Adventures and endings

If it was easy and we know we could do it, it wouldn't be an adventure. Therefore not all adventures are destined to be completed. Unfortunately this is exactly the case with Biscaya sailing trip IV that was going to sail in the Gulf of Bothnia.

A part of the engine transmission broke down as we were out test sailing on the day before the participants arrived, and after three very intense and stressful days we had to face the devastating fact that no quick fix could be made. We had to cancel the sailing trip and send the participants home again.

Now we are all back home, sadder than ever. It hurts especially because we felt that we had gotten such a good team of participants, a group that was fun, positive, supportive of eachother and eager to learn. Even if we only spent not more than two days together, it still feels like a week. Thank you for not making this harder than it already is!

A lot of work still remains for getting a new part back into the engine, and the whole Biscaya-team is working 24/7 now to get this solved in time before the next sailing trip that hopefully will sail from Umeå to Stockholm on thursday next week. 

So if you are or know a good Volvo Penta-dealer or a transmission mechanic, you can read more here:

Otherwise keep all your fingers crossed for us!

Fantastic participants

This blog entry will be dedicated to our fantastic participants!

The first days have had focus on learning new routines and things about the boat and life onboard, but also fun and games.

Stoffe (?) and Ellen playing one of the games in the sun! Trying to find something on the ground with only the help of spoken directions from another seeing person is not that easy.. 

We have also had a lot of nice food and fika which the different groups have cooked with great success, despite the small kitchen onboard.

Fika on the rocks, hehe :P

We also had another exercise with the Swedish rescue units laying next to us in Holmsund, Umeå. Two of our participants got to be rescued out of the water by the jetski rescue runner. 

Maybe it was a little cold in the water, especially for Sofia whos survival suit was leaking! :P

Below is a picture of our fabulous participants, even though its only been one day, it feels like a week; you get to know each other so fast :)

And now it's time for bed, tomorrow we need to fix some things... 

There is absolutely no wind now and the horizon cant be seen because the colors of the sea and sky melt together in the most beautiful of sights:

Wish we were out there <3

Arrival of the crew

The crew's arrival to the ship on friday went well, we had time to see the last group of sailors before they went home. They sailed from Åbo, Finland to Umeå and were very happy with the trip, despite some unfortune with the winds.

The arrival night at 00:30am - it never gets dark here! 

On friday we went to shop food for the first few days - it is alot! We even bought surströmming, a swedish smelly classic, but we'll see if we dare to open it ;)

Today saturday we took the boat out for a testrun and we had the opportunity to practise boarding with a Swedish sea rescue unit that was out practising navigation. This was a really good exercise, both for them and for us and we learnt alot about how to work together in case of an emergency.

Thank you Rescue Minlouis and it's crew for an excellent cooperation!

We had a bit of rain today, not so much wind and around 15 degrees celsius = not the best summer/sailing weather, but it looks like it will be better soon! Lets hope they're right ;)

Tomorrow all the participants are arriving - we are excited! :) Sleep tight!

Introduction with Bjurö klubb-theme

After a nice sunny dinner in Patrik’s family's backyard yesterday we are now feeling ready and prepared for the trip! Apart from delicious food, we had a lot of good conversations and our questions were answered (most of them anyway).

The ship itself is as we speak on it's way over to Umeå (our starting harbour) from Vaasa in Finland. We hope all is well with them and the ship and we look forward to welcome them when they get in to shore.

To get you readers a bit more acquainted with us four skippers, here comes a short introduction:

Patrik, 42 years old from Stockholm, skipper/captain onboard, wife and two kids (1,5 and 5 years), likes to play golf and curling.

Ellen, 27 years old from Stockholm, co-skipper, works at the Swedish Poison Information Centre, likes scouting and singing and wants to se a seal!

Helena, 26 years old from Stockholm, co-skipper, works in the Royal Swedish Navy, likes training and to be outdoors. 

Kristoffer, 27 years old from Stockholm, co-skipper, studies at the Royal Institute of Technology, likes technology and fixing things.

When we have started our trip we hope that the participants also want to introduce themselves with a few words :) It is me, Helena, that is responsible for this blog, but I also hope that many of us onboard will share the fun of writing and posting pictures. 

Ellen and I (both big fans of the Swedish singer/songwriter Laleh) concluded yesterday that since we are passing so close to the lighthouse Bjurö Klubb, we should make this the theme song of the sailing trip! Of course we hope that the winds are in our favour so that we can visit this spectacular place. Here is Lalehs song Bjurö Klubb, which I unfortunately couldn't find english subtitles to.

Some parts of the lyrics are very suitable for our trip; we will probably not find a blue whale (hate to break it to you...), but other lines in Laleh's poetry from the song might appeal to us:

      Jag är ute på Bjurö Klubb och jag tittar på stranden
      Och vågorna krålar och jag vadar in i natten
      O ja, jag är vinnare runt vattnet

      I was out on Bjurö Klubb and I looked at the beach
      The waves were crawling in and i waded into the night
      Oh yes, I am a winner on the water

On that note this blog entry is done for today, we are looking forward to meeting all the other winners on the water later this week! :D

Getting prepared

Now the sailing trip is drawing closer and closer for each day!

The captain Patrik, and the skippers Helena, Ellen and Kristoffer are getting all the information together for the trip. Which route should we take? What will the weather be like? How fast do we have to sail to get there in time?

We have also started looking at the other twelwe participants; how do we put the teams together to create as big diversity as possible?

We have also started looking at what we want to see and places we want to visit during the trip. During our stop in Luleå we have arranged a visit onboard one of Sweden's icebreakers Ymer - something we are looking forward to really much!

If anyone has any tips of iteresting, beautiful or exciting places to visit during our trip in Bothnia, Sweden and Finland we would be so glad to hear your tips!

On tuesday the leader team will have a new meeting, after that you will hear from us again :)

Until then the Biscaya team wishes everyone a great summer!

What is Biscaya and who is onboard?

Hello everyone and welcome to the blog about the adventures of s/y Biscaya av Vindalsö!

On this blog you will follow a team of old and young people from all over Sweden living and working together on a really old wooden sail boat as we sail to explore where the Baltic Sea ends.

The sailing yacht Biscaya av Vindalsö was built in 1933 in Skåne, southern Sweden. In 1942 the Swedish Scout organization bought this vessel to train and educate the young sea scouts of Sweden, and ever since this is what she has been doing every summer of every year. The ship is 17 m long, has a 2,5 m draught and weighs about 25 tons.

Every summer Biscaya goes on approximately 5 weeklong sailing trips, each year with different routes and destinations. For each sailing trip a new crew is onboard. This trip we will blog about will go on from the 12th to the 21stof July, and this blog will keep you updated before, during and after the sail trip to also involve our expectations and learned wisdoms, as well as the experiences onboard.

Onboard we will be 16 people in total. We will be four skippers/leaders and 12 scouts. Most of the scouts are between the ages 15 to 25 and are from many different parts of Sweden. We also have the privilege to have one scout from France and one from the United States with us, we hope to learn a lot from each other and have heaps of fun!

To sail a really old vessel like this one takes some time to learn, everything is done by hand, such as hoisting the sails, adjust the rigging, steering, navigating etc. Everything is done with older methods as they used to back in the days when she was built. We work in shifts onboard and everyone helps to sail, cook, clean and organize the work on deck.

We hope to share this extraordinary adventure with friends and family back home, both through texts, pictures and videos. This is a great way to keep people updated, as well as making the memory last and easy to share. Apart from learning a lot about each other, ourselves and how to sail, we also want to make many interesting stops along the way to show the versatile and beautiful corners of the northern end of the Baltic Sea.

We hope you want to join us on our travels! J