Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Archipelego in Stockholm

This is Per's house. True to being a Swede in the summer he has his list of projects he's started; a guest house, an old wooden motor boat restoration and a workroom construction project.

Ander's friend and crew Per invited us to come out to his summer home out on an island in the archipelego north east of Stockholm. Anders and I got in his car and drove 2 hours and across two ferryboats to get to this dock with Per's boat to take us out to his place. Anders and I pull up the meeting place and it is raining lightly, but windy. We meet Per and his wife Eva who are waiting in their car. They suggest we put our foul weather gear on for the trip across the channel and I'm thinking do we really have to do this? The weather was getting worse and the waves were picking up and this is when I find out the boat has an open cockpit
and a questionable engine that is having problems
staying in gear. I'm thinking, this must be something good because they are both kind of snickering at the conditions. At this point you can't really see anything and we are for certain going to get wet and I didn't bring a change of clothes. But I roll with it because everything has worked out on this trip, one bad day isn't going to be all bad... I'm in Sweden with cool people doing things I would never be able to do on my own. I shouldn't even come close to looking ungreatful. We get over to the boat and right after I take this picture I put my camera away where I was hoping it wouldn't get wet becasue it started to poor down hard with lots of wind.

This is the engine. If you look closely you can see the board used for the electronics is actually from a wine case... At this point I was worried. Per's son Johan called this boat "the loser cruiser". But then I realize I'm with a genius in Anders, he is a doctor and an engineer... this is nothing for him to deal with... it's probably even fun for him if it breaks down. So we motor out into the channel and for a brief moment the rain stops.

This is Per and Anders discussing something improtant in Swedish so I couldn't tell you what they were talking about.

This is Eva, Per's wife. One of the nicest people I met on this trip. She gave me this little figurine of a Swedish girl holding a Swedish flag. I named it after her to remember this trip. I told her I would put it on my computer at work. It was one of the first things I did when I got back. Everytime I look at it I'm right back on that island listening to her son play "misty" on the piano.

After we had lunch and toured Per's property,
we headed back down to the boat to go out to Per's friend Per's house. That makes two Pers.

As we got down to the boat it started raining again, but I was already wet from before so I'm in whatever mode and I'm just going with the flow. Per asks me to drive and we head out. From the bow Per gives me hand signals to navigate through the narrow channels and avoid rocks which are everywhere. You really have to know where you are going or you will hit a rock... and when we pulled up to Per's friend Per's lagoon area we did just that... we hit a rock. But it wasn't so bad, we didn't bend the prop or anything so we tied off to the dock and we were greeted by Per, Per's friend. Being true to being a Swede in the summer he was proundly telling us of his completed project... his deck. It was awesome and it looked brand new. It was custom fit to hug around the rocks and maximize the amount of deck he could have. He had just finished it the day before we had arrived and we were the first to see it completed. We went inside and I met his wife Ana and his daughter Emily. So, for those playing at home I went out to an island to Per and Eva's, then went to antoher island to meet Per and Ana. We had snacks and drinks... this Italian Schnops, it was like rocket fuel, but quite tasty. After a few hours, we headed back to Per and Eva's. The picture above is that ride back. The weather had cleared and I was starting to get a better picture of what was out there... it was breath taking. I never knew. I never knew about all these islands.
It is a lot like an onion in that there are so many layers to it. I had often wondered how did the vikings get around so well on the open ocean. They didn't. They had all these islands to block the waves, but with all the good wind. They were all over the place because of how exensive these islands are. It all makes sense now and I can see why they don't tell people about it. It's remote, not many people and a true national treasure.
We get back to Per's and get ready for dinner and have a wonderful time. All I can say is I met really nice people who understand how to live life in the pusuit of happiness.
The boat ride home was in the dark.
This picture is good, but the video I made is better.
As soon as I figure out how to do it I'll have a link to it to show you better how this moment in time had me close to tears all the way across the channel back to our car.

Thanks Per. This was a day I will never forget as long as I live. I hope you make to SF. Can't wait to take you up to the good wineries in Napa/Sonoma. Video clip of this picture, click on the link below.


Post a Comment

<< Home