help exchange   Host 31492
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Help Exchange

All Year: Spring-Summer-Fall
Area (ha): 5
Persons: <10
Category: Other
Host ID: 31492
Country: Sweden

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Last Updated: July 31, 2017

This is a family-owned harbor where we rent out dock space seasonally for small boats. One of the most beautiful places on the coast, this is a center for water sports of all kinds, and we've got a host of vessels for enjoying the outdoors - windsurfing boards from the 70's and 80's, a lovely canoe, dinghies for sailing and rowing, and a museum of ancient artifacts to look at and guess the purpose of..
The older generation owns the business, I do the upkeep and day-to-day running of the place. Sometimes there are three people here, sometimes 30... my siblings have young children who are here at times. You must have social skills and be respectful of other people - if you've got Aspergers, that's okay, just make us aware of that fact beforehand, please.

I would love to have your help with both the buildings, docks and gardens. Please let us know how you might contribute to our specific projects, rather than send generic mass requests! It is really hard to know if we are a good match if you don't mention why you chose to write to us, and what it is that you hope to achieve/experience here. Also, we have a trial period of up to two weeks to see if we're a good fit or not for a longer stay.

Here are some things we enjoy here:

Climbing (granite & ice)
Petroglyphs (rock carvings)
Good meals with great views!

There's a bus stop 1.5 km away, or you can sail to a nearby port of Lysekil for extracurriculars. Some of our helpers paddled a canoe over there.
Uddevalla's a half hour east by bus, with shops and a great museum. E6 highway's 20 minutes away, the main thoroughfare between Denmark and Norway, so despite the idyllic settings, you won't be too isolated, as long as you're comfortable taking the bus. We also drive in to Uddevalla and Gothenburg semi-regularly.
Please note: We don't cooperate with other local hosts, so please don't make plans with them for us hosting you. Unfortunately, this has been a problem in the past. We only accept helpers with whom we have had contact before you get here! Thanks.

Here are the current projects at hand:
Buildings: There are several old, beautiful buildings from the late 1800's, which I am renovating, mostly with reused materials. We're doing work on a big brick wall, using old bricks and replacing broken ones.
We're renovating a tower room, which includes some roofing, carpentry, and structural heavy work.
These are the two main things right now, but we also do the...
Garden: Laying the ground work (landscaping) for an organic permaculture food forest, planting fruit trees and berry bushes, digging swales, building the small greenhouse, and preparing for larger projects next year. I got my Permaculture Design Certificate a couple years ago, and am using the skills I learned.

Most of the dock work is done for the year, of course there are always small repairs that come up occasionally. In the spring, we do repairs to the docks after winter storms. Changing booms and buoys, replacing chains under the water, raking the parking lot clear of all the debris that's floated ashore, and a good deal of starting plants, popping up the green house, setting up rain barrels, etc.
As per usual, we have some roofing to do, but this will be at lower levels than last year. Nice, wide roofs with a gentle slope, quite the luxury!

We do not have running water, but carry in fresh water in 25L jugs (6.5 gallons) which we get by boat from a town across the fjord - watch your deltoids grow! We do have electricity, so you'll be able to charge cell phones etc.
We have the salty sea to wash off in after a few hours' work, and that works for us. Please note: no running water means no hot showers. We have a sun shower you can set up with rain water, but some otherwise lovely helpers have expected a working shower even without running water. Hmm. Also, we do have a nice sauna to get the temperature up afterwards, which is especially nice in winter. Depending on who's here, and how many people are here, you might have your own room, share a room, stay in the big attic dorm, or want to camp to get away from people for a bit. I do, at times!

Here's who I'm hoping for:
Non-smoking (I'm allergic to smoke, so this is important) self starter who can problem-solve on the fly, who's used to roughing it a bit. I set up tasks for people, explain once or twice how it's done and why, and either stick by their side or leave them to it, if there's lots of other stuff to do. Therefor, it really does help if you can follow verbal directions.
We don't always have the perfect tools for each job, but use our innovative spirits to make due with what's available, and have quite a lot of fun doing that.
I work a lot, and I ask that you work an average of 5 hours/day five days/week, the rest of the time is yours. This year, the setup might be different - working 6-10 hours x 3-4 days a week (making sure you don't spend more than ~25-30 h/week working), and then having 3-4 days off. This means working weekends, though, and being off some week days while I'm in the office. If you are more comfortable with further clarification, you're welcome to let us know while you're still here, and we can easily tell you. I don't mind you asking!

If you're writing us, please let us know why you want to come here, and what you might bring to our projects. If you have previous experience in anything we are looking for, or interests in what we're doing, it is likely to be a better fit for us all.

I can't offer any pay, but room and board are included. We eat primarily organic food, and can cater to food allergies, though it greatly helps us if you let us know about special dietary needs before you come. You're welcome to cook, and we all help out with the washing up.
I can also show you what I know about building, renovating, and gardening, as well as basics of sailing, rowing etc., and make my library on gardening and renovating available to you, if that is of interest.

You're welcome even if you don't have skills and experience, as long as you've got a good attitude and solid work ethic. We provide safety gear such as hard hats, goggles, ear-protection, and gloves, you bring strong work clothes, and appropriate shoes. Safety's important!
These are some things you will need here (which we've recently found our new HelpXers didn't bring):
Work clothes - we've got some extra, but they're not the most stylish things you ever saw!
Work boots/shoes.

And I reiterate: work boots/shoes. If you've got one pair that are meant to last you for another year plus, this might be a problem. Think work site. We've got some loaners in varying sizes, but what we need help with is highly physical. We prefer your feet are protected.

Insurance is up to you, as we do not have any for volunteers (or ourselves) while here. If you're traveling for an extended period of time, we suggest insurance through We assume you've got travel insurance of some sort even for shorter trips.
If you're an EU citizen, please make sure you've got your EU Health Insurance Card as well, available at ( If you have it, you'll only have to pay what locals pay if you have to visit the hospital (this varies from country to country).
In Sweden, you pay ~300 SEK instead of ~3600 SEK without the card).

A harbor is, generally speaking, on the water. Ours certainly is. So if you can't swim, you could be really limited in some of the tasks, out of safety concerns.
No sailing, rowing, or dock work... but, if you play music, we've got an out-of tune piano, guitar, banjo and maracas. Possibly an old drum set in the attic, as well as some bongo drums. Oftentimes, we sing while we do the dishes - prepare by learning old show tunes...

All of us speak English and Swedish, some of us speak German, and some understand some Spanish. Welcome!

reviews (22)
Helper: Kimberley Garratt Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Australia Date: November 5, 2019
The three hosts at the Harbour are the most down-to-earth, level-headed, genu... view complete review

Helper: Stephan and Brittany Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: August 29, 2018
Katie has created a beautiful project to preserve and refurbish the property ... view complete review

Helper: Veronique Holzen Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: May 10, 2018
Even though my stay at the harbour was quite a long time ago, it has remained... view complete review

Helper: Chloe Smith Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: November 7, 2017
Katie, Ingrid, and Krisy were awesome hosts. The food here was the best I've ... view complete review

Helper: Tristan Frakes Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: September 30, 2017
I had an amazing time here! It's an amazing and beautiful location. Katey, In... view complete review

Helper: Paulina Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: September 16, 2017
Sorry for my really late review, Kathi! Its exactly a year ago, i went to thi... view complete review

Helper: Toby Bond Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: July 18, 2017
What a unique place! Read all the other reviews and you'll get a good idea of... view complete review

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Helper: Natalie Loomis Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: April 28, 2017
I had a wonderful time during my stay at the Harbor!!! I wish I could've stay... view complete review

Helper: Arnau Torrent Beā Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Spain Date: September 13, 2016
I stayed here for one month during July and only I have words of gratitude to... view complete review

Helper: Tom Langhorne Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: August 23, 2016
I spent 2 weeks here and had a wonderful time! Unfortunately as Katie was un... view complete review

Helper: Sarah and Andrew Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: July 28, 2016
What can we say, if every HelpX was this amazing we'd never go back to "real ... view complete review

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Helper: Bastien Bignon Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: October 15, 2015
I went to the harbor 4 weeks in September, and it was great! All the reviews... view complete review

Helper: Remi, Pierrot, Violette, Agathe and Quentin Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: France Date: October 13, 2015
We spent ten days in the Harbor. What a wonderful time we had there ! We w... view complete review

Helper: Don Ausec Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: June 24, 2015
Short- This was an awesome time and an amazing experience. I can't think of a... view complete review

Helper: Ron and Kristie Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United States Date: June 24, 2015
Katie, Ingrid, and Krisy are awesome! We planned on staying at the harbor... view complete review

Helper: Leonard Krylov Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Sweden Date: May 18, 2015
I appreciated my stay at Katarina's place, the food was fabulous thanks to In... view complete review

Helper: Chris and Mildka Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: January 19, 2015
Oooops, I feel really bad about this. I was all set to come and stay with ... view complete review

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Helper: Philip Redecker Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Germany Date: December 21, 2014
Dear Helpxers, first of all I have to say that this was my first HelpX ever ... view complete review

Helper: Ali Hussain Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: October 2, 2014
Expect good ol' fashioned labour of the physical kind. If you're lucky, blue ... view complete review

Helper: Mattias Nielssen Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: Ireland Date: September 28, 2014
I stayed with Katie for 5 weeks here. I enjoyed absolutely every moment, in f... view complete review

Helper: Claire and Tim Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: New Zealand Date: September 26, 2014
Katie, Ingerid and Krissy were the best HelpX hosts that we have ever had. Th... view complete review

Helper: Matthew robinson Profile: hidden - premier members only
From: United Kingdom Date: August 27, 2014
This is a wonderful place. So much warmth and kindness! I don't think I've ev... view complete review

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