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The Voyage of 'S/V Röde Orm' - Sweden
Come on board and take part in our adventures while exploring the world at the slow pace of a sailing boat. We left in June 2009, heading south to escape the northern winter... to start with. Currently in Algarve/Portugal taking it one day at a time.

15 June

A light breeze from SE to E had me comfortably and effortlessly cruising northbound. Chose to go

out on the open sea due to the light air. Passed Landsort firehouse in the early afternoon. This marks

the southern entrance to the Stockholm Archipelago. My plan was to anchor around 9-10 pm at

Ornoe but today on a Friday night there was boats at every nice spot, and I still felt like being in my

marine hermitage. Its very deep water even close to land here, thus making it difficult to find a

good anchorage. I tried at one place, but after two attempts my temper ran out and I decided to keep


The breeze was favourable until 10 or so at night and I went on motoring three more hours after

that. Managed to manoeuver the boat into a quite crowded, but well protected anchorage just north

of Kymmendoe, an island most known because the author August Strindberg once spent some time

there, in a tiny cottage he is said to have built for himself.

16 June

When I awoke,most other boats were gone. Tomorrow I will pick up Sanna, my woman companion

who will cruise with me for two weeks, so I spent half an hour shaving and cleaning myself and the

boat to make the reunion a happy one.

Guess what; the wind had piped up to 20-25 knots again and -yes- it was NE, which happened to be

the preferred course for the day. I had just some 15 miles left to Runmaroe, where I should meet up

with a sister boat, and Sanna, my girlfriend. An old friend of mine by the name Hakan also was to

join forces with us for a party onboard tomorrow night.

Thus, those 15 miles took me some four hours of short tacking. Honestly, tacking is not Rode Orm

s favourite sport, nor mine by the way, but we did arrive at hour destination.

Here my my time on my own was to end, and so it did in a special way. 25 boats, who had

participated in a 12 hour single-handed friendly race during the day, came to anchor in the same

little bay. Out went the fenders, and everyone enjoyed the night in good mood.

17-19 June

Reunion and Party!

Gone were the summer weather. Heavy rain and hard NE wind gusting to 35 knots. I had to motor

across a strait, just a couple of miles, to pick up Sanna and Hakan in the afternoon. The boat heeled

15 degres with bare ples, and the visibiliy was approx. 200 meters in the rain. Everything went

well though, bunkered fuel and water at the dock and since Hakan came by car,he kindly drove us

to a food store to provision.

Then came Zappolina, a Laurin 28, a little sister ship with Nina and Hans aboard to party with us

and we had a wonderful night with food and wine and, just kept talking into the night hours.

In the morning the rain had gone, and we all took a morning swim before breakfast. Freezing cold;

approx. 14-15 degrees C in the water. Its deep here. Anyhow, that really washes any sleepiness


Unfortunately the disappearing rain took the wind away too, and we had to motor a few hours in the

afternoon to make it further north to Inra Hamnskaer in the Soederarm skaergard. A nice spot for

taking the little jump of 35 miles to Aaland tomorrow.

20 June

Clear blue sky again, although a bit chilly. Course 061 degrees to Aaland and 6-20 knots on the

beam. Great sail. We went in at Roedhamn, one of the outposts on southern Aaland. Tomorrow we

ll continue the 10 miles to Mariehamn, the capital of Aaland.

Aaland is a part of Finland, but they speak only swedish. It has 27000 inhabitants, and 10000 of

them live in Mariehamn. Aaland consists of more than 6000 islands and islets and is about 40 miles

across. Thus, many of these islands are inhabitated, and needless to say, navigation can be really

tricky here in anything but good weather. Very beutiful though and also very friendly.

21 June

Very light air made us barely reach for Mariehamn, where we moored in the eastern harbour. The

town is built upon a peninsula half a mile wide, and has a harbour on the western side too. There,

the huge ferries that goes from Stockholm via Mariehamn to Turku and Helsinki in Finland stops,

but the yacht harbour is very picturesque anyway. Especially so the clubhouse (w restaurant) of

Aalands sailing society. The eastern harbour is large, very modern, and has everything a boater

could ask for. It is run by Mariehamn sailing club by the way.

In the evening we had a walk to an area just a few hundred meters from the harbour, where lots of

wooden boats are moored, including a couple of schooners and one galeas. A boat building yard,

lots of art and handicraft and the lovely smell of tar and varnish over it all. Great time!

22 June - Midsummer eve

We had a walk across town to the western harbour, to visit the museum ship Pommern..

A four-masted steel barque, built in Scotland in 1903, she sailed the wheat trade between England

and Australia under the Aaland shipowner Gustaf Eriksson until WW 2 made an end to it. Eriksson

owned the largest flottilla of sailing ships in the world at that time. After his death, his children

donated Pommern to Mariehamn, where she is lying at her dock, well maintained with a very

interesting exhibition onboard that really shows how life were those days for the crew. She did not

carry any auxiliary motor, but a steam engine for her winches. Those were mainly used for lading

and unloading the ship. She carried 4000 tonnes of wheat and had a crew of 24 brave men.

If anyone wonder, I think we are way better off onbard Rode Orm. Life was really hard for sailors

those days.

Midsummer is the major party day in the whole year in the nordic cuntries. It goes all the way back

to our pagan days, and it seems like the christian church never could make it fade out.

Everybody is eating herring and fresh potatoes. Strawberries after that and beer and booze keep

streaming all night. Thus it was not a quiet night at the dock, and the morning after was as a result a

bit more quiet than usual.

23 June

Falling barometer and 23 knots of easterly wind had us change our plans a bit. Since the easterly

shall stay with us for a couple of days according to the meteorologists, we will go clockwise around

the main island instead. The plan is to spend most part of the coming week here, and then head NW

for the city of Gavle in Sweden, where Sanna is to leave for work again, and I will visit my parents

for a couple of days, before continuing north.

24 June

After a rainy night, the sun came back perfectly syncronized with us awakening. Due to new ideas

from the weather forecasting people, we changed plans. A light breeze from SW had us make a few

tacks to the south before we could turn east and slacken the sheets accordingly. We passed by the

islands of Sottunga and Degeroe, before we anchored for the night in a sheltered spot between a few

small islets. We had a short walk at the island with the inspiring name Skattskaer (Treasure Islet).

Unfortunately the only treasure we found was the immense beauty of the landscape. No signs of

civilisation here, except for the huge ferry boats between Stockholm and Turku, Finland, that

passed just north of the next island, causing a bit of swell.

25 June

This morning offered gray skies and rather chilly air. No swim. Darned cold in the water out her,

around 14 degrees C. We got under sail and the sun did not dissapoint us today either. Light air

inspired the skipper to show his more ambitious side and start some manoeuvers to hoist the

spinnaker. At this point, however, my old companion, CapnClumsycame onboard and took

command. Thus, just about anything that possibly could go wrong, went wrong. After half an hour

or so i managed to heave the m-xxxxx-r over board, (CapnClumsy that is) and soon after, I went

tired of battling that huge nylon bag. SE was the direction for the day, and thanks to the mild temper

of my female companion, Rode Orm steadily moved in that direction.

At 7 pm we tied up to the jetty at Hamnoe, Koekar. Koekar is the farthest to SE of the archipelago.

Hamnoe has never been habitaded according to files. But since it has a natural harbour it has been

in use at least since the 13-th century, and was a part of King Valdemars sailing route to Tallinn,

Estonia alng the the swedish east coast, via Aland and Turku skaergard to Tallinn.

Here at Hamnoe, during medieval times, a monastery of the S:t Francisco monks was very lively.

They even had the right to taxate the fishermen who periodically lived and worked with Hamnoe as

their base. After Sweden was reformed to protestantism, in the 16-th century, the monastery started

to decline. The ruin is well taken care of and today constitutes a very nice museum and is, together

with the beautiful chapel built in 1784 well worth a visit.

Since most of these islands are uninhabited, these signs of history and culture provides an extra

dimension to our cruise.

26 June

A large low pressure system is coming this way from the British Isles via the North Sea. Gale

winds, even storm strength in the southern Baltic Sea and heavy rain is forecasted. Around here we

are expected to be at a safe distance north of its centre however. Winds up to 23 knots and some

rain during the night.

The morning was very warm and only light airs. We spent it having a longed for shower and

chatting with a few other sailors here. We spent a while sorting out that huge multi-colored nyln

bag too of course. After lunch we set sail and headed north. First, back the same way we came

yesterday and then to NE, to Seglinge, where we anchored in a bay that seemed to provide very

good protection for NE winds during the night. The bay proved to be very shallow, however.

This came to our knowledge since I had spent some time contemplating the strange fact that the flag

pointed 60 degrees to SB, and the boat never adjusted. Unnoticed she had parked on the clay sea

bed. Suddenly we were in a hurry to winch the anchor in and move a bit further out in the bay. This

went well, and we still had perfect shelter from the seas, even if the rowing with the dinghy to shore

turned out to be quite long. The night was relatively calm, winds like 12-20 knots at most, and Rode

Orm rode calmly at her anchor as always. There is nothing that beats a full keel and a heavy

displacement boat when it comes to comfortable motion in my humble opinion.

27 June

At 9 in the morning, when I had to undertake the task of rowing the crew dog to shore, the rain

showed some really bad taste, and choosed to hit with its full potential.

I cannot claim us to be in any way encouraged by its presence. Thus, we spent the rest of the day in

the bunk having a good day of reading and writing.

S winds and occassional showers predicted for tomorrow. Well be back then in top shape!

28 June

After 26 hours uninterrupted heavy rain accompanied by winds in the 20-30 knot range, the sun

suddenly came to our rescue this morning. A very light breeze admitted our slow progress to the

NW 'cape' on Aland. We stayed in a sheltered bay doing the afternoon to swim and explore on shore

as the breze died out completely.

Then at 7 pm the breeze came back and during a couple of hours, it allowed us to make it those last

miles to the NW.

29 June

Saw us resting in our anchorage, since the wind pointed towards us.

30 June

After a few glasses too much of red wine yesterday, I woke up before 6 am. A beautiful, sunny

morning with a SW breeze made me row the crew dog onshore and while she did what she had to

on 'terra firma', I worked out in the morning sun on the mountain slope.

At 7 I winched the anchor on board and set sail. An hour later, Sanna woke up and served me

breakfast in the cockpit. Paradise on earth. Course 340 past the outer marks north of Getoe, then

285 straight to Gavle/ mainland Sweden.

We went out with the max genua and had a really nice ride, 8-12 knots on the beam and sunny.

The day went on, Sanna and I took our 3-hour watches and enjoyed the sail.

During my afternoon watch, though, the wind had piped up to 20-25 knots and Helmer, my Aries

wind vane found it too much work to steer. Rode Orm wanted to round up in the gusts. Clearly, we

were overcanvassed by now. After considering whether to wake Sanna or not, I decided to not do

so. Firstly, I took the mizzen sail down, and that sort of fixed the situation for half an hour or so.

Then Helmer 'told me I had to do something again. I took the genny down, to later hoist the jib,

and took a reef in the main too. Back into the cockpit I just enjoyed the sail for a little while before

hoisting the jib. To my surprise, the boat balanced perfectly and made a steady 5,5 knots under the

reefed main only, so I decided to spare myself the work, and on we went.

In the evening the wind strength decreased again, and we could hoist first the genny and then the

mizzen again. At midnight we took a mooring on the southern side of Eggegrund, the Light House

right at the entry of Gavle. 85 miles in 17 hours. Perfect sailing.


The day after the Day, when midsummer was held, uhrm, partied, celebrated or whatever...

Everyone around here takes this quite seriously, lots of herring, strawberries, and of course booze. So its rather quiet around here this morning.

Our plan is to daysail around this archipelago for a week or so and then head north for the city of Gavle, where my parents live. I like to spend a few days with them, before continuing even furthwer north. In a few days time we will pass 60 degrees North.

Ill be back as soon as I come around a wifi again.

Fair winds



5-7 June take-off

Here we go,at last. All this planning and longing for the adventure to come true.A high pressure system has literary parked just west of

Norway. This provides us with fantastic summer weather at the moment.

However it also results in very light winds, if any at all. I am eager to be able to take part in a meeting at Runmaroe, an Island in the

Stockholm Archipelago this upcoming Saturday. 260 miles in 2-3 days would be manageable provided some fair winds.

Sadly, this was not meant to be. The meeting, for the owners of Laurin kosterboats, was very entertaining last year in the end of August

when Rode Orm attended for the first time under my ownership.

The wind was very light, and furthermore NE, which meant beating the wind all the way. After 36 hours, I realized that I had to let go of

that meeting. Instead I had gone into the Kalmar Strait.If proceeding to Stockholm, I would have chosen the route between Oland and

Gotland which are the two largest swedish islands of the baltic Sea.

In the Kalmar Strait (between the mainland and Oland) I was completely becalmed for a few hours, then the headwind returned for my

prolonged amusement. I had no wishes of going social this evening, and so decided to take a nights rest at a tiny island called

Stora Hatten, where the Sailing Society of Kalmar, Vikingarna (the Vikings)possess a club house.

At 10.30 PM it had gotten quite dark, which gave me an opportunity to practise my night navigation skills among this shallow and rocky

part of the water. Guess what! To step up the challenge a bit, the temp. alarm on the engine started, and I was quite fast in turning

the engine off to avoid serious damage on it, caused by overheating. The situation suddenly had became a bit tricky. On my BB side a

couple of really nasty reefs. Ahead, a few rocks and some more of the same just showing above the surface. As an extra spice , the

shipping lane was right at my SB side.

Depth, 12 meters on the spot. In no time, my good old CQR went down, and was closely followed by the major part of my 40 meters of chain.

Now the good news. The anchor dug in nicely at first attempt, which was handy, since taking it up, setting sail and then going all over

again was not high on my list for Santa Claus...

Anyway, now, with the boat parked in a safe spot, and an alarm set on the GPS in case of a dragging anchor,I could have a look at the

engine. Needless to say, the engine room was hot like a good sauna. I have no idea of your preferences, but for me, sauna is great. In

the winter, when feeling cold. Not when I am already sweating. Some things in life comes without choice, and the examination of the

mechanical parts of the vessel had to be undertaken, regardless of such irrelevant circumstances as my sauna preferences. What strikes

me as most weird in all this, was my good mood. Normally, I should be screaming and cursing by now, but after 36 hours of solosailing, I

was in the best of moods. Didnt know that euphoria was some sort of bug that could hit you without notice.

The problem with the water pump was as simple as a nut come loose, and thus making the drive belt slip. This was an easy fix, and since my

hands were greasy and dirty by now, I thought I could aswell take the opportunity to check up on the engine oil, and tension of the

generator belt while I was at it. Still surprised over my good mood, I kept tinkering with the machine, even though I perfrmed a complete

maintenance n it a couple of weeks ago. When this manouver was luckily ended, the engine run for a few minutes to cool off, and my hands

thoroughly washed, it came to my knowledge that it was 1.30 AM. A bit late to start manouvering the boat, tongue-in-cheek, among the rocks

and reefs. Furthermore I felt that the Chief Mechanic was worthy of a bear and I good single malt whisky as a reward. Apparently the anchor

had set really good and so I lit an anchor light and got to sleep. An unusual passage, and 140 miles in 36 or so hours.

After a goo d nights sleep I wake up to a wind of 14-16 knots. The boat was hobby-horsing quite a bit in the typically short and steep seas of

Kalmar strait. After breakfast, I had a real work-out winching those 40 meters of anchor chain back on board. Did I mention that the wind came

from NNE now too?! A short trip with the iron genny working lead me to a bouy at St Hatten.

The rest of the day I spent here, taking a swim, and polishing the topsides of my little ship.

8 June

The weather forecast is just as good, but also just as dissapointing in terms of winds. Very light northerly winds... I must admit to getting

a bit restless at noon and decided to take a little step further north, despite the headwind. Needless to say, the wind died out completely

30 minutes after my setting sail. Iron genny touring is not much fun, but sometimes does come in handy. Exactly like last summer, I motored by the town of Kalmar and under the Oland Bridge. The photo is of Kalmar Castle. During all those wars between Sweden and Denmark, Kalmar

was a proud part of the swedish line of defence, and strongly armoured. According to the history books of the schools here, that is. According

to a danish admiral of the time; the swedish mariners was nothing but farmer boys, dipped in sea water. Who knows... the same admiral was then

punished badly by the british admiral lord Nelson and the British Navy just in front of Copenhagen. History is always written by the winners, right?

As for myself, I seek no battles at sea, except those against heat and calms. Well, the adventorous little trip of the day, ended in a sheltered little

lagoon among a series of islets, where I have decided to endure tomorrows calm, warm summer weather with a good book in my newly installed hammock

on foredeck, interrupted only by regular meals, and an occassional swim to freshen up.

Vacation? you bet!

Theres more to come...

9-11 June

The Doldrums in the Kalmar Strait seems like the concept of the day. Completely becalmed and with temperatures well over 30 degrees Celsius, it's not too hard for me to get an idea of how it must feel to be in the tropical doldrums. Sadly to say, I spent a couple of days, in my hammock, taking swims to freshen up and doing smaller jobs on the boat. The largest of these small ones, was to battle the barnacles on the propeller and shaft. All through-hulls had their fair share of them too. This was a task performed with a cyclope and an old dull knife to scrape those little buggars off with. Kind of refreshed my over-heated brain as a fringe benefit.

Anyway, at noon the 10:th, a sweet breeze came from SE. Just 2-5 knots, but whos going to make a complaint? Up went the drifter and the mizzen staysail and away we were at 2-5 knots boat speed. Yeehaaa! How sweet to be underway again.

Soon the island of Blaa Jungfrun ( Blue Virgin) was sighted. She lays there in the northern Kalmar Strait, always appearing to be blue at a distance, and always as mystical. Its not adviceable to anchor there albeit in very calm weather, and the rocky bottom has kept many a good anchor for good. According to the legend, All witches gather on this island the Thursday of the Holy Week, and who really knows.

I decided to keep sailing through the night, it was so energizing to get some wind at last, so on it went.

As soon as it got dark at 10.30 pm, the wind faded ut, and then came back from the north. First with a real gust for 15-30 minutes, that made me change to the jib and then it blew with a steady 3-6 knots all night. Dead ahead again, and pretty week to. Kept beating and tacking all through the night and in the late morning hours I got my reward. The wind changed direction clockwise, enough to let me stear a straight course. Went from the sea and back into the world of islands at Idoe Stangskaer where I took the shipping route towards the town of Vaestervik. In the evening I anchored at Torroe, an old pilot outlook from King Valdemars Sailing Route (13:th century) and til 1882.

12 June

Was spent sleeping and resting mostly. Winds still weak and from NE so no big deal...

This morning wasnt the best f them all.. first I found out that the water in my steel vacuum thermos was cold! Had to wait some five extra minutes here for my morning coffee. Thats bad, especially when waking up with a hang-over from all those hours awaken. What can go wrong with a steel thermos? I just dont get it... It looks OK, but its warm on the outside, indicating that the warmth creeps out of it somehow. Thats life I guess, it has served me willingly for a few years, so, Ill have to buy a new one at next town I ll enter.

This was one of those days when Capn Clumsy was at command. Last time he had a watch, he sailed three hours with the anchor hanging a couple of feet down in the wet. This time, guess what? Dont know how he managed to di this, but he somehow clogged the head, (sailor talk for toilet) and so I had to spend the better part of the late morning closely examining the reminiscense of yesterdays main menu from inside the pump and hoses. Great way of entertaining ones vacation, right? Problem solved: over and out.

The evening was a lt more entertaining. Had a long nice walk around the island and its historical places, dating back to the days of King Valdemar. Needless to say, I enjoyed the fresh air after the clogged head problem shooting earlier today.

13 June

Had a quite nice sail today, got me some 25 miles north. To an island called Harstena,where I enjoyed a meal of really fresh fish. The evening saw heavy clouds and a short shower. Temperature nw is down to 20 degrees and gone are the tropics... for the time being.

14 June

Gale warning towards the afternoon and the night. I took north, out on the open sea and had a marvelous six hour/ 35 mile trip. Running wing and wing in winds from 12-30 knots. The wind speed increasing through the day. Roller-coaster sailing... At 5 pm I had the boat riding at her anchor in a sweet spot in a labyrinth of islets that gave real good protection from the seas and the wind. The trees on the island were waving to me in the gusts while I enjoyed tuna salad and a glass of red for dinner. Refreshing day. After a week and a half without going shopping (provisioning)I am beginning to feel like going to town tomorrow, or the day after... except for the fact that my fresh fruit and grocerys are running out, and I am suffering from a slight miss the web-itis, civilization is not that tempting right now. Well see...

Facts of the boat
03/10/2007, Pukavik

A few facts on my little ship.

s/v Rode Orm (swedish for Red Snake; after the hero in a novel by Frans G. Bengtsson named Rode Orm

Laurin 32 designed by Arvid Laurin Rode Orm is a double-ender (koster design) with a full keel and rudder attached to the rear end of the keel. The design was a modernization of the old work boats and pilot cutters of western Sweden and Denmark

LOA: 9,81 Beam: 2,88 draught: 1,50 ballast: 2,5 tonnes displacement: 5 tonnes (ready to cruise with all gear 7-7,5 tonnes

This yacht was bult 1965 at Malm Aviation Industry. She has a cored deck and hull(Airex) which makes her very stiff, minimizes flexing of the hull, but also makes her silent and practically free of condensation below decks. Important in colder climes. She was first named Antonia and then Ark Sar III before the previous owner named her Rode Orm. I am the fifth owner of this sturdy little ship, and I bought her a year and a half ago.

Ketch rig: 49 square meters Engine: Yanmar 3HM 3-cyl. diesel 27 hp tankage: 60+60 liter of diesel 60 liter fresh-water tank all in the bilge. Fresh water in various jerry cans ranging from 2 liters to 25 liters

She has an Aries wind vane steering system that keeps her on course 95% of the time. Basically I take her in and out of harbours and then Helmer does a very good job.

Main anchor is 35"# CQR on the bow with 45 meters of chain rode. A manual Simpson Lawrence windlass makes anchoring safe and easy. As stern anchor she is equipped with a Danforth 30# on 14 mm nylon rode and 4 meters of chain. As a spare/storm anchor a foldable Fisherman type 40# normally lives its life at the bottom of a cockpit locker. A conical canvas type sea anchor is also on board.

The galley is equipped with a Taylor kerosene stove with oven. A piece of art. Brass and black enamel. Efficient and bullet proof too. A Refleks diesel heater keeps the cabin warm and snug even in temperatures well below zero degrees Celsius. The Refleks (a danish design used on many fishing vessels) is simple. No fans or electrical fuzz, fed from a gravity tank of 5 liters that is placed in the head.
The cabin is lit by three Stelton kerosene lamps made in SS. They also provide some 1000W warmth in a chilly evening.
I will equip the boat with a Lavac head before the summer(it sits in my garage right now). It fits into the same category of equipment as the stove and the Refleks heater. Easy-to-use low maintenance kind of bullet-proof stuff. The old Jabsco unit needs a new set of gaskets, and it feels like the time to up-grade that department.

An inflatable dinghy is stowed in the quarter berth when out on the sea.

The boat will have a new mainsail (w 2 reefs) jib (1 reef) and mizzen /also 1 reef point)l this year. Boy, will I enjoy that!!! The old ones are really worn out and baggy. A spinnaker, a 150% genua for light winds, a storm jib, a mizzen staysail and a trysail makes it possible to keep Rode Orm moving in winds from Force 1 to when nobody wants to be out on there on the water anymore.

The trysail is set on a dedicated mast track, parallell to the mainsail track and is sheeted to the quarters. This makes the change from a reefed main to the trysail in heavy weather as easy as possible. The boom will then be safely lashed to a permanent boom gallows.

Navigation equipment: A compass in the cockpit and 2 handheld ones in the cabin. Two handheld GPS units. A Garmin 12 lives its life at the nav table, permanently plugged in on the 12 V system. A Garmin 72 is a back-up and is used, upon need, in the cockpit kept in a pocket. Paper Charts (always! wouldnt trust electronics on a boat) and pilots. I do have a laptop and nav.programs and c-map covering the world. I do consider this more of a convenience than a prime nav .system though. Very nice as long as it works. A depth sounder is also a part of the nav table gear together with an Icom VHF unit with a masthead antenna. I carry a handheld Icom VHF as a backup and convenience to communicate with crew ashore for instance.

Future projects is a solar panel, probably before this years cruise. Before taking off on an ocean passage I would like to have a water generator and a new drogue too. I am not certain as to the drogue. Either a parachute type sea anchor or a series drogue.

This was kinda technical; for those of you interested in it.
Next posting will be more poetical for sure!

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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