Guess who’s backkkkk!

Despite Harriet and I using up all of Gareth’s WiFi and eating all of his yummy food last year, he allowed us to revisit him in Stockholm this summer (to do it all again mwah ha ha).

We landed late Sunday night and and when we arrived had a midnight (well more like 2am) feast. It was so great to see Gareth after a long journey, he had even managed to stay awake long enough to greet us!

Monday morning we left the marina in Saltsjobaden and headed out to the Islands. The Swedish were still on holiday this time around as we visited earlier in the year. It was really busy and stink pots were zooming around churning up the water. The island we stayed at was new to Gareth as he’s trying to visit them all, he’s only visited 10% so far, and of that 10% he’s done 10% with us, so there’s some statistics for you.

When we arrived after about 2hours of motoring (during which I slept and Harriet sunbathed) we tied up bows to the island (called Krakskar) and had the anchor off of the back. There was already some friendly Swedish neighbours there although some left that evening. We started off our stay with some typical halyard swinging, the rock we took the run up off was very slanted so it took a lot of physics to calculate the most effective run up. Harriet got a GoPro for her birthday this year so we managed to get some awesome shots, it was so much fun! Gareth managed to get the boat rocking (again), i nearly crashed into Hal (again), daddy made the biggest splash (again) and Harriet didn’t touch the bottom (whattttt??? This is new!). Gareth had this year bought some cool toys from decathlon, and let us have a go! The SUP boards took so much effort to inflate it was like a mini workout, then Gareth showed me his little press-ups and sit-ups routine and got me doing an actual workout on the board. Harriet did the first proper stand up paddling, drifting off and yelling across the water that she wanted daddy to come and save her.

We played for a long time on these boards: attempting an around the island race, log rolling competitions and trying to get Gareth, Harriet and I standing on one all at the same time, it was great fun! We made a bit of a meal out of it but managed it for about 5 seconds before all falling in and Gareth getting his hat wet *sob*. After a tiring afternoon, Gareth made us a delicious dinner of fajitas followed by a competitive evening of card games and banana grams (I made the word ‘malignant’ hehehe).

Now this night’s activities were so mighty that they need a paragraph of their own. Harriet and I decided to go midnight skinny dipping, and boy it was great. The water was ink black and as flat as Gareth’s abdominals. The stars were all out above us it was truly magical. I haven’t even mentioned yet how hot the water was (yes, I’m using the word hot not warm), it was like swimming in a bath!

The water however was a little scarier in the dark, I have no clue why, so Harriet and I did lots of small circles off the back of Hal. What an awesome end to an awesome first day.

Day two started when we awoke to the enticing smell of bacon and egg baps wafting into our cabin. We then got changed back into our swimwear (honestly why did we even bother packing clothes?) and went for a morning dip. This morning Harriet asked a fantastic question, of if we were allowed to jump off the ‘goalposts’ -the metal framework for the radar system that had a platform about three metres above water level? Then Gareth gave the fantastic answer of yes. That morning we launched ourselves off of there for agessss, got some awesome GoPro footage and pictures which are shown below. (Insert photos).

We headed to our next Island and whilst we were motoring Daddy planned his new water sport – SUP water skiing! SUP water skiing involves being dragged behind Hal on a SUP board and zig zagging in the waves the motor makes. Daddy was the test runner as it was his idea, it worked brilliantly! Thoroughly recommend. Daddy lasted standing up for about 5minutes and Hal reached a max speed of 6.5knots! I went next and only lasted 3minutes then fell in so Hal had to turn around and pick me up. Harriet went last and showed a real talent for it, but instead of throwing herself into it like me she built up into it, starting sitting down and finishing in a real surfer dude stance. Harriet didn’t fall in! We also preoccupied ourselves during the sail by reading our books

which were ‘The DaVinci Code’ by Dan Brown and ‘Eragon’ by Christopher Paolini. Are afternoon we arrived at mooring christening it ‘the lay-by’ as it was a small passage between two islands with a beautiful holiday home on one of the islands -it was called Getholmen. Daddy taught me and Harriet how to helm a small inflatable motor boat while we stayed, we felt like Bond Girls. It’s going to sound quite same- old-same-old to you as readers but we had got into quite a routine for the evenings now, Gareth cooked us yummy meals (chilli con carne) and then we had games and cards competitions. Harriet and I debated going for another midnight skinny dip, however we wanted to stay dry for a bit so we decided against it.

Day three. Honestly the days were such a blur it’s hard to remember exactly what we did on each day and in what order. Day three for the night we ended up in a Stockholm central marina, how we got there will take a bit of remembering. We went for a lovely sail into Stockholm, the amount of civilisation increased as we got closer and closer to the centre. It was a very long sail so half way we stopped for a quick refreshing swim at a man made beach called Grinda. The water was 19m deep where we jumped in, then we swam to shore. The Swedish are all absolutely gorgeous, we were swimming amongst tall, blonde gods. We splashed around looking like very British for a bit, then we did some cool water acrobatics by standing on each other’s shoulders and somersaulting off. Taking some Cornwall style to Sweden. Top up fuel stop was at Vaxholm. Harriet really wanted to have a stop there but we needed to get to the marina to give us time to sort ourselves out.

That evening we walked into Stockholm to grab some orange juice and bread. On the way we walked past the ABBA museum and Harriet and I practically screamed as we had just seen ‘Mamma Mia:

Here we go again!’ in cinema, we were were like “we HAVE to go!!!” So Daddy and Gareth said we could go by ourselves the next morning. By the way, Harriet and I absolutely love Stockholm as a city: the architecture, the islands, the food, the people… Plus the Universities are much cheaper over here than in the UK and most courses are taught in English so I am considering studying here for my degree. Harriet mostly enjoyed the fit-boy-hunting whilst we were walking around, the fittest we found was the ticket manager at this fair-ground, so if you’re reading this, fit ticket manager, congratulations you’ve won the Freya and Harriet fittest boy competition. That night, I decided to sleep outside on a hammock, Gareth set it up for me. It was tied on to the jib halyard and the spinnacker halyard, looked a bit rickety but managed to hold Gareth so I was going to be fine. The stars were great that night too, I was so tucked up under sleeping bags and jumpers the mozzies didn’t bother me much.

Day four. SUPER TROOPER LIGHTS ARE GOING TO FIND ME, LIKE THEY ALWAYS DOOOOO. Harriet and I had the best time at the museum, we got to get involved in lots of interactive exhibits including: a kareoke sing along (we chose ‘Does your mother know’ and ‘Chiquitita’); making a music video to ‘Chiquitita’ and getting to perform on a stage with holographic ABBA members, singing ‘Dancing Queen’ to members of the Swedish public in the museum. The other exhibitions were great too, lots of Mamma Mia stuff and all their crazy outfits that they wore, including their Eurovision costumes. When we got back we had lunch on Hal, then set out for an afternoon in central Stockholm for our last evening together. Gareth was on a hunt to find a present for Fran, as she had just bought him a drone. Harriet and I went into lots of shops, but Daddy was strict on the allowance we each had. Unfortunately, Harriet couldn’t find anything she liked within the allowance range, but I managed to find a cardigan. Someone recently described it to me as ‘like I was wearing a blanket’.

I’m going to let lazy Harriet take over now as I have written way too much, take it away gorl!

Ello, that evening we all went for pizza at a very poooosh pizzeria and it was simply tfabulous darling! The toilets were simply exquisite, there was FOAMY SOAP, hairdryers, moss on the wall and pot plants with comfy sofas and FREE WiFi! 2hrs later, when we had explored the wide expanse of the toilet, Freya and I returned to our table, the pizzas had arrived. To be honest the pizzas weren’t too fabulous darling, however they hit the spot as we were all famished.

On the way back to our boat, we popped into a small corner shop. Whilst I was pottering around it Freya called me over to have a look at some water she found. It had Aloe Vera in it. As we wanted to be fully submerged in the Swedish culture we decided to purchase some. On the way back to the boat, we made the discovery that it was probably tastier to drink a bottle of shower gel!

Thanks again Hal and Gareth for a truly magnificent adventure again this year, we are looking forward to the exciting adventures ahead 😀

2 Comments

  1. This was a brilliant read. Well done, girls, and well done Gareth for making such delicious meals, for making everyone feel at home and for being abs-tastic!

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  2. We had a lovely sail down the east coast of Sweden with Gareth and Fran. Having learned so much more about this intrepid couple we are so pleased to hear that Gareth is restricting his base jumps to the Goal post on the back of the boat. Love Maurice (aka Admiral) and Kris. Xx

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