the bad back the second. The tears were running from exhaust and worry. Mostly we were concerned about possible damage to the sail drive. Our visiting crew Vilde manned the helm like a professional, and was pleased "to finally experience some actual long distance sailing life, and not just be at vacation all the time." The leak in the coolant system turned out to come from the expansion tank. The gasket on the lid was broken. We were relieved to know that our friends at S/Y Stroller and S/Y Xora were in the vicinity, in case we needed help. 

When we fin ally got into the harbor at Madeira, we could barely sustain dinner before we fell asleep on our feet. This morning, after a proper nights sleep, our minds worked significantly better. It dawned on us that the leak from the fresh water coolant shouldn't be salt. A visit from the Portuguese speaking Volvo mechanic later, we are now waiting for an offer for a new heat exchanger and new rubber feet. However, we are dreaming of sailing to the canaries to change the whole engine there. It looks like a promising weather window will open up on Sunday. Maybe we'll suddenly be in Las Palmas on Tuesday evening? 



Trouble in paradise (aka Porto Santo)

NOVEMBER 3rd, 2016

It's half three at night, and I'm outside in the cockpit watching the stars. We're at anchor in the marina at Porto Santo, but the waters are so unsettled it's impossible to sleep. I'm seasick from all the movement. Paloma is filled with odd noises, we can't make sense of. We wanted to sail to Madeira yesterday morning or night, and postponed first due to the wind and later miscellaneous engine and other troubles. The atmosphere aboard is rather uneasy tonight.

A week ago, we left mainland Europe. The feeling was amazing. I never quite got the feel for Lisbon, and it was continuously harder to breathe during the last few days there. The anxiety came crawling out of its dark corners. It reminded me it's almost November. It was easier to breathe again at sea. Sailing was so much fun! I remembered how much I hated life as a long distance sailor on the journey from Porto, and was amazed by the major difference. I felt only freedom and happiness. All I wanted to do was sail more, loved being underway. I wanted more wind and wished for more nautical miles till the next destination. The wind changed between excellent and not-existing, back and forth. The sky was lit with more stars than I've ever seen, and the phosphorescence lit up around the boat like a luminous glitter dust. It was so beautiful, all I was able to do was to sit in awe. I was truly happy, all the way through.

As we approached land again, the uneasiness came back. It disappeared as quickly as it came, once I realized an island far out at sea is vastly different to home. Porto Santo is a small and scarcely populated island, with just over 5000 inhabitants on 42 square kilometers. We feel like we've explored most of the island within two days.

First day here, all we did was blow up the dinghy and splash around in the marina. We didn't go further into the city than the marina cafe, where we had dinner with a Swedish and an English boat we got to know in Cascais. The next day we waked through the main city, and onwards along the nine kilometers long beach that runs all along the east side of the island. Later we rented a car, drove as high up as we could and walked up to the second tallest mountain on the island. From there we watched the sun set over Madeira. Today we've driven around the island, and we brought the Swedish couple of sy Xora with us. Paulina and Niklas are both so sweet, and we have a lot of fun with them. Niklas is truly adventurous, he didn't even blink when we suggested parking the car and climbing a few hundred meters down to swim in the breaking waves of the west side. It turned out to be such a fun climb, and it truly was amazing to swim in protected, natural pools, with the Atlantic waves breaking over us.

We are eager to get to Madeira, in order to get a few days to explore there as well. After the weekend, we need to set sails for the canaries, because Vilde has her flight home from there. As usual we've checked the weather, the wind and pressures, regularly. Both yesterday and today, Wednesday and Thursday, the forecast has predicted winds mostly at our nose. Yet not so bad it's not possible to sail. After a little back and forth, we decided to leave last night. As we were preparing the boat, we discovered concerning amounts of water in the keelson. In audition, we now have a small, new leak in the coolant system and a small, old leak in the oil system. Altogether a fairly dirty and complex situation in the engine room. We also discovered that the salt has eaten away at the rubber that relieves one of the feet of the engine. The metal looks ok, for now, but predictions are hard to make. We've long feared having to change the engine sometime during the trip, the one we have came with the boat when it was new in '86. However, she runs evenly and tirelessly. We've gotten to be quite comfortable with trial and error in the engine room, and we've learned most of what we know from this engine. It is with a heavy heart we realize we will have to get professional help to asses the course of action.

I am mostly worried about the water in the keelson. The optimist within hopes it stems from a leaky hose in the fresh water system, and that the water got in when we over filled the tank in Lisbon. It's hard to taste if water is salt or not when mixed with oil and coolant. The amount of salt in the engine room suggests salt water, but again the optimist hopes it came from waves breaking over us. The fittings all seem to be dry.

We are now waiting for the daylight to head for Madeira. We'll keep an eye on the most likely places for a leak during our sail, and try to make sense of it underway. The first harbor at Madeira is only a short day sail, and Funchal is eight to ten hours away. It's not an exaggeration to say we are anxious about tomorrow/today.

`Till Tomorrow

OCTOBER 27th, 2016

I started writing this in Peniche, after doing the dishes out in the cockpit in the glaring sun on Tuesday morning. The sweat was dripping off me as I looked out at the perfectly still ocean. There was not as much as a whisper of wind in the air. After lunch the weather changed suddenly. The fog closed in quickly and within minutes we weren't able to see more than a few meters off the boat. We'd been in Penich for four days and experienced that the weather was likely to change and the forecast likely to be wrong.

Every day in Peniche, we planned to leave "tomorrow." Saturday morning, we postponed leaving till Sunday morning. Later that day, our friends at the German boat Mila texted us that they would arrive the next day, and we happily postponed leaving till Sunday night. We got to know Mila in Porto, her home port is Berlin, she is sailed by the couple Teresa and Lucas and they are aiming to spend the next three years circumnavigating more or less along the same track as us. From Porto to Penich, they were also joined by their friend Moritz.

Sunday morning we contemplated going out to Ilha Berlengas to meet Mila. However they told us they were not able to get to land because of the swell. That made sense as we were watching the swell break with amazing force outside the marina. Elise suggested we should go up on top of the pier to look at the waves and to look for Mila. We enjoyed watching the breaking waves. We went furter out on the molo, AS Milas mast approached. Long story short, some minutes later, we ran back towards the safety of dry land. Dripping wet. Shortly after, the harbor authorities closed the whole area.

After Mila arrived in Peniche, we enjoyed spending time with them. One night we walked about, finding mostly dark beaches and closed bars. Another day we spent exploring the beaches and swimming in the waves of the Atlantic, I even got to play with my drone. We had some very pleasant dinners and breakfasts, Paloma pizzeria being everyone's favorite. Elise undoubtedly makes the best pizza of the sailing community, and this rumor has started spreading amongst our sailor friends. Although this particular night, the oven wasn't exactly cooperating. The whole ordeal seemed more like a four hour workout, than baking pizza. Tuesday and Wednesday our friends started arriving in Peniche. We feel so lucky to be a part of a group of young sailors, most of whom are sailing around the world like us. We truly enjoy their company. 

Thursday after lunch, we set out for Cascais and Lisbon. The sun was shining, but the winds were nowhere to be found. Elise's parents and my sister was expected in Lisbon the next day, so we needed to head south. After a night at anchor in Cascais, we motored the last few nautical miles up the river into Lisbon. We had forgotten all about currents, and were surprised by to knots working towards us. Eventually we got to the marina, and it was so nice to see family again.

During the past week we've combined city exploration with socializing with both friends and family. Vilde lives in the boat with us, and will be sailing with us for another two weeks, so she goes where we go. We have a never ending list of to-do-s, so there is always something to do. Last night we said farewell to mainland Europe for all foreseeable future, and we did so with a late night pool party that turned into a beach bon fire. Such a great night with our new friends.

We are currently setting our sails for Porto Santo and Madeira. We're expecting the crossing to take approximately four days, so we'll hopefully get to the anchorage on Monday evening.

Five tips to make your life better

CTOBER 20th, 2016

We have been living at sea for the last couple of months. In a tiny boat that only just has room for the tings we need to live. I think that we all need different things to improve our lives, the key is to figure out what those things are. This is my recipe for how my life is getting better day by day:

1. Stress less, breath calmer.

2. Get out more! Watch the sunrise and sunset (better than any prescription from the doctor), breath the fresh air, experience the nature that surrounds you or travel places that allows you more freedom.

3. Prioritise experiences over things. I promise you, it works.

4. Figure out what activities, jobs and lifestyles that makes you smile more. Sailing works for me.

5. Spend more time with people that makes your days better. You know, life is to short.

Peaceful Peniche

OCTOBER 17th, 2016

It's Monday morning, and we've spent the weekend in Peniche. This is a fishermens village, that they share with several hundred surfers. The weather forecast isn't too great, cloudy and showers and little to no wind. We got to Peniche on Friday, after a 23-hour sail from Porto. Our plan was originally to stay a night in Peniche, and then continue our southbound journey. However, Saturday disappeared without us noticing and suddenly there wasn't enough daylight left Sunday either. While here we've wandered about town. Been amazed by the cliffs and beaches, relentlessly accepting the Atlantic. Admired the many surfers. Had dinner with a retired, Swedish diver, now sailor (bound for the Pacific). Reorganised the clothing storage and made a plan to reorganise our food storages.  

Sunday afternoon was spent in each of our bunks, while quiet rain drummed on our deck. We read books and wrote in our diaries. I've summed up the trip till now, both places and feelings. As I've told you before, I can't wrap my head around the fact that the everyday life of Oslo is going about as usual. Once we are with Paloma, it feels as tho we enter a parallel universe. The worries and anxiety disappear, and other feelings reemerge in their place. New surroundings, proximity to the sun and the rain, fresh air and adventurous people have woken dormant happy feelings with weeks. I am now more curious, more playful, more happy. It feels amazing.

Today we're wrapped in thick clouds, and the air is filled with the promise of rain. We are about to have breakfast, before preparing food to eat under way, and ready the ship for sea. Our first stop is Ilha Berlenga, just outside in the ocean. After an afternoon of exploration there, we'll set sails for Cascais overnight. Hopefully we'll get in with the sunrise in the morning tomorrow.

Paniced cpt: Do I even like to sail?

OCTOBER 14th, 2016

Censored curse word, I don't even like to sail. The admission is hard to come to, and still not. I was nauseous before we left Porto, from something I ate or from not eating or from the excitement of the upcoming night or I don't know. I'm currently in my bunk, shaking. Why are we doing this? There is too much uncertainty and too many things beyond our control. One of the last things I did before leaving Porto, was adjust the reefs in the main sail. The reefs allow us to carefully stow part of the sail, so we can use it without blowing away. When we left, the French guy in the boat next to us asked if we were sure we wanted to go out in this weather. The forecast has predicted a lot of wind, are you sure you can manage it? Isn't it better to wait 'till tomorrow?

Despite his advice, we left as planned. Our forecast says the wind will die down during the day Friday, and we wanted to use the favorable direction of the winds to get further south. However, one of our most important rules states that we will not have more sails up than the most coward among us is comfortable with. So we hoisted the main with the least amount of sail we can use, two reefs, and we rolled out a part of the genoa. We were sailing west, with a slight drag south. We've been advised to sail at depths of 100 meters or more along the coast of Portugal, to stay clear of fishing equipment.

With the sails up, Elise took the helm and I went to bed. As I was shaking in my bunk, the Atlantic Ocean hugged Paloma and the winds shook all of us. I am forever grateful to Elise being both braver and more comfortable at sea than I am. A little less obvious at maximising crisis is she as well, to all our benefit.

The waves broke alongside the boat, and sounded like they came from inside Paloma. First time I went outside was at about nine, to help Elise reduce the foresail a little. The sail got caught behind the main, and wasn't much use there. With a little less of the genoa out, we sailed better, faster and more comfortable. The first thing that struck me, however, when I came outside that first time was the almost full moon from the clear sky. It illuminated the oceans and the sky to such an extent, we couldn't see stars. It was just as magically spectacular when I came out again an hour later for my first shift of the night.

That first shift was coloured by the anxiousness letting go. The winds blew a steady 25 knots, with gusts way stronger. With the swell from the Atlantic up our rear, we held a speed between 5 and 8 knots over land, with an average of 6,8 kn. I really love sailing!

Paloma proved once again to be the toughest of us, by far. She wriggled her way through the waves. Every now and again, she wasn't able to resist the waves asking her to dance. Not that I blame her, they were all tall, dark, knew what they wanted and simmered with strong opinions. All the women here appreciate dedication. We had so much fun! At the extreme, we did 20,7 knots over ground. That is not supposed to be possible.

The bright moon followed us throughout the night, until it set at about half five. When I went back for my second shift, the winds, waves and speed had all decreased a little; although we were making almost 6 knots. As the sun started to rise, as a red ball of fire, through the soft clouds, I was expecting a beautiful day.

Now we are well moored in Peniche, after a calm day at sea. Just outside there is an island that we want to explore. It has a fort and great snorkelling. I have to admit,  I usually love sailing. 

The long distance search for calm

OCTOBER 13th, 2016

It's Thursday afternooen, and we are about to leave Porto after spending a week here. When we arrived, our close friends from home, Karen and Silje, were with us. We explored the city with them, simultaniously saying farwell for an unimaginable long time. Most likely, we wont see eachother for more than a year. In the meantime, both they and we will have experiences, joys, sorrow. We will all have sleepless nights, laughter that makes us fall off our seat, caring hugs. It is undoubtfully the people in our lives that makes it hard to leave Oslo behind.

After the girls left, the two of us felt like the air went out of us like it does a popped baloon. We had busy weeks before leaving Norway, and we don't properly relax while having visitors for a week. We feel an obilgation to get where we've estimated, and to share expreiences that makes their vacation worthwhile. The most important to Karen and Silje, was to get to know the everyday life of Paloma a little bit, so we are well aware that this is pressure we put on ourselvs. We feel so priveledged to have close friends who have the opertunity and who want to visit us while we are away, thank you!

Anyways, we were worn out when they left. So we spent a few very lazy days in the sun, on the deck of Paloma. We read books to eachother and had endless discussions about anything and everything. We spoke about the meaning of life, of sailing, about sunrises, sunsets, dolphins. You might think we get tired of talking about these things all the time, and we might at some point, but that time hasn't come yet. We spoke about cultural differences, about how cultures influence and are influenced by eachother, how we consider and judge based on our own (limited) view of the world, how taking different things for granted makes for misunderstandings. We also spoke about out excitement for the next visit from home. Both Elises parents, Hildur and Gjermund, and Emilies little sister, Vilde, will visit in Lisbon next weekend. Vilde will sail with us for three weeks. Hopefully we will have gotten to the Canarys by the time she's going home, as that is where her plainticket home is from. Because she is here for so long, she will most likely also get to experience our lazy days and endless conversations without conclutions. We consider that a good thing. Vilde already knows how to sail, so we think she's the perfect choice of crew from the mainland through Madeira to the Canary Islands. We are excited about being three to share the day and night, so that we can both get where we need to go and also have enough time for sleep and food.

While I'm writing this, Elise is out for a careful run. I've walked out towards the ocean, away from the city. The forecast says we will have favorable winds during the evening and night, so we are excited about the prosprct of an airy sail. We have already put Porto down in our book of things and places that has changed us as long distance sailors. This is where we, for the first time, for selveral days, felt the calm that comes with no rush. We've waited a week for the wind, and that has been perfect. During this time we've done little other than waiting.

Well, that last statement is a truth with modification. We have done laundry, washed the boat, done dome maintenence work, gone majorly groceryshopping for provisions (and we were suprised we fit it all in the boat). We have also made friends with other long distance sailors from Ireland, Germany, England and Norway. It really is something else to be around others who have also put the known everyday life on hold. To get closer to the nature, experiece a little more adventure. Most people we meet, we instantly connect with, irrespective of age. (Altough we are countinuesly surprised by the about of sailors our own age!) Within minutes or days, we've made an incidental meet into a close friendship. Whenever we leave to go somewhere new, we never say farewell, always see you again sometime. We already have so many different group chats with different sailors, that it is rarely sveral huors between each time our phones ding with a message from someone who wonders where we are and where we're going. The combination of the magnificent nature and the wonderful people we meet, really does make this way of travelling something else. We love it!

Lazy days on the Spanish coast

OCTOBER 5th, 2016

During the past few days, we've sailed from Fisterra to Baiona. It has been a true adventure along the beautiful Galician coastline. Sunday morning the two of us left the fishermens port of Fisterra, a primitive port without water, electricity and other facilities. We were aware most yachts prefer to anchor in this area. Because our dynamo isn't working, it was a relief to discover that the marina in Muros was relatively new with all imaginable facilities. Here our crew/friends from home, Silje and Karen, were joining us. 

We were quite anxious to be four people onboard Paloma for the first time. Luckily we know both Silje and Karen well, so we were more excited than concerned. Sunday was spent organising and cleaning, blowing up the dingy, eating and catching up. Monday morning we left Muros to head for Ria de Arousa, a fjord further south. We had an amazing day with the sun shining from a clear, blue sky, the hammock on deck, and no one got sea sick. We ended up anchoring in a bay at Illa de Arousa, among fishing boats at buoys. The wind changed direction during the night on low tide, and our anchor alarm app went off as the perimeter was set too tight. We were all excited to have been on the boat for more than 30 continuous hours. It was spectacular to see the sun set and rise from the cockpit. 

One of the activities we had been especially excited about was wine tasting at one of the local wineries in the area. We've tasted some local wines at bars/restaurants and were impressed with the white wines from the Albariño grape. While in baiona we visited the Terras Gauda winery, and got a private tour of the facility and tasting of two of their wines. 

During the sail from Illa de Arousa Karen got to try steering a sailing boat for the first time as an adult. And we actually sailed for the first time since a corunã, there simply hat not been enough wind. Even with the limited wind we did get, there can be fairly large sized swells from the Atlantic, which makes for an interesting day. Both crew members have handled themselves amicably, both as sailors and company. 

Baiona truly is a very nice little town, with a rich and interesting history. Wednesday afternoon we walked around the Parador de Baiona, a fortress that dates back to the 10th century. It's placed on a tongue of land with magnificent view of the Atlantic and where we had sailed the day before. 

Tomorrow we'll go to Porto in Porugal. We're expecting it to be a 14-hour trip, and will test our new crew in a new way. The weather forecast tell us it'll be a quiet and sunny day. Life on Paloma with the two+two of us has been better than any of imagined. As we are leaving Spain behind, we look back at a week of good local food and drinks, amazing beaches, beautiful weather and accommodating locals. Galicia has truly impressed us, and we are excited to see what Portugal has to offer. 

Lovely ocean swell

While we were home, the marina here was supposed to repair a damage to the lower hinge on Palomas rudder. They replaced a broken piece, and told us that was all they had to do to make it safe. After a little back and forth, we accepted it and Paloma went in the water on Thursday.

We spent a day and a half in corunã. Mainly socialising with other sailors, secondly fixing this or that on the boat. Saturday morning before dawn, while Elise was still asleep, I sails towards the Atlantic. The morning was bitch black, the swell was 2-3 meters high and I was seasick. Elise took over and I went to bed in order to let the seasickness bandaid work and wear out the nausea. 

The sun was shining and the swell was so average it was boring to look at, yet we both enjoyed being back more than we are able to express. Because our dynamo/alternator is broken, we wanted a marina with electricity. The one we had set our sights at, was all small fishing vessels, and no electricity to be found. Luckily we've become quite experienced at not using electricity, so we decided to stay the night regardless. 

Today we are heading for Muros, where our close friends Silje and Karen are signing on. They've brought a new dynamo from Norway, and we are excited to be a little more self sufficient when it comes to electricity.  

Xx, the captain