Saturday, 20 July 2013

The classic cruise liner Black Watch in Øresund

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines'  Black Watch (205 m x 25 m) is one of my favorites. It is easy to agree with what the cruise line says about the ship, which made its maiden journey already in 1972:

"Cruise ships were once famous for their style and charm. And our Black Watch cruise ship is a hark back to those  days, when quality and service were taken for granted. Sleek and intimate, with cabins and suites for 804 people, Black Watch has a warm welcome waiting for you."

The Black Watch passing by tonight in Øresund.

The Black watch approaching Helsingborg.

Research vessel/icebreaker Oden in Landskrona

The freshly painted Oden in Landskrona on July 12.

This is the Swedish Maritime Administration's combined escort icebreaker and research vessel Oden on July 12 at the Oresund Drydocks in Landskrona, where it arrived in late May for extensive water blasting and paint work. The maintenance work is probably done, but it appears that Oden is still lying in Landskrona.

The Oden - delivered by the Götaverken Arendel shipyards in 1989 - is an interesting ship:

Oden is owned by the SMA and manned by Viking Supply Ships AB. Oden has since delivery made many expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. 
Furthermore, icebreaking operations have taken place in the Baltic during winter time. For the purpose of using Oden as a platform for research activities, SMA has entered into a longtime agreement with the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.

The polar classed Oden is designed as a combined escort icebreaker and research vessel. In the course of time, Oden has been upgraded and fitted out with advanced scientific equipment and at present the vessel is one of the leading research platforms in the polar oceans. Oden is very flexible and can carry scientific equipment, containerized laboratories, frozen storage, containers, seismic equipment and deep drilling equipment for geological surveys etc. 

On 7th September 1991, Oden became the first non-atomic powered vessel to reach the North Pole and Oden has been to the North Pole five more times since then. In the last years, Oden has also sailed the southern latitudes under a Swedish–American cooperative project, “Oden Southern Ocean”

The visit of 16 Dutch journalists to Finland in 1925

In the 1920s Finland, which had gained its independence in 1917, wanted to become more known in Europe. That is why 16 Dutch journalists, "representing the most important newspapers", were invited to spend two weeks in the country, visiting both industry and areas of natural beauty. The Dutch journalists were photographed immediately after their arrival at the Southern Harbour in Helsinki:

The 16 Dutch journalists together with their hosts at the Southern Harbour in
Helsinki in 1925.

The MSC Musica on a glorious summer morning

The passengers on board MSC Musica (292 m x 34 m) hopefully were up to enjoy the glorious summer morning when the ship approached Helsingør today.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Cruise ship Silver Whisper in Øresund

Tonight cruise ship Silver Whisper (184 m x 24 m) looked great when it passed by in the Sound:

The Silver Whisper and the Kronborg castle.

The Silver Whisper a couple of minutes later on its way to Flam in Norway.

The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) through the eyes of artists

The Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) was "the first great war of the 20th century", and also the first war to be fully recorded by the international media. There was obviously a great demand for pictures from the remote war zone. Although there were some photographers in the area, usually they were not able to satisfy the demand for more "dramatic" shots, which the newspapers were most interested in. 

That is why it was left for artists to provide the "action" shots and other more emotional, sometimes also patriotic, images. The accuracy of the artists' drawings of course varied. In some rare cases the war artists were themselves present at or close by the events, but often they had to rely on second hand accounts, some of which may not have been very accurate. 

Below is a selection of illustrations, published in international media during the Russo-Japanese War:

The Russian ambassador, baron von Rosen, leaving Tokyo after the outbreak of the war. 

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse) inspecting an ambulance train due to depart 
to the war zone.

The wife of a Russian officer, dressed as a Cossack in Mukden.

The first shot is fired by the the crew of a Japanese war ship.

Admiral Alexeieff, Russian Viceroy in the Far East, inspect the troops.

Japanese infantry advancing in Korea.

Greetings from the  Empress! Always when a troop train left St. Petersburg, members of the court were at the station
in order to personally deliver small "Empress's parcels", containing tobacco, tea and other
small things the soldiers appreciated. 

The way to the front was long. Cossacks made the journey a little bit easier to endure by
singing about the glories of their forefathers - and about beautiful women.

Admiral Togo's fleet near Port Arthur.

Close combat between Russian and Japanese destroyers at Port Arthur. The ships were so close
 to each other that officers had to use their revolvers against the enemy.

"When the Petropavlovsk was destroyed". The drawing was made by an artist who
was present when it happened. 

"A Russian military ambulance on skis".

A Japanese soldier captured by the Russians.

"A giant at the mercy of the dwarfs". A Russian soldier captured by the Japanese.

Colonel Ukada and captain Otti - captured by the Russian in Manchuria, while trying
 to blow up a bridge - were shot by the Russians. They were first sentenced to execution, but general
Kuropatkin converted the sentence to shooting, due to their rank.  Both officers had according to
Kuropatkin acted gallantly. Colonel Ukada was a Christian, and donated 1000 rubles to the Russian
Red Cross.

General, count Tamemoto Kuroki, head of the Japanese First Army.

General Aleksey Kuropatkin, Imperial Minister of War.

General, baron Anatoly Stoessel, "The iron man of Port Arthur". "What I command, can be done".

Japanese cavalry in action.

The Japanese attack with bayonets.

Japanese naval officers on leave visiting a tea house in Nagasaki.
Drawing by a Japanese artist.

"A welcome visit". A scene from the hospital for officers in Tokyo.

On board a Russian ambulance train.

General Nogi and general Stoessel meet on Januari 6, 1905 in a village close to
Port Arthur. "Both generals were deeply moved". Nogi, "speaking on his own and the  entire Japanese
people's behalf", praised Stoessel for the courageous defense of Port Arthur. Stoessel, for his part,
thanked Nogi for the thoughtful way the Japanese had treated the garrison after the capitulation.

Admiral Togo greeted by people in Tokyo after the fall
of Port Arthur.

General Stoessel, together with his family, returning to Russia on board the steamer "Australia".
The British artist Reginald Cleaver, who made the drawing, was also travelling with the "Australia".

A bumpy ride for tanker Fram

Last Sunday the small (55 m x 12 m) Swedish tanker Fram had a somewhat bumpy ride in the Sound:

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A July sunset in Øresund

Last night we had another nice sunset here in Øresund.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Japanese steamer Hakata Maru and its commander in 1904

Recently I found these two 1904 photographs of the Japanase cargo/passenger vessel SS Hakata Maru and its commander, captain Sommer:

The Hakata Maru in 1904. Where to photo was taken, remains unknown to me. 

Captain Sommer (a German?), the commander of Hakata Maru in 1904.

With the help of a little googling, I was able to find some additional information on the ship on the web:

The Hakata Maru was launched in 1897 at David and William Henderson & Co., Glasgow, for N.Y.K (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Line's new European service. The 6161 gross tons, 135.6 m x 15.5 m ship had steam triple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed was 12 knots. 

The Hakata Maru, named after Hakata, one of the oldest cities in Japan (now part of Fukuoka) was scrapped in 1933. 

Recently this painting of the Hakata Maru was sold for $3,675 at a US auction house:

A speed boat race in the Baltic?

There must be some kind of a speed boat race going on in the Baltic right now. A couple of minutes ago, Marine Traffic Com live AIS map showed several boats going extremely fast in the waters between Ystad and Bornholm. For example the fastest of these three boats had a speed of 89.6 knots, which is equivalent to 165.9392 km/h!

Status: Underway
Speed/Course: 89.6 kn / 41˚

Status: Underway
Speed/Course: 76.8 kn / 213˚

Status: Underway
Speed/Course: 76.8 kn / 230˚

Carnival Legend and Celebrity Constellation - early birds in Øresund this morning

Carnival Legend and Celebrity Constellation were this morning's early birds in the Sound. Both passed Hittarp just after 5 AM on their way to Copenhagen.

The 293 m x 32 m Carnival Legend approaching Helsingør early this morning.

Celebrity Constellation (294 m x 36 m) passed by minutes later.

The Norwegian Royal Yacht on its way to Helsinki

Norwegian Royal Yacht Norge approaching Helsingør early in the morning.

The Norwegian Royal Yacht Norge was early this morning (about 5.30) approaching Helsingør on its way to Helsinki, where it estimated to arrive on Friday morning at 10 A.M. A look at the stern side of the weather deck - where you can see H.M. Majesty King Harald's yacht Sira 33 - reveals the purpose of the journey; His Majesty will participate in the 2013 International Eight Metre World Championships in Helsinki, which are about to begin on July 29.

King Harald often uses the Royal Yacht as a base when competing in major yacht races.

I added this somewhat closer look at the beautiful Norwegian Royal Yacht:

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Life in the Imperial Russian Navy before the defeat in the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese war

The Imperial Russian Navy was a fleet of proud traditions in the beginning of the 20th century. Consequently it prepared for and entered the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War - which was to end in a catastrophe both for Russia and its navy - in high spirits.

The Swedish popular magazine Allers Familj-Journal published several articles and photographs about life on board Russian Imperial Navy ships just before and during the early phases of the war. Below is a selection of photographs which illustrated the articles.

Some of the naval ships in the Imperial Russian Navy in 1904:

First class cruiser Askold, commissioned in 1900, was one of the newer ships in the Imperial Navy.
It had a max. speed of 23 kn. and the fire power of  twelve 15 cm cannons.

The cruiser Novik. 

The cruiser Rurik was built in 1892. It had a crew of 768, and carried four 20 cm,
 sixteen 15 cm and six 12 cm cannons.

Cruiser Pobeda was one of the largest ships in the Porth Arthur squadron. The Pobeda, which was
commissioned in 1900, carried four 25 cm and eleven 15 cm cannons.

The cruiser Rossija (built in 1896) had four 20 cm, sixteen 15 cm and twelve 7.5 cm
cannons. The number of the crew was 800.

A new Russian submarine is christened at the shipyard in Kronstadt.
First class cruiser Aurora (commissioned in 1900) of the Baltic Fleet was later to play a part in the Bolshevik revolution.

Preparation, training and leisure time on board: 

Learning to use the revolver cannon on the bridge.

"Sunday parade".

A modern 20 cm cannon on one of the Russian warships.

A pilot assisting in the navigation of a Russian naval vessel. 

An orthodox priest was part of the crew of each Russian navy ship.

Doctors and nurses on the Russian hospital ship Mongolia in Port Arthur.

Cleaning the hand weapons.

The guard is ready.

The entire crew is gathered on a festive occasion.

Captain von Essen, commander of the cruiser Novik, instructs the seamen in the use
of a revolver cannon.

Learning how to use hand weapons.

Captain von Essen (right side)playing a board game with admiral Makarov on board
the cruiser Novik, which later on was totally destroyed by the Japanese.

A family visit in the commander's cabin.

Nine playful Navy lieutenants.

Show your clean hands!

Russian naval officers dressed for a hunt.

The commander is also a photographer.

Less pleasant work on a Russian Imperial Navy ship sailing in cold Siberian waters.