a grand visit – balm for an old sailor’s soul

Götheborg - soic se

I don’t know how many times somebody has told me that working on board ferries don’t make me to a sailor – but how little they knew about me; I have sailed all the 7 seas – passed the equator twice (just like Lysholms Linie Aquavit), passed the date line 3 times, had 6 seaman books … I been sea sick twice, I have picked mussels at Cape Horn, sailed the North Atlantic Ocean during a whole winter (more under water than above) and spent 3 days at The Pitcairn Islands. I have sailed under the North Star and the Southern Cross. So I have more of a sailor soul and legs than most sailors has. Been at sea more or less for 37 years. And I have always lived where an ocean docks during my adult life  and so I do here in Landskrona too.

My post about my adventure on Pitcairn Islands – his name was ivan christian and about my mussel picking at Cape Horn – Cape Horn, 23.12.1978; mussels with coconut, chilli and sesame broth

Expeditionen-- soic se

Götheborg is a replica of the “Ostindiefararen Götheborg” of the same name (Götheborg), who in 1745 ran aground and sank off the entrance to Gothenburg harbor. “Götheborg” is the world’s largest ocean classed sailing ships built of wood. In 1986, started a marine archaeological excavation of the original ship. In 1995, construction began and eight years later launched “Götheborg”. During the 20 months between 2005 and 2007, the ship sailed the historic route to China and back home again. Since then it has been out for a number of minor expeditions in Sweden, Scandinavia and Europe in summer 2010 and was attended among others in the festivities surrounding the Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding. In 2013, a new long journey “Ostindiefararen Götheborg”, this time to the United States. The project “Götheborg” run by the Swedish East India Company, which in turn is owned by a nonprofit foundation.(text; sv.wikimedia.org)

Last weekend  the magnificent tall ship “Ostindiefararen Götheborg” docked here in Landskrona for 3 days – a part of our towns 600th years celebrations and of course I was down at the Skeppsbrokajen with my little camera.

It was 3 fantastic hours I spent on the quay side and on board, I never went down in the below quarters – the queue was far to long and slow – plus the hence was very deep and tiny. Massive interest and the queue to go aboard was constant. Wonderful ship that was worth every minute and every öre spent.

It cost 100SEK/$15/£10/€11.70 to visit the ship and of course I had to climb on board. I also donate the same amount. I started talking to a very handsome and nice young man aboard that worked in the shore side administration. He told me that the ship doesn’t pay for itself and that is of course a bit worrying. The government don’t want to put any founds against the project. No of course it’s more important that they have money for their conferences trips to Thailand or where ever they go. I was told that they get founds for Gothenburg City Council and the county Västergötland.  The mayor sponsors are Stena Line and Volvo of course. And the ship has two engines, of course donated by Volvo Penta, but the propellers are made by Rolls-Royce .

The ship cost 300SEK/$45.15/£29.83/€34.91 millions to build – I had expected it to been much more expensive looking at the craft manship that has gone into it and  Stena Voyager that costed  674SEK/£68/$101/€78 millions to build – that is now going to be metal debris. One extreme beauty to the other, and both laying in Landskrona at the same time, hopefully with different destiny.

all alone

Now to some details about this stunning ship:
Length; 58,5 meter/119ft
Wide; 11 meter/36ft
Over water level; 47 meters/154ft
Total sails surface; 1964 m2/21140ft²
Deplacement/weight; 1250 ton/2.756 lbs
Speed; 5-6 knot – max 11 knot
Canons; 10

Also the ship is allowed to use, what we call a 2 tongued flag – something that that only the navy vessels and ships can do – one of the reasons is that potential pirates will stay away from from the ship believing it belongs to the navy – it been like that since 1738, when the original “Götheburg” was sailing the 7 seas.

The most amazing thing with this …. ship is that you can apply to sail with it – anything from 8-14 days – it’s like a jump-on-and off tour. Like one trip starts here in Landskrona to Rouen, France (25th May – 8th June); 11 days at sea and 4 on land. Just to apply on their website – JOIN THE CREW.  They promise no stress on board, they relay totally on the winds, but some hard work … so you have to be fit.

It will cost you anything from 4.400SEK/$622.00/£438.00/€512.00  – 12.600SEK/$1.896/£1.254/€1.466. But you can also apply as a volunteer. They carry 50 volunteer to be able to sail and 30 paying “sailors” as max. They also take 2 accompanying sailors – that only sail for the pleasure and don’t have to anything else. Quite like that idea.

The  50 volunteer crew members – not as I thought sea cadets – just most youths that wants an adventure of a life time … any age are welcome on board, 18-80, so long as you can climb those masts and ratlines. Same rule for everybody on board.

When I talked to the guy aboard – he said that for this years European Tour they have so fare 500 booked and paying crew members. Not bad.

The top photo of  “Ostindiefararen Götheborg” out at sea is provided by – SOIC – the foundation behind this adventure, website in English – also the tour map.  The photo below the quote here is provided by sv.wikimedia.org – and is from when the ship left Gothenburgh harbor on her maiden journey to China in 2005. Isn’t a fabulous photo??!!! The rest is all mine. I would have love to see her in full sails, but I can’t get everything for 200SEK.

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing,
no wind is favourable.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Ostindiefararen-Götheborg- maiden journey - sv.wikimedia org

Does anyone remember the famous “The Onedin Line”  ?????!!!!! A BBC television drama series which ran from 1971 to 1980. The series was created by Cyril Abraham. We over here in Europe knows it so well – if we are old enough – as I’m. One of the best TV-series ever made …  and this was the theme that was used;  “Spartacus”, or “Spartak”, is a ballet by Aram Khachaturian (1903–1978). This is Spartacus : Adagio Of Spartacus & Phrygia. Can’t you hear how the wind beats the sails and then dies down in this beautiful musical piece???

The_Onedin_Line__mysubtitles com

Everyone that seen the TV series and hear the this tone – will automatically remember the fantastic story about a man and his shipping company – and of course all the majestic tall ships that was used in the series. There is no better suited music cloud for this grand ship; “Ostindiefararen Götheborg” .

After now writing about “The Onedin Line” I decided that I want to see the series again – so I have just bought the 9 series over iOffer – 91 episodes on 10 discs from USA, for $55.00/365.38SEK/£36.33/€42.52. So my rain autumn and cold winter is now saved. Truly excited over to be able to watch it all over again. I don’t think I missed that many episodes when shown on Swedish TV in the 70’s, maybe during the year I was signed on the little red ship, Lindblad Explorer.

Featured photo provided by and thanks to soic.se – the ships trade flag.

38 thoughts on “a grand visit – balm for an old sailor’s soul

  1. Stunning! I’m speechless, you have done such a good job. Excellent.And then the music…♥
    You really have a great blog. I’ll come back!
    Greetings from the Rhine Valley

  2. Hello there! What an interesting post to read now that I’m back here to see you. I think people are too quick to judge others! How surprised they would be to find out your experience with the sea and ships! I loved all of your photos today, it must have been fun deciding what to take pictures of. Do you think you will ever go for a sail on one? It’s not a dream of mine, but it does look to be a grand adventure! xx

    • No, Barbara – I wouldn’t be able to climb those ratlines .. and I’m so scared of heights too. I would love to sail as a cook, but … they are never really short of voluntary crew and that is fantastic.
      It’s a stunning ship – I think it’s fantastic that somebody dare to invest in build a ship like this today. A true adventure for everybody that is on aboard.

    • Thank you so much … yes, you said … a sailor at heart, that is me. I love just to sit out on deck and look over the horizon. All sailors are thinkers and philosophers.

  3. See? I knew it’s going to be so interesting. But what truly amazes me, Wivi, is the great sailor in you. You truly have amazing experiences (of a life time), and those 37 years are so evident to the great deal of knowledge and the heart you just shared with us. So, thank you!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my story …. to work at sea give a freedom like nothing else … doesn’t matter if it’s a short journey or long .. with sea all around you – you have the ultimate freedom.
      Thanks for your kind words.

  4. Your enthusiasm for the sea and the beautiful ships, shines through your photos, Viveka. What an adventurer you are, and I’m so glad you could go down to see these wonderful vessels, and take so many pics. Love the sailing music too.:)

    • I think we all have a soft spot for the sea/ocean – and this with being at sea .. with water around you – give a feeling for totally freedom – just to sit and look out … and let the thoughts go where ever they the want. I’m very passionate about the ocean – because after all it’s all one ocean, only that we have given it different names because of where it docks. Totally freedom is what we all want to feel now and then … and being a sailor is a gift. I would love to work on “Göthenburg” for a couple of days, but those ratlines scare the life out of me – keep me on deck .. scrubbing … in rain or sun. *smile – thanks for you wonderful words.

  5. What a beauty! Your words and these images truly highlight your love for the sea. That wheel view from the sundeck would have worked perfectly for the angle theme too. Well chosen quote and music as always Viveka 🙂 Thank you for a very interesting post.

    • Madhu, my pleasure … it’s easy to write about something I feel passion for. The music is fantastic … have never seen the ballet – maybe one day.
      It’s a true beauty the vessel all in wood. I was thinking of using that photo first, but it can be a bit difficult to see what it’s – would gone well with the “background” challenge too.

  6. Viveka.. firstly you are very salt sailor.. where you have been so many are scared to follow… you life on the sea must have been magnificent.. specially seeing all the places in due time … not like today a few hours on a plane…
    Secondly this old replica ship is magnificent… and I would love to see it and to sail on it… it would be an adventure of a life time… wonderful post and share… thank you…

    • Bob, you’re so right …. a plane will get us there quick, but to spend a week on something like this … cruise liners is not my thing, has worked on one … very small.
      I have sent my post of the foundation .. just for fun.
      Personal I think it’s fantastic that companies and people are willing to invest in building something this wonderful and that’s usable – that anyone can join and take part of the adventure.
      If it hadn’t been for the ratlines and sails .. I would had signed on. I’m not fit enough to climb and hang up in the masts.
      If I win on the lottery .. maybe I can donate a couple of millions and get a free trip. *laughing

    • Yes, it’s a fantastic piece of music … and I will always connect it with sails and ocean, even if it’s a ballet.
      Thank you so much for your kind words and support.

  7. Hello again, you salty sea dog! What a beauty she is, Viveka. I love, love, love Tall Ships. It’s such a priviledge to have one in your harbour. Happy to jump ship with you any day (though I’d probably be seasick if we left our mooring). 🙂

    • Sorry, I have missed your comment here … It was a truly fantastic couple of hours I had – they say she rolls like a nutshell … so maybe you should do shoreside duties instead. But a 11 days sailing tour to France would do me good. I like that … salty sea dog. *laughing.

  8. Great post about that beautiful ship! She really is beautiful – I have seen her too. I think it was in Karlskrona. I was a great fan of the Onedin Line and “Spartacus” is, as you say, forever connected to the series. Love that music too. And I love the way you describe your love for the sea.

    • Ann-Christine … the sea takes us away so soon we see it .. our thoughts just wanders away.
      I’m really looking forward to see the “The Onedin Line” again. Over 30 years old, but it will still be good.
      I saw “Rich Man – Poor Man” the past winter and it was good as it was then.
      Thanks for your lovely comments – tomorrow Voyager, a day full of emotions.

    • Suzanne, thanks a million … I enjoy my hours with the ship so much. I love the feel of it. Would have loved to see it in full sails.

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