Saturday, 14 September 2013

Reefer Atlantic Lady and tanker Revnanger meet in Øresund

Reefer Atlantic Lady (140 m x 20 m) this morning met tanker Ravnanger (183 m x 32 m) in Øresund:

The Reefer Atlantic Lady is already a fairly old lady; she was built in 1986. The
tanker Ravnanger entered service in 2000.

Friday, 13 September 2013

A peaceful afternoon before the barking in the Sofiero Palace gardens

This afternoon, when I went for walk in the Sofiero Palace gardens, I noticed that people very busy preparing for the annual international dog show this weekend.

It looked very peaceful today, but soon there will be a lot of barking going on ...

Hopefully, at least some of the dog owners and visitors will also enjoy the beautiful autumn flowers on display in the gardens ...



Roald Amundsen - The First Person to Sail the North-West Passage

Roald Amundsen on board his ship.

In the summer of 1905 Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to sail the North-West Passage. On the 13 August he wrote in his diary:

The North-West Passage was done. My boyhood dream—at that moment it was accomplished. A strange feeling welled up in my throat; I was somewhat over-strained and worn—it was weakness in me—but I felt tears in my eyes.

Amundsen's ship Gjøa was tiny, measuring 70 by 20 ft (21 by 61 m). Due to shallow waters, a larger ship could never have sailed Amundsen's route. The Gjøa is since 1972 on display at the Fram Museum in Oslo.

Most sources say that Amundsen had a crew of six. However on this photograph from 1905, there are seven crew members in addition to Amundsen (second from the left).

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Nomadic Swedish Lapps in Norway (1905)

This photograph of nomadic Swedish Lapps in Norway was published in the Swedish family magazine "Allers Familj-Journal" in 1905. (Lapps are now called Sami )

A portrait of a Sultan

In 1905 the Swedish popular magazine "Allers Familj-Journal" published this portrait of Sultan Abdul Azis (also known as Abdelaziz and Mulai Abd al-Aziz IV) of Morocco. The caption accompanying the photo was not very flattering for the ruler:

"He has been sultan since 1894, but his rule has not been beneficial to the country. The sultan represents a mix between a wild mother and a Parisian bon vivant, and maybe that is the reason why he does not have the capacity to satisfy neither the foreigners, neither the locals."

Wikipedia has this to say about Azis, who succeeded his father Hassan I :

"Urged by his Georgian or Circassian mother, the sultan sought advice and counsel from Europe and endeavored to act on it, but advice not motivated by a conflict of interest was difficult to obtain, and in spite of the unquestionable desire of the young ruler to do the best for the country, wild extravagance both in action and expenditure resulted, leaving the sultan with depleted exchequer and the confidence of his people impaired. His intimacy with foreigners and his imitation of their ways were sufficient to rouse fanaticism and create dissatisfaction."

M/S Mariella - Already a classic on the Stockholm - Helsinki route

Viking Line's M/S Mariella, here seen leaving Helsinki last week, is already a classic on the Stockholm - Helsinki route. The 176.9 m x 28.4 m ship was built on 1985. She takes 2500 passengers and 430 cars.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Øresund evening pictures from September 11

The magic of the Nordic summer nights is gone now in Øresund, but darker September nights can also be very peaceful and enjoyable ....

The Helsingborg based schooner Nina.

A closer look at Nina.

Container ship Aldebaran J (139 m x 22 m) with Kronborg castle and Helsingør
in the background.

Aldebaran J minutes earlier.

Seagulls resting at the Hittarp reef.

A curious white horse in Laröd

This white horse was eating grass when I passed by on my bike. When I stopped, and grabbed my camera, his curiosity was awakened ...

Bulk carrier Bergen Trader in the Sound

The Philippines registry bulk carrier Bergen Trader (229 m x 32 m) was one of the ships going southward in the Øresund last night:

Bergen Trader and Kronborg castle.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Norwegian Star and Queen Victoria in Øresund

The cruise season in Scandinavia will soon close, but still there are a few cruise ships to be seen. Tonight the Norwegian Star (294 m x 32 m) and Queen Victoria (294 m  x 32 m) were going northwards in Øresund.


A rainy September morning in Helsinki

Just an ordinary rainy September 2 morning in Helsinki, when
I was waiting for the bus.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Sail training yacht S/y Navigator in Helsinki

During my brief visit to Helsinki last week, I was pleased to see the classic sailing yacht S/y Navigator moored at the Katajanokka marina. The 16.5 m x 3.58 m yawl, designed by Jarl Lindblom, has an interesting history. It was built in 1947 as a private yacht for the Finnish industrialist and shipowner Hans von Rettig. At the time the yacht was one of the best equipped in Finland. It was e.g. the first Finnish yacht with a jib furling system.

In 1980 the boat was donated to the Finland Swedish scout association to be used as a sail training yacht. The boat, which originally was called S/y Clipper, was at the same time renamed S/y Navigator.

In 1997 - 2006 the Navigator was completely refitted.

The schooner Linden in Helsinki

The three masted schooner Linden was built in Mariehamn (Åland) in 1992. For the time being the 49 m long Linden is based in Helsinki, where it is used for charters.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Finlands fleet of icebreakers waiting for the winter to arrive

This summer we have enjoyed fine weather most of the time here in northern Europe. But, whether you like it or not, the long and chilly winter months are not far away. I got a reminder of this fact in Helsinki last week, when I watched Finland's mighty fleet of icebreakers "basking" in the warm early September sun. I presume that most of  the crews are already busy making their ships ready for the icy winter months ...

In their excellent little book "Winter in Finland" (Hugh Evelyn Limited, 1967) W.R. Mead and Helmer Smeds summarize the country's struggle with ice:

"A central fact in Finland's struggle with winter is the freezing of the Baltic Sea. The most striking feature of the struggle has been Finland's gradual success in overcoming the seasonal interruption of overseas communications. There have been three stages in the struggle - passive acceptance, active resistance and positive assault. These are a reflection of technical equipment. AT the same time a pragmatic approach to the problem of interruption has changed to a wholly scientific attitude. The constraints of winter ice have been broken with the aid of three technical innovations - the application of s team and internal combustion to sea-going shipping, the employment of steel plating for ships' hulls, and the use of telegraphic and radio communications. The first two have been combined in the construction of ice-breakers and ice-strengthened ships; the third has enabled the rapid assembly of information for synoptic ice charts and the forecasting of weather conditions."

I added a picture of the Finnish Boarder Guard's patrol vessel Merikarhu, which was moored right at the side of the icebreakers.

The Historic Sea Fortress Suomenlinna in Helsinki

The Suomenlinna ferry on its way to the fortress islands.

Situated on a group of islands off Helsinki, Suomenlinna (Sveaborg in Swedish) was built during the Swedish era as a maritime fortress and a base for the Archipelago Fleet. Work on the fortress was begun in the mid-18th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Finland’s most popular tourist attractions. Suomenlinna is also a district of the city of Helsinki, with a permanent population of more than 800.

The official Suomenlinna website.

Every time I visit Helsinki, I take the ferry to my favourite location in the city, the historic Suomenlinna (Sveaborg in Swedish, Finland's other official language) sea fortress. Below are some of my pictures from my latest visit, last week:

 This monument marks the tomb of the founder of the fortress, count Augustin
Ehrensvärd. The monument, which was designed by King Gustav III himself,
bears the inscription: "Here lies Count Augustin Ehrensvärd, surrounded by his
work, the Fortress of Sveaborg and the Fleet."