News from Saltimbanque :
- Continuing the story, in Sandinavia
- What's new?
- A new arrival
Continuing the story, in Sandinavia:
Since he came back full speed all the way to the end of the Oslo fjord, during our Baltic trip in 2018, Saltimbanque, our faithful Brise de Mer 28, has spent peaceful days in the heart of the Norwegian capital city. Like if we had a treasure chest to fill up, like there has been a small worlwide pandemic as well, that set brakes for a few years on our ambitions for long sailing trips... But there are worse places where to grow some roots, and even though our expeditions at sea have been only short summer holidays lately, we are far from tired of the mineral charms of Scandinavia.
And yes of course this means dealing with Scandinavian weather as well, and on some summers we barely have the conditions to finally get out of the Oslo fjord (60 nautical miles long still...) that we need to turn back already. Sometimes the sky is a constant tick grey, the wind contrary, or totally absent on the lee of the high Norwegian mountains.

At the Valøyene on a flat calm day, June 2021

A chilly swim on the beach-island of Anholt in the Kattegat, June 2022
Sometimes we make the most of the skjærgård's shelter (these multitudes of islands protecting most of the Swedish and Norwegian shores from the swell) to sail a bit further. Like in 2022 when we went back to the Danish island of Anholt that we had really liked when sailing from the UK in 2015.
And there came 2020. A weather incredibly perfect: bright sun, 25 degrees, a week of north-easterlies to sail to Farsund, technically already on the west coast of the country, then a week of south-westerlies to get back with astern winds, definitely more comfortable. A perfect match with Saltimbanque which saw us achieving everything we attempted: 24h spinnaker sailing, perfect moorings on the rocks, a fantastic reaching leg at 7 knots under the ethernal sunset of a boreal night…

Solitary mooring at Våre, at the southern tip of Norway, June 2020

Dalsholmen dwelling, June 2020
On week-ends, we stay in the inner Oslo fjord, our backyard. Well, that is on the summer, because during winter Saltimbanque sleeps under its protective tarpaulin, either in a bubbling harbour (to ensure the sea surface won’t freeze), or dry up on land.

Saltimbanque during winter, in his bubbling harbour, January 2022
More pictures from the Scandinavian years on pour page Pictures.

What's new ?
At 46 year old and an already eventful life, Saltimbanque is still holding strong. He hasn’t had any major breakdown for quite a while now, and we do everything we can to make sure this continues as long as possible!
Beyond the classical maintenance operations (engine tender love and care, deck and hull paintings, regular checks of all the equipment on-board), in 2022 we offered our dear boat a brand new rigging and a new jib, slightly larger and with a reef band. We also leave this year with 2 new anchors, the previous ones having slowly but surely turned into a rust block…

The new jib with a reef band, the sail we hoist when beating from 12-13 knots of wind.
Breaking news on the chart table! Though we have always sailed with good old paper marine charts, we finally had to admit the obvious: their price has become prohibitive compared to digital charts, now available very easily on a multitude of different platforms. We have thus purchased a ruggedized tablet, water and shock proof, to display digital charts. As a back-up solution, we always have a computer on-board with a collection of charts gathered during our first trip around the Atlantic.

Saltimbanque casually moored along Bukkholmen, June 2023.
Our way of sailing has evolved as well after 9 seasons in Scandinavia. 9 years without a single tide calculation, without maneuvering in a lock, without negotiating a narrow race with strong current, almost without swell either as we can play hide and seek with the bad weather behind the skjærgård. We almost feel a bit rusty for our upcoming offshore passages! And also we acquired some odd reflexes… what’s this crazy habit of hurling ourselves on rocks like this ?! Impossible to spot a nice rock all round and sweet without feeling an urge to moor onto it, and just get comfortably sheltered in our “natural harbour”.

Each navigation basin has its specificities, Saltimbanque has always adapted itself well, perfect little boat :o)
Otherwise, Saltimbanque is still as comfortable as ever, ready for the high latitudes with his paraffin oven, his Plexiglas door to shelter the cabin from most of the rain, and… the special locker for oilskins, which remain the best protection outside.

And let’s not forget the oversized swimming pool, here equipped with a diving platform, close to Tjømme, June 2023

A new arrival

A new bow will soon point towards other horizons to be discovered…
We can’t conclude this page without sharing the happy news: Saltimbanque now has a big brother, measuring 3m more and being…. 32 years younger, privilege of the boats! So far cold stacked in Brittany, it is patiently waiting for us for a few more months before coming along for further adventures at sea, great outdoor rides, “Ut på tur” as we say in Norwegian.
Normally it is then our last great journey with Saltimbanque, who will be up for sale when we get back to Brittany. We will then be closing a massive chapter of 17 years and 30 000 nautical miles of minimalistic adventures, and our saltimbanque* souls will hope as strongly as they can that the next one will be as thriving for him.
*saltimbanque in French means jester, acrobat, nomadic artist etc.

Anchored at Lindholmen, June 2023