Posted by: Freya | October 25, 2011

Somewhere over the rainbow

Hi Guys,


I found myself thinking about Freya and here is a nice spot to put those thoughts down. It would be great to get some updates about what’s going on with her!

I made (with my brother Sander) a story-night about our travel and then I had a chance to talk about my Canadian-sailing-summer too. Luckily I had some pictures from Ollie’s camera to illustrate it all. Those pictures really talk a great story! Thanks Ollie for taking some and allowing me to take some. There was an old man who came to talk to me and ask about what kind of boat it was, our Freya. He thought that it wasn’t schooner, but I convinced him :) He asked about how we called the masts and the sails…and there I was, trying to remember! I am sure I do remember, but the information is stuck somewhere in brain in the place called – unused material :P I’d like to use it again,

so this is why you guys and gals have to start writing again!

Posted by: Freya | October 25, 2011

Hippies on the Hard

Its true, thats what they called us. I know I still can’t believe it considering that just around that time we had rejected the label of hippie, rather half heartedly, and accepted the more general term of sailor. Maybe it was Dylan’s dread mullet, or perhaps Ollie’s growing beard. It could even have been the familiar box of dumpstered meat and vegetables sitting next to the cans of anti-fouling paint. Personally I think it was Alex’s long flowing dresses, which, while donning vapour mask, goggles and gloves flowed to and fro as she painted Freya’s wooden hull. Well in any case it did happen, Zach and Hanna heard them say it.
“Hey man, did you see the hippie’s on the hard?”

It was the weekend of the 2010 cowichan bay sailing regatta what appeared to be a large amount of sweater-necks, yachties mixed with hardened sailors who came from all over the coast to sail their boats in races around Cowichan bay while drinking copious amounts of beer, wine and coolers. True I didn’t want to leave out ‘hardened sailor’ because we happened to witness an awesome display of seamanship which aroused Ollie and I to cheer from well out of hearing range. A boat came sailing from the bay and into the zigzag network of docks under a jib and just before reaching her berth struck sail coming to hault in exactly the right spot. Later we found out that their motor had died and sailing was their only option.

So it was the time of the regatta and there we were with Freya on the hard right there on the Cowichan bay storefront. Literally the ways, the cradle that is set on railroad tracks to haul boats out of the water, was nestled in between two big stores, one an art gallery the other a boat builder’s warehouse. I wondered if this was how things worked back in the old days, with building space on the water so limited that you had to haul boats out between buildings.

We had decided that Freya needed a new top and bottom coat of paint and that the Cowichan bay ways were the best option in terms of price that we had. It turns out we were right in more ways than that. For we also had the wonderfully helpful advice of Arthur. Arthur owned the art gallery that Freya sat next to and … (to be continued)

Posted by: Freya | September 19, 2009

Our First Sailing Trip

Well, first of all, it wasn’t the first one. Cause as Ty was so eager to have a sailing experience before he goes away, we had this 1 hour out-and-back trip in Sidney harbor (it was on the 2nd of September 2009), we were in a rush to get right on time to the diesel-engine workshop with Billy (you do not want to be reckless around this honorable Elder!) – that’s why we couldn’t sail more. About this really first one – we got a view how the sails look up there and that Freya is able to really go along with the wind when we know how to guide Her (or maybe how to let ourselves to be guided by Her)!

Anyways. The Trip. Plans were glorious and huge of course – straight up to Vancouver (to give a free ride to Dylan and Ollie to do their business…) and to visit Salt Spring and Saturna on our way there.

5th of September 2009. Saturday. Sidney. Vancouver Island.

Reality – we left later than we thought we will. Emily, Dylan, Jason, Megan, Ollie and Marian were on the board. Dinghy was making jokes with us. Also Freya’s engine. Ollie did a great job accepting the situation and giving space and time to the difficulties! We got some diesel and up we went. By that time it was clear that we are not heading towards Vancouver cause plans had changed and Ollie didn’t have to go there at this time anymore. Well. We had bikes on the boat and lots of stuff from everybody. So when we met with our first bigger heel we saw how all the crap just fell on the one side of the boat and down there a huge mess was present. Nobody was bothered! Everybody felt so happy to feel the wind, gravitation and movement!


Sails wide apart

Sails wide apart


Megan in bliss
Megan in bliss


Evening of the first day came quick though. We didn’t get far really, just near to Swartz Bay ferry terminal. Engine stopped it’s contract at this point, wind died with the sunset and we were out there, not even in a bay… No worries though! A boat passed by and we gave some shouts and asked them to tow us to the next bay, just to anchor down for the night. This happened and when the Moon (big moon just after the Full Moon) was rising, Jason and Ollie went ashore (paddling, cause the dinghy engine didn’t start) to get some electricity into our batteries. This island was privately owned, so those people made sure that our battery was on dock, not on their land. Luckily they allowed us to use electricity at least! Everybody found their sleeping place. Emily and Dylan set up a tarp on the deck and Jason and Megan did the same just down next to the wheel… Me and Ollie had great sleeps in the forecastle!

6th of September. Sunday. Coal Island.

Morning. Rain. Our hero Jason (he wakes up early, cause he is a good farm-boy and knows that mornings can be well used, even before sunrise, even with rain!) paddled alone to the unfriendly island, saving our battery and then they started to fix the engine. They discovered that the fuel filter is not letting diesel through and that this is the reason of unworking engine. So they took it off and engine started to sing and we said goodbye to the Bay (just south from Swartz Bay) next to Coal Island. 

Next stop, government dock next to the ferry terminal in Swartz Bay. Megan left the crew and headed back to Victoria with her bike. Jason went along to a mission to Sidney to get fuel filter and gas for the stove and oil for the lanterns and hooks for the nets to hang. My (Marian) mission was to phone to Alex and invite her to our trip. She came with her gorgeous presence and continued balance in between male and female energy. Ollie was happy too! Jason got back too but as the filter was expensive, we decided to skip it for now and just go.

Ready! Set! Go! Salt Spring, here we come! 

Wind was there and we were ready. Engine started so fast (after we realized that we need to give fuel to Her!;) and we set our course towards Ganges. Some nice moment down the wind gave us chance to set the sails wing on wing. Jib and main on the one side and fore on the other. Crew learned fast. Freya showed Her speed and movement. Full keel (I do hope that this is the right word for the thing which holds us not to heel over when sails are full of wind…) acts differently that Ollie is used to on his Maria Mahoy. New experiences.


Skipper Oliver

Skipper Oliver

We got some rain and sun. Cooking took place in hard conditions, but skills were developed and everybody was fed. (By the way, Universe was kind to us and we got lots of veggies and fruits and rice and even bread and butter and cheese for the trip! Abundance!)

We arrived to Ganges in the daylight, around 5-6 pm. Warm tea, coffee and cacao in the cafeteria and then we toured around in marina, meeting with some funny characters (like those boat-people usually are..), men. One of them was really straight-talking-dirty-humor-beer-belly and the other one just got a stove going on his boat. This Other had some cloudness in his eyes going on, but he was kind and funny and happy to have ladies around… 

Oh, by the way, Emily took her bag and went to an adventure towards OUR Ecovillage. Nice jazz was going on at TreeHouse and Ollie impressed an older man with his outrageous dancing skills, alone and with Alex. This old hippy seemed to know what he was talking about and he called us back, but we felt tired and had our own nice night on the boat with lanterns and warm rice-veggie-pot and improvised dessert with bananas, oats and strawberries. Satisfaction. 

This night, all 5 of us, slept inside. Rain out there. It is pretty dry inside, only some water drips in from the deck and goes down to bilge…Ollie helped more water to come in when he poured salty ocean water all over the deck to be nice with our teak… Tight and warm, this is how we slept and got ready for the next adventurous day.

7th of September 2009. Monday. Ganges. Salt Spring.

Windy! Rainy and sunny. As we learned from our experience, we arranged stuff in the cabin better now and we were ready to meet with waves and heeling. Great sailing lesson also began. Against the wind (so how is the right term for that?) we set our bowsprit and started to play around with lines. Freya teached us that we have to help her to turn with sails too – just turning the helm doesn’t make her tack and turn into a direction we want to go. So we made some circles and spins and didn’t really get far at all, tight zig-zag!Once we learned to use jib more to get the fore turning we discovered a trick and we started to focus on making the angle in between the wind and our direction smaller and smaller. Around 40 degrees was the best we could do. Not bad! Others passed us, motoring and waving from their nice and fancy boats. We were just so happy to learn and challenge ourselves! Teamwork really started going. 

Ready?! Tack boys and gals! Nice!

Then I took the helm for the first time. Ollie told to keep the sails full and showed where we are on the map and that those marks there are to keep an eye on and tack before we reach them. Heh. Then it started to happen that we heeled a lot and laughter and excitement filled us all. Jason, Dylan and Ollie started working on seizing the lines around deadeyes. I was skipper now. Boys! Tack! … Again!


Marian on Helm
Marian on Helm
Heeling to port

This is how She heels!

Oh we flew and sun came out and I breathed the moment in in awe and grace and gratitude. I realized that I am in my dream. That I am really there, in the winds and waves, sails and movement, friends around, on the Pacific waters, islands and mountains all over the place… Jason told that he saw the biggest and bluest eyes in his life so far… I just felt happiness all over and in me. 

It took us like 5 hours to get out from Ganges Bay. We had to do more tacks that we thought to not hit the rocks and then we were there, in the Swanson Channel, heading north, towards Saturna and towards Navy Channel. Ferries and cargo loads were moving around too. We stayed alive. It started to rain and wind died down. So, once we were in Navy Channel and a boat with nice folks, music and girls abroad passed by, sharing destination with us, we turned on the engine and took down the sails. A great day of sailing!





Lines and Sun

Lines and Sun

Lyall Harbor showed itself from a good side and friends who just passed by, were waiting there to say good words about the beauty of Freya and about the hippies of Victoria (as we all looked colourful and dressed in “old-looking” clothes) – they showed us their moving home and fed us with chips and salsa and multi-coloured-tasted candies (you will never know how they taste like!) and filled us with the vibe of art, music and spiritual wealth. Guys told that a spell was almost cast upon us (me and Alex) by this older man David who seemed to be the “leader” of this crew – we just felt connected with their ways and they invited us all to visit them in Vancouver and to go to sailing with the other boats they also have around there. Music can be created together too they told and they left the dock to say goodbye to the Sun, playing flutes and clarinet in this beautiful setting.

We drove up to Sunset Cabin (Dylan’s family’s place on the top of the mountain) in Dylan’s car and met with some friends of him. Fire was going already and as the darkness made the lights of Vancouver visible for us, we fed ourselves with delicious fire-cooked meat from Dylan’s parents freezer. Even me and Alex helped ourselves with some of it. Delish!

Forest! Sleep in the bed! Alex and Ollie got a special suite, I shared the other with Jason and Dylan took the star-ceiling to feel grounded with the Island before he goes to Okanagan..

8th of September. Tuesday. Saturna.

Jason took us to a small hike to see  Freya from the other side of the hill. Sunny morning and good smells. Alex and I took some time to stretch and ground ourselves. Ollie said that he will go back to camp, but he came down to the Earth and took a rest on a sunny moss. He woke up with a brilliant plan that solved everything for everybody – “what about if you girls take ferry from here to Swartz Bay, pick up Alex’s car, then Jason’s car from Sidney and then we can go fast down to Cadboro Bay with Jason (Dylan said he will stay to Saturna). You can make a dinner on Maria Mahoi (Ollie’s boat) then and wait for us!”

“Great!” we said and head back to the breakfast – bananabread, barbecued lamb, omelet and fresh forest air. 

Patience and calm mind was challenged when we realized that we had left the battery on and that it was drained and so they cannot start the engine of Freya (Dinghy was a row-boat too). As there was a lot of time until ferry for the gals, we put battery to charge and had a drink and talking circle in the bar. We were told that it is not allowed to be bare-feet there, but as we didn’t had any shoes around the chef said to keep our feet under the table.. :) Funny rules around here I thought..

Men took some world issues up and talked and challenged each other’s abilities to listen and stay calm and friendly. Different personalities showed their sides and women observed more than the guys had time to notice. Rebellious and fierce Jason wants to act and get things to change, whatever it takes. Ollie showed other perspectives and reminded that wars won’t be ended with wars. Dylan was somewhere in the middle with his opinions. In the end we were closer to save the World than we were before. And we crew grow more together.

Batteries full and engine running again – we hugged and said goodbye. Dylan left the area for now too. Freya met her sister from SALTS, Pacific Grace, just near Saturna. Ollie and Jason headed towards a strong adventure…


Pacific Grace around Saturna

Pacific Grace around Saturna

We (me and Alex) had good ferry rides back to Vancouver Island. Everything took longer than we thought it will and once all the cars were picked up and we followed each other in the food-searches and got to Cadboro Bay with treats and tricks, it was dark already. With pulsating hearts we walked down the stairs and looked into the darkness to see a sign from Freya and the boys… No signs. As Ollie’s dinghy was locked without a sign of a key, we used our pirate-spirit and took Luke’s dinghy. This was a long and funny face-to-face paddling down to Maria Mahoi. We managed to get everything just about to be ready and our hearts to be calm and not worried when we heard something… Yes! A lantern was sliding on the water in between the other boats. We shouted to each other to give signs of our location. Dark out there! Luckily Freya didn’t hit nobody and as her mooring was taken by this funny other boat, they tied her just to Maria. Good work guys!

Yeah. They were ready to call to coast-guard to call help in case the engine will die down (cause it showed signs), Jason was there ready to change filter … They held their breaths and tried to be in peace, stretching their eyes to see better… I guess our prayers helped them and boys were treated with care and lots of food and warmth on Maria. Jason and Ollie suggested to use red and green lantern instead electric lights – “indeed, it looks more romantic,” we thought!


Jason's courage on their dual trip with Ollie

Jason's courage on their dual trip with Ollie

What a trip! Obstacles make us stronger. Working together allows us to know each other better. 

A guy from from a boat “Needs Must” paddled by and said “I thought who are those crazy guys in the darkness….and then…of course, you! Freya! Glad that you didn’t hit anybody!”

Sweet sleep after a tiring day.

9th of September. Wednesday. Cadboro Bay. Victoria. Vancouver Island.

Wet stuff out to dry. Salty water over the decks. Sails tied down. Lines nice and neat (as Ty told :).

Me and Ollie went down to our mooring place and tied Freya to the boat still there (despite our previous note about our return). 

Last great trip this year – Freya proved Her strength, beauty and capabilities. Now everybody can go and do their winter-world-travels-works-and-moves.

Oliver will be in Japan for 8 months.

Dylan is picking fruits in Okanagan for some time and then who knows what comes after that…

Marian goes back to Estonia to see friends and family and to find a way to get a permission to return to the Dream of Freya.

Tyler is exploring New Zealand with his brothers for 3-4 months.

Jason will live on the boat until he might go to Alaska.

Giorgio will study in UVIC and hold the stability and strength for all of us.


So, this is how she schoons!



P.S. You can take a look of the Nautical Chart of the area (zoom in around Salt Spring and Saturna and you can see where was our route).

Posted by: Freya | September 15, 2009

Once upon a time…

….people used to dream. As it sometimes happens when you really wish something from the bottom of your Heart .. this Dream started to manifest in our abundant Life on the Earth. For some it was a surprise and an unexpected event, for the others it was hard to believe…and for some it just made so much sense.

A wooden sailboat. Schooner. Two masts. 45 feet. Freya.

Good timing. Spring. 2009 – year of movement.



Sweat. Tears. Songs. Laughters. Endless talks. Blood. Troubled minds. Books. Challenges. Learning.

Those people stepped into a course of Life, it includes classes about “how to listen to old folk’s critics”, “how to work together”, “how to do something you have never done before”, “how to inspire each other”, “how to make it as a community project”, “how to do woodwork”, “how to fix sails”, “how to celebrate” and much more.

So it began.

Posted by: Freya | September 15, 2009

Letter to Friends about the Summer

/This is a letter to those who have been interested. Ty is good in that, storytelling. There have been previous letters too, but this one is a pretty good summary, also it can be handled as an introduction. So, take it personally and let yourself go in, into the adventures and insights. Enjoy! ~M./


Dear friends and Family,

     What a fantastic summer it has been! I write to you all from my parents newly reno’ed home in Vancouver.  I’m packing and finishing up plans and all that good stuff before heading off tomarrow on the brothers road trip (avec une Jenna) to Illinois.  Following that we are flying off for New Zealand on September 20 from Seattle.  I’m excited to go reconnect with that magic place and to do it with the bros! 14 years later and we’re going back.

   But what’s more is I’d like to share with you all (cause I know some of you are dying to know…) some stories from this summer with Freya, the new lady in my life.  And in many of our lives as its come to be!

   My last letter was about plans to step the masts, the work we had been doing, painting varnish on her booms and gaffs and all that good stuff.  Well that was almost two months ago! Boom!  I understand from some of the feedback I got that the infamous “wishlist” was a little daunting and there are many things that not everyone has kicking around (deadeyes anyone?).  Anyway, just know that we are managing very well with the help and support we have got, turns out five guys and our Estonia momma/sister can do alot of work.  Along with the help of so many others!

   But the exciting stuff!  Two weeks ago we stepped Freya’s masts into her hull.  It was Monday morning and the evening before myself, Georgio, Ollie, Marian and the gals from the Redfern house motored Freya from her moorage in Cadboro bay, 4 hours up the coast to anchor for the night in Saanichton bay.  Now Dylan and myself at 3am met Jason (the man with the truck connection) with the 24 foot flatbed truck and crane.  We loaded up the masts, both over 35 feet and made of fir, her rigging and booms and gaffs.  
    The plan was to use the winch at a dock in Sidney to lower the masts (heel first) into the holes in her decks and thus ‘step’ the masts.  Well since the winch was only ten feet tall and the dock 15 to 20 feet above the water and our biggest mast was 45 foot, we needed the lowest tide we could get and naturally the lowest tide was at 8am, which meant that we, being inexperienced, as prepared and organized as we could be, had to start early to get it all ready: which meant 3 am.  So we bust out to sidney, masts bouncing like stiff spagehtti on the flatbed and got to the dock on schedule.  Well, no Freya.  Two hours went by.  The tide was going down, great, but no boat.  Then as our mast stepping consultant Ted is groaning about being unprepared and the breakfast he was promised, Freya shows up.  
    Anyway, buzzing on coffee the boys and marian get to work.  We lay out the rig, tie it to the masts to secure it in place and since its now getting on and the tide is coming in, and since we have this wonderful man named Jason with a massive crane on his truck! We use the crane to plunk first the foremast and then the main into their appropriate holes.  
   I attatched some pictures of the seen, because really it was a smooth operation, but the group of us together: shaggy, barking at each other, certainly was a specktackle (and i say that with pride).  My favorite image is of Jason:  barefoot, holes in his dirty jeans, hair stiff with dirt from working the farm and he’s got the remote control device for the crane around his waist as he climbs into the “harness” dangling from the crane and moves himself around to get at the mast and wrench on a turnbuckle.  Great memory!

   Well, as you all know I can write long emails and tell longwinded stories so I will leave it at that for the stories.  

  Now the rest of it is that after stepping her masts, reaving lanyards through deadeyes and getting the rig tight, we have fully uprigged her with booms, gaffs, running rigging and sails!  We even took her out for a short sail on Monday morning.  Sails halfway up, anchor being hauled back and George at the helm yelling: “I CAN’T SEE!” as we motor ourselves out of the harbour.  
   As well last week Hilary had the great idea of putting on a pirate skit while the mentally challenged teens that she worked with came out and watched us fall over board and fight each other with mallets and swords.  All good fun. WHOOP WHOOOP!!

   One final and ineresting note was on Sunday Ebbe hansen and his wife Bernice Priest came and visiting Freya.  Now that may not mean too much to some of you, but to me it was awesome!  For Ebbe is Aage’s son and Aage is the original builder of Freya who has since passed away.  But Ebbe was full of stories of how his father took 4 and half years to build Freya and how he wouldn’t let anyone else work on her, how he couldn’t afford lead so he had the keel poured of concrete and iron chunks.  One of the funnier stories that we had puzzled over was why all of our blocks (pulley’s) had two penny’s tacked on either side.  Well ebbe explained that where the shiv (wheel in the pulley) is bolted through, two washers must be place to hold the bolt in place.  Well a washer in 1975 was two bitts (50 cents) and a penny, well a penny was a penny!  So they are now mailing copies of photos and the design plans of Freya! super Exciting!

  Anyway, I’ll leave it at that, thank you all for reading and there’s lots more to be told if anyone is curious…I know you want some more stories!

Lots of love,