Saturday, 8 September 2012

A tribute to Georges Prêtre - A Mature Maestro

In this age of adulation of youth it is always heartwarming to see or hear elderly people excel. That is one of the reasons why I enjoy watching mature maestros conducting classical music. One of my great favourites is the French Maestro Georges Prêtre (born in 1924). 

Prêtre seems to have such a wonderful relationship with the musicians. When conducting his body and  face radiate the experience, wisdom - and I dare say humanity - acquired during a long career. All this leads to beautiful music, which of course is the purpose of a concert. 

But I have found that even only watching Prêtre conduct, with the sound turned off, is a treat! 

The pictures shown here are from a concert with the Wiener Symphoniker in 2009. 

A lone bather at the Laröd bathing platform

A lone bather at the Laröd bathing platform this afternoon:

On the upper left side you can see the Kronborg castle
The water in Øresund is still warm enough for bathers

An "olympic" bulk carrier approaching Helsingør

This is the Liberia registered bulk cargo ship London 2012 (229 x 32m) approaching Helsingør on its way from Tyne to Gdynia in Poland. This "olympic" ship was previously called Beijing 2008. Soon it will probably be renamed Rio de Janeiro 2016 ....

The London 2012 approaching  Helsingør on September 6, 2012
The London 2012 a little bit earlier

Friday, 7 September 2012

Birds enjoying windy day in Øresund

The cormorants and the gulls seemed to enjoy the windy weather this afternoon at the Hittarp reef in Øresund:

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The demolition of a home

This old house, beautifully located right on the seashore, had been empty for some time. It was not a particularly beautiful or otherwise very interesting house, so one expected that the new owners would tear it down and start building a new home on the site.

Still, when I saw the demolition men at work this morning, I felt a little bit sad. I did not know the people who had built and lived in the house, but there must have been a time, when they were thrilled about moving into their new home on the beach. For them the modest house probably was a small piece of paradise on earth.

Those people are now gone, and the house of their dreams joined them today.
A reminder of the transience of life ...

Hopefully the new home, soon to be be built on the now empty site, will be a nice one.

The Ocean Countess on its way to Aalborg

This is the classical cruise ship Ocean Countess in the Sound tonight. The ship entered service as the Cunard Countess already in 1976, but after several renovations it is still quite popular, particularly among elderly cruise guests. Due to its fairly small size, the Countess is able to visit many ports, which are out of reach for the large cruise liners.

The next destination after Helsingborg and Copenhagen is Aalborg.

A tanker and a schooner in windy Øresund weather

This day has been a reminder of the stormy weather in store for us later on in the autumn here in the Øresund region. According to marine weather reports gale force winds are expected in the northern part of the adjacent Kattegat area, this afternoon.

The chemical tanker Bit Oktania (134 x 22m) was today around noon heading north against the wind in the Sound. Her destination is Brofjorden in Norway:

Somewhat later this three masted tall ship was also on its way northwards, but much more slowly. The presumably rather modest size engine seemed to be struggling just a little bit in the brisk northwesterly wind. The schooner (?) was sailing without AIS signals turned on, so I was not able to identify it. If someone recognizes the ship, please let me know:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The full-rigged training ship Danmark in Øresund

The Denmark today sailed with 13 of its 15 square sails rigged.

The full-rigged training ship Danmark, one of the world´s classic tall ships, today sailed through Øresund on its way from Dublin to Copenhagen. The ship was built in 1932 in order to replace the København, which was lost at sea, as Denmark´s principal merchant navy training ship. 

The Danmark is operated by the Maritime Training and Eduction Centre, MARTEC, in FrederikshavnThe 77 x 10m ship has a crew of 15 and 80 trainees on board. She can be rigged with 26 sails with a total area of 1,632 m2, including fifteen square sails. 

The Danmark meets  M/S Havstrygeren, a traditional fishing boat,  now serving  the  sport fishing community.

The Danmark has an interesting history, which includes six years of service in the US during World War II:

During World War II, Denmark became occupied on April 9, 1940 while the training ship DANMARK was on a routine training mission in U.S. waters (Jacksonville, Florida). In agreement with the Danish Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Henrik Kauffmann, Captain Knud L. Hansen placed his training ship at the disposal of the U.S. Government; however, neutrality prevented the acceptance of the offer until December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked. 

From that point onward and until the end of the WW II, DANMARK and Capt. Knud L. Hansen served under the Stars and Stripes training some 3000 U.S. officer cadets. These young men received a first-class education in responsible seamanship under Capt. Knud L. Hansen’s capable leadership and strict discipline; later they would serve in the U.S. Navy. 

The First Officer of DANMARK during the war was Knud Langevad, and he was in charge of training the U.S. cadets. He also convinced U.S. authorities of the value of learning seamanship on a tall ship, and following the war the U.S. Coast Guard purchased its well-known tall ship the U.S. EAGLE, to replace the DANMARK. This close Danish-American teamwork lasted until September 26, 1945, when DANMARK and her Captain were returned to the Danish Government with full honors. The Danish gesture is still remembered and appreciated in the USA. 
After 6 years abroad the vessel returned to Denmark. Most of the cadets who left Denmark by the vessel in 1939 signed off in Jacksonville and during the war they did service on board allied ships About 60 cadets became American citizens. 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Sweden´s largest car carrier m/v Fedora in Øresund

This is the LCTC (Large Car Truck Carrier) m/v Fedora, the largest registered Swedish car carrier. The ship - named after Umberto Giordano´s opera with the same name - tonight sailed through Øresund northwards on its way from Gdansk to Bremerhaven

The 228 x 32m ship, owned by Wallenius Lines and operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, has a capacity of 8,000 cars on its 13 car decks. 

The m/v Fedora with the Kronborg castle in the background

In addition to the excellent "parking facilities" on board, the Fedora also offers a good standard of comfort for the crew and possible passengers:

All accommodation areas are located on upper deck and 
bridge deck, far away from the engine room. They have 
a very high quality and a unique design with a two store 
atrium with a top sky light. The ship also has a messroom, 
TV-room/library, gymnasium, an outdoor swimming pool 
and a sauna

Read more about the Fedora here