Burn the boats!

When I woke up this morning, the predicted rain was falling outside. I looked out of the window and sighed. It looked like I’d be getting wet on my walk to the ICA. And I could almost hear the mozzies buzzing in the woods.

By the time I left the house, the rain had stopped and the sun started to emerge from behind scattering clouds. As it turned out, the rain held off for the rest of the day. The sun even put in a few appearances. Which was excellent and perfect for the launching of boats.

KSP had told us about this wonderful event. Four teams of students at Stensund Folkhögskola* have built boats and today they would be launched. It would be the inaugural launch and anything could happen. It’s basically, sink or swim.

The chap in the photo, second from the left, is Bjorn. He’s Australian and KSP wanted us to meet him. We managed to have a lovely chat after the boat launch while we enjoyed coffee and cake and a band played some appropriate sea shanty type music.

Bjorn is from Canberra and his father is a public servant whose job requires him to travel the world. Bjorn’s mother is Swedish and he has the wonderful benefit of dual language. I thought he was wonderfully bright and personable, with a very pleasant accent.

Speaking of music, there was a wonderful bit of theatre when the boat builders walked down the track, singing. It was the perfect beginning to an excellent ceremony.

The boats were launched, one after the other, following the ritual yelling of “Burn the boats!” from the MC. This is like actors saying ‘break a leg’ but for maritime types. Naturally, he said it in Swedish, which Google Translate tells me is ‘bränna upp båtarna’. Rather than Google, KSP translated it for us.

Looking up the expression, it comes from when sailor/explorers would arrive at a new destination and the leader would tell them to burn the boats so they couldn’t return home. It’s like burning your bridges behind you. It denotes adventure, bravery and a healthy love of arson.

Anyway, the boats launched one after the other while the MC introduced the builders to the assembled guests on shore. And, I’m glad to announce that not one of them sank or took on water. I did think it was a shame that they didn’t wage a bit of a sea battle. Clashing swords and a few flaming arrows would have been nice. True Viking spirit and all that. Of course, that might just be me.

As it turned out, they were all seaworthy, which is very good since the four groups are going to row them to a nearby island and spend a few nights under canvas and days floating around and exploring, the archipelago.

The launch followed lunch in the beautiful dining room in the main school building. It seems the general public are welcome to dine there and Mirinda said it shall become one of the places we take visitors to, along with all the other wonderful places we’ve collected since living here.

An all round marvellous, fun day. Largely thanks to KSP.

Adventures in Decking – Day 5

When we returned from the boat launching, we found that the decking had been finished and the steps down to the grass had been started. However, there was a message left for us, scribed onto a piece of wood. It stated that they had run out of wood and, therefore, finished for the day.

It was an excellent opportunity to sit outside and enjoy a glass of something cold. Now, we just need some furniture.

* For my take on the Folkhögskola, see my entry from May 18, here.

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