Friday, 27 July 2012

Container ship Godafoss and tanker Delta Captain in Øresund

This is the Icelandic container ship Godafoss approaching Helsingborg/Helsingør last night. The 165 x 28m,  17,000-dwt ship, which was built in 1995, is registered in Antigua and Bermuda. In February last year it  run aground around the the scenic islands of Hvaler on Norway’s southeast coast.

The pictures above show the clearly empty Greek crude oil tanker Delta Captain (249 x 44m, 111013 dwt) on  its way from Bilbao to Russian Primorsk last night. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Gull on a hot tin roof

On this beautiful summer day this urban gull in Helsingborg posed rather proudly on the tin roof.

However, soon he/she realised that the tin roof was hot ...


I could not resist adding another urban gull - a Herring Gull - which I photographed in Helsingør on the Danish side tonight:

After posing for me, the gull decided to take a brief walk, but keeping the balance was not uncomplicated ...

Mölle - a classic seaside resort in Southern Sweden

"Mölle, in the far northwest of Skåne, is a small town set in spectacular isolation on the dramatic headland of the Kulla Peninsula. It is an old fishing village with a beautiful harbor that sweeps up to the Kullaberg Range. You will find beech forests, stupefying views, and rugged shores and beaches, surrounded on three sides by sea."(Fodor´s)

During the first years of the 20th century, until the start of the First World War in 1914, the scenic village Mölle in northwestern Scania was one of the most well-known seaside resorts in northern Europe.

Mixed bathing in Mölle in 1910. (Photographed by Peter Lundh)

This is how the Swedish photographer and author Jan Olsheden describes the transformation of the sleepy fishing village into an international resort, in an article from 1982:

"Surrounded on three sides by water, the natural terrain is enchanting, with steep cliffs plunging down into the sea and caves that are the stuff of fairy tales, small coves to bathe in and avenues of beech trees to lure the wanderer. In the late 19th century, the traditional livelihoods of the area were herring fishing, farming and mining. 
The old village slumbered idyllically. Only in the autumn, when the herring run, did it really come to life. Job opportunities were few, and here, as in numerous other Swedish communities of the time, many were forced to emigrate to America - to carve a better life for themselves and to ensure the survival of those who remained."

"Suddenly, however, sleepy Mölle was overrun by tourists. They came from Denmark, France and Sweden, but above all from Germany. They arrived by steamer from Copenhagen and Malmö. And soon they also arrived by a new railway built directly to Mölle itself. Boardinghouses and and hotels shot up, as in any modern resort. By the 1890s Mölle was transformed. What had happened? The answer is that Mölle permitted mixed bathing; men and women - in striped bathing costumes - together, not the customary yards apart. It was a scandal, and thus absolutely first class entertainment. Behind much of this was the photographer Peter P. Lund (1865 - 1943)."

"It was Lund who took pictures of the mixed bathing, and disseminated them in postcard form throughout Europe. They brought tourists to Mölle in droves."

Hotel Kullaberg, the first major hotel built in Mölle (1890, Peter Lundh)
Bathing in Mölle in the 1920´s (image Wikipedia)
Although the golden years as a leading European seaside resort are over, Mölle still attracts a great number of visitors both from Sweden and abroad during the summer months. Many - (rather affluent) Swedes have their summer residence in the area. Mölle´s permanent population of 700 trebles during the summer months.

The Grand Hotel is still a dominant sight in Mölle
The Mölle harbour.
The beautifully renovated hotel Kullaberg today.
The view from the harbour.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Sailing on a beautiful summer day

It is easy to understand why some people love sailing ....

From the boat it is nice to enjoy sceneries like this one:

Pilot cutter Freja - a gorgeous wooden sailing boat

The Classic Sailing Magazine on Luke Powell, who designed and built Freja: "Luke Powell is so modest about his achievements that he will probably be slightly amazed when described as a 'national treasure'. Beginning in the early 1990s, he has almost single-handedly pioneered a revival in the building of traditional pilot cutters in Great Britain."

Thank God that there still are people who appreciate high quality, traditional materials and supreme craftmanship! That was what first thought that entered my mind, when I saw this gorgeous wooden cutter - the Freja - in the nearby small Svanshall marina

The Freja, with legendary Falmouth in Cornwall as its home port, made me curious. Having returned home, I did some research, and found out that she actually is a brand new ship (launched on 7 April this spring), built by Working Sail in Gweek, Cornwall.  

This is how Working Sail introduces itself on its home page:

Working Sail build traditional wooden pilot cutters which are based on the vessels which plied their trade from the Isles of Scilly during the later parts of the19th century. All of our vessel are solidly built using grown oak frames, larch planking and they are bronze fastened throughout, giving them great strength and longevity. The hardwood decks are caulked with oakum and pitched in the traditional fashion while the hardwood capping rail, coachroof, skylight and hatches are bright varnished, making these boats entirely unique in the new boat market of today. 

Each vessel is individually designed by boat designer and master shipwright Luke Powell who strongly believes that recreating vessels from our rich maritime heritage is helping to bring back to life some of the nearly lost skills and traditions as well as a few of the once plentiful and beautiful craft of the past.  

Pilot cutters carry a versatile gaff rig which is designed to give the vessel power and speed whilst arranged to be handled by an experienced crew of two. This rig has proven to be extremely adaptable for both racing and long distance cruising. When carrying all their sails, these elegant vessels are most exhilarating to sail, while in their working rig they are able to maintain a steady cruising speed with an easy motion. When balanced the boats are easy on the helm and a absolute joy to sail.

Working Sail´s web site also has some interesting information about the Freja and her Swedish owners: 

Freja, our latest build, started in September 2010 was launched on 7 April 2012. She is 42’ long, 12’2” beam and 7’ draught. Her owners are a Swedish couple that wish to keep her here in wonderful Cornwall so as to take advantage of cruising the West Country as well as our Celtic neighbours. They are keen and well experienced sailors that have owned many wooden boats over the years. For Freja they have asked that she is capable of sailing for extended periods to remote places in the world with just the two of them. She is to be kept simple and easy to maintain; everything must be capable of being looked after by them when voyaging. Below decks she is equipped with a paraffin cooker and hand pumps – no hot and cold pressurised water system in this vessel. A good stove to keep the cabin warm and snug; with oil lamps to read by she will be as she should be – the real thing!

The local Anglican vicar, Ken Boullier (who also happens to be a qualified yachtmaster and cruising instructor!) blessed the Freja at the launch in Gweek. There are some nice pictures of the ceremony and the owners, medical doctors Anders and Marion Johnson, in his blog. 

And, in case you are interested in a visual diary documenting the building of the Freja, the local artist Anna Cattermole has done a series of beautiful drawings, which can be viewed here

Additional pictures of Freja

Monday, 23 July 2012

Fair Trade vessel Estelle in Øresund

Last night around nine o´clock the Finnish Fair Trade vessel Estelle sailed northwards in the Sound on its way from Helsingborg to Varberg. The Estelle, which is a certified ocean-going merchant vessel, is an interesting project: 

Estelle is a steel-hulled 53-metre ship originally built for North Sea trawl fishing. Before being converted into a Fair Trade vessel, she spent about fifteen years hauling gravel from Vuolahti to Helsinki.

On June 2nd, 1997 Estelle was certified as a Finnish merchant vessel. At the same time, she was issued papers on a special-purpose basis (training vessel). Afterwards, she has done campaign and transport work in the Baltic and North seas.
On June 29th, 1999, Estelle was certified for ocean-going traffic, i.e. as seaworthy for all the world's ice-free waters.
Uusi Tuuli (New Wind), the non-profit organization, which has renovated Estelle, describes  the project on its home page in this way: 
Our vision is to create equal and environmentally sustainable relationships with North and South.
Our most visible tool is sailing vessel Estelle which we use for transporting cargo with wind power. We organise campaign events and -tours in harbours of Europe. The ship functions as an open space that gathers people, organisations and ideas all around the world to encounter each other. Estelle is also used in training volunteers to sail, thus upkeeping the ancient tradition of sailing.

A few minutes later, the Estelle was overtaken by another interesting ship, the Fehn Coast - a small German cargo ship, which in 2009 was chartered by Greenpeace, and used to drop large  stone blocks in the Lilla Middelgrund area of the Kattegat:

According to local newspater reports, Estelle seems right now to be operated by "Ship to Gaza" - an overtly political project, which I will abstain from commenting on here. 

PS 2 (October 7)
According to information on Estelle's former home page the ship has been sold to "Ship to Gaza Sweden"

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Russian icebreaker Sankt-Peterburg in Øresund

The Sankt-Peterburg approaching Helsingborg/ Helsingør at 8 PM

The Russian multi-purpose icebreaker Sankt-Peterburg (115 x 27m) tonight sailed through Øresund on its way from Brest to its home port St. Petersburg. The Sankt-Peterburg, which was launched in May 2008, participated in the Tonnerres de Brest maritime festival, which this year celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The Costa neoRomantica approaching Helsingborg

This is the Costa neoRomantica (219 x 32m) approaching Helsingborg this evening on its way from Copenhagen to Oslo.

The picture below shows the ship a couple of minutes later passing the port of Helsingborg:

The MSC Magnifica on its way to Kiel

This is the MSC Magnifica last night in Øresund on its way from Copenhagen to Kiel, hopefully with a lot of happy cruise passengers on board ...