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Thank you, Chris and Monika!!!

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Long long ago (about 6 months ago) we were searching for a sailboat when we came across Chris’s Albin Vega on (Swedish classified ads site). Gratty (their Albin Vega) was in good condition and well equipped with everything we could possibly need and more. It was also a little over our budget but we decided to give Chris a call anyway.

Chris was very helpful, offered us lots of advice, and even offered to teach us how to sail. We explained that we were really interested in his Albin Vega but we would need to wait some time due to Covid-19 restrictions. Chris didn’t seem concerned our budget was a little less than what he wanted for his boat for but he was nervous that we had ZERO sailing experience. I think his exact words were “you’re crazy” when we told him we wanted to buy his boat, live onboard full-time, sail to Finland, and then onto the Mediterranean. We wrapped up the phone call and promised to call again next week when we knew more about the logistics of buying a boat in Sweden / the Covid-19 restrictions. Below is a photo of Chris’s Albin Vega.

About a week later Chris sent us a message asking whether we had ever actually sailed, we replied explaining that we hadn’t sailed but Chris (my Chris) had owned a dinghy when he was a teenager and was a strong swimmer. I guess Chris wasn’t impressed as he didn’t reply. Several days later we received the message below.

We were quite upset after receiving the message but we completely understood their concern and appreciated how responsible they were. Chris is a true British gentleman!

Several weeks later we bought Polaris (our Albin Vega). We messaged Chris to share the good news and ask for advice with antifoul. Chris apologised for disappointing us with his boat and kindly explained what we had to do to prepare our vega for the water. We said that we would love to meet them both in Sweden if we made it there.

About one month later, Chris called us and said that he and Monika would be visiting Finland for a little holiday and if we liked they could meet us. Of course, we were very excited and immediately made a plan. We finally met Chris and Monika in Kaskinen – our home port! We talked a lot and showed them Polaris. Chris and Monika brought us a wind speed device, swimming ladder, safety lines, and a jar of delicious homegrown honey (Chris is a dedicated beekeeper). It was so kind and generous of them.

The next morning, we met up and went out for a sail together. Chris and Monika are very experienced sailors and taught us how to use the mainsail and tack through the wind. They were both so kind, friendly and patient!!! We were out on the water for a good couple of hours and learned a lot. Then we had to say goodbye as they had to continue on their trip along the Finnish west coast. We told them we hoped to see them soon in Sweden! They also gifted us these two really useful books (picture below).

Fast forward (several months later) to Oxelösund, Sweden where we met them both again! It was really fantastic to see them! This time they had anchor chain, sail slides, and sail hooks! Everything we needed to fix our boom which we had broken several days earlier. AWESOME! They also gave us a T stick for our solar panel and collected an inflatable dinghy we found online. Monika lent us a bicycle to explore and go shopping. Monika’s mum allowed us to send Chris’s passport to her address, and Chris (Monika’s Chris) took us shopping in the city.

It’s really hard to put into words how wonderful Chris and Monika are. If I had to describe them I guess I would call them stars as they shine bright and strong whilst guiding us on the correct path. We learned a lot from Chris and Monika on and off the water.

Unfortunately, like all good things in life our visit also had to come to an end. Before we left Chris and Monika “filled us up” with lots of yummy honey, a pair of sailing gloves, and a warm hat to keep us going. I hope we see our two favorite stars again soon!