3. Aland 2014  

In January 2014 we sold our home Lobacken in Nora, Sweden. We also left our apartment in Örebro to our sons. All we now have, except for Bird of Passage, is Tove's summerhouse on the island of Aland in Finland. This is where we are going to live in the future but to make that possible we need to improve the standard somewhat. Heat insulation, better sanitary facilities, more space and so on. This we can do little by little, preferably at summertime when the climate on Aland is nice and when it's too hot for sailing in the tropics. For this reason I left Bird of Passage in Las Palmas by the end of July and joined Tove in our summerhouse on Åland.

The house is beautifully located on a small promontory in Tengsödavik, northern Aland.

A quiet place with wonderful nature.

Once near extinction but now recovered, the White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla, Havsörn). You can see them most every day from our house. There is a lot of fish in these waters.

Our plan was that I would stay here for a month and then return to Las Palmas, both of us, to continue our sailing. Three days before our scheduled flight, Tove suddenly got very ill, needed heart surgery and had a stroke. She now required a lot of time for recovery so we changed our sailing plans and postponed everything one year. To begin with, we had to stay on Aland for another three months.

I used the time on Aland to work with the house and to cut down trees in our garden. This can be a delicate job. Trees don't always want to fall where you want them. Birch makes good wood for burning so I cut everything up in 35 cm pieces.

Splitting without a machine is tiresome. Good training for arms and shoulders though. I burned all branches and twigs. Made a good fire that continued until midnight.

One day when Tove was at the hospital for rehab training I made a visit to Sjökvarteret in the eastern harbour of Mariehamn. This interesting place is a mix of museums, shops, a shipyard and a living harbour. It grows every year with new activities mostly related to traditional wooden ships and ship building. Ships like Albanus and Linden were built here.

The Italian restaurant on the picture above was once a passenger steamship in regular traffic between Stockholm and Örebro. She was built 1900 in Stockholm and continued traffic until 1957. Since then she has been used as hotel and restaurant in various harbours, even in Örebro 1993-94.

This time in Sjökvarteret I found an interesting project in the boatyard. A relatively old wooden sail boat covered with stainless steel chicken wire! According to the people working with her she was one of the oldest of a kind but now so rotten she could not be repaired. To save her, the owner had decided to cover the outside of the hull in concrete. I have never seen this method used on a wooden boat before.

There are many old ships on Aland. The one above is a bronze age stone ship in Grytverksnäset, close to where we live. It is 3000 years old and the largest on Aland.

  End of Aland 2014